Elisha said, "Hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord says: 'About this time tomorrow at the gate of Samaria, six quartsa of fine meal [will sell] for a shekelb and 12 quartsc of barley [will sell] for a shekel.' "d2
Then the captain, the king's right-hand man, responded to the man of God, "Look, [even if] the Lord were to make windows in heaven, could this really happen?" Elisha announced, "You will in fact see it with your own eyes, but you won't eat any of it."
Four men with skin diseases were at the entrance to the gate. They said to each other, "Why just sit here until we die?
If we say, 'Let's go into the city,' we will die there because the famine is in the city, but if we sit here, we will also die. So now, come on. Let's go to the Arameans' camp. If they let us live, we will live; if they kill us, we will die."
So the diseased men got up at twilight to go to the Arameans' camp. When they came to the camp's edge, they discovered that there was not a [single] man there,
for the Lord e had caused the Aramean camp to hear the sound of chariots, horses, and a great army.f The Arameans had said to each other, "The king of Israel must have hired the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to attack us."
So they had gotten up and fled at twilight abandoning their tents, horses, and donkeys. The camp was intact, and they had fled for their lives.
When these men came to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent to eat and drink. Then they picked up the silver, gold, and clothing and went off and hid them. They came back and entered another tent, picked [things] up, and hid them.
Then they said to each other, "We're not doing what is right. Today is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until morning light, we will be punished. Let's go tell the king's household."
The diseased men went and called to the city's gatekeepers and told them, "We went to the Aramean camp and no one was there-no human sounds. There was nothing but tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents were intact."
The gatekeepers called out, and [the news] was reported to the king's household.
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 open country, thinking, 'When they come out of the city, we will take them alive and go into the city.' "
But one of his servants responded, "Please, let [messengers] take five of the horses that are left in the city. [The messengers] are like the whole multitude of Israelites who will die,g so let's send them and see."
[The messengers] took two chariots with horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army, saying, "Go and see."
So they followed them as far as the Jordan. They saw that the whole way was littered with clothes and equipment the Arameans had thrown off in their haste. The messengers returned and told the king.
Then the people went out and plundered the Aramean camp. It was then that six quartsh of fine meal [sold] for a shekeli and 12 quartsj of barley [sold] for a shekel,k according to the word of the Lord.l17
The king had appointed the captain, his right-hand man, to be in charge of the gate, but the people trampled him in the gateway. He died, just as the man of God had predicted when the king came to him.
When the man of God had said to the king, "About this time tomorrow 12 quartsm of barley [will sell] for a shekeln and six quartso of fine meal [will sell] for a shekelp at the gate of Samaria,"
this captain had answered the man of God, "Look, [even if] the Lord were to make windows in heaven, could this really happen?" Elisha had said, "You will in fact see it with your own eyes, but you won't eat any of it."q20
This is what happened to him: the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died.