1. The brotherhood of prophets said to Elisha, 'Look, the place where we are living with you is too small for us.
2. Let us go to the Jordan, then, and each of us cut a beam there, and we will make our living quarters there.' He replied, 'Go.'
3. 'Be good enough to go with your servants,' one of them said. 'I will go,' he replied,
4. and went with them. On reaching the Jordan they began cutting down timber.
5. But, as one of them was felling his beam, the iron axehead fell into the water. 'Alas, my lord,' he exclaimed, 'and it was a borrowed one too!'
6. 'Where did it fall?' the man of God asked; and he showed him the spot. Then, cutting a stick, Elisha threw it in at that point and made the iron axehead float.
7. 'Lift it out,' he said; and the man stretched out his hand and took it.
8. The king of Aram was at war with Israel. He conferred with his officers and said, 'You must attack at such and such a place.'
9. Elisha, however, sent word to the king of Israel, 'Be on your guard about such and such a place, because the Aramaeans are going to attack it.'
10. The king of Israel accordingly sent men to the place which Elisha had named. And he kept warning the king, and the king stayed on the alert; and this happened more than once or twice.
11. The king of Aram grew very much disturbed over this. He summoned his officers, and said, 'Tell me which of you is betraying us to the king of Israel.'
12. 'No one, my lord king,' one of his officers replied. 'It is Elisha, the prophet in Israel. The words you utter in your bedchamber, he reveals to the king of Israel.'
13. 'Go and find out where he is,' the king said, 'so that I can send people to capture him.' Word was brought to him, 'He is now in Dothan.'
14. So he sent horses and chariots there, and a large force; and these, arriving during the night, surrounded the town.
15. Next day, Elisha got up early and went out; and there surrounding the town was an armed force with horses and chariots. 'Oh, my lord,' his servant said, 'what are we to do?'
16. 'Do not be afraid,' he replied, 'for there are more on our side than on theirs.'
17. And Elisha prayed. 'Yahweh,' he said, 'open his eyes and make him see.' Yahweh opened the servant's eyes, and he saw the mountain covered in fiery horses and chariots surrounding Elisha.
18. As the Aramaeans came down towards him, Elisha prayed to Yahweh, 'I beg you to strike these people sun-blind.' And, at Elisha's word, he struck them sun-blind.
19. Then Elisha said to them, 'This is not the road, nor is this the town. Follow me; I shall lead you to the man you are looking for.' But he led them to Samaria.
20. As they entered Samaria, Elisha said, 'Yahweh, open these people's eyes, and let them see.' Yahweh opened their eyes and they saw; they were inside Samaria.
21. When the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, 'Shall I kill them, father?'
22. 'Do not kill them,' he replied. 'Do you kill your own prisoners with sword and bow? Offer them food and water, so that they can eat and drink, and then let them go back to their master.'
23. So the king provided a great feast for them; and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them off and they went back to their master. Aramaean raiding parties never invaded the territory of Israel again.
24. It happened after this that Ben-Hadad king of Aram, mustering his whole army, marched on and laid siege to Samaria.
25. In Samaria there was great famine, and so strict was the siege that the head of a donkey sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one quarter-kab of wild onions for five shekels of silver.
26. Now as the king was passing along the city wall, a woman shouted, 'Help, my lord king!'
27. 'If Yahweh does not help you,' he retorted, 'where can I find help for you? From the threshing-floor? From the winepress?'
28. Then the king asked, 'What is the matter?' 'This woman here', she answered, 'said to me, "Give up your son; we will eat him today, and eat my son tomorrow."
29. So we cooked my son and ate him. Next day, I said to her, "Give up your son for us to eat." But she has hidden her son.'
30. On hearing the woman's words, the king tore his clothes; the king was walking on the wall, and the people saw that underneath he was wearing sackcloth next his body.
31. 'May God bring unnameable ills on me, and worse ills, too,' he said, 'if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today!'
32. Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. The king sent a messenger ahead but, before the man arrived, Elisha had said to the elders, 'Do you see how this son of a murderer has given orders to cut off my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door; hold the door against him. Isn't that the sound of his master's step behind him?'
33. He was still actually speaking, when the king arrived and said, 'This misery plainly comes from Yahweh. Why should I still trust in Yahweh?'