The Axe Head Recovered

Now (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 when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. But 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. He said, “Take it up for yourself.” So he put out his hand and took it.

The Arameans Plot to Capture 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)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 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 Now the heart of the king of Aram was enraged over this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you tell me which of us is for the king of Israel?” 12 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 him, saying, “Behold, he is in (D)Dothan.” 14 He sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city.

15 Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! [e]What shall we do?” 16 So he [f]answered, “(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 Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of (H)horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 When they came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Strike this [g]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, nor is this the city; follow me and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he brought them to Samaria.

20 When they had come into Samaria, Elisha said, “O (J)Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” So the Lord 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 [h]kill them? Shall I [i]kill them?” 22 He [j]answered, “You shall not [k]kill them. Would you [l](L)kill 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 go 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.

The Siege of Samaria—Cannibalism

24 Now it came about after this, that (O)Ben-hadad king of Aram gathered all his army and went up and besieged Samaria. 25 There was a great (P)famine in Samaria; and behold, they besieged it, until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a fourth of a [m]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, “Help, my lord, O king!” 27 He said, “[n]If the Lord does not help you, from where shall I help you? From the threshing floor, or from the wine press?” 28 And the king said to her, “(Q)What [o]is the matter with you?” And she [p]answered, “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 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 [q]beneath on his [r]body. 31 Then he said, “May (T)God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat [s]remains on him today.”

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 [t]hold the door shut against him. Is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?” 33 While he was still talking with them, behold, the messenger came down to him and he said, “(W)Behold, this evil is from the Lord; why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”

Elisha Promises Food

Then Elisha said, “Listen to the word of the Lord; thus says the Lord, ‘(X)Tomorrow about this time a [u]measure of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.’” (Y)The royal officer on whose hand the king was leaning answered the man of God and said, “Behold, (Z)if the Lord should make windows in heaven, could this thing be?” Then he said, “Behold, you will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat [v]of it.”

Four Lepers Relate Arameans’ Flight

Now there were four (AA)leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why do we sit here until we die? If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ then the famine is in the city and we will die there; and if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us [w]go over to (AB)the camp of the Arameans. If they spare us, we will live; and if they kill us, we will but die.” They arose at twilight to go to the camp of the Arameans; when they came to the outskirts of the camp of the Arameans, behold, there was no one there. For (AC)the Lord had caused the army of the Arameans to hear a sound of chariots and a sound of horses, even the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, “Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us (AD)the kings of the Hittites and (AE)the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.” Therefore they (AF)arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents and their horses and their donkeys, even the camp just as it was, and fled for their life. When these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they entered one tent and ate and drank, and (AG)carried from there silver and gold and clothes, and went and hid them; and they returned and entered another tent and carried from there also, and went and hid them.

Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, but we are keeping silent; if we wait until morning light, punishment will [x]overtake us. Now therefore come, let us go and tell the king’s household.” 10 So they came and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and they told them, saying, “We came to the camp of the Arameans, and behold, there was no one there, nor the voice of man, only the horses tied and the donkeys tied, and the tents just as they were.” 11 The gatekeepers called and told it within the king’s household. 12 Then the king arose in the night and said to his servants, “I will now tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know that (AH)we are hungry; therefore they have gone from the camp (AI)to hide themselves in the field, saying, ‘When they come out of the city, we will capture them alive and get into the city.’” 13 One of his servants said, “Please, let some men take five of the horses which remain, which are left [y]in the city. Behold, they will be in any case like all the multitude of Israel who are left in it; behold, they will be in any case like all the multitude of Israel who have already perished, so let us send and see.” 14 They took therefore two chariots with horses, and the king sent after the army of the Arameans, saying, “Go and see.”

The Promise Fulfilled

15 They went after them to the Jordan, and behold, all the way was full of clothes and equipment which the Arameans had thrown away in their haste. Then the messengers returned and told the king.

16 So the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. Then a [z]measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel and two [aa]measures of barley for a shekel, (AJ)according to the word of the Lord. 17 Now the king appointed (AK)the royal officer on whose hand he leaned [ab]to have charge of the gate; but the people trampled on him at the gate, and he died just as the man of God had said, (AL)who spoke when the king came down to him. 18 It happened just as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, “(AM)Two [ac]measures of barley for a shekel and a [ad]measure of fine flour for a shekel, will be sold tomorrow about this time at the gate of Samaria.” 19 Then the royal officer answered the man of God and said, “Now behold, (AN)if the Lord should make windows in heaven, could such a thing be?” And he said, “Behold, you will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat [ae]of it.” 20 And so it happened to him, for the people trampled on him at the gate and he died.


  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 6:16 Lit said
  7. 2 Kings 6:18 Lit nation
  8. 2 Kings 6:21 Lit smite
  9. 2 Kings 6:21 Lit smite
  10. 2 Kings 6:22 Lit said
  11. 2 Kings 6:22 Lit smite
  12. 2 Kings 6:22 Lit smite
  13. 2 Kings 6:25 I.e. One kab equals approx 2 qts
  14. 2 Kings 6:27 Lit No, let the Lord help you
  15. 2 Kings 6:28 Lit to you
  16. 2 Kings 6:28 Lit said
  17. 2 Kings 6:30 Lit within
  18. 2 Kings 6:30 Lit flesh
  19. 2 Kings 6:31 Lit stands
  20. 2 Kings 6:32 Lit press him with the door
  21. 2 Kings 7:1 Heb seah
  22. 2 Kings 7:2 Lit from there
  23. 2 Kings 7:4 Lit fall
  24. 2 Kings 7:9 Lit find
  25. 2 Kings 7:13 Lit in it
  26. 2 Kings 7:16 Heb seah; i.e. one seah equals approx 11 qts
  27. 2 Kings 7:16 Heb seah; i.e. one seah equals approx 11 qts
  28. 2 Kings 7:17 Lit over the gate
  29. 2 Kings 7:18 Heb seah; i.e. one seah equals approx 11 qts
  30. 2 Kings 7:18 Heb seah; i.e. one seah equals approx 11 qts
  31. 2 Kings 7:19 Lit from there