1 Elisha answered: »Hear the word of Jehovah: By this time tomorrow you will be able to buy in Samaria ten pounds of the best wheat or twenty pounds of barley for one piece of silver.«
2 The personal attendant of the king said to Elisha: »If Jehovah could make floodgates in the heavens could this happen?« Elisha replied: »You will see it with your own eyes. But you will not eat from it.«
3 Four men who were suffering from a dreaded skin disease were outside the gates of Samaria. They said to each other: »Why should we wait here until we die?
4 »If we go into the city we will starve to death. If we stay here we will also die. So let us go to the Syrian camp. The worst they can do is kill us. Maybe they will spare our lives.«
5 They arose in the twilight and went to the Syrian camp. When they reached it, no one was there.
6 Jehovah made the Syrians hear what sounded like the advance of a large army with horses and chariots. The Syrians thought that the king of Israel had hired Hittite and Egyptian kings and their armies to attack them.
7 The Syrians arose and fled while it was yet dark. They left their tents, and their horses, and their donkeys in the camp and fled for their lives.
8 The lepers came to the edge of the camp. They went into one tent and ate and drank. They took silver and gold and clothing. They entered another tent and carried away spoil and hid it.
9 They said to each other: »We should not do this! We have good news. We should not keep it to ourselves. If we wait until morning to tell it we will be punished. Let us go tell the king's officers!«
10 They left the Syrian camp and went to Samaria. They called out to the guards at the gates: »We went to the Syrian camp and did not see or hear anyone. The horses and donkeys have not been untied. The tents are just as the Syrians left them.«
11 The guards announced the news. It was reported in the palace.
12 The king got out of bed even though it was night. He said to his officials: »I will tell you what the Syrians are planning! They know about the famine here, so they have left their camp to go and hide in the countryside. They think that we will leave the city to find food. Then they will take us alive and capture the city.«
13 One of his servants said: »The people in the city are doomed like those who have already died. Send some men with five of the horses that are left and find out what happened.«
14 They chose some men and the king sent them in two chariots with instructions to go and find out what had happened to the Syrian army.
15 The men went to the Jordan. Along the road they saw the clothes and equipment that the Syrians had abandoned as they fled. Then they returned and reported to the king.
16 The people of Samaria rushed out and looted the Syrian camp. Just as Jehovah said, ten pounds of the best wheat or twenty pounds of barley were sold for one piece of silver.
17 The king of Israel put the city gate under the command of the officer who was his personal attendant. The officer was trampled to death there by the people and died, as Elisha had predicted when the king went to see him.
18 Elisha told the king that by that time the following day ten pounds of the best wheat or twenty pounds of barley would be sold in Samaria for one piece of silver.
19 The kings attendant answered: »If Jehovah could open floodgates in the heavens could this happen?« Elisha had replied: »You shall see with your own eyes. But you will not eat from it.«
20 And that is just what happened! He died. The people at the city gate trampled him to death.