NASB — 2 Kings 6 — KJV

The Axe Head Recovered

1 Now athe sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “Behold now, the place before you where we are living is too limited for us. 2 Please let us go to the Jordan and each of us take from there a beam, and let us make a place there for ourselves where we may live.” So he said, “Go.” 3 Then one said, “Please be willing to go with your servants.” And he Ianswered, “I shall go.” 4 So he went with them; and when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. 5 But as one was felling a beam, Ithe axe head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, “Alas, my master! For it was borrowed.” 6 Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” And when he showed him the place, ahe cut off a stick and threw [it] in there, and made the iron float. 7 He said, “Take it up for yourself.” So he put out his hand and took it.

[1] a2K 2:3
[3] ILit said
[5] ILit as for the iron, it fell
[6] aEx 15:25; 2K 2:21; 4:41

The Arameans Plot to Capture Elisha

8 ¶ Now the king of Aram was warring against Israel; and he Icounseled with his servants saying, “In such and such a place shall be my camp.” 9 aThe man of God sent [word] to the king of Israel saying, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Arameans are coming down there.” 10 The king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God had told him; thus he warned him, so that he guarded himself there, Imore than once or twice.

[8] ILit took counsel
[9] a2K 4:1, 7; 6:12
[10] ILit not once or twice

11 ¶ Now the heart of the king of Aram was enraged over this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you tell me which of us is for the king of Israel?” 12 One of his servants said, “No, 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 So he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and take him.” And it was told him, saying, “Behold, he is in aDothan.” 14 He sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city.

[13] aGn 37:17

15 ¶ Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! IWhat shall we do?” 16 So he Ianswered, “aDo not fear, for bthose who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “aO LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of bhorses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 When they came down to him, Elisha prayed to the LORD and said, “Strike this Ipeople with blindness, I pray.” So He astruck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. 19 Then Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, nor is this the city; follow me and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he brought them to Samaria.

[15] ILit How
[16] ILit said aEx 14:13 b2Ch 32:7, 8; Ro 8:31
[17] a2K 6:20 b2K 2:11; Ps 68:17; Zc 6:1-7
[18] ILit nation aGn 19:11

20 ¶ When they had come into Samaria, Elisha said, “O aLORD, 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 Then the king of Israel when he saw them, said to Elisha, “aMy father, shall I Ikill them? Shall I Ikill them?” 22 He Ianswered, “You shall not IIkill [them]. Would you IIakill those you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? bSet bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” 23 So he prepared a great feast for them; and when they had eaten and drunk he sent them away, and they went to their master. And athe marauding bands of Arameans did not come again into the land of Israel.

[20] a2K 6:17
[21] ILit smite a2K 2:12; 5:13; 8:9
[22] ILit said IILit smite aDt 20:11-16; 2Ch 28:8-15 bRo 12:20
[23] a2K 5:2; 24:2

The Siege of Samaria—Cannibalism

24 ¶ Now it came about after this, that aBen-hadad king of Aram gathered all his army and went up and besieged Samaria. 25 There was a great afamine in Samaria; and behold, they besieged it, until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty [shekels] of silver, and a fourth of a Ikab of dove’s dung for five [shekels] of silver. 26 As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall a woman cried out to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!” 27 He said, “IIf the LORD does not help you, from where shall I help you? From the threshing floor, or from the wine press?” 28 And the king said to her, “aWhat Iis the matter with you?” And she IIanswered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ 29 aSo we boiled my son and ate him; and I said to her on the next day, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him’; but she has hidden her son.” 30 When the king heard the words of the woman, ahe tore his clothes—now he was passing by on the wall—and the people looked, and behold, he had sackcloth Ibeneath on his IIbody. 31 Then he said, “May aGod do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat Iremains on him today.”

[24] a1K 20:1
[25] II.e. One kab equals approx 2 qts aLv 26:26
[27] ILit No, let the LORD help you
[28] ILit to you IILit said aJg 18:23
[29] aLv 26:27-29; Dt 28:52, 53, 57; Lm 4:10
[30] ILit within IILit flesh a1K 21:27
[31] ILit stands aRu 1:17; 1K 19:2

32 ¶ Now Elisha was sitting in his house, and athe elders were sitting with him. And [the king] sent a man from his presence; but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, “Do you bsee how this son of a murderer has sent to take away my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and Ihold the door shut against him. Is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?” 33 While he was still talking with them, behold, the messenger came down to him and he said, “aBehold, this evil is from the LORD; why should I wait for the LORD any longer?”

[32] ILit press him with the door aEzk 8:1; 14:1; 20:1 b1K 18:4, 13, 14; 21:10, 13
[33] aIs 8:21


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Elisha, giving leave to the young prophets to enlarge their dwellings, causeth iron to swim.

1 ¶ And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us. 2 Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye. 3 And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go. 4 So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood. 5 But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed. 6 And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast [it] in thither; and the iron did swim. 7 Therefore said he, Take [it] up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.

[1] Jsh 17:14; 19:47; 1S 19:20; 1K 20:35; 2K 2:3; 4:1, 38; Jb 36:16; Is 49:19; 54:2.
[2] Jn 21:3; Ac 18:3; 20:34; 1Co 9:6; 1Th 2:9; 2Th 3:8; 1Ti 6:6.
[3] Jg 4:8; 19:6; 2K 5:23; Jb 6:28.
[4] Dt 19:5; 29:11.
[5] Ex 22:14; 2K 3:10; 4:7; 6:15; Ps 37:21; Ec 10:10; Is 10:34; Rv 18:10, 16, 19.
[6] Ex 15:25; 2K 2:21; 4:41; Mk 7:33; 8:23; Jn 9:6.
[7] Ex 4:4; 2K 4:7, 36; Lk 7:15; Ac 9:41.

He discloseth the king of Samaria's counsel.

8 ¶ Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place [shall be] my camp. 9 And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. 10 And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice. 11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us [is] for the king of Israel? 12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that [is] in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.

[8] 1K 20:1, 23, 34; 22:31; 2K 6:24; Jb 5:12; Pv 20:18; 21:30; Is 7:5; 8:10.
[9] 1K 20:13, 28; 2K 3:17; 4:27; Am 3:7; Rv 1:1.
[10] Ex 9:20; 1K 20:15; 2K 2:12; 5:14; 13:14; 2Ch 20:20; Pv 27:12; Ezk 3:18; Am 7:1; Mt 2:12; 3:7; 24:15; Ac 27:24; He 11:7.
[11] 1S 22:8; 28:21; Jb 18:7; Ps 48:4; Is 57:20; Mt 2:3.
[12] 2K 5:3, 8, 13; 6:9; Ps 139:1; Ec 10:20; Is 29:15; Jr 23:23; Dn 2:22, 28, 47; 4:9; Am 3:7.

The army, which was sent to Dothan to apprehend Elisha, is smitten with blindness.

13 ¶ And he said, Go and spy where he [is], that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, [he is] in Dothan. 14 Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. 15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that [be] with us [are] more than they that [be] with them. 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain [was] full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. 18 And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

[13] Gn 37:17; 1S 23:22; Ps 10:8; 37:12, 32; Jr 36:26; Mt 2:4; Jn 11:47; Ac 23:12.
[14] 1S 23:26; 24:2; 2K 1:9; 18:17; Mt 26:47, 55; Jn 18:3.
[15] Ex 24:13; 1K 19:21; 2K 3:11; 5:20, 27; 6:5; 2Ch 20:12; Ps 53:5; Mt 8:26; 20:26; Ac 13:5.
[16] Ex 14:13; 2Ch 16:9; 32:7; Ps 3:6; 11:1; 27:3; 46:7, 11; 55:18; 118:11; Is 8:10, 12; 41:10; Mt 26:53; Mk 16:6; Ac 18:9; Ro 8:31; Php 1:28; 1Jn 4:4.
[17] 2K 2:11; 6:18; Ps 34:7; 68:17; 91:11, 15; 104:3; 119:18; Is 42:7; Ezk 1:13; Zc 1:8; 6:1; Mt 26:53; Ac 26:18; Ep 1:18; He 1:14; Jm 5:16; Rv 3:7; 19:11, 14.
[18] Gn 19:11; Dt 28:28; Jb 5:14; Zc 12:4; Jn 9:39; 12:40; Ac 13:11; Ro 11:7.

Being brought into Samaria, they are dismissed in peace.

19 ¶ And Elisha said unto them, This [is] not the way, neither [is] this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria. 20 And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, LORD, open the eyes of these [men], that they may see. And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, [they were] in the midst of Samaria. 21 And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite [them]? shall I smite [them]? 22 And he answered, Thou shalt not smite [them]: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master. 23 And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.

[19] 2S 16:18; Mt 16:24; Mk 8:34; Lk 9:23; 24:16.
[20] Jg 20:40; 2K 6:17; Lk 16:23; 24:31.
[21] 1S 24:4, 19; 26:8; 2K 2:12; 5:13; 8:9; 13:14; Lk 9:54; 22:49.
[22] Gn 48:22; Dt 20:11; Jsh 24:12; 2Ch 28:8; Ps 44:6; Pv 25:21; Ho 1:7; 2:18; Mt 5:44; Ro 12:20.
[23] 1S 24:17; 2K 5:2; 6:8; 24:2; 2Ch 28:15; Pv 25:21; Mt 5:47; Lk 6:35; 10:29.

The famine in Samaria causeth women to eat their own children.

24 ¶ And it came to pass after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria. 25 And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was [sold] for fourscore [pieces] of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five [pieces] of silver. 26 And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king. 27 And he said, If the LORD do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress? 28 And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. 29 So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son.

[24] Dt 28:52; 1K 20:1; 22:31; 2K 17:5; 18:9; 25:1; Ec 9:14.
[25] 1K 18:2; 2K 6:28; 7:4; 25:3; Jr 14:13, 18; 32:24; 52:6; Ezk 4:13.
[26] 2S 14:4; Is 10:3; Lk 18:3; Ac 21:28.
[27] Ps 60:11; 62:8; 118:8; 124:1; 127:1; 146:3; Is 2:2; Jr 17:5.
[28] Gn 21:17; Lv 26:29; Dt 28:53; Jg 18:23; 1S 1:8; 2S 14:5; Ps 114:5; Is 9:20; 22:1; 49:15; Lm 4:10; Ezk 5:10; Mt 24:18; Lk 23:29.
[29] 1K 3:26; Is 49:15; 66:13.

The king sendeth to slay Elisha.

30 ¶ And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he rent his clothes; and he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, and, behold, [he had] sackcloth within upon his flesh. 31 Then he said, God do so and more also to me, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stand on him this day. 32 But Elisha sat in his house, and the elders sat with him; and [the king] sent a man from before him: but ere the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, See ye how this son of a murderer hath sent to take away mine head? look, when the messenger cometh, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door: [is] not the sound of his master's feet behind him? 33 And while he yet talked with them, behold, the messenger came down unto him: and he said, Behold, this evil [is] of the LORD; what should I wait for the LORD any longer?

[30] 1K 21:27; 2K 5:7; 19:1; Is 58:5.
[31] Ru 1:17; 1S 3:17; 14:44; 25:22; 2S 3:9, 35; 19:13; 1K 2:23; 18:17; 19:2; 22:8; Jr 37:15; 38:4; Jn 11:50; Ac 23:12.
[32] 1K 14:6; 18:4, 13; 21:10; 2K 5:26; 6:12; Ezk 8:1; 14:1; 20:1; 33:31; Lk 13:32.
[33] Gn 4:13; Ex 16:6; 1S 28:6; 31:4; Jb 1:11, 21; 2:5, 9; Ps 27:14; 37:7, 9; 62:5; Pv 19:3; Is 8:17, 21; 26:3; 50:10; Jr 2:25; Lm 3:25; Ezk 33:10; Hab 2:3; Mt 27:4; Lk 18:1; 2Co 2:7, 11; Rv 16:9.


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