1 One day the group of prophets came to Elisha and told him, "As you can see, this place where we meet with you is too small.
2 Let's go down to the Jordan River, where there are plenty of logs. There we can build a new place for us to meet." "All right," he told them, "go ahead."
3 "Please come with us," someone suggested. "I will," he said.
4 When they arrived at the Jordan, they began cutting down trees.
5 But as one of them was chopping, his ax head fell into the river. "Ah, my lord!" he cried. "It was a borrowed ax!"
6 "Where did it fall?" the man of God asked. When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it into the water. Then the ax head rose to the surface and floated.
7 "Grab it," Elisha said to him. And the man reached out and grabbed it.
8 When the king of Aram was at war with Israel, he would confer with his officers and say, "We will mobilize our forces at such and such a place."
9 But immediately Elisha, the man of God, would warn the king of Israel, "Do not go near that place, for the Arameans are planning to mobilize their troops there."
10 So the king of Israel would send word to the place indicated by the man of God, warning the people there to be on their guard. This happened several times.
11 The king of Aram became very upset over this. He called in his officers and demanded, "Which of you is the traitor? Who has been informing the king of Israel of my plans?"
12 "It's not us, my lord," one of the officers replied. "Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel even the words you speak in the privacy of your bedroom!"
13 The king commanded, "Go and find out where Elisha is, and we will send troops to seize him." And the report came back: "Elisha is at Dothan."
14 So one night the king of Aram sent a great army with many chariots and horses to surround the city.
15 When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. "Ah, my lord, what will we do now?" he cried out to Elisha.
16 "Don't be afraid!" Elisha told him. "For there are more on our side than on theirs!"
17 Then Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!" The LORD opened his servant's eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.
18 As the Aramean army advanced toward them, Elisha prayed, "O LORD, please make them blind." And the LORD did as Elisha asked.
19 Then Elisha went out and told them, "You have come the wrong way! This isn't the right city! Follow me, and I will take you to the man you are looking for." And he led them to Samaria.
20 As soon as they had entered Samaria, Elisha prayed, "O LORD, now open their eyes and let them see." And the LORD did, and they discovered that they were in Samaria.
21 When the king of Israel saw them, he shouted to Elisha, "My father, should I kill them?"
22 "Of course not!" Elisha told him. "Do we kill prisoners of war? Give them food and drink and send them home again to their master."
23 So the king made a great feast for them and then sent them home to their king. After that, the Aramean raiders stayed away from the land of Israel.
24 Some time later, however, King Ben-hadad of Aram mobilized his entire army and besieged Samaria.
25 As a result there was a great famine in the city. After a while even a donkey's head sold for two pounds of silver, and a cup of dove's dung cost about two ounces* of silver.1
26 One day as the king of Israel was walking along the wall of the city, a woman called to him, "Please help me, my lord the king!"
27 "If the LORD doesn't help you, what can I do?" he retorted. "I have neither food nor wine to give you."