2 Kings 7
Elisha’s Prophecy of Plenty
1 Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of the LORD! This is what the LORD says: ‘About this time tomorrow at the gate of Samaria, a seah of fine flour a will sell for a shekel, b and two seahs of barley c will sell for a shekel.’ ”
2 But the officer on whose arm the king leaned answered the man of God, “Look, even if the LORD were to make windows in heaven, could this really happen?”
“You will see it with your own eyes,” replied Elisha, “but you will not eat any of it.”
The Syrians Flee
3 Now there were four men with leprosy d at the entrance of the city gate, and they said to one another, “Why just sit here until we die? 4 If we say, ‘Let us go into the city,’ we will die there from the famine in the city; but if we sit here, we will also die. So come now, let us go over to the camp of the Arameans. If they let us live, we will live; if they kill us, we will die.”
5 So they arose at twilight and went to the camp of the Arameans. But when they came to the outskirts of the camp, there was not a man to be found. 6 For the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots, horses, and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel must have hired the kings of the Hittites and Egyptians to attack us.”
7 Thus the Arameans had arisen and fled at twilight, abandoning their tents and horses and donkeys. The camp was intact, and they had run for their lives.
8 When the lepers reached the edge of the camp, they went into a tent to eat and drink. Then they carried off the silver, gold, and clothing, and went and hid them. On returning, they entered another tent, carried off some items from there, and hid them.
9 Finally, they said to one another, “We are not doing what is right. Today is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until morning light, our sin will overtake us. Now, therefore, let us go and tell the king’s household.”
10 So they went and called out to the gatekeepers of the city, saying, “We went to the Aramean camp and no one was there—not a trace—only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents were intact.”
11 The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported to the king’s household.
12 So the king got up in the night and said to his servants, “Let me tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving, so they have left the camp to hide in the field, thinking, ‘When they come out of the city, we will take them alive and enter the city.’ ”
13 But one of his servants replied, “Please, have scouts take five of the horses that remain in the city. Their plight will be no worse than all the Israelites who are left here. You can see that all the Israelites here are doomed. So let us send them and find out.”
14 Then the scouts took two chariots with horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army, saying, “Go and see.” 15 And they tracked them as far as the Jordan, and indeed, the whole way was littered with the clothing and equipment the Arameans had thrown off in haste. So the scouts returned and told the king.
Elisha’s Prophecy Fulfilled
16 Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. It was then that a seah of fine flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel, according to the word of the LORD.
17 Now the king had appointed the officer on whose arm he leaned to be in charge of the gate, but the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died, just as the man of God had foretold when the king had come to him. 18 It happened just as the man of God had told the king: “About this time tomorrow at the gate of Samaria, two seahs of barley will sell for a shekel, and a seah of fine flour will sell for a shekel.”
19 And the officer had answered the man of God, “Look, even if the LORD were to make windows in heaven, could this really happen?”
So Elisha had replied, “You will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of it!”
20 And that is just what happened to him. The people trampled him in the gateway, and he died.
1 a A seah is approximately 6.6 dry quarts or 7.3 liters (probably about 8.2 pounds or 3.7 kilograms of flour); here and in verses 16 and 18.
1 b A shekel is approximately 0.4 ounces or 11.4 grams, probably of silver; here and in verses 16 and 18.
1 c 2 seahs is approximately 13.2 dry quarts or 14.6 liters (probably about 19.3 pounds or 8.8 kilograms of barley); here and in verses 16 and 18.
3 d Leprosy was a term used for various skin diseases; here and in verse 8; see Leviticus 13.