GOD'S WORD® Translation
1The disciples of the prophets said to Elisha, "The place where we're staying is too small for us. 2Let's go to the Jordan River. Each of us can get some logs and make a place for us to live there." Elisha said, "Go ahead." 3Then one of the disciples asked, "Won't you please come with us?" Elisha answered, "I'll go." 4So he went with them. They came to the Jordan River and began to cut down trees. 5As one of them was cutting down a tree, the ax head fell into the water. He cried out, "Oh no, master! It was borrowed!" 6The man of God asked, "Where did it fall?" When he showed Elisha the place, Elisha cut off a piece of wood. He threw it into the water at that place and made the ax head float. 7Elisha said, "Pick it up." The disciple reached for it and picked it up.
8Whenever the king of Aram was fighting against Israel, he asked for advice from his officers about where they were to camp. 9So the man of God would send a message to the king of Israel, "Be careful not to go by that place. The Arameans are hiding there." 10Then the king of Israel would send someone to the place that the man of God told him about. Elisha warned them so that they would be on their guard. He did this repeatedly.
11The king of Aram was very angry about this. He called his officers and asked them, "Won't you tell me who among us is [a spy] for the king of Israel?" 12One of his officers answered, "No one, Your Majesty. Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel everything you say-even what you say in your bedroom." 13The king said, "Find out where he is. Then I will send men to capture him." The king was told, "He is in Dothan." 14So the king sent horses and chariots and a large fighting unit there. They came at night and surrounded the city.
15When the servant of the man of God got up in the morning and went outside, he saw troops, horses, and chariots surrounding the city. Elisha's servant asked, "Master, what should we do?" 16Elisha answered, "Don't be afraid. We have more forces on our side than they have on theirs." 17Then Elisha prayed, "LORD, please open his eyes so that he may see." The LORD opened the servant's eyes and let him see. The mountain around Elisha was full of fiery horses and chariots. 18As the Arameans came down to get him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, "Please strike these people with blindness." The LORD struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked. 19Elisha told them, "This isn't the way! This isn't the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you're looking for." So he led them into Samaria.
20When they came into Samaria, Elisha said, "LORD, open the eyes of these men, and let them see." The LORD opened their eyes and let them see that they were in the middle of Samaria. 21When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, "Master, should I kill them? Should I kill them?" 22Elisha answered, "Don't kill them. Do you kill everyone you take captive in combat? Give them food and water. Let them eat and drink. Then let them go back to their master." 23So the king prepared a great feast for them. They ate and drank, and then he sent them back to their master. After this, Aramean troops didn't raid Israel's territory anymore.
24Later King Benhadad of Aram assembled his whole army. They went to Samaria and blockaded it. 25The shortages caused by the blockade of Samaria became so severe that a donkey's head sold for two pounds of silver and a half-pint of dove manure for two ounces of silver. 26As the king of Israel was walking on the city wall, a woman cried to him, "Help me, Your Majesty!" 27He answered, "If the LORD doesn't help you, how can I help you? I can't give you something from the threshing floor or the winepress." 28Then the king asked her, "What's the matter?" She answered, "This woman told me, 'Give up your son. Let's eat him today. We'll eat my son tomorrow.' 29So we boiled my son and ate him. The next day I told her, 'Give up your son. We'll eat him,' but she hid her son." 30When the king heard the woman say this, he tore his clothes [in distress]. As he was walking on the city wall, the people saw that he was wearing sackcloth under his clothes. 31He said, "May God strike me dead if the head of Elisha, son of Shaphat, stays on his [body] today."
32Elisha was sitting in his home with the [city's] leaders. The king had sent one of his men ahead of him [to Elisha's house]. But before the messenger arrived, Elisha asked the leaders, "Do you see how this murderer has sent someone to tear off my head? When the messenger comes, close the door. Hold it shut because the king will be following him." 33While he was still talking to them, the messenger arrived. He said to Elisha, "This severe famine is from the LORD. Why should I wait any longer for the LORD [to help us]?"