4 Kingdoms 6:1-8:6
1 Then the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See now, the strip of land where we dwell with you is too narrow for us. 2 Please let us go to the River Jordan, and let every man take a log and build there a dwelling place.” So he answered, “Go.”
3 And one of them humbly requested, “Come with your servants.” And he replied, “I will go.” 4 Then he went with them, and they came to the River Jordan and began to cut trees. 5 But as one man was cutting a log, the iron ax head fell into the water. He cried out and said, “Alas, master, it was borrowed.” 6 So the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” And he showed him the place. So he broke off a stick of wood and threw it in the water at the same place; and the iron ax head rose to the surface. 7 Then Elisha said, “Raise it up to yourself.” So he reached down into the water and lifted it out.
Defeat of Syria
8 Now the king of Syria was making war against Israel; and he consulted with his servants, saying, “I shall encamp in this specific place.” 9 Then Elisha sent word to the king of Israel, saying, “Be careful not to pass this place, for the Syrians are hidden there.” 10 In response, the king of Israel sent someone to this place which Elisha warned about, and thereby kept careful watch over the Syrians on more than two occasions. 11 As a result, the king of Syria became troubled as to what was happening. He called his officers and said to them, “Will you not tell me who gives advance warning of our movements to the king of Israel?” 12 And one of his officers said, “No one, O lord my king. It is Elisha the prophet in Israel that tells the words you speak in your bedroom to the king of Israel.” 13 So he said, “Go, see where this man is, and I will send and kidnap him.”
They sent word to him, saying, “Behold, he is in Dothan.” 14 So he sent horses and chariots and a great army that arrived at night to surround the city. 15 When Elisha’s servant arose early and went out, the army was there, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “O master, what shall we do?” 16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are greater in number than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, open the eyes of the servant and let him see.” And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he was now able to see, and he beheld the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
18 Then the Syrians marched toward him, and Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Strike these people with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. 19 So Elisha said to them, “This is not the city nor is this the way to it. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man you seek.” But he led them away to Samaria. 20 So it came to be when they arrived in Samaria, Elisha said, “Lord, open their eyes and let them see.” Thus the Lord completely restored their ability to see. And behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.
21 Now when the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “O father, shall I not strike to kill them?” 22 But he answered, “You shall not kill them. Would you kill those whom you took captive with your sword and your bow? Set food and water before them, that they may eat and drink and return to their lord.” 23 Then he prepared a great feast for them, and after they ate and drank, he dismissed them and they departed to their lord. So lightly armed raiding parties of Syrians no longer came into the land of Israel.
Syria Besieges Samaria
24 And it came to pass that after this, the son of Hadad king of Syria gathered all the troops of his army and went up and besieged Samaria. 25 There was a great famine in Samaria. Indeed they besieged it even to the point where the value placed on the head of a donkey was fifty shekels of silver, and two quarts of dove droppings cost five shekels of silver. 26 As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, “Save me, my lord, O king!” 27 And he said, “If the Lord does not save you from the threshing floor or from the winepress, how can I save you?” 28 Then the king said to her, “What is troubling you?” And she answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give us your son so that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ 29 So we boiled my son and ate him. And on the next day I told her, ‘Give me your son so that we may eat him,’ but she hid her son.”
30 Now when the king heard the woman’s words, he tore his clothes, and as he passed by on the wall, the people saw that underneath his clothes he wore sackcloth on his body. 31 Then he said, “God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha remains on him today.”
32 Now Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him, when the king sent a man ahead of him. But before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, “Do you see that this son of a murderer was sent to take away my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and keep him on the outside of the door. Is that not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?” 33 While yet talking with them, behold the messenger came down towards him; and the king said, “Listen! This evil is of the Lord, so why should I remain patient in the Lord?”
1 Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord: ‘About this time tomorrow, at the gate of Samaria a measure of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, and for a shekel, two measures of barley.’ ” 2 So the officer on whose hand the king relied retorted to Elisha and said, “Look, even if the Lord in heaven will make a downpour of rain, this event shall not happen.” And Elisha said, “Behold, you shall see this with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it.”
The Syrian Army Flees
3 Now at the entrance of the gate there were four leprous men. And one of them said to his neighbor, “Why are we sitting here until we die? 4 If we say, ‘Let us go into the city,’ and there is famine in the city, we will die there. And if we sit here in this place, then we will die. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall die.” 5 So they rose in the darkness to head to the army camp of the Syrians. They entered the outskirts of the army camp and no one was there. 6 For the Lord had caused the army of Syria to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses, the noises of a very great army. For the Lord made the army of Syria say to one another, “Look, the king of Israel hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!” 7 So they arose in the darkness and quietly fled for their lives, leaving their tents, their horses, and their donkeys at the campsite.
8 And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried away from it silver and gold and clothing. Then they left and came back to enter another tent to take from there and to hide the spoils. 9 And one said to the others, “This is not right. This day is a day of good news, and if we remain silent and wait until the light of morning, we will find wickedness in the city. Now come here! Let us enter the city and deliver this good news to the house of the king.” 10 So they went and cried out with a loud voice toward the gate of the city, and proclaimed to them, saying, “We entered the army camp of Syria and behold, no one was there, not a man nor a human voice. The only things there were the tied-up horses and donkeys, and their tents, which they left intact.”
11 Then the gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported to the house of the king inside. 12 So the king arose in the night and said to his servants, “Now I will inform you as to what the Syrians are doing. They know we are hungry. Therefore they went out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, ‘When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive and capture the city.’ ”
13 Then one of his servants answered and said, “Indeed! Let them now take five of the remaining horses, of all that remain of the multitude of Israel, and send them there to see.” 14 Therefore they saddled two horses, and the king of Israel sent them after the king of Syria, saying, “Go and see.” 15 And they went after them even to the Jordan. Indeed all along the way, the road was full of garments and vessels which the Syrians themselves cast away in the panic. So the messengers returned and brought word to the king. 16 Then the people went out and plundered the army camp of Syria. And a measure of fine flour sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, true to the word of the Lord.
17 Now the king had appointed the officer, the one on whose hand the king relied, to have charge of the gate. But the people trampled him in the gate, and he died, as the man of God said who spoke when the king came down to him. 18 So it happened just as Elisha said to the king, saying, “Two measures of barley for a shekel, and a measure of fine flour for a shekel, shall be sold tomorrow about this time in the gate of Samaria.” 19 Then the officer had answered Elisha with this retort, “Look, even if the Lord in heaven should make a downpour of rain, this sort of thing would never happen.” Then Elisha had answered, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it.” 20 And so it was in this way; for the people trampled him in the gate, and he died.
The Shunammite Woman Returns Home
1 Elisha spoke to the woman whose son he had restored to life saying, “Arise and go, you and your household, and stay wherever you can; for the Lord called for a famine on the land, and it will come upon the land for seven years.” 2 So the woman arose, and both she and her house did according to the saying of Elisha. They sojourned in the land of the Philistines for seven years.
3 At the end of seven years, the woman returned from the land of the Philistines and went to make an appeal to the king for her house and for her land. 4 Now the king spoke to Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, saying, “Tell me all the significant deeds Elisha has accomplished.” 5 And it came pass, as he was telling the king how Elisha restored her dead son to life, behold the woman whose son Elisha had restored to life came crying to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, “My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” 6 So the king asked the woman, and she related this fully to him. Then the king told a certain eunuch, saying, “Restore all that was hers, and all the proceeds of the field from the day she left the land until now.”
32 They also provoked Him to anger at the water of Rebellion,
And Moses was afflicted because of them;
33 For they embittered his spirit,
And he spoke offensively with his lips;
34 They did not destroy the nations the Lord said to destroy,
35 But mingled with the nations
And learned their works;
36 And they served their graven images,
And this became a snare for them;
37 They also sacrificed their sons
And their daughters to demons,
38 And shed innocent blood,
The blood of their sons and daughters,
Whom they sacrificed to the graven images of Canaan;
So the land was polluted with their blood;
39 It was also defiled by their works;
Thus they acted unfaithfully in their ways of living.
40 And the Lord was very angry with His people,
And He abhorred His inheritance;
41 Then He delivered them into the hands of the nations,
And those who hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies also afflicted them,
And they were humbled under their hands.
43 He delivered them many times,
But they rebelled against Him with their counsel,
And were humbled by their transgressions.
44 And He saw them in their afflictions;
He listened to their supplications,
45 And He remembered His covenant,
And felt regret according to the multitude of His mercy;
46 So He aroused compassion for them
Among all who made them captives.
47 Save us, O Lord our God,
And gather us from the nations,
So we may give thanks to Your holy name,
And boast in Your praise.
48 Bless the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting.
And all the people shall say, “Amen! Amen!”
13 Do not withhold instruction from a child,
For if you should strike him with a rod, he would not die;
14 For you shall strike him with a rod
And deliver his soul from death.
15 My son, if your heart becomes wise,
You will also gladden my heart;
16 And your lips shall spend time with the words on my lips,
If they be upright.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But be in fear of the Lord the whole day long.
18 For if you keep these words, you shall have offspring,
And your hope will not depart from you.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
John’s Witness: The True Light
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
The Word Becomes Flesh
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ ”
16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
A Voice in the Wilderness
(Matt. 3:1–12; Mark 1:1–8; Luke 3:1–20)
19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”
22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”
23 He said: “I am
‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Make straight the way of the Lord,” ’
as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees.
25 And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know.
27 “It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.”28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.