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The Four Starving Lepers

What Do We Have to Lose?


"Why stay here until we die? If we say: 'We'll go into the city' ... the famine is still there, and so therefore, if we continue to stay here, we will still die. So I suggest, that we go over to the camp of the Arameans, and surrender. I mean after all, if they spare us, we live; and if they kill us, then we die."

( Biblical Prophets Article Covers :  2 Kings 7:3-20 )










Short Recap



In the last article, we'd learned that Ben-Hadad had once again, decided to go to war with the Israel kingdom. But this time around, the Syrian king would change his strategy when it came to his attacks. For you see, instead of Ben-Hadad trying to hit the Israel nation head on with a traditional strong frontal attack. The Syrian king decided to do something different. He did this by enacting a plan that dealt with using a method, that was known as war of attrition. Ben-Hadad would besiege the Samaria city (which was the capital of Israel's Northern kingdom) in such a way, to where he would end up cutting off all trade and supply routes that were going to and from the city. 

Now this move on Ben-Hadad's part, would end up sending the city of  Samaria into a very harsh season for the Israelites.

As a matter of fact, the season was so hash, it actually caused the Israelites to have to endure a great famine:

"Some time later, however, King Ben–hadad of Aram mobilized his entire army and besieged Samaria.

"As a result there was a great famine in the city. After a while even a donkey’s head sold for two pounds of silver, and a cup of dove’s dung cost about two ounces of silver." -- 2 Kings 6:24,25

Now the famine had went on for so long, Jehoram the Israel king had begun to turn against the Lord and His prophet Elisha. So this is why we find him saying: "May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if the head of Elisha, the son of Shaphat, remains on his shoulders today."

Did you notice what Jehoram had just said? The Israel king was so upset, he had just given the "kill Elisha order" to his chief official. And needless-to-say, after receiving this order, Jehoram's official headed out to do the deed. But fortunately for the Israel king, he had second thoughts. So he canceled the order. But in spite of this, Jehoram would still have animosity towards the Lord. For he was again, extremely upset that the Lord had allowed his kingdom to endure such an afflicted season for so long.






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In Spite Of Jehoram's Foolishness





But in spite of all of this, the Lord would still send a word of reassurance to the Israel king: "Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: 'About this time tomorrow, two gallons of flour will sell for a shekel (one dollar) and four gallons of barley will also sell for a shekel (one dollar) at the gate of Samaria.'" -- 2 Kings 7:1

So here we find Elisha reassuring the Israel king, the great famine that they were now enduring from Ben-Hadad, would be coming to an end, from within 24 hours. But the prophet would go even further, for he also foretells, not only will Jehoram's chief official see this great famine lift, and the food supply be restored back towards the land. But because he doubted the word of the Lord, he will die before he could participate in the miracle blessing. Also, it probably didn't help that this was the same official that was about to faithfully carryout Jehoram's kill order, when it came to Elisha:

"Jehoram's chief officer said to the man of God: 'That couldn’t happen, even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!' But Elisha replied: 'You will see it happen, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!'" -- 2 Kings 7:2






Biblical Prophets - Bible Study Online

The Four Starving Lepers





Nonetheless, this brings to where we are currently at, as we move forward. For we now find, four lepers who made it a habit, to sit at the gate entrance that had led into the city of Samaria. Now I want to point out, not only were these four men being afflicted with the terrible disease that was known as leprosy, but thanks to Ben-Hadad besieging the city the way that he did, and the dark famine that followed, these four lepers were also found to be starving to death. Needless-to-say, these four men had enough. So they ended up, between them, coming up with a survival plan

And this is why we find them saying to each other: "Why stay here until we die? If we say: 'We'll go into the city' ... the famine is still there, and so therefore, if we continue to stay here, we will still die. So I suggest, that we go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. I mean after all, if they spare us, we live; and if they kill us, then we die." So after saying this, the four lepers agreed to head over towards the camp of the Arameans.  






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A Night Filled With Delusional Minds





And when they'd arrived, they would soon learn, there was not one single person that could be found from within the camp. For it would seem, the Lord had caused the Arameans minds, to become delusional during the night hours. For the Lord made it seem to the Arameans that they were hearing a large and powerful army of horses and chariots heading towards them. And this is why we find them saying amongst themselves: "Look! The king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!"

And being that they had believed this to be true, the Arameans fled for their lives. And by doing so, they had abruptly left their camps, therefore leaving everything they had accumulated behind. So when the four lepers had seen that the Arameans camp was now abandoned, they quickly started looking throughout the different tents. And while doing this, they were able to find plenty of food and drink. So they took it upon themselves, to eat and drink, until their hearts and stomachs were content.






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Good News!





Next, we find the four lepers looting the area, hiding all the valuable things that they were able to find for themselves. Then one of the lepers spoke out: "You know what? We're not doing right. This should be a day of good news, and we're keeping it all to ourselves. I truly believe that if we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let's go at once, and report what we have found, to the royal palace." So the four lepers stopped what they we're doing, and headed back to the city of Samaria.

Now when the four lepers had reached the city gates of Samaria, they'd called out to the gatekeepers: "We went into the Arameans camp, and not a man was there. Not a sound of anyone. There were only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just like they were." Now after hearing this, the gatekeepers shouted out the good news into the city. And after doing this, word quickly spread throughout the palace.





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Jehoram Still Doubting God





Now after the news had reached Jehoram, he'd arranged a meeting with his top officials that very night. And what we soon discover, is a very doubtful king saying: "I will tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving, so they have left their camp to hide in the countryside, thinking: 'The Israelites will surely come out, and then we will take them alive, and get into the city.'"

However, after hearing this, one of Jehoram's officials suggested that maybe they should send out a scout team, so that they could go and explore Ben-Hadad's camp area a little bit more thoroughly. Now after hearing this suggesting, Jehoram would find himself in agreement with his official. So he gives the go ahead to his scouts: "Go and find out, what has really happened." So the scouts headed out and explored the camp area of the Arameans.

And while doing so, Jehoram's scouts, also found a trail that the Arameans army had left behind in their haste. So the scouts followed this trail all the way back to the River Jordan. And along the way, they'd learned that as Ben-Hadad's men were fleeing, they were also shedding their garments and equipment along the way. The Arameans were doing this, so that they wouldn't have the added weight, this way, they could get away a lot faster.

Now this would be a sure sign to Jehoram's scouts, Ben-Hadad's men had truly left the area. Because there would be no way that the Arameanians would have left most of their garments and weapons behind, if they we planning on ambushing the Israelites.






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Another Prophecy Fulfilled





So after seeing this, the scouts headed back to inform their king, about all that they had seen. And after Jehoram had heard that the story of the four lepers, had been confirmed; the Israelites went out to Ben-Hadad abandoned camp area; plundering and looting all that the Arameans had left behind. And so it would be made official, the dark famine that they had been enduring for so long, was now finally over. And so therefore, from within the land of Samaria, a seah (two gallons) of flour sold for a shekel (one dollar), and two seahs of barley grain, sold for a shekel (one dollar).

And all of this happened, just like Elisha had prophesied the day before: "Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: 'About this time tomorrow, two gallons of flour will sell for a shekel (one dollar) and four gallons of barley will also sell for a shekel (one dollar) at the gate of Samaria.'" -- 2 Kings 7:1

Now Jehoram had put the chief official that had doubted Elisha's prophecy, in charge of the city gates. And right after he had taken his post, and while the Israelites were in their mad dash, when it came to going out to gather the food and belongings from the abandoned Arameans camp, they accidentally trampled the chief official, as he stood in the gateway of the city, therefore, killing him.

And again, this was the same chief official that had just doubted the word of God the day before. And because of his doubt, Elisha had prophesied that he would indeed see all that he had prophesied; but he will die, before he himself, could partake in any of it: "Jehoram's chief officer said to the man of God: 'That couldn’t happen, even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!' But Elisha replied: 'You will see it happen, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!'" -- 2 Kings 7:2







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In The Next Upcoming Article :




So we've just learned that Ben-Hadad's war of attrition was no more. For the Lord had caused the Syrian army, to literally lose their minds from throughout the night. And because of this, the Arameans would flee their campsite, while in the process leaving everything they had behind. So it would be from this point forward, the famine that hung over Samaria for so long, had been lifted. And once again, the Israelites would find themselves at peace. Nonetheless, we now move forward. And it's at this time, we find that once again, one of Elisha's old friends, have desperately entered the picture. And not only this, but one of his old colleagues as well.   



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22) Elisha and the Pot of Death

23) Naaman's Leprosy

24) The Greed of Gehazi

25) The Floating Iron Axhead

26) The Fire Horse Army

27) The Siege of the Dark Famine

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29) The Shunammite's Divine Provision

30) Hazael Anointed Syrian King

31) Family Dynasties United

32) Jehu Is Anointed King of Israel

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34) The Demise of Jezebel








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