2 Kings 7-8
Chapter 7: Israel Takes Spoil
After the great besiegement of Samaria the King of Israel was angered toward God. However God made a promise through Elisha that the economic situation in Samaria would be cured within 24 hours and that the price of food would plummet. One of the officers of the king was doubtful and asked how such a thing could be done, implying that it in fact could not happen. So Elisha told him that he would see the great miracle but not partake or participate in the greatness of it.
During this time a group of lepers were sitting at the gates of the city pondering over the situation… if they thought, food does come… they would surely be the last to receive it. So they decided instead of sitting and waiting to die of hunger that they would go and surrender to the Syrians who had been surrounding the city for months. When the lepers arrived at the outskirts of the town, to their surprise they found a Syrian camp, full stocked with materials and food… but no men. So the Lepers take advantage of the situation and they eat and drink. But not only that, they also find gold and clothing, which they carry out of the camp to go and hide. But after some time they realize that something bad would befall them if they did not use these supplies to help out the rest of the city. So they decide to go and speak to the household of the king. With this information the King decides to send people to the camp to see what is going on. He thinks however that it is a trick to get the people to come to them and then get captured alive. But the men he sends come back with a different report. After following the trail of the Syrians the servants of the king realize that the Syrians left in haste and threw out all their provisions alongside the road as they fled.
So the people go and plunder the tents of the Syrians, therefore validating the prophecy made by Elisha that the problems (economic) would be solved within 24 hours. The officer who had doubted the words of Elisha was charged with opening the gate at the city, where the excited and desperate people fled the city to get provisions… trampling the man to death. So we see that the man learned of the miracle, but never had the chance to participate in the miracle.
Chapter 8: Elisha Prophesies a Seven Year Famine
The woman, to whom Elisha restored life back into her son is around the area Elisha is and he tells her to go and stay wherever she can, because the Lord has called for a famine and it will stay for seven years. She goes to the king and asks for a repeal of her land that was taken away. The interesting part is that the woman came to make this request at the same time Gehazi was telling the king about all the great miracles of Elisha. Jehoram tells her that she can have all her land and everything that came from it back. This was very different from his father Ahab, who was a land grabbing control freak.
Elisha then went down to Damascus, where Ben-Hadad the king of Syria was sick. So he sends a messenger (Hazael, who is a high official to the king) to Elisha asking him if he would be cured of his sickness.
Elisha tells Hazael to tell the king, that he shall recover. But in reality he will die (but after he is cured from the illness). Elisha just stares and him and cries, so Hazael asks Elisha why he is crying. Elisha explains he will cause evil will befall Israel, that the strongholds will be burned, young men will kill with the sword and that he will dash the children and kill pregnant women.
Hazael then departed from Elisha and came to his master (the King of Syria). The king of Syria asked him if he would recover and Hazael told him that he would. But, the next day, Hazael puts a thick cloth (dipped in water) and puts it over the king’s face, suffocating him and causing him to die.
Jehoram, the song of Jehoshaphat began to reign as king over all Judah. (this is a continued story from 1 kings 22:50 and is not to be confused with the Jehoram of 2 Kings 3 who is called “Joram” in these next passages. Jehoram walked in the ways of all the kings of Israel that is in wickedness and evil. The evil was so great that the Lord could destroy Judah, but for the sake of his ancestor, David and the promise that God made to him, the Lord did not destroy Judah. Edom revolted against this king and caused many problems. So Ahaziah reigns over Judah (the son of Jehoram) began to reign and he too walked in the ways of Ahab. They caused war against Hazael the king of Syria.