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CHAPTER 6 Sep. 1 
The Iron Floats
The sons of the prophets said to Elisha, See now, the place where we dwell before you is too small for us. 2Please let us go to the Jordan, and every man take a beam from there, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. He answered, Go! 3One said, Please go with your servants. He answered, I will go. 4So he went with them. When they came to the Jordan, they cut down wood. 5But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water. Then he cried and said, Alas, my master! For it was borrowed. 6The man of God asked, Where did it fall? He showed him the place. He cut down a stick, threw it in there, and made the iron float. 7He said, Take it. So he put out his hand and took it. 
Elisha Traps the Syrians 
8Now the king of Syria was warring against Israel; and he took counsel with his servants, saying, My camp will be in such and such a place. 9The man of God sent to the king of Israel saying, Beware that you not pass such a place; for the Syrians are coming that way. 10The king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of; and he saved himself there, not once nor twice. 11The heart of the king of Syria was very troubled about this. He called his servants, and said to them, Won’t you show me which of us is for the king of Israel? 12One of his servants said, No, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom. 13He said, Go and see where he is, that I may send and get him. It was told him saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. 14Therefore he sent horses, chariots and a great army there. They came by night, and surrounded the city. 15When the servant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was around the city. His servant said to him, Alas, my master! What shall we do? 16He answered, Don’t be afraid; for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. 17Elisha prayed and said, Yahweh, please open his eyes, that he may see. Yahweh opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw that the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire around Elisha. 18When they came down to him, Elisha prayed to Yahweh, and said, Please strike this people with blindness. He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. 19Elisha said to them, This is not the way, neither is this the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek. He led them to Samaria. 20It happened, when they had come into Samaria, that Elisha said, Yahweh, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. Yahweh opened their eyes, and they perceived that they were in the midst of Samaria. 21The king of Israel said to Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I strike them? Shall I strike them? 22He answered, You shall not strike them. Would you strike those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master. 23He prepared a great feast for them. When they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. The bands of Syria stopped raiding the land of Israel. 
Samaria Besieged
24It happened after this, that Ben Hadad king of Syria gathered all his army, and went up and besieged Samaria. 25There was a great famine in Samaria. Behold they besieged it, until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver. 26As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him saying, Help, my lord, O king! 27He said, If Yahweh doesn’t help you, how could I help you? From the threshing floor, or from the winepress? 28The king said to her, What ails you? She answered, This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow’. 29So we boiled my son, and ate him. I said to her on the next day, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him;’ and she has hidden her son. 30It happened, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he tore his clothes (now he was passing by on the wall); and the people looked, and behold, he had sackcloth underneath on his flesh. 31Then he said, God do so to me, and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stay on him this day. 32But Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. Then the king sent a man from before him; but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, Do you see how this son of a murderer has sent to take away my head? When the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold it shut against him. Isn’t the sound of his master’s feet behind him? 33While he was still talking with them, the messenger came down to him. Then he said, This evil is from Yahweh. Why should I wait for Yahweh any longer?


6:11 Naaman wanted to be a secret believer, even bowing down to Rimmon to keep his boss happy. God seems to have allowed this, but He worked in Naaman’s life, so that his faith was no longer secret. For soon after his conversion, his master got the hunch that one of his courtiers was “for the king of Israel”. And Naaman would have been the obvious suspect, as he had gone to Israel and been cured of his leprosy by an Israeli prophet. We then read that the army of Syria came against Elisha the prophet and sought to surround him in order to capture him. They were then judged by God. Could it really be so that Naaman would have led that army? Surely the situation arose so as to force Naaman to resign the job. Thus God worked to stop him being a secret believer, and to remove him from a position where he could not live with a free conscience before the Father. And so God will do in our lives- if we respond.

6:17 Elisha saw with the eyes of faith that the horses and chariots of their enemies were matched by the Angel cherubim around them. He was so certain they were there that he didn’t need to physically see them for himself, but he asked that the eyes of his servant would be opened to see them. We imagine Peter walking confidently through the dark streets with his Angel next to him, and then perhaps phased for a moment by the Angel’s disappearance. But the truth is that the Angel walked with him through every street he ever walked along (Acts 12:10). The actual presence of the Angels in our lives ought to motivate us to live as in the presence of God; the fact we don’t physically see them doesn’t mean they aren’t literally present (1 Cor. 11:10; 1 Tim. 5:21; see on 1 Kings 18:15).
6:23 The showing of such great grace, to the extent of making a feast for them, stopped the aggression recurring. Grace is ultimately the only way to conflict resolution.
6:33 This evil is from Yahweh- Evil in the sense of disaster comes from God; it’s not true that only good things come from God and all negative things from some cosmic ‘Satan’; both good and “evil” come from God (Is. 45:5-7).
Why should I wait for Yahweh any longer?- Elisha here has an apparent roughness with the Almighty that could only surely come from his knowing that God fully viewed and knew his inner feelings; and so like David in some of the Psalms, he speaks his rough thoughts before God just as they are, because he knows God sees them anyway. Elisha’s roughness with God isn’t good, but it does reflect a level of intimacy with God which is commendable.