If we say, We will go into the town, there is no food in the town, and we will come to our end there; and if we go on waiting here, death will come to us. Come then, let us give ourselves up to the army of Aram: if they let us go on living, then life will be ours; and if they put us to death, then death will be ours.
So in the half light they got up to go to the tents of Aram; but when they came to the outer line of tents, there was no one there.
For the Lord had made the sound of carriages and horses, and the noise of a great army, come to the ears of the Aramaeans, so that they said to one another, Truly, the king of Israel has got the kings of the Hittites and of the Egyptians for a price to make an attack on us.
So they got up and went in flight, in the half light, without their tents or their horses or their asses or any of their goods; they went in flight, fearing for their lives.
And when those lepers came to the outer line of tents, they went into one tent, and had food and drink, and took from it silver and gold and clothing, which they put in a secret place; then they came back and went into another tent from which they took more goods, which they put away in a secret place.
Then they said to one another, We are not doing right. Today is a day of good news, and we say nothing: if we go on waiting here till the morning, punishment will come to us. So let us go and give the news to those of the king's house.
So they came in, and, crying out to the door-keepers of the town, they gave them the news, saying, We came to the tents of the Aramaeans, and there was no one there and no voice of man, only the horses and the asses in their places, and the tents as they were.
Then the door-keepers, crying out, gave the news to those inside the king's house.
Then the king got up in the night and said to his servants, This is my idea of what the Aramaeans have done to us. They have knowledge that we are without food; and so they have gone out of their tents, and are waiting secretly in the open country, saying, When they come out of the town, we will take them living and get into the town.
And one of his servants said in answer, Send men and let them take five of the horses which we still have in the town; if they keep their lives they will be the same as those of Israel who are still living here; if they come to their death they will be the same as all those of Israel who have gone to destruction: let us send and see.
So they took two horsemen; and the king sent them after the army of the Aramaeans, saying, Go and see.