2 Kings 6:8-23

Horses and Chariots of Fire

8 Once when the king of Syria was warring against Israel, he took counsel with his servants, saying, "At such and such a place shall be my camp."
9 But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, "Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are going down there."
10 And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God told him. Thus he used to warn him, so that he saved himself there more than once or twice.
11 And the mind of the king of Syria was greatly troubled because of this thing, and he called his servants and said to them, "Will you not show me who of us is for the king of Israel?"
12 And one of his servants said, "None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom."
13 And he said, "Go and see where he is, that I may send and seize him." It was told him, "Behold, he is in 1Dothan."
14 So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city.
15 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?"
16 He said, "Do not be afraid, 2for those who are with us are more than those who are with them."
17 Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD, please 3open his eyes that he may see." So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of 4horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
18 And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the LORD and said, "Please strike this people with blindness."5So he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha.
19 And Elisha said to them, "This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek." And he led them to Samaria.
20 As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, "O LORD, 6open the eyes of these men, that they may see." So the LORD opened their eyes and they saw, and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.
21 As soon as the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, 7"My father, shall I strike them down? Shall I strike them down?"
22 He answered, "You shall not strike them down. Would you strike down those whom you have taken captive 8with your sword and with your bow? 9Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master."
23 So he prepared for them a great feast, and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the Syrians did not come again 10on raids into the land of Israel.

2 Kings 6:8-23 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 KINGS 6

In this chapter are recorded other wonders of Elisha, as causing iron to swim, 2Ki 6:1-7 having knowledge of the secret counsels of the king of Syria, which he disclosed to the king of Israel, 2Ki 6:8-12 smiting the Syrian army with blindness sent to take him, and which he led into the midst of Samaria, 2Ki 6:13-23, and the chapter is closed with an account of the siege of Samaria, and a sore famine in it, 2Ki 6:24-33.

2 Kings 6:8-23 In-Context

6 Then the man of God said, "Where did it fall?" When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float.
7 And he said, "Take it up." So he reached out his hand and took it.
8 Once when the king of Syria was warring against Israel, he took counsel with his servants, saying, "At such and such a place shall be my camp."
9 But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, "Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are going down there."
10 And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God told him. Thus he used to warn him, so that he saved himself there more than once or twice.
11 And the mind of the king of Syria was greatly troubled because of this thing, and he called his servants and said to them, "Will you not show me who of us is for the king of Israel?"
12 And one of his servants said, "None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom."
13 And he said, "Go and see where he is, that I may send and seize him." It was told him, "Behold, he is in Dothan."
14 So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city.
15 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?"
16 He said, "Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them."
17 Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see." So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
18 And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the LORD and said, "Please strike this people with blindness."So he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha.
19 And Elisha said to them, "This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek." And he led them to Samaria.
20 As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, "O LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see." So the LORD opened their eyes and they saw, and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.
21 As soon as the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, "My father, shall I strike them down? Shall I strike them down?"
22 He answered, "You shall not strike them down. Would you strike down those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master."
23 So he prepared for them a great feast, and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the Syrians did not come again on raids into the land of Israel.
24 Afterward Ben-hadad king of Syria mustered his entire army and went up and besieged Samaria.
25 And there was a great famine in Samaria, as they besieged it, until a donkey's head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove's dung for five shekels of silver.

Cross References 10

  • 1. Genesis 37:17
  • 2. 2 Chronicles 32:7; [Psalms 55:18; Romans 8:31]
  • 3. ver. 20
  • 4. 2 Kings 2:11; [Psalms 34:7; Psalms 68:17]; See Zechariah 1:8-10; Zechariah 6:1-7
  • 5. [Genesis 19:11]
  • 6. [See ver. 17 above]
  • 7. 2 Kings 5:13; 2 Kings 8:9; Judges 17:10
  • 8. Genesis 48:22
  • 9. Romans 12:20
  • 10. ver. 8, 9; 2 Kings 5:2; 2 Kings 24:2
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.