The king of Aram tries to capture Elisha

Melachim 2 Chapter 6

1.      The king of Aram tries to ambush the king of Israel:

  • The king of Aram sets up an ambush to kill the king of Israel and his soldiers: The king of Aram was in a state of war with the people of Israel, and he took council with his servants regarding encamping in a secret location from where they can ambush [the king of Israel, or his soldiers, when they travel to Aram to fight them[1], and so they went and set up ambush in a secret location].
  • Elisha prophetically reveals the location of the ambush to the king of Israel: Elisha sent a message to the king of Israel warning him not to pass the secret location where the Arameans were hiding awaiting to ambush. The king of Israel sent messengers to that location to see if the words of Elisha were true, and indeed he took precautions to avoid the area many times.

2.      The king of Aram attempts to capture Elisha:

  • The king of Aram inquires as to whom revealed his plot to the king of Israel: The king of Aram was greatly disturbed that his secret location was discovered by the king of Israel, and he summoned his servants and inquired from them as to who is responsible for leaking the information to the king of Israel [suspecting that it is one of his own servants who revealed this information]. One of his servants answered the king that he should not suspect any of them of doing so, as it is Elisha the prophet who is in Israel who is responsible for this, as “Elisha tells the king of Israel [through prophecy[2]] even the words that you, the king, speak in your bedroom.”
  • The king of Aram devises a plan to capture Elisha: The king of Aram then instructed his servants to find out where Elisha is located, in order so he can kidnap him. The king of Aram was told that Elisha is located in Dosan.
  • The king of Aram sends an army to capture Elisha: The king of Aram sent horses and chariots and a great army to the city of Dosan to capture Elisha. They arrived at night and surrounded the city. Elisha the prophet arose early in the morning and when he went outside, he noticed an army with horses and chariots surrounding the city. Elisha’s servant exclaimed in a panic to Elisha, “Woe, alas, what shall we do?” Elisha told his servant not to worry, as they are far more numerous than the soldiers surrounding the city [as there are spiritual soldiers who will fight on their side].
  • Elisha shows his servant a vision of the angelic soldiers: Elisha prayed to Hashem asking Him to open the eyes of his servant [so that he can see the spiritual soldiers]. So, Hashem opened the lad’s eyes and he saw that the mountain was full with fiery horses and chariots, surrounding Elisha.
  • Elisha miraculously blinds the soldiers and leads them to Shomron: The Aramean soldiers came down to capture Elisha, and Elisha then prayed to Hashem requesting him to strike the soldiers with blindness, and so it was that Hashem struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. Elisha then said to the blind soldiers that they are going the wrong direction to reach the city of Dosan where Elisha is located [as Elisha already left the city[3]], and that they should follow him, and he will lead them to the person whom they seek. So, Elisha led them to the city of Shomron.
  • Elisha leads the soldiers to the king of Israel: When they came to Shomron, Elisha asked God to remove their blindness and allow the soldiers to see once again. So, Hashem opened their eyes, and they saw, and behold they were inside the city of Shomron.
  • Elisha instructs the king not to kill the soldiers: The king of Israel asked Elisha when he saw the enemy soldiers brought before him in the city as to whether he should kill them. Elisha responded that he should not kill them, [as he only has the right to kill soldiers that he captured, and even captured soldier should not be killed[4]]. “Do you slay those whom you have captured with your sword and with your bow?” Rather, said Elisha, “Prepare for them food and water and let them eat and drink and go back home to their masters.”
  • The soldiers given to eat and drink: The king of Israel obeyed the instructions of the prophet Elisha and prepared for the soldiers a lavish feast, and the soldiers ate and drank, and he then sent them away back to their masters.
  • The land of Israel is freed of its Aramean troops: After the above event, the Aramean troops ceased to invade the land of Israel.

[1] Rashi 6:8

[2] Metzudos Dovid 6:12

[3] Rashi 6:19

[4] See Rashi and Radak and Metzudos Dovid on 6:22

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