Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp.
And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down.
And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.
Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?
And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.
And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan.
Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.
And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow ° me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria.
And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.
And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them?
And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.
And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.
 

6:13 he is in Dothan. Although Dothan is only mentioned here and in Genesis 37:17 (as the place where Joseph located his brothers), archaeologists have found almost a dozen occupation levels there; it evidently existed as an inhabited town for over two thousand years.

6:16 are more. There exists “an innumerable company of angels,” whose very purpose in God’s creation is to serve as “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 12:22; 1:14), all of whom “excel in strength, that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word” (Psalm 103:20). When we are in the will of God, “greater is he that is in [us], then he that is in the world” (I John 4:4).

6:17 chariots of fire. Elijah had been taken into heaven by just one of these “horses and chariots of fire” (II Kings 2:11).

6:19 to the man. God not only blinded the soldiers of Syria, but gave them such pliability of thought that they willingly followed the instructions of Elisha. The latter did not lie to the Syrians, for he did indeed lead them to himself, revealing himself to them once he was in Israel’s capital city of Samaria, where the forces of king Jehoram were encamped.

6:23 great provision. Instead of having the Israelite army slay the surrounded Syrians, Elisha “killed them with kindness,” as it were, giving them a banquet and sending them all home unharmed. This made such as impression that the Syrians left them alone for a season—but only for a season.


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