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The Arameans Plot to Capture Elisha

Now the king of Aram (Syria) was making war against Israel, and he consulted with his servants, saying, “My camp shall be in such and such a place.” The man of God sent word to the king of Israel saying, “Be careful not to pass by this place, because the Arameans are pulling back to there.” 10 Then the king of Israel sent word to the place about which Elisha had warned him; so he guarded himself there repeatedly.

11 Now the heart of the king of Aram (Syria) was enraged over this thing. He called his servants and said to them, “Will you not tell me which of us is helping the king of Israel?” 12 One of his servants said, “None [of us is helping him], 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, so that I may send [men] and seize him.” And he was told, “He is in Dothan.” 14 So he sent horses and chariots and a powerful army there. They came by night and surrounded the city.

15 The servant of the man of God got up early and went out, and behold, there was an army with horses and chariots encircling the city. Elisha’s servant said to him, “Oh no, my master! What are we to do?” 16 Elisha answered, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “Lord, please, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servants eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha. 18 When the Arameans came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Please strike this people (nation) with [a]blindness.” And God struck them with blindness, in accordance with Elisha’s request. 19 Then Elisha said to the Arameans, “This is not the way, nor is this the city. Follow me and I will lead you to the man whom you are seeking.” And he led them to Samaria.

20 When they had come into Samaria, Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men, so that they may see.” And the Lord opened their eyes and they saw. Behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. 21 When the king of Israel (Jehoram) saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?” 22 Elisha answered, “You shall not kill them. Would you kill those you have taken captive with your sword and bow? Serve them bread and water, so that they may eat and drink, and go back to their master [King Ben-hadad].” 23 So the king prepared a great feast for them; and when they had eaten and drunk he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the marauding bands of Aram did not come into the land of Israel again.

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Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 6:18 This is an unusual Hebrew word that implies they were blinded by a dazzling bright light (see Gen 19:11).

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