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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

Chapter 6

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1The disciples of the prophets said to Elisha, “See, the place where we live under your direction is too cramped for us. 2Let us go to the Jordan, and let us each get a log there and build quarters there for ourselves to live in.” “Do so,” he replied. 3Then one of them said, “Will you please come along with your servants?” “Yes, I will come,” he said; 4and he accompanied them. So they went to the Jordan and cut timber. 5As one of them was felling a trunk, the iron ax head fell into the water. And he cried aloud, “Alas, master, it was a borrowed one!” 6“Where did it fall?” asked the man of God. He showed him the spot; and he cut off a stick and threw it in, and he made the ax head float. 7“Pick it up,” he said; so he reached out and took it.

8While the king of Aram was waging war against Israel, he took counsel with his officers and said, a‐ Meaning of Heb. uncertain. “I will en‐camp ‐a Meaning of Heb. uncertain. in such and such a place.” 9But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, “Take care not to pass through that place, for the Arameans are encamped there.” 10So the king of Israel sent word to the place of which the man of God had told him. b‐ Lit. “not once or twice.” Time and again ‐b Lit. “not once or twice.” he alerted c‐ Heb. “it.” such a place ‐c Heb. “it.” and took precautions there. 11Greatly agitated about this matter, the king of Aram summoned his officers and said to them, “Tell me! Who of us is on the side of the king of Israel?” 12“No one, my lord king,” said one of the officers. “Elisha, that prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.” 13“Go find out where he is,” he said, “so that I can have him seized.” It was reported to him that [Elisha] was in Dothan; 14so he sent horses and chariots there and a strong force. They arrived at night and encircled the town.

15When the attendant of the man of God rose early and went outside, he saw a force, with horses and chariots, surrounding the town. “Alas, master, what shall we do?” his servant asked him. 16“Have no fear,” he replied. “There are more on our side than on theirs.” 17Then Elisha prayed: “LORD, open his eyes and let him see.” And the LORD opened the servant's eyes and he saw the hills all around Elisha covered with horses and chariots of fire. 18[The Arameans] came down against him, and Elisha prayed to the LORD: “Please strike this people with a blinding light.” And He struck them with a blinding light, as Elisha had asked.

19Elisha said to them, “This is not the road, and that is not the town; follow me, and I will lead you to the man you want.” And he led them to Samaria. 20When they enteredSamaria, Elisha said, “O LORD, open the eyes of these men so that they may see.” The LORD opened their eyes and they saw that they were inside Samaria. 21When the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “Father, shall I strike them down?” 22“No, do not,” he replied. “Did you take them captive with your sword and bow that you would strike them down? Rather, set food and drink before them, and let them eat and drink and return to their master.” 23So he prepared a lavish feast for them and, after they had eaten and drunk, he let them go, and they returned to their master. And the Aramean bands stopped invading the land of Israel.

24Sometime later, King Ben‐hadad of Aram mustered his entire army and marched upon Samaria and besieged it. 25There was a great famine in Samaria, and the siege continued until a donkey's head sold for eighty [shekels] of silver and a quarter of a kab of a‐ Apparently a popular term for “carob pods,” as in Akkadian. doves' dung ‐a Apparently a popular term for “carob pods,” as in Akkadian. for five shekels. 26Once, when the king of Israel was walking on the city wall, a woman cried out to him: “Help me, Your Majesty!” 27“Don't [ask me],” he replied. “Let the LORD help you! Where could I get help for you, from the threshing floor or from the winepress? 28But what troubles you?” the king asked her. The woman answered, “That woman said to me, ‘Give up your son and we will eat him today; and tomorrow we'll eat my son.’ 29So we cooked my son and we ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son and let's eat him’; but she hid her son.” 30When the king heard what the woman said, he rent his clothes; and as he walked along the wall, the people could see that he was wearing sackcloth underneath.

31He said, “Thus and more may God do to me if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on b‐ Lit. “him.” his shoulders ‐b Lit. “him.” today.” 32Now Elisha was sitting at home and the elders were sitting with him. The king had sent ahead one of his men; but before the messenger arrived, [Elisha] said to the elders, “Do you see—that murderer has sent someone to cut off my head! Watch when the messenger comes, and shut the door and hold the door fast against him. No doubt the sound of his master's footsteps will follow.”

33While he was still talking to them, the messenger c Emendation yields “king.” came to him and said, “This calamity is from the LORD.


a‐a Meaning of Heb. uncertain.

b‐b Lit. “not once or twice.”

c‐c Heb. “it.”

a‐a Apparently a popular term for “carob pods,” as in Akkadian.

b‐b Lit. “him.”

c Emendation yields “king.”

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