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Elisha and the siege of Samaria - part 1

Syrians besiege Samaria and King Jehoram blames Elisha.
Contributed by Richard Gunther
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, German
Benhadad was in conquering mood. He looked around for someone to attack and said, ‘Ahah! I know who to pick on! I’ll attack King Jehoram of Israel.’ – Slide 1
Benhadad got his army together and set off for Samaria, the capital of Israel, where King Jehoram lived. Tramp, tramp, tramp they marched. – Slide 2
As they got close to Samaria, the inhabitants rushed to lock their gates and shelter behind the strong city walls. Benhadad and his army surrounded the city and waited. They made sure no food or water got into Samaria. – Slide 3
It was not long before the people in Samaria had eaten most of their food. Soon there was very little left to eat. Now they started to eat weeds and dirt and anything else they could find.  They were starving. – Slide 4
King Jehorams’s tummy was rumbling as he walked around his palace. He went out to some shops and he was amazed at what was for sale. – Slide 5
‘Your majesty,’ said a shopkeeper, ‘Can I sell you this donkey’s head to eat.’<br/>‘How much?’ asked the King.<br/>‘Eighty pieces of silver,’ the shopkeeper replied. Jehoram gasped at the price. – Slide 6
‘Too expensive!’ said the king.<br/>‘Then how about a bag of pigeon poo?<br/>‘A bag of what?<br/>‘Fresh pigeon poo … a bargain at only 12 pieces of silver.’ – Slide 7
King Jehoram went on feeling rather gloomy and very hungry. Just then a woman called out to him. ‘Help!’ she cried. ‘I’m dying of hunger!’ – Slide 8
‘If God doesn’t help you, what can I do?’ the king protested. ‘There is nothing left – no bread, no wine! It’s all gone!’ He moved on again but the woman called out again. – Slide 9
‘I’ve just eaten my son,’ she announced. ‘Then tomorrow my friend and I had agreed to eat her son, but she has gone and hidden him. – Slide 10
The king was disgusted and upset. What a horrible situation. People arguing over who they should eat next. – Slide 11
‘I need to blame someone for this mess,’ thought the King. He decided it couldn’t possibly be his fault or the result of his own bad behaviour and disobedience. So he decided to blame the one person who had obeyed God – Elisha the prophet. – Slide 12
‘I want Elisha’s head cut off before this day ends,’ the King announced. ‘That man has brought all this trouble on us.’ – Slide 13
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the city, Elisha was sitting in his house with some of its leaders and officials. God had warned him what was going on. He suddenly announced. ‘There is a man on his way here who has been sent by the king to arrest me. – Slide 14
‘And,’ Elisha continued, ‘the king wants to cut off my head. He plans to murder me. So, when this man arrives, grab him and hold onto him until the king gets here. – Slide 15
Sure enough, the king’s servant arrived at Elisha’s house and he was grabbed before he could get in the door. Not long after this, King Jehoram arrived and he was very angry. – Slide 16
‘This disaster is all the Lord’s fault,’ he raged. ‘And I’m not waiting any longer for Him to fix it. I’m going to fix it myself, starting with killing His prophet.’ – Slide 17
But Elisha wasn’t afraid of the Kings temper tantrum. ‘This is what the Lord says,’ said Elisha. ‘Tomorrow there will be heaps of food in the city and it will all be very cheap. – Slide 18
‘You will be able to buy five and a half kilograms of fine flour for only two pieces of silver and 12 kilograms of barley for the same amount.’ – Slide 19
Standing beside the king was an officer. He sneered, ‘Ha. Even if God opened the windows of heaven the food will never be that cheap!’ – Slide 20
Elisha looked at the officer.‘Oh really,’ he replied. ‘You will see the food tomorrow but you will not be able to eat any of it.’ – Slide 21
What happened next? And did Elisha’s strange prediction come true? Find out in part two of this story (available on www.freebibleimages.org). – Slide 22
Slide 23