7 Elisha said, “Listen to a message from the Lord. He says, ‘About this time tomorrow, you will be able to buy seven quarts of flour for less than half of an ounce of silver. You will also be able to buy 13 quarts of barley for the same price. That’s all you will have to pay for those things at the gate of Samaria.’ ”
2The king was leaning on an officer’s arm. The officer spoke to the man of God. He said, “Suppose the Lord opens the windows of the skies. Suppose he pours food down on us. Even if he does, could what you are saying really happen?”
“You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha. “But you won’t eat any of it!”
3There were four men who had a skin disease. They were at the entrance of the gate of Samaria. They said to one another, “Why should we stay here until we die? 4Suppose we say, ‘We’ll go into the city.’ There isn’t any food there, and we’ll die. But if we stay here, we’ll die anyway. So let’s go over to Aram’s army camp. Let’s give ourselves up. If they spare us, we’ll live. If they kill us, we’ll die.”
5At sunset they got up. They went to Aram’s army camp. They arrived at the edge of it. But no one was there. 6The Lord had caused the soldiers of Aram to hear a noise. It sounded like chariots and horses and a huge army. So the soldiers spoke to one another. They said, “Listen! The king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings. He has paid them to attack us!” 7So they had gotten up and had run away at sunset. They had left their tents and horses and donkeys behind. They had left the camp as it was. And they had run for their lives.
8The men who had a skin disease arrived at the edge of the camp. They entered one of the tents. They ate and drank. Then they carried away silver, gold and clothes. They went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent. They took some things from it and hid them also.
9But then they said to one another, “What we’re doing isn’t right. This is a day of good news. And we’re keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until sunrise, we’ll be punished. Let’s go at once. Let’s report this to the royal palace.”
10So they went. They called out to the people who were guarding the city gates. They told them, “We went into Aram’s army camp. No one was there. We didn’t hear anyone. The horses and donkeys were still tied up. The tents were left just as they were.”
11The people who guarded the gates shouted the news. It was reported inside the palace.
12The king of Israel got up in the night. He spoke to his officers. He said, “I’ll tell you what the men of Aram have done to us. They know we are very hungry. So they have left the camp to hide in the countryside. They are thinking, ‘We are sure they’ll come out. Then we’ll take them alive. And we’ll get into the city.’ ”
13One of the king’s officers spoke up. He said, “A few horses are still left in the city. Have some men get five of them. They won’t be any worse off than all of the other Israelites who are left here. In fact, all of us will soon be dead. So let’s send the men to find out what happened.”
14The men chose two chariots and their horses. The king sent them out to look for Aram’s army. He commanded the drivers, “Go and find out what has happened.”
15They followed the trail of Aram’s soldiers all the way to the Jordan River. They found clothes and supplies all along the road. The soldiers had thrown them down when they ran away. So the men returned. They reported to the king what they had seen.
16Then the people went out of the city. They took everything of value from Aram’s army camp. So seven quarts of flour sold for less than half of an ounce of silver. And 13 quarts of barley sold for the same price. That’s exactly what the Lord had said would happen.
17The king had put an officer in charge of the city gate. He was the officer on whose arm the king leaned. On their way out of the city, the people knocked the officer down. In the entrance of the gate they walked all over him. And he died. That’s exactly what the man of God had said would happen. He had said it when the king came down to his house.
18What the man of God had told the king came true. He had said, “About this time tomorrow, you will be able to buy seven quarts of flour for less than half of an ounce of silver. You will also be able to buy 13 quarts of barley for the same price. That’s all you will have to pay for those things at the gate of Samaria.”
19The officer had spoken to the man of God. He had said, “Suppose the Lord opens the windows of the skies. Suppose he pours food down on us. Even if he does, could what you are saying really happen?” The man of God had replied, “You will see it with your own eyes. But you won’t eat any of it!”
20And that’s exactly what happened to the officer. On their way out of the city, the people knocked him down. In the entrance of the gate they walked all over him. And he died.
About New International Reader’s Version (1998)
The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.
Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by International Bible Society.
All rights reserved.
The NIrV text may be quoted for non-commercial usage in any form (written, visual, electronic or audio) up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without the express written permission of the publisher, providing the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted.
Notice of copyright must appear on the title or copyright page of the work as follows:
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL READER’S VERSION™. Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
When quotations from the NIrV text are used in non-saleable media, such as church bulletins, orders of service, posters, transparencies or similar media, a complete copyright notice is not required, but the initials (NIrV) must appear at the end of each quotation.
Any commentary or other Biblical reference work produced for commercial sale that uses the New International Reader’s Version must obtain written permission for use of the NIrV text.
Permission requests for commercial use within the U.S. and Canada that exceed the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by, Zondervan, 5300 Patterson Ave. S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49530.
Permission requests for commercial use within the U.K., EEC, and EFTA countries that exceed the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by, Hodder Headline Plc., 338 Euston Road, London NW1 3BH, England.
Permission requests for non-commercial usage that exceed the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by, International Bible Society, 1820 Jet Stream Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80921.