ELISHA'S WAY OF TREATING ENEMIES 143
Once as the ruler of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, "Help, my lord." He answered, "If Jehovah does not help you, from where can I bring help to you ? From the threshing-floor or from the wine-press?" However, the ruler of Israel said to her, "What is the trouble with you?" She answered, "This woman said to me, 'Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son to-morrow!' So we cooked my son and ate him, and I said to her on the next day, 'Give your son that we may eat him'; but she has hidden her son."
When the ruler of Israel heard the words of the woman, he tore his clothes; and as he was passing by on the wall, the people looked and saw that he wore sackcloth next to his skin.
Now Elisha was sitting in his house with the elders beside him; and while he was still talking with them, the ruler of Israel came down to him and said, "See, this is the evil that comes from Jehovah! Why should I put my hope in Jehovah any longer?" But Elisha said, "Hear the word of Jehovah, for he says, 'To-morrow about this time a peck of fine meal shall be sold for a piece of silver and two pecks of barley for a piece of silver in the gate of Samaria.'" Then the charioteer on whose arm the ruler of Israel leaned answered the man of God, "If Jehovah himself should make windows in heaven, could this be possible?" He said. "You shall see it with your own eyes."
Now there were four lepers just outside the gate; and they said one to another, "Why do we sit here until we die? If we say, 'We will enter the city,' then, since there is famine in the city, we shall die there; but if we sit here, we shall die too. Now, come, let us go over to the army of the Arameans. If they spare our lives, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die."
So they set out in the evening to go over to the camp of the Arameans. But when they came to the edge of the camp of the Arameans, no one was there, for the Lord had made the army of the Arameans hear a noise of chariots and of horses and of a great army, and they said to one another, "Surely the ruler of Israel has hired the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us." So they rose and fled in the twilight; and they left their tents, their horses and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their lives. When these lepers came to the edge of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank and carried away silver and gold and clothing and hid them. Then they came back