The Axe Head Recovered
6 Now nthe sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See, the place where we dwell under your charge is too small for us. 2 Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log, and let us make a place for us to dwell there.” And he answered, “Go.” 3 Then one of them said, “Be pleased to go with your servants.” And he answered, “I will go.” 4 So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. 5 But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water, and he cried out, “Alas, my master! It was borrowed.” 6 Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, ohe cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float. 7 And he said, “Take it up.” So he reached out his hand and took it.
Horses and Chariots of Fire
8 Once when the king of Syria was warring against Israel, he took counsel with his servants, saying, “At such and such a place shall be my camp.” 9 But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are going down there.” 10 And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God told him. Thus he used to warn him, so that he saved himself there more than once or twice.
11 And the mind of the king of Syria was greatly troubled because of this thing, and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me who of us is for the king of Israel?” 12 And one of his servants said, “None, 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.” 13 And he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and seize him.” It was told him, “Behold, he is in pDothan.” 14 So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city.
15 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 He said, “Do not be afraid, qfor those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please ropen his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of shorses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Please strike this people with blindness.” tSo he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha. 19 And Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he led them to Samaria.
20 As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, “O Lord, ropen the eyes of these men, that they may see.” So the Lord opened their eyes and they saw, and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. 21 As soon as the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, u“My father, shall I strike them down? Shall I strike them down?” 22 He answered, “You shall not strike them down. Would you strike down those whom you have taken captive vwith your sword and with your bow? wSet bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” 23 So he prepared for them a great feast, and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the Syrians did not come again xon raids into the land of Israel.
Ben-hadad’s Siege of Samaria
24 Afterward yBen-hadad king of Syria mustered his entire army and went up and besieged Samaria. 25 And there was a great famine in Samaria, as they besieged it, until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab1 of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver. 26 Now as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!” 27 And he said, “If the Lord will not help you, how shall I help you? From the threshing floor, or from the winepress?” 28 And the king asked her, “What is your trouble?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ 29 zSo we boiled my son and ate him. And on the next day I said to her, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him.’ But she has hidden her son.” 30 When the king heard the words of the woman, ahe tore his clothes—now he was passing by on the wall—and the people looked, and behold, ahe had sackcloth beneath on his body— 31 and he said, b“May God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today.”
32 Elisha was sitting in his house, cand the elders were sitting with him. Now the king had dispatched a man from his presence, but before the messenger arrived Elisha said to the elders, “Do you see how this dmurderer has sent to take off my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold the door fast against him. Is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?” 33 And while he was still speaking with them, the messenger came down to him and said, “This trouble is from the Lord! eWhy should I wait for the Lord any longer?”
Traditions and Commandments
7 pNow when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes qwho had come from Jerusalem, 2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were rdefiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly,1 holding to sthe tradition of tthe elders, 4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash.2 And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as uthe washing of vcups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.3) 5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to sthe tradition of tthe elders, wbut eat with rdefiled hands?” 6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you xhypocrites, as it is written,
y“‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
7 in vain do they worship me,
teaching as zdoctrines the commandments of men.’
8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of arejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, b‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, c‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)4— 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus dmaking void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
What Defiles a Person
14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, e“Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 fThere is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”5 17 And when he had entered gthe house and left the people, hhis disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then iare you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart jbut his stomach, and is expelled?”6 (kThus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, l“What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, mmurder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, nsensuality, oenvy, pslander, qpride, rfoolishness. 23 sAll these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
The Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith
24 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon.7 And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. 25 But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. 26 tNow the woman was a uGentile, va Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he said to her, “Let the children be wfed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and xthrow it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s ycrumbs.” 29 And he said to her, “For this statement you may zgo your way; the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.
Jesus Heals a Deaf Man
31 aThen he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to bthe Sea of Galilee, in the region of the cDecapolis. 32 And they brought to him da man who was deaf and dhad a speech impediment, and they begged him to elay his hand on him. 33 And ftaking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and fafter spitting touched his tongue. 34 And glooking up to heaven, hhe sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35 dAnd his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36 And iJesus8 charged them to tell no one. But jthe more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37 And they were kastonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”