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2 Kings 7Living Bible (TLB)

Elisha replied, “The Lord says that by this time tomorrow two gallons of flour or four gallons of barley grain will be sold in the markets of Samaria for a dollar!”

The officer assisting the king said, “That couldn’t happen if the Lord made windows in the sky!”

But Elisha replied, “You will see it happen, but you won’t be able to buy any of it!”

Now there were four lepers sitting outside the city gates. “Why sit here until we die?” they asked each other. “We will starve if we stay here and we will starve if we go back into the city; so we might as well go out and surrender to the Syrian army. If they let us live, so much the better; but if they kill us, we would have died anyway.”

So that evening they went out to the camp of the Syrians, but there was no one there! (For the Lord had made the whole Syrian army hear the clatter of speeding chariots and a loud galloping of horses and the sounds of a great army approaching. “The king of Israel has hired the Hittites and Egyptians to attack us,” they cried out. So they panicked and fled into the night, abandoning their tents, horses, donkeys, and everything else.)

When the lepers arrived at the edge of the camp they went into one tent after another, eating, drinking wine, and carrying out silver and gold and clothing and hiding it. Finally they said to each other, “This isn’t right. This is wonderful news, and we aren’t sharing it with anyone! Even if we wait until morning, some terrible calamity will certainly fall upon us; come on, let’s go back and tell the people at the palace.”

10 So they went back to the city and told the watchmen what had happened—they had gone out to the Syrian camp and no one was there! The horses and donkeys were tethered and the tents were all in order, but there was not a soul around. 11 Then the watchmen shouted the news to those in the palace.

12 The king got out of bed and told his officers, “I know what has happened. The Syrians know we are starving, so they have left their camp and have hidden in the fields, thinking that we will be lured out of the city. Then they will attack us and make slaves of us and get in.”

13 One of his officers replied, “We’d better send out scouts to see. Let them take five of the remaining horses—if something happens to the animals it won’t be any greater loss than if they stay here and die with the rest of us!”

14 Four chariot horses were found and the king sent out two charioteers to see where the Syrians had gone. 15 They followed a trail of clothing and equipment all the way to the Jordan River—thrown away by the Syrians in their haste. The scouts returned and told the king, 16 and the people of Samaria rushed out and plundered the camp of the Syrians. So it was true that two gallons of flour and four gallons of barley were sold that day for one dollar, just as the Lord had said!

17 The king appointed his special assistant to control the traffic at the gate, but he was knocked down and trampled and killed as the people rushed out. This is what Elisha had predicted on the previous day when the king had come to arrest him, 18 and the prophet had told the king that flour and barley would sell for so little on the following day.

19 The king’s officer had replied, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!”

And the prophet had said, “You will see it happen, but you won’t be able to buy any of it!”

20 And he couldn’t, for the people trampled him to death at the gate!

Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


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