Monday, July 10, 2017

Elisha and the siege of Samaria


Elisha and the siege of Samaria 1
Ben-Hadad, king of Aram, mobilised his entire army and marched to lay siege to Samaria, where the King of Israel lived.
Elisha and the siege of Samaria 2
The siege lasted so long that food supplies in Samaria became scarce. People were starving. Any food left was being sold at ridiculously high prices.
Elisha and the siege of Samaria 3
King Jehoram of Israel became distressed when he heard the desperate measures people were taking to find food, and looked for someone to blame. He tore his robes and declared, ‘May God deal with me severely, if the head of Elisha the prophet remains on his shoulders today!’


Elisha and the siege of Samaria 4
Elisha was at his house in the city with the elders. God let him know what the King was planning and he told the elders, ‘This murderer is sending someone to cut off my head? When the messenger and the King comes, shut the door and hold it shut against him.’
Elisha and the siege of Samaria 5
The King arrived outside Elisha’s house, supported by an officer, but could not get in. ‘This disaster is from the Lord,’ the King shouted. ‘Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?’
Elisha and the siege of Samaria 6
Inside the house, with the door blockaded, Elisha replied, ‘The Lord says that by this time tomorrow food will sell at cheap prices.’


Elisha and the siege of Samaria 7
The officer with the king mocked Elisha’s claim. ‘Even if the Lord opened the floodgates of the heavens, this could not happen.’ Elisha shouted back to the officer, ‘You will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of it!’
Elisha and the siege of Samaria 8
At the entrance to the city gate were four men with leprosy. They said, ‘If we stay here, we will die. Let’s go over to the camp of the enemy and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.’
Elisha and the siege of Samaria 9
At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Aramean army. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there.


Elisha and the siege of Samaria 10
The Lord had caused the enemy forces to hear the sound of a mighty army approaching. Fearing the King of Israel had hired the Hittite and Egyptian army to attack them, they had left everything and fled for their lives.
Elisha and the siege of Samaria 11
The four men with leprosy 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.
Elisha and the siege of Samaria 12
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. Let’s not wait till daybreak, but report this to the royal palace.’


Elisha and the siege of Samaria 13
So they shouted out to the city gatekeepers who reported their news to the King.
Elisha and the siege of Samaria 14
The King got up but was very suspicious of the news. ‘They are setting an ambush to draw us out of the city and once we go out they will attack us.’
Elisha and the siege of Samaria 15
One of his officers suggested they take the five remaining horses in the city, harness them to chariots and go and see what was going on. Two chariots set off immediately from Samaria and travelled all the way to the River Jordan.


Elisha and the siege of Samaria 16
When they returned, they reported that the Aramean army had fled and the road was strewn with their clothing and equipment. God had kept His promise.
Elisha and the siege of Samaria 17
There was a stampede out of the city as everyone rushed to grab the food the fleeing army had left behind. Just as Elisha had prophesied, there was so much food it now sold at low prices.
Elisha and the siege of Samaria 18
Now the king had put the officer who had mocked Elisha in charge of the city gate. In the mad rush to get out of the city, he was trampled to death. So just as Elisha had said, the officer saw the food but did not taste any of it.


Elisha and the siege of Samaria
The King wants to execute Elisha when Samaria is under siege.
2 Kings 6:24-7:20


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