Elisha makes an axe head float. He opens his servant’s eyes to see angels. He strikes the Syrian army with blindness. He restores their sight. Syria attacks Samaria.
VERSE 1. The sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See now, the place where we live and meet with you is too small for us.
The sons of the prophets. That is, the group of prophets. Some translations say “company of prophets.”
the place where we live and meet with you. Elisha did not live with the sons of the prophets. But he met with them, probably to give them instructions.
VERSE 2. Please let us go to the Jordan, and each man take a beam from there, and let’s make us a place there, where we may live.” He answered, “Go!”
VERSE 3. One said, “Please be pleased to go with your servants.” He answered, “I will go.”
VERSE 4. So he went with them. When they came to the Jordan, they cut down wood.
VERSE 5. But as one was cutting down a tree, the ax head fell into the water. Then he cried out and said, “Alas, my master! For it was borrowed.”
VERSE 6. The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” He showed him the place. He cut down a stick, threw it in there, and made the iron float.
He cut down a stick, threw it in there. To make his miracles happen, no methodology is involved. It is not magic. It is not technological. What is required is faith.
made the iron float. The prophet Elijah performed seven known miracles. And his disciple Elisha performed 15. Read more »
VERSE 7. He said, “Take it.” So he put out his hand and took it.
VERSE 8. Now the king of Syria was at war against Israel; and he took counsel with his servants, saying, “My camp will be in such and such a place.”
VERSE 9. The man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, “Beware that you not pass this place, for the Syrians are coming down there.”
VERSE 10. The king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of; and he saved himself there, not once or twice.
VERSE 11. The king of Syria’s heart was very troubled about this. He called his servants, and said to them, “Won’t you show me which of us is for the king of Israel?”
VERSE 12. One of his servants said, “No, 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.”
tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom. Elisha is a formidable enemy.
The LORD God gave him great powers as a prophet, and he uses them for the good of Israel.
In this case, the LORD God gave him the ability to remotely surveil what the king of Syria is saying.
In our day, a parallel is called remote viewing. It means getting impressions about a distant or unseen target using psychic phenomena.
In the U.S., the CIA ran a program called Project MKUltra. It was portrayed in the 1997 movie “Conspiracy Theory.”
VERSE 13. He said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and get him.” He was told, “Behold, he is in Dothan.”
VERSE 14. Therefore he sent horses, chariots, and a great army there. They came by night and surrounded the city.
he sent horses, chariots, and a great army there. The king of Syria sends his entire military might out into the desert. Why? To confront one Jewish prophet.
VERSE 15. When the servant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was around the city. His servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”
his servant. Presumably this is a new servant. The former one was covered in leprosy for having lied to Captain Naaman.
VERSE 16. He answered, “Don’t be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
Don’t be afraid. Elisha’s servant sees that he and Elisha are surrounded by the entire Syrian army and hopelessly outnumbered.
those who are with us. However, the servant is only seeing with his natural human eyes. He does not behold reality.
The reality is that the entire army of Syria is hopelessly outnumbered!
VERSE 17. Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, please open his eyes, that he may see.” the LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire around Elisha.
open his eyes, that he may see. Elisha can see. He can see the sky completely filled with angelic warriors, fiery horses and chariots standing ready to shield and defend him.
the LORD opened the young man’s eyes. The prophet Elijah performed seven known miracles. And his disciple Elisha performed 15. Read more »
horses and chariots of fire. Horses and chariots appear three times during the ministry of Elisha:
2 Kings 2:11. As they continued on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
2 Kings 6:17. Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, please open his eyes, that he may see.” the LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire around Elisha.
2 Kings 7:6. For the Lord had made the army of the Syrians to hear the sound of chariots and the sound of horses, even the noise of a great army; and they said to one another, “Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us.”
VERSE 18. When they came down to him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, and said, “Please strike this people with blindness.” He struck them with blindness according to Elisha’s word.
strike this people with blindness. The prophet Elijah performed seven known miracles. And his disciple Elisha performed 15. Read more »
VERSE 19. Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, neither is this the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” He led them to Samaria.
VERSE 20. When they had come into Samaria, Elisha said, “LORD, open these men’s eyes, that they may see.” The LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and behold, they were in the middle of Samaria.
open these men’s eyes. The prophet Elijah performed seven known miracles. And his disciple Elisha performed 15. Read more »
VERSE 21. The king of Israel said to Elisha, when he saw them, “My father, shall I strike them? Shall I strike them?”
VERSE 22. He answered, “You shall not strike them. Would you strike those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, then go to their master.”
VERSE 23. He prepared a great feast for them. After they ate and drank, he sent them away and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria stopped raiding Eretz-Israel.
VERSE 24. After this, Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his army, and went up and besieged Samaria.
VERSE 25. There was a great famine in Samaria. Behold, they besieged it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver.
the fourth part of a kab. A kab was about two liters. So a fourth of a kab would be about 500 milliliters or about a pint.
VERSE 26. As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!”
VERSE 27. He said, “If the LORD doesn’t help you, where could I get help for you? From of the threshing floor, or from the wine press?”
VERSE 28. Then the king asked her, “What is your problem?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’
VERSE 29. So we boiled my son and ate him; and I said to her on the next day, ‘Give up your son, that we may eat him;’ and she has hidden her son.”
we boiled my son, and ate him. They resorted to cannibalism.
The woman describes cannibalism as if it is OK. But cannibalism is one of the curses that will fall on Israel if it breaks the covenant:
Deuteronomy 28:53. You will eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters, whom the LORD your God has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies will distress you.
VERSE 30. When the king heard the words of the woman, he tore his clothes. Now he was passing by on the wall, and the people looked, and behold, he had sackcloth underneath on his body.
VERSE 31. Then he said, “God do so to me, and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat stays on him today.”
VERSE 32. But Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. Then the king sent a man from before him; but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, “Do you see how this son of a murderer has sent to take away my head? Behold, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold the door shut against him. Isn’t the sound of his master’s feet behind him?”
This is a very long verse. By our count, it has 75 words!
Elisha was sitting in his house. Elisha has his own house. He does not live with the sons of the prophets.
VERSE 33. While he was still talking with them, behold, the messenger came down to him. Then he said, “Behold, this evil is from the LORD. Why should I wait for the LORD any longer?”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.