1Elisha replied, “Listen to the message from the Lord. This is what the Lord says: Around this time tomorrow a seah of the best flour will sell for a shekel, and two seahs of barley will sell for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”
2The officer who was the king's assistant said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord opened windows in heaven what you say couldn't happen!” Elisha replied, “You'll see it with your own eyes, but you won't get to eat any of it.”
3There happened to be four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why are we sitting around here until we die?
4If we say, ‘Let's go into the city,’ we'll die because of the famine there; but if we go on sitting here, we'll die too. So come on, let's go to the camp of the Arameans and surrender to them. If they let us live, we'll live; if they kill us, we'll die.”
5So they set off when it was getting dark and went to the camp of the Arameans. But when they arrived at the edge of the camp, nobody was there!
6For the Lord had made the Arameans hear the sound of chariots, horses, and a large army approaching, so they said to each other, “The king of Israel has hired the kings of the Hittites and Egyptians to come and attack us.”
7So they jumped up and ran away into the night, leaving behind their tents, their horses, and their donkeys. In fact the camp was left just as it was when they ran for their lives.
8When the lepers got to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent and ate and drank. Then they took the silver, gold, and clothes, and hid them. After that they went back to another tent, took some things from there, and hid them.
9Then they said to each other, “It's not right what we're doing. This is a day of good news, and if we keep quiet about it and wait until it gets light, we're sure to be punished. So let's go right away and let them know at the king's palace.”
10They went and called to the gatekeepers of the city, “We went over to the Aramean camp and no one was there, not a sound of anybody! There were just horses and donkeys tied up, and the tents just as they were.”
11The gatekeepers shouted out the news, and reports reached the royal palace.
12The king got up in the night and said to his officers, “Let me tell you the trick the Arameans are trying to play on us. They know we're starving, so they have left the camp and hidden in the field, thinking, ‘When they leave the city, we'll take them alive and be able to enter the city.’”
13One of his officers suggested, “Have some men take five of the remaining horses in the city. What happens to them will be the same as that of all the Israelites left here, All the Israelites here are doomed. Let's send them to find out what's going on.”
14So they got two chariots ready with their horses, and the king sent them out to the Aramean camp, telling them “Go and take a look.”
15They went after them as far as the Jordan, and the whole way was full of clothing and equipment the Arameans had thrown aside as they ran away. The messengers returned and reported to the king.
16Then the people went out and looted the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of the best flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel, just as the Lord had predicted.
17The king had put the officer who was his assistant in charge of the gate. In their rush the people trampled him in the gateway and he died, just as the man of God had said when the king visited him.
18What the man of God had told the king also came true when he said, “Around this time tomorrow a seah of the best flour will sell for a shekel, and two seahs of barley will sell for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”
19Also the officer who was the king's assistant had said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord opened windows in heaven what you say couldn't happen!” Elisha had replied, “You'll see it with your own eyes, but you won't get to eat any of it.”
20This is what happened to him. The people trampled him in the gateway and he died.