2 Kings 6:24-7:2

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. A donkey's head cost 80 pieces of silver. A small cup of dove's dung cost five pieces of silver.

6:25‘dove'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.

2 Kings 7

1 Elisha said, ‘Now listen to the Lord's message! This is what the Lord says: “About this time tomorrow, five kilograms of good flour will cost only one piece of silver. Ten kilograms of barley will also cost one piece of silver. You will be able to buy this food at the gate of Samaria.” ’

7:1Elisha said that by the next day, food would be very cheap for people to buy.

2 The special officer who was near to the king said to the man of God, ‘That will never happen! Even if the Lord opens the skies and sends us rain, it could not happen so soon.’ Elisha said, ‘You yourself will see this happen, but you will not eat any of the food!’