2 Kings Chapter 6 to 7 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Elisha and the Axhead

6 The group of prophets* said to Elisha, “We are staying in that place over there. But it is too small for us. 2Let’s go to the Jordan River {and cut some wood}. Each of us will get a log and we will build us a place to live there.” Elisha answered, “Fine, go and do it.” 3One person said, “Please go with us.” Elisha said, “Fine, I will go with you.” 4So Elisha went with the group of prophets.* When they arrived at the Jordan River, they began to cut down some trees. 5But when one man was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead slipped from the handle and fell into the water. The man shouted, “Oh, master! I borrowed that axe!” 6The man of God* (Elisha) said, “Where did it fall?” The man showed Elisha the place {where the axhead fell}. Then Elisha cut a stick and threw the stick into the water. The stick made the iron axhead float. 7Elisha said, “Pick up the axhead.” Then the man reached out and took the ax head.

Aram Tries to Trap Israel

8The king of Aram was making war against Israel. He had a council meeting with his army officers. He said, “Hide in this place {and attack the Israelites when they come by}.” 9But the man of God* (Elisha) sent a message to the king of Israel. Elisha said, “Be careful! Don’t go by that place! The Aramean soldiers are hiding there!” 10The king of Israel sent {a message to his men at} the place that the man of God* (Elisha) warned him about. And the king of Israel saved quite a few men.* 11The king of Aram was very upset about this. The king of Aram called his army officers and said to them, “Tell me who is {spying} for the king of Israel.” 12One of the officers of the king of Aram said, “My lord and king, not one of us is a spy! Elisha, the prophet from Israel, can tell the king of Israel {many secret things—even} the words that you speak in your bedroom!” 13The king of Aram said, “Find Elisha and I will send men to catch him!” The servants told the king of Aram, “Elisha is in Dothan!” 14Then the king of Aram sent horses, chariots,* and a large army to Dothan. They arrived at night and surrounded the city. 15Elisha’s servant got up early that morning. The servant went outside, and he saw an army with horses and chariots all around the city! Elisha’s servant said to Elisha, “Oh, my master, what can we do?” 16Elisha said, “Don’t be afraid! The army that fights for us is larger than the army {that fights for Aram}!” 17Then Elisha prayed and said, “Lord, I ask you, open my servant’s eyes so he can see.” The Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and the servant saw the mountain was full of horses and chariots* of fire. They were all around Elisha! 18These horses and chariots* of fire came down to Elisha. Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “I pray that you will cause these people to become blind.” Then the Lord did what Elisha asked. The Lord caused the Aramean army to become blind. 19Elisha said to the Aramean army, “This is not the right way. This is not the right city. Follow me. I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” Then Elisha led the Aramean army to Samaria.* 20When they arrived at Samaria,* Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the Lord opened their eyes, and the Aramean army saw they were in the city of Samaria! 21The king of Israel saw the Aramean army. The king of Israel said to Elisha, “My father, should I kill them? Should I kill them?” 22Elisha answered, “No, don’t kill them. You would not kill people that you captured in war with your sword and with your bow {and arrows}. Give the Aramean army some bread and water. Let them eat and drink. Then let them go home to their master.” 23The king of Israel prepared much food for the Aramean army. The Aramean army ate and drank. Then the king of Israel sent the Aramean army back home. The Aramean army went home to their master. The Arameans did not send any more soldiers into the land of Israel to make raids.

A Terrible Time of Hunger Hits Samaria

24After this happened, Ben Hadad king of Aram gathered all his army and went to surround and attack the city Samaria. 25{The soldiers would not let people bring food into the city.} So there was a time of terrible hunger in Samaria. It was so bad in Samaria that a donkey’s head was sold for 80 pieces of silver. And one pint* of dove’s dung sold for five pieces of silver. 26The king of Israel was walking on the wall around the city. A woman shouted out to him. The woman said, “My lord and king, please help me!” 27The king of Israel said, “If the Lord does not help you, how can I help you? {I have nothing to give to you—there is no grain} from the threshing floor* or {wine} from the winepress.” 28Then the king of Israel said to the woman, “What is your trouble?” The woman answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give me your son so that we can {kill him and} eat him today. Then we will eat my son tomorrow.’ 29So we boiled my son and ate him. Then the next day, I said to this woman, ‘Give me your son so we can {kill him and} eat him.’ But she has hidden her son!” 30When the king heard the woman’s words, he tore his clothes {to show he was upset}. As the king passed by on the wall, the people saw the king was wearing under his clothes the rough cloth {that showed he was sad and upset}. 31The king said, “May God punish me if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat is still on his body at the end of this day!” 32The king sent a messenger to Elisha. Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders (leaders) were sitting with him. Before the messenger arrived, Elisha said to the elders, “Look, that son of a murderer (the king of Israel) is sending men to cut off my head! When the messenger arrives, shut the door! Hold the door and don’t let him in! I hear the sound of his master’s feet coming behind him!” 33While Elisha was still talking with the elders (leaders), the messenger* came to him. This was the message: “This trouble has come from the Lord! Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”

group of prophets Literally, “sons of the prophets.” These people were prophets and people studying to become prophets. 75 pounds Or, 34kg. Literally, “1 talent (kikar).” 150 pounds Or, 68kg. Literally, “2 talents (kikars).” leprosy A very bad skin disease. group of prophets Literally, “sons of the prophets.” These people were prophets and people studying to become prophets. man of God Another name for a prophet. quite a few men Literally, “not one or two.” chariot(s) A small wagon used in war. Samaria This was the capital city of Israel—the enemy of Aram.  one pint About 0.3 l. Literally, “1/4 cab.” threshing floor A place where grain is beaten or walked on to remove the hulls from the grain. messenger Or possibly, “king.”

7 Elisha said, “Listen to the message from the Lord! The Lord says: ‘About this time tomorrow, {there will be plenty of food, and it will be cheap again}. A person will be able to buy a basket* of fine flour or two baskets* of barley for only one shekel* in the market place by the city gates of Samaria.’” 2Then the officer that was close to the king* answered the man of God* (Elisha). The officer said, “Even if the Lord made windows in heaven, this could not happen!” Elisha said, “You will see it with your own eyes. But you will not eat any of that food.”

Lepers Find the Aramean Camp Empty

3There were four men sick with leprosy* near the city gate. They said to each other, “Why are we sitting here waiting to die? 4There is no food in the Samaria. If we go into the city, we will die there. If we stay here, we will also die. So let’s go to the Aramean camp. If they let us live, then we will live. If they kill us, then we will just die. 5So that evening the four lepers* went to the Aramean camp. They came to the edge of the Aramean camp. No people were there! 6The Lord had caused the Aramean army to hear the sound of chariots,* horses, and a large army. So the Aramean soldiers said to each other, “The king of Israel has hired the kings of the Hittites and Egyptians to come against us!” 7The Arameans ran away early that evening. They left everything behind. They left their tents, horses, and donkeys, and they ran for their lives.

The Lepers in the Enemy Camp

8When these lepers* came to where the camp began, they went into one tent. They ate and drank. Then the four lepers carried silver, gold, and clothes out of the camp. They hid the silver, gold, and clothes. Then they came back and entered another tent. They carried things out from this tent. They went out and hid these things. 9Then these lepers said to each other, “We are doing wrong! Today we have good news. But we are silent. If we wait until the sun comes up, we will be punished. Now let’s go and tell the people who live in the king’s house.”

The Lepers Tell the Good News

10So these lepers* came and called to the gatekeepers of the city. The lepers told the gatekeepers, “We went to the Aramean camp. But we did not hear any people. No people were there. The horses and donkeys were still tied up, and the tents were still standing. {But the people were all gone!}” 11Then the gatekeepers of the city shouted out and told the people in the king’s house. 12It was night, but the king got up from bed. The king said to his officers, “I will tell you what the Aramean soldiers are doing to us. They know we are hungry. They left the camp to hide in the field. They are thinking, ‘When the Israelites come out of the city, we will capture them alive. And then we will enter the city.’” 13One of the king’s officers said, “Let some men take five of the horses that are still left in the city. The horses will soon die anyway, just like all the people of Israel that are still left in the city.* Let’s send these men to see what happened.” 14So the men took two chariots* with horses. The king sent these men after the Aramean army. The king told them, “Go and see what happened.” 15The men went after the Aramean army as far as the Jordan River. All along the road there were clothes and weapons. The Arameans had thrown these things down when they hurried away. The messengers went back to Samaria and told the king. 16Then the people ran out to the Aramean camp and took valuable things from there. {There was plenty of things for everyone.} So it happened just like the Lord said. A person could buy a basket* of fine flour or two baskets* of barley for only one shekel.* 17The king chose his officer that was close to him to guard the gate. {But the people ran to get food from the enemy camp.} The people knocked the officer down and walked on him, and he died. So all those things happened just like the man of God* (Elisha) said when the king came to Elisha’s house. 18Elisha had said, “A person will be able to buy a basket* of fine flour or two baskets* of barley for only one shekel* in the market place by the city gates of Samaria.” 19But that officer had answered the man of God, “Even if the Lord made windows in heaven, this could not happen!” And Elisha had told {the officer,} “You will see it with your own eyes. But you will not eat any of that food.” 20It happened to the officer just that way. The people knocked him down at the gate and walked on him, and he died.

basket(s) Literally, “seah(s).” shekel Or, “2/5 of an ounce.” that was close to the king Literally, “on whose arm the king leaned.” man of God Another name for a prophet. leprosy A very bad skin disease. lepers People sick with leprosy. chariot(s) A small wagon used in war. The horses … city The Hebrew is hard to understand here.

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