The Chariots of Fire around Elisha
Chariots of Fire
II Kings vi: 8 to
was constant war between Israel and Syria through
all the years of Elisha, the prophet. And the king
of Israel found Elisha a greater help than his
horses and chariots. For whenever the king of Syria
told his officers to make an attack upon any place
in the land of Israel, Elisha would send word to the
king of Israel, saying, "Watch carefully that place,
and send men to guard it, for the Syrians are coming
to attack it."
And then, when the Syrian army came to the place,
they were sure to find it strongly guarded, so that
their soldiers could do nothing. This happened so
many times that the king of Syria at last said to
his nobles, "Some one among you is secretly helping
the king of Israel, and is sending him word of all
our plans. Will no one tell me who the traitor is?"
And they said, "No one of us, my lord, O king, has
made known your plans; but Elisha, the prophet that
is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words
that you speak in your own room."
Then the king of Syria said, "Go and find where that
man is, so that I may send an army to take him."
After a time the king of Syria heard that Elisha was
staying in Dothan. Then he sent to that place a
great army, with horses and chariots. They came by
night, and stood in a great ring all around the
city, ready to seize the prophet. In the morning the
prophet's helper rose up early; and he found the
city surrounded on every side by a host of men, with
swords and spears. He called Elisha, in great alarm,
and said to him, "O my master, what shall we do?"
"Fear not," answered Elisha, "there are more men on
our side than on theirs."
And then Elisha prayed to the Lord, saying, "O Lord,
open the eyes of this young man, and let him see who
are with us."
Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and
he saw what other men could not see, that the
mountain on which the city stood was covered with
horses and chariots of fire, sent by the Lord to
keep his prophet safe. But this the Syrians could
not see; and they came up to the gates of the city
to take Elisha. Then Elisha prayed to the Lord,
saying, "Lord, make these men blind for a little
while" Then a mist came over the eyes of the
Syrians, and they could not see clearly. And Elisha
went out to them, ad said, "This is not the right
city, but I will show you the way. Follow me."
And Elisha led them from Dothan to Samaria, and into
the walls of the city, where the army of Israel were
standing all around them. Then Elisha prayed, "O
Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may
And the Lord opened their eyes, ad they saw the
walls of Samaria, and the host of Israel all around
them. The king of Israel was glad to have his
enemies in his power; and he said to Elisha, "My
father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?"
But Elisha said to him, "You shall not kill them.
Would you kill helpless men whom you had taken as
prisoners? Give them bread to eat, and water to
drink, and send them home to their master."
So, instead of killing the Syrian soldiers or
holding them as prisoners, the king of Israel set
plenty of food before them, and gave them all that
they needed. Then he sent them home to their master,
the king of Syria. And after that it was a long time
before the Syrian armies came into the land of
Chariots of Fire