2 Kings 6Revised Standard Version (RSV)
The Miracle of the Ax Head
6 Now the sons of the prophets said to Eli′sha, “See, the place where we dwell under your charge is too small for us. 2 Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log, and let us make a place for us to dwell there.” And he answered, “Go.” 3 Then one of them said, “Be pleased to go with your servants.” And he answered, “I will go.” 4 So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. 5 But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water; and he cried out, “Alas, my master! It was borrowed.” 6 Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick, and threw it in there, and made the iron float. 7 And he said, “Take it up.” So he reached out his hand and took it.
The Aramean Attack Is Thwarted
8 Once when the king of Syria was warring against Israel, he took counsel with his servants, saying, “At such and such a place shall be my camp.” 9 But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are going down there.” 10 And the king of Israel sent to the place of which the man of God told him. Thus he used to warn him, so that he saved himself there more than once or twice.
11 And the mind of the king of Syria was greatly troubled because of this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me who of us is for the king of Israel?” 12 And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Eli′sha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedchamber.” 13 And he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and seize him.” It was told him, “Behold, he is in Dothan.” 14 So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army; and they came by night, and surrounded the city.
15 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was round about the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 He said, “Fear not, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Eli′sha prayed, and said, “O Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Eli′sha. 18 And when the Syrians came down against him, Eli′sha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, I pray thee, with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Eli′sha. 19 And Eli′sha said to them, “This is not the way, and this is not the city; follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he led them to Samar′ia.
20 As soon as they entered Samar′ia, Eli′sha said, “O Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” So the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw; and lo, they were in the midst of Samar′ia. 21 When the king of Israel saw them he said to Eli′sha, “My father, shall I slay them? Shall I slay them?” 22 He answered, “You shall not slay them. Would you slay those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” 23 So he prepared for them a great feast; and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the Syrians came no more on raids into the land of Israel.
Ben-hadad’s Siege of Samaria
24 Afterward Ben-ha′dad king of Syria mustered his entire army, and went up, and besieged Samar′ia. 25 And there was a great famine in Samar′ia, as they besieged it, until an ass’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver. 26 Now as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!” 27 And he said, “If the Lord will not help you, whence shall I help you? From the threshing floor, or from the wine press?” 28 And the king asked her, “What is your trouble?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ 29 So we boiled my son, and ate him. And on the next day I said to her, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him’; but she has hidden her son.” 30 When the king heard the words of the woman he rent his clothes—now he was passing by upon the wall—and the people looked, and behold, he had sackcloth beneath upon his body— 31 and he said, “May God do so to me and more also, if the head of Eli′sha the son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today.”
32 Eli′sha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. Now the king had dispatched a man from his presence; but before the messenger arrived Eli′sha said to the elders, “Do you see how this murderer has sent to take off my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold the door fast against him. Is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?” 33 And while he was still speaking with them, the king[a] came down to him and said, “This trouble is from the Lord! Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”