2 Kings 6

Another miracle that Elisha did

1 One day, the group of prophets said to Elisha, ‘The place where we meet with you is too small for us. 2 We must go to the Jordan river to cut down some trees. Each one of us can bring back some wood to build a new place for us to meet in.’ Elisha agreed and he told them to go.

3 One of the prophets said, ‘Please come with us, sir.’ Elisha replied, ‘I will come with you.’ 4 So he went with them. They arrived at the Jordan river. They started to cut down some trees. 5 While one of them was cutting down a tree, his iron axe fell into the water. He shouted, ‘Oh! My master! The axe did not belong to me!’ 6 Elisha asked him, ‘Where did it fall in the water?’ He showed Elisha the place. Then Elisha cut a branch from a tree. He threw it in the water at that place. It caused the iron axe to come to the top of the water. 7 Elisha told the prophet, ‘Lift it out of the water.’ So the man took hold of it with his hand.

Elisha stops the Syrian army

8 There was a war between the king of Syria and Israel. The king of Syria talked with his officers. He said to them, ‘I will attack Israel at a certain place.’ 9 But Elisha, the man of God, sent a message to the king of Israel. He said, ‘Do not travel through that place. The Syrian army is going there to attack us.’ 10 So the king of Israel warned the people in that place to be careful. Several times Elisha told the king where the Syrian army would attack so that the king would be careful.

11 This made the king of Syria very angry. He asked his officers to come to him. He said to them, ‘One of you is helping the king of Israel. Who is it?’ 12 One of his officers said, ‘None of us is helping him, my master the king. There is a prophet who lives in Israel. His name is Elisha. He tells the king of Israel every word that you speak secretly, even what you say in your bedroom!’ 13 The king of Syria said, ‘Go and find the place where he is. Then I will send some men there to catch him.’

A report came back to the king of Syria, ‘Elisha is in Dothan.’ 14 So the king sent a big army of soldiers there, with horses and chariots. They arrived during the night and they made their camp all around the city.

15 The servant of Elisha, the man of God, got up early the next morning. He went out and he saw an army with horses and chariots all around the city. He said to Elisha, ‘Oh! My master! What can we do?’ 16 Elisha replied, ‘Do not be afraid. There are more men to fight for us than there are for them.’ 17 Then Elisha prayed, ‘Lord, please open my servant's eyes so that he can see clearly.’ The Lord opened the servant's eyes. Now he could see lots of horses and chariots that burned with fire. They were on the hill all around Elisha.

18 When the enemy soldiers came towards Elisha, he prayed, ‘Lord, please make these people become blind.’ The Lord did what Elisha had asked. He made the enemy soldiers become blind. 19 Elisha said to them, ‘You are on the wrong road. You have come to the wrong city. Follow me! I will lead you to the man that you are looking for.’ Elisha led them to Samaria.

20 After they had gone into Samaria city, Elisha prayed again, ‘Lord, please open the eyes of these men so that they can see again.’ The Lord opened their eyes. Now they could see that they were in the middle of Samaria city! 21 When the king of Israel saw the Syrian army in his city, he asked Elisha, ‘My master, what should I do? Should I kill them?’ 22 Elisha answered, ‘You must not kill them. That would not be right. You did not win a fight against them with your weapons. Give them some food and water. Then they can eat and drink before they go back to their master.’

23 So the king of Israel made a big feast for them. They had a lot of food and drink. Then he sent them back to their master, the king of Syria. After this happened, no more groups of Syrian soldiers came to attack Israel.

The Syrian army attacks Samaria

24 But later, King Ben-Hadad of Syria sent his whole army to attack Samaria. His soldiers made their camp all around the city. 25 As a result, there was a famine in the city. The Syrian army were all around the city for a long time. Food in the city was very expensive. Adonkey's head cost 80 pieces of silver. A small cup of dove's dung cost 5 pieces of silver.

6:25dove's dung or dry seeds.

26 While the king of Israel was walking on the wall of the city, a woman shouted to him, ‘Please help me, my master the king!’ 27 The king replied, ‘Why do you ask me? Only the Lord can help you. I have no wheat or wine to give you.’ 28 Then the king asked her, ‘What is your problem?’ She answered, ‘This woman here said to me, “Let us take your son today, so that we can eat him. Tomorrow we will eat my son.” 29 So we cooked my son and we ate him. The next day I said to her, “Now we will take your son, so that we can eat him.” But she has hidden him somewhere!’

30 When the king heard the woman's words, he was very upset. He tore his clothes. As he walked along the wall, people could see what he was wearing. They saw that he was wearing sackcloth under his other clothes. 31 He said, ‘I will certainly cut off Elisha's head today! May God punish me with death if Elisha still has his head by the end of the day!’

6:30Sackcloth was very rough to wear. It showed that the person was sad and upset.

32 Elisha was sitting in his house. The leaders of the city were with him. The king sent a man to Elisha with a message. But before he arrived, Elisha said to the leaders, ‘I tell you this. That murderer, the king, has sent someone to cut off my head. When the king's man arrives, shut the door. Stop him from coming in here. We will soon hear the sound of his master as he arrives too.’

33 While Elisha was still talking to the city's leaders, the king's man arrived with this message: ‘The Lord has caused this terrible trouble to happen to us. I cannot wait any longer for the Lord to help us.’

6:33These may be the words of the king or the words of the man that he sent.