The Blinded Syrians Captured

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Beginning at verse eight Syrian invasions of Israel are noted. The first incident involved marauding bands of Syrians who made border raids against the Jews (vv. 8-9). Ben-haded II, king of Aram, planned to pitch his camp on the border from which he could strike unexpectedly. God informed Elisha of the place and the prophet passed this information on to the king of Israel. Ben-hadad was enraged by his continual failure to surprise the Israelites and concluded that one of his men was a traitor and tipped off the enemy (v. 10). An officer assured the king that there were no traitors in the camp, but that Elisha had supernatural knowledge of all his plans (vv. 11-12). The king ordered that he be located and captured. He was located in Dothan, about 12 miles from Samaria (v. 13).

As a result, a considerable force gathered at Dothan to capture Elisha (v. 14). Assembling under the cover of darkness, the army was discovered by Elisha’s servant. This servant warned the prophet of what he believed was impending doom(v. 15). Elisha merely prayed that his servant might have his eyes opened and see what the prophet saw. Early the next morning the servant was surprised to see that the whole city was filled with angels ready to do God’s bidding (vv. 16-17). Elisha asked God to strike the Syrians with blindness and his request was granted (v. 18). Then he led them into the Israelite capital, Samaria, where their eyes were opened (v. 19). Joram, the king, realizing that Elisha was in control asked if they should take advantage of this situation and kill these prisoners. Elisha said no but instead they should put on a banquet for those who had been captured (vv. 20-23).  




Elisha’s servant was no longer afraid when he saw God’s heavenly army all around. When I face difficulties that seem insurmountable, I need to remember that spiritual protection is there even if I cannot see it.


II Kings 6:8-23 (English Standard Version)

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." 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." 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. 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?" 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." And he said, "Go and see where he is, that I may send and seize him." It was told him, "Behold, he is in Dothan." So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city. 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?" He said, "Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD, please open 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 horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the LORD and said, "Please strike this people with blindness." So he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha. 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. As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, "O LORD, open 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. As soon as the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, "My father, shall I strike them down? Shall I strike them down?" He answered, "You shall not strike them down. Would you strike down those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master." 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 on raids into the land of Israel.

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