Some time later, Ben-Hadad king of Aram mobilized his entire army and marched up and laid siege to Samaria.
There was a great famine in the city; the siege lasted so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a quarter of a cab of seed pods for five shekels.
As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, “Help me, my lord the king!”
The king replied, “If the LORD does not help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?”
Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’
So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.”
When the king heard the woman’s words, he tore his robes. As he went along the wall, the people looked, and they saw that, under his robes, he had sackcloth on his body.
He said, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today!”
Now Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. The king sent a messenger ahead, but before he arrived, Elisha said to the elders, “Don’t you see how this murderer is sending someone to cut off my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold it shut against him. Is not the sound of his master’s footsteps behind him?”
While he was still talking to them, the messenger came down to him. The king said, “This disaster is from the LORD. Why should I wait for the LORD any longer?”