And when they came down to him
The Syrian army, from the hill on which they were first seen, who came down from thence to the bottom of the hill on which the city stood; and whither Elisha came out, in order both to meet them, and proceed on his journey to Samaria:
Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said, smite this people, I pray thee,
or "blindnesses" F7; with great blindness, such as the men of Sodom were smitten with; the same word is here used as of them, ( Genesis 19:11 )
and he smote them with blindness, according to the word of Elisha;
not in such manner that they could discern no object, for then they could not have followed Elisha; but their sight was so altered, that they knew not the objects they saw; they appeared quite otherwise to them than they were; they saw the city, but knew it not to be the same, and Elisha, but knew him not to be the man of God, though they might have some in the host that knew him personally.