Now there were four men with leprosya1 at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, "Why stay here until we die?
If we say, 'We'll go into the city'--the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let's go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die."
At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, not a man was there,
for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound2 of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, "Look, the king of Israel has hired3 the Hittite4 and Egyptian kings to attack us!"
So they got up and fled5 in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.
The men who had leprosy6 reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.
Then they said to each other, "We're not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let's go at once and report this to the royal palace."
So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, "We went into the Aramean camp and not a man was there--not a sound of anyone--only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were."
The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.