English Revised Version
The Axe Head Floats
1And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell before thee is too strait for us. 2Let 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. 3And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go. 4So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood. 5But as one was felling a beam, the axe-head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, my master! for it was borrowed. 6And 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 made the iron to swim. 7And he said, Take it up to thee. So he put out his hand, and took it.
Elisha Captures Blinded Syrians
8Now the king of Syria warred against Israel; and he took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp. 9And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are coming down. 10And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of; and he saved himself there, not once nor twice.
11And 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? 12And one of his servants said, Nay, 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. 13And he said, Go and see where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. 14Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.
15And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host with horses and chariots was round about the city. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 17And 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. 18And 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. 19And 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. And he led them to Samaria.
20And 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. 21And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father; shall I smite them? shall I smite them? 22And 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. 23And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.
The Siege and Famine of Samaria
24And it came to pass after this, that Ben-hadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria. 25And 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 kab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver. 26And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king. 27And he said, If the LORD do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the threshing-floor, or out of the winepress? 28And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow. 29So 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. 30And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he rent his clothes; (now he was passing by upon the wall;) and the people looked, and, behold, he had sackcloth within upon his flesh. 31Then he said, God do so to me, and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stand on him this day.
32But 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 the door fast against him: is not the sound of his master's feet behind him.? 33And while he yet talked with them, behold, the messenger came down unto him: and he said, Behold, this evil is of the LORD; why should I wait for the LORD any longer?