Some time later, Ben-Hadad gathered his entire army together. Ben-Hadad was the king of Aram. His army marched up and surrounded Samaria. Then they attacked it.
There wasn't enough food anywhere in the city. It was surrounded for so long that people had to weigh out two pounds of silver for a donkey's head. They had to weigh out two ounces of silver for half a pint of seed pods.
One day the king of Israel was walking on top of the wall. A woman cried out to him, "You are my king and master. Please help me!"
The king replied, "If the LORD doesn't help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?"
He continued, "What's wrong?" She answered, "A woman said to me, 'Give up your son. Then we can eat him today. Tomorrow we'll eat my son.'
So we cooked my son. Then we ate him. The next day I said to her, 'Give up your son. Then we can eat him.' But she had hidden him."
When the king heard the woman's words, he tore his royal robes. As he walked along the wall, the people looked up at him. They saw that he was wearing black clothes under his robes.
He said, "I'll cut the head of Shaphat's son Elisha off his shoulders today. If I don't, may God punish me greatly!"
Elisha was sitting in his house. The elders were sitting there with him. The king went to see Elisha. He sent a messenger on ahead of him. Before the messenger arrived, Elisha spoke to the elders. He said, "That murderer is sending someone here to cut my head off. Can't you see that? When the messenger comes, close the door. Hold it shut against him. Can't you hear his master's footsteps right behind him?"
Elisha was still talking to the elders when the messenger came down to him. The king also arrived. He said, "The LORD has sent this horrible trouble on us. Why should I wait any longer for him to help us?"