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2 Kings 7

The end of the war that started in chapter 6

1 Elisha said, ‘Listen to the word of the LORD. This is what the LORD is saying. “About this time tomorrow, 7 litres of flour will cost a shekel of silver. 15 litres of barley will cost a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” ’ 2 The king was holding on to the arm of an officer. The officer said to the man of God, ‘This will not happen. Even if the LORD opens windows in the skies, it will not happen.’ Elisha answered, ‘You will see it with your own eyes. But you will not eat any of it yourself!’

3 At this time, there were 4 men who had leprosy. They were at the gate where people went in to the city Samaria. They said among themselves, ‘We should not stay here. If we stay here we will die. 4 There is a famine in the city. If we go there we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So we will go to the place where the army from Aram is. We will let them catch us. If they are kind to us, we will not die. If they kill us, we will die.’ 5 When the evening came they got up. They went to the place where the army from Aram was. When they reached the edge of the place, there was nobody there. 6 The Lord had caused the soldiers from Aram to hear the sounds of horses, chariots and a very big army. So they said among themselves, ‘The king of Israel has brought the king of the Hittites and the king of Egypt to attack us!’ 7 So, in the evening they got up and they ran away. They left their tents, their horses and their donkeys. They left the place where they were without any changes. And they ran away to save their lives. 8 The men who had leprosy came to the edge of this place. They went in to one of the tents. They ate and they drank. They carried away silver and gold and clothes. They went away and they hid them. Then they came back. They went into another tent and they took some things from it. They also hid them.

9 Then they said among themselves, ‘What we are doing is not the right thing to do. This is a day of good news and we are not saying anything about it. If we wait until the morning, something bad will happen to us. We must go immediately and we must tell this to the king's servants.’ 10 So they went to the people who kept safely the gate of the city. They spoke to them, and they said, ‘We went into the place where the army from Aram was. There was not a man there. There was no sound from anybody. There were only horses and donkeys that they had tied to something. They had left their tents as they were.’ 11 The people who kept safely the gate of the city shouted the news to everyone else. Somebody reported it to the people in the king's house. 12 The king got up in the night and he spoke to his officers. ‘I will tell you what the army from Aram has done to us. They know that we have no food. So they have left their tents and they have hidden in the fields. They are thinking, “They will surely come out of the city. Then we will catch them while they are still alive. We will get into their city.” ’ 13 One of the king's officers answered him. ‘Send some men with 5 of the horses that are still in our city. What will happen to them will be the same as what will happen to all Israel's people in the city. They will be like all those among Israel's people who have died already. They may die. So, send them, to find out what has happened.’ 14 So they chose two chariots with their horses. The king sent them to look for the army from Aram. He said to the drivers, ‘Go! Find out what has happened.’ 15 They followed the army from Aram as far as the river Jordan. The road was full of things that the army from Aram threw away. While they were running, the army had left clothes and weapons on the road. So the men with the chariots returned to the king. They reported to him the news about what they had found.

16 Then the people left the city. They took everything from the army of Aram's tents. So, 7 litres of flour did cost a shekel of silver. Also, 15 litres of barley did cost a shekel. This is what the LORD had said. 17 The king had put his special officer by the gate of Samaria. He had held the arm of this officer earlier. The people caused this officer to fall by the gate as they ran past him. He fell under their feet and he died. The man of God had said that this would happen. He had said it when the king came down to his house.

18 The man of God had said to the king that it would happen like this. ‘About this time tomorrow, 7 litres of flour will cost a shekel of silver,’ he had said. ‘15 litres of barley will cost a shekel at the gate of Samaria.’

19 The officer had said to the man of God, ‘This will not happen. Even if the LORD opens windows in the skies, it will not happen.’

The man of God had answered, ‘You will see it with your own eyes. But you will not eat any of it yourself!’

20 And that had really happened to him! The people had walked all over this officer by the gate and he had died.

Notes about chapter 7

7:20Verse 1 This was very cheap. Everything was very different in 6:25.