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2 Kings 7 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

Elisha said, “Listen to the Lord’s word. This is what he says: ‘About this time tomorrow 7 quarts of fine flour will be sold for two-fifths of an ounce of silver. And 13 quarts of barley will be sold for two-fifths of an ounce of silver. This will happen at the gate of Samaria.’”

Then the officer who was close to the king answered Elisha. He said, “Even if the Lord opened windows in heaven, that couldn’t happen.”

Elisha said, “Because you have said that, you will see it with your eyes. But you will not eat any of it.”

There were four men with a harmful skin disease at the entrance to the city gate. They said to each other, “Why do we sit here until we die? A time of hunger is in the city. So if we go into the city, we will die there. If we stay here, we will die. So let’s go to the Aramean camp. If they let us live, we will live. If they kill us, then we die.”

So they got up at twilight. And they went to the Aramean camp. But when they arrived, no one was there. The Lord had caused the Aramean army to hear the sound of chariots, horses and a large army. They had said to each other, “The king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” So they ran away in the twilight. They left their tents, horses and donkeys. They left the camp standing and ran for their lives.

The men with the skin disease came to the edge of the camp. Then they went into one of the tents. They ate and drank. They carried silver, gold and clothes out of the camp and hid them. Then they came back and entered another tent. They carried things from this tent and hid them, also. Then they said to each other, “We’re doing wrong. Today we have good news, but we are silent. If we wait until the sun comes up, we’ll be punished. Let’s go now and tell the people in the king’s palace.”

10 So they went and called to the gatekeepers of the city. They said, “We went to the Aramean camp. But no one is there. We didn’t hear anyone. The horses and donkeys were still tied up, and the tents were still standing.” 11 Then the gatekeepers shouted out and told the people in the palace.

12 So the king got up in the night. He said to his officers, “I’ll tell you what the Arameans are doing to us. They know we are hungry. They have gone out of the camp to hide in the field. They’re saying, ‘When the Israelites come out of the city, we’ll capture them alive. Then we’ll enter the city.’”

13 One of his officers answered, “Let some men take five horses still left in the city. These men are like all the Israelites who are left. They are also about to die. Let’s send them to see what has happened.”

14 So the men took two chariots with horses. The king sent them after the Aramean army. He told them, “Go and see what has happened.” 15 The men followed the Aramean army as far as the Jordan River. The road was full of clothes and equipment. The Arameans had thrown these things away as they had hurried away. So the messengers came back and told the king. 16 Then the people went out and took valuable things from the Aramean camp. So 7 quarts of fine flour were sold for two-fifths of an ounce of silver. And 13 quarts of barley were sold for two-fifths of an ounce of silver. It happened just as the Lord had said.

17 The king chose the officer who was close to him to guard the gate. But the people ran over the officer so that he died. This happened just as the man of God had told the king. Elisha had said it when the king came to his house. 18 He had said, “Thirteen quarts of barley and 7 quarts of fine flour will each sell for two-fifths of an ounce of silver. It will happen about this time tomorrow at the gate of Samaria.”

19 But the officer had answered, “Even if the Lord opened windows in heaven, that couldn’t happen.” And Elisha had told him, “Because you have said that, you will see it with your eyes. But you won’t eat any of it.” 20 It happened to the officer just that way. The people ran over him in the gate, and he died.

International Children’s Bible (ICB)

The Holy Bible, International Children’s Bible® Copyright© 1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson™, a division of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.

2 Kings 7 New International Version (NIV)

Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow, a seah[a] of the finest flour will sell for a shekel[b] and two seahs[c] of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”

The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?”

“You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha, “but you will not eat any of it!”

The Siege Lifted

Now there were four men with leprosy[d] at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”

At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.

The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.

Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.”

10 So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, “We went into the Aramean camp and no one was there—not a sound of anyone—only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.” 11 The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.

12 The king got up in the night and said to his officers, “I will tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving; so they have left the camp to hide in the countryside, thinking, ‘They will surely come out, and then we will take them alive and get into the city.’”

13 One of his officers answered, “Have some men take five of the horses that are left in the city. Their plight will be like that of all the Israelites left here—yes, they will only be like all these Israelites who are doomed. So let us send them to find out what happened.”

14 So they selected two chariots with their horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army. He commanded the drivers, “Go and find out what has happened.” 15 They followed them as far as the Jordan, and they found the whole road strewn with the clothing and equipment the Arameans had thrown away in their headlong flight. So the messengers returned and reported to the king. 16 Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of the finest flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel, as the Lord had said.

17 Now the king had put the officer on whose arm he leaned in charge of the gate, and the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died, just as the man of God had foretold when the king came down to his house. 18 It happened as the man of God had said to the king: “About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”

19 The officer had said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?” The man of God had replied, “You will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of it!” 20 And that is exactly what happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Kings 7:1 That is, probably about 12 pounds or about 5.5 kilograms of flour; also in verses 16 and 18
  2. 2 Kings 7:1 That is, about 2/5 ounce or about 12 grams; also in verses 16 and 18
  3. 2 Kings 7:1 That is, probably about 20 pounds or about 9 kilograms of barley; also in verses 16 and 18
  4. 2 Kings 7:3 The Hebrew for leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin; also in verse 8.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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