1 The sons of the prophets told Elisha, “Look, the place we meet with you is too small for us.
2 Let's go to the Jordan and each of us can carry one log back. We can build a new place there for us to meet.”
“Go ahead,” said Elisha.
3 One of them asked, “Please come with your servants.”
“I'll come,” he replied.
4 So he went with them. When they got to the Jordan, they started cutting down trees.
5 But as one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. “Oh no! My master, it was one that was borrowed!” he shouted.
6 “Where did it fall?” the man of God asked. When he showed him the place, the man of God cut a stick, threw it in there, and made the iron axhead float.
7 “Pick it up,” Elisha told the man. So he reached out his hand and picked it up.
8 The Aramean king was at war with Israel. After consulting with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in this particular place.”
9 Then the man of God sent a warning to the king of Israel: “Watch out if you go near this place, because the Arameans are going to be there.”
10 So the king of Israel sent a warning to the place the man of God had indicated. Elisha repeatedly warned the king, so that he was on the alert in those places.
11 This made the Aramean king really mad. He summoned his officers, demanding an answer: “Tell me, which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”
12 “It's none of us, my lord the king,” one of his officers replied. “It's Elisha, the prophet who lives in Israel—he tells the king of Israel even what you say in your bedroom.”
13 So the king gave the order, “Go and find out where he is so I can send soldiers to capture him.”
He was told, “Elisha is in Dothan.”
14 So he sent horses, chariots, and a large army. They came at night and surrounded the town.
15 Early in the morning when the servant of the man of God got up, he went out and saw that an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my master, what are we going to do?” he asked Elisha.
16 Elisha replied, “Don't be afraid, for there are many more who are with us than there are with them!”
17 Elisha prayed, saying, “Lord, please open his eyes so he can see.” The Lord opened the servant's eyes, and when he looked he saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
18 As the army descended on him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Please strike these people with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.
19 Then Elisha went and told them, “This isn't the right road, and this isn't the right town. Follow me, and I'll take you to the man you're looking for.” He led them to Samaria.
20 After they had entered Samaria, Elisha prayed, “Lord, open the eyes of these men that they can see.” The Lord opened their eyes, and they looked around and saw that they were in Samaria.
21 When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?”
22 “No, don't you kill them!” he replied. “Would you kill prisoners you captured with your own sword or bow? Give them some food and water so that they may eat and drink, and then let them go back to their master.”
23 So the king had a great feast prepared for them, and once they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them back to their master. The Aramean raiders did not enter the land of Israel again.
24 Sometime after this Ben-hadad king of Aram called up all his army and went to lay siege to Samaria.
25 So there was a major famine in Samaria. In fact the siege lasted so long that a donkey's head cost eighty shekels of silver, and a quarter cab of dove's dung cost five shekels of silver.
26 As the king of Israel was walking by on the city wall, a woman called out to him, “Help me, my lord the king!”
27 “If the Lord doesn't help you, why would you think I can help you?” the king replied. “I don't have grain from the threshing floor, or wine from the winepress.”
28 But then he asked her, “What's the problem?”
“This woman told me, ‘Give up your son and we'll eat him today, and tomorrow we'll eat my son,’ ” she answered.
29 “So we cooked my son and we ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we can eat him,’ but she's hidden her son.”
30 When the king heard what the woman said he ripped his clothes. As he walked by on the wall, the people saw that he was wearing sackcloth under his clothes next to his skin.
31 “May God punish me very severely if the head of Elisha, son of Shaphat, remains on his shoulders today!” he declared.
32 Elisha was sitting in his house with the elders. The king had sent a messenger on ahead, but before he got there, Elisha told the elders, “Can you see how this murderer is sending someone to cut off my head? So, as soon as the messenger arrives, close the door and hold it shut against him. Isn't that the sound of his master's footsteps following him?”
33 While Elisha was still speaking with them, the messenger arrived. The king said, “This disaster is from the Lord. Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”