THE CHARIOTS OF FIRE AROUND ELISHA
II Kings vi: 8 to 23.
HERE 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
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.
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 see."
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."
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 Israel.