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The Axe Head Floats

And (A)the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “Behold now, the place before you where we are living is too limited for us. Please let us go to the Jordan and each of us take from there a beam, and let us make a place there for ourselves where we may live.” So he said, “Go.” Then one said, “Please be willing to go with your servants.” And he [a]answered, “I shall go.” So he went with them; and they came to the Jordan and cut down trees. Now it happened that as one was felling a beam, [b]the axe head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, “Alas, my master! For it was borrowed.” Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” And when he showed him the place, (B)he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float. And he said, “Take it up for yourself.” So he sent forth his hand and took it.

Horses and Chariots of Fire Around Elisha

Now the king of Aram was warring against Israel; and he [c]counseled with his servants saying, “In such and such a place shall be my camp.” (C)And the man of God sent word to the king of Israel saying, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Arameans are coming down there.” 10 And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God had told him; thus he warned him, so that he guarded himself there, [d]more than once or twice.

11 Then the heart of the king of Aram was enraged over this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not tell me which of us is for the king of Israel?” 12 And one of his servants said, “No, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.” 13 So he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and take him.” And it was told to him, saying, “Behold, he is in (D)Dothan.” 14 So he sent horses and chariots and a heavy military force there, and they came by night and surrounded the city.

15 Then the attendant of the man of God arose early and went out, and behold, a military force with horses and chariots was all around the city. And his young man said to him, “Alas, my master! [e]What shall we do?” 16 So he said, “(E)Do not fear, for (F)those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “(G)O Yahweh, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And Yahweh opened the eyes of the young man and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of (H)horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 And they came down to him, and Elisha prayed to Yahweh and said, “Strike this [f]people with blindness, I pray.” So He (I)struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. 19 Then Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, and this is not the city; walk after me and I will walk you over to the man whom you seek.” And he walked them over to Samaria.

20 Now it happened that when they had come into Samaria, Elisha said, “O (J)Yahweh, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” So Yahweh opened their eyes and they saw; and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. 21 Then the king of Israel when he saw them, said to Elisha, “(K)My father, shall I strike them down? Shall I strike them down?” 22 And he said, “You shall not strike them down. Would you (L)strike down those you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? (M)Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and walk back to their master.” 23 So he prepared a great feast for them; and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And (N)the marauding bands of Arameans did not come again into the land of Israel.

Aram’s Siege of Samaria

24 Now it happened afterwards, that (O)Ben-hadad king of Aram gathered all his military camp and went up and besieged Samaria. 25 Now there was a great (P)famine in Samaria. And behold, they besieged it, until a donkey’s head was sold for [g]eighty shekels of silver, and a fourth of a [h]kab of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver. 26 As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, “Save, my lord, O king!” 27 He said, “[i]If Yahweh does not save you, from where shall I save you? From the threshing floor, or from the wine press?” 28 And the king said to her, “(Q)What [j]is the matter with you?” And she said, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ 29 (R)So we boiled my son and ate him; and I said to her on the next day, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him’; but she has hidden her son.” 30 Now it happened that when the king heard the words of the woman, (S)he tore his clothes—now he was passing by on the wall—and the people looked, and behold, he had sackcloth [k]beneath on his [l]body. 31 Then he said, “May (T)God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat [m]remains on him today.”

Flour and Barley in Samaria

32 Now Elisha was sitting in his house, and (U)the elders were sitting with him. And the king sent a man from his presence; but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, “Do you (V)see how this son of a murderer has sent to take away my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and [n]hold the door shut against him. Is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?” 33 While he was still speaking with them, behold, the messenger came down to him and he said, “(W)Behold, this evil is from Yahweh; why should I wait for Yahweh any longer?”


  1. 2 Kings 6:3 Lit said
  2. 2 Kings 6:5 Lit as for the iron, it fell
  3. 2 Kings 6:8 Lit took counsel
  4. 2 Kings 6:10 Lit not once or twice
  5. 2 Kings 6:15 Lit How
  6. 2 Kings 6:18 Lit nation
  7. 2 Kings 6:25 Approx. 2 lb. or 0.8 kg, a shekel was approx. 0.4 oz. or 11 gm
  8. 2 Kings 6:25 A kab was approx. 2 qt. or 1.9 l
  9. 2 Kings 6:27 Lit No, let Yahweh help you
  10. 2 Kings 6:28 Lit to you
  11. 2 Kings 6:30 Lit within
  12. 2 Kings 6:30 Lit flesh
  13. 2 Kings 6:31 Lit stands
  14. 2 Kings 6:32 Lit press him with the door