Old Testament

2 Kings 6
An Ax Floats
61The sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “Look, the place where we are living with you is too cramped for us. 2Let's go to the Jordan, and every one of us will get a wooden beam from there so we can build a place there for us to live.”
He said, “Go ahead.”
3Then one of them said, “Won't you also please come along with your servants?”
He said, “I will come.” 4So he went with them. When they came to the Jordan, they began to cut down trees. 5But while one of them was cutting down a tree for a beam, the ax fell into the water.
He cried out, “Oh no, my lord! It was borrowed!”
6But the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” Then he showed him the place. He cut off a piece of wood and threw it into the water, and the ax floated.
7Then he said, “Pick it up.” So he reached out his hand and took it.
Elisha Guarded by Angels
8Now when the king of Aram was waging war against Israel, he would make plans with his officials, saying, “My camp will be at such and such a place.”
9But the man of God would send a message to the king of Israel, saying, “Be careful when you pass this place because the Arameans are going down there.” 10So the king of Israel would send scouts to the place that the man of God had pointed out. So the man of God warned him, and he was kept safe—and not just once or twice.
11The king of Aram was enraged because of this. He summoned his officials and said to them, “Won't you tell me who of us is for the king of Israel?”
12One of his officials said, “No, my lord the king. It is Elisha, the prophet in Israel, who tells the king of Israel the words which you speak in your bedroom.”
13Then he said, “Go and see where he is. Then I'll send men and capture him.”
He was told, “Dothan is where he is.”
14So he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They came at night and surrounded the city. 15When the man of God's servant got up early and went out, there were soldiers, horses, and chariots surrounding the city. So his attendant said to Elisha, “Oh no, my lord! What will we do?”
16He answered, “Don't be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
17Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, open his eyes so that he can see.” Then the Lord opened the servant's eyes, and he saw that the hills were full of horses and chariots of fire, all around Elisha.
18When the Arameans came down, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike these people with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, just as Elisha had asked.
19Then Elisha said to them, “This is not the road, and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will take you to the man you are looking for.” So he brought them to Samaria. 20When they came into Samaria, Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open their eyes so that they can see.” Then the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw that they were right in the middle of Samaria.
21When the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “Shall I strike them down, my father? Shall I strike them down?”
22He said, “Do not strike them down. Would you strike down a man you captured with your own sword and bow?[] Set food and water before them so that they can eat and drink and then go back to their master.” 23So he gave a great feast for them. They ate and drank. Then he sent them on their way, and they went to their master. The Aramean raiding parties did not come into the land of Israel anymore.
Ben Hadad Lays Siege to Samaria
24After these things, Ben Hadad king of Aram mobilized his whole army and went up and laid siege to Samaria. 25There was a severe famine in Samaria, because the siege lasted until a donkey head sold for eighty shekels[] of silver and a cup of dove's droppings[] for five shekels of silver.
26When the king of Israel was walking on the wall, a woman cried out to him, “Help me, my lord the king!”
27But he said, “If the Lord does not help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor or from the winepress?” 28Then the king asked her, “What is the problem?”
She said, “This woman said to me, ‘Come on, give up your son, and we will eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ 29So we cooked my son and ate him. Then I said to her the next day, ‘Give up your son so that we may eat him,’ but she hid her son.”
30When the king heard the woman's words, he tore his clothes. As he was walking on the wall, the people were surprised to see that he was wearing sackcloth on his body, underneath his clothing.
31Then he said, “May God punish me severely and even double it, if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today!”
32Now Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. The king sent a man ahead of him. But before the messenger came to him, Elisha said to the elders, “Do you see that this murderer has sent this man to cut off my head? When the messenger comes, shut the door and push against it. Isn't the sound of the feet of his master behind him?”
33While he was still speaking with them, the messenger came down to him. Then the king said, “Indeed this evil is from the Lord. Why should I wait hopefully for the Lord anymore?”


  • 6:22 Or Isn't it only those you take captive with your sword and bow that you strike down? Prisoners were, in fact, often executed.
  • 6:25 About two pounds
  • 6:25 Or perhaps seed pods