Ep. 137: Four Lepers and the Syrian Camp

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Ep. 137: Four Lepers and the Syrian Camp

The king of Syria once again invaded Israel. His army surrounded Samaria and set up camp just outside the city walls. They cut off all supplies going into the city. Eventually there was no food, and the people started to starve. It was so bad that a donkey’s head sold for two pounds of silver, and a small bowl of dove’s droppings sold for two ounces of silver.
A woman saw the king walking along the top of the city wall. She asked him to help her. He said, “I don’t know if I can. What’s your problem?”
She said, “My friend won’t keep her promise. We agreed we’d eat our two sons, mine on the first day and hers on the second. So, we boiled and ate my son, but now she has hidden her son.”
When the king heard this, he ripped his clothes. He said, “I’ll get Elisha for this if it’s the last thing I do.” He sent a guard to cut off the prophet’s head.
Elisha was sitting in his house with several elders of Israel. He said, “Our murdering king has sent a guard to cut off my head. The king is right behind him.”
Just then the king walked in. He yelled at the prophet. “You said all this trouble is from God. So why should I serve him if he acts like this?”
Elisha said, “I have a message from God. He said this disaster is almost over. Tomorrow at this time, people will buy a sack of fine flour for a few coins. They’ll buy a large sack of barley for the same price.”
The king’s chief adviser said, “Impossible! We couldn’t have that much food around here even if God opened up the windows of heaven.”
The man of God said, “You’ll see it with your own eyes, but you won’t eat any of it.”
During the night, the Syrian army heard a loud noise like a large army marching toward them. The noise got louder and sounded like the army had many horses and chariots.
The Syrian soldiers thought Israel had hired other nations to come and help them. They yelled, “Let’s get out of here!” They got up and ran away, leaving everything behind.
Before light the next morning, four lepers were sitting just outside of the city gates. One said to the others, “Why are we just sitting here slowly dying of hunger?”
Another one said, “Well, it’s no better in the city. If we go in there, we’ll still die of hunger.”
“Well that’s true, but we can’t stay here. Let’s go into the Syrian camp. If they kill us – well, we’re about to die anyway. But maybe they’ll have pity on us and give us food.”
So, the four men got up and walked toward the camp, not knowing it was empty. They went into the first tent and found food, gold, silver, and expensive clothes. The first thing they did was eat the food. They then took the other things away and hid them. They came back and hid what they found in the next tent.
Finally they said, “What we’re doing isn’t right. People are dying of hunger on the other side of the wall. God will punish us if we don’t go tell them about this.”
So they went to the city gate and yelled to the gatekeeper, telling him exactly what they found. When the king heard about this, he thought it was a trap. He said, “The Syrian army is hiding out of sight, waiting for us to come out of the city.”
So he sent a few soldiers to scout out the land. The men found the route the Syrians had taken. It was full of clothes and equipment the army had thrown away so they could run faster.
The soldiers went back and told the king what they had found. With that, people flooded out of the city to raid the Syrian camp. The price of food immediately dropped.
The king gave his chief adviser the job of crowd control at the gate. Soon, he was trampled to death. All of this fulfilled what the prophet had said.


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