Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

The story of the lost ax head is so descriptive of the human condition. First, the ax head was not with its rightful master. In the same way, we once belonged to God, but Satan stole us in the Garden of Eden and made us his slaves.

Second, the ax head was in the wrong place. It should have been out doing its work, but instead it was on the bottom of the Jordan in an alien environment. When we were in sin, we were completely submerged in the wrong environment-dead to God and alienated from His life.

Finally, the ax head could not save itself. The ax head had no power to change its situation; thus, it was destined to remain stuck in the mud. Only when "Elisha cut a stick and threw it into the water" (2 Kings 6:6) did the ax head supernaturally begin to rise from the bottom in a physical "resurrection." What a picture of Jesus' death and resurrection!

No amount of personal desire or willpower can lift us from the muddy quagmire of sin if we are stuck fast in it. Only Jesus can deliver us. We then belong to God, never to return to the bottom again!

2 Kings 6:1-7:20

An Axhead Floats

The companyS 1Sa 10:5 of the prophets said to Elisha, “Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us.Let us go to the Jordan, where each of us can get a pole; and let us build a place there for us to meet.”

And he said, “Go.”

Then one of them said, “Won’t you please come with your servants?”

“I will,” Elisha replied.And he went with them.

They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees.As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. “Oh no, my lord!” he cried out. “It was borrowed!”

The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threwS Ex 15:25; S 2Ki 2:21 it there, and made the iron float.“Lift it out,” he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.

Elisha Traps Blinded Arameans

Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.”

The man of God sent word to the kingver 12 of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.”10 So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warnedJer 11:18 the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.

11 This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”

12 “None of us, my lord the kingver 9,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”

13 “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.”Ge 37:1714 Then he sent2Ki 1:9 horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.

16 “Don’t be afraid,”S Ge 15:1 the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more2Ch 32:7; Ps 55:18; Ro 8:31; 1Jn 4:4 than those who are with them.”

17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariotsS 2Ki 2:11, 12 of fire all around Elisha.

18 As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.”Ge 19:11; Ac 13:11 So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.

19 Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria.

20 After they entered the city, Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the Lord opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.

21 When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father?S 2Ki 5:13 Shall I kill them?”

22 “Do not kill them,” he answered. “Would you kill those you have capturedS Dt 20:11; 2Ch 28:8-15 with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.”23 So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bandsS 2Ki 5:2 from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.

Famine in Besieged Samaria

24 Some time later, Ben-HadadS 1Ki 15:18; 2Ki 8:7 king of Aram mobilized his entire army and marched up and laid siegeDt 28:52 to Samaria.25 There was a great famineS Lev 26:26; S Ru 1:1 in the city; the siege lasted so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty shekelsThat is, about 2 pounds or about 920 grams of silver, and a quarter of a cabThat is, probably about 1/4 pound or about 100 grams of seed podsOr of doves’ dungIsa 36:12 for five shekels.That is, about 2 ounces or about 58 grams

26 As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, “Help me, my lord the king!”

27 The king replied, “If the Lord does not help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?”28 Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?”

She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’29 So we cooked my son and ateS Lev 26:29; Dt 28:53-55 him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.”

30 When the king heard the woman’s words, he tore2Ki 18:37; Isa 22:15 his robes. As he went along the wall, the people looked, and they saw that, under his robes, he had sackclothS Ge 37:34 on his body.31 He said, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today!”

32 Now Elisha was sitting in his house, and the eldersEze 8:1; 14:1; 20:1 were sitting with him. The king sent a messenger ahead, but before he arrived, Elisha said to the elders, “Don’t you see how this murderer1Ki 18:4 is sending someone to cut off my head?ver 31 Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold it shut against him. Is not the sound of his master’s footsteps behind him?”33 While he was still talking to them, the messenger came down to him.

The king said, “This disaster is from the Lord. Why should I waitLev 24:11; Job 2:9; 14:14; Isa 40:31 for the Lord any longer?”

Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow, a seahThat is, probably about 12 pounds or about 5.5 kilograms of flour; also in verses 16 and 18 of the finest flour will sell for a shekelThat is, about 2/5 ounce or about 12 grams; also in verses 16 and 18 and two seahsThat is, probably about 20 pounds or about 9 kilograms of barley; also in verses 16 and 18 of barley for a shekelver 16 at the gate of Samaria.”

The officer on whose arm the king was leaning2Ki 5:18 said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgatesver 19; Ge 7:11; Ps 78:23; Mal 3:10 of the heavens, could this happen?”

“You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha, “but you will not eatver 17 any of it!”

The Siege Lifted

Now there were four men with leprosyThe Hebrew for leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin; also in verse 8.Lev 13:45-46; Nu 5:1-4 at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die?If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”

At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there,for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the soundS Ex 14:24; Eze 1:24 of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired2Sa 10:6; Jer 46:21 the HittiteS Nu 13:29 and Egyptian kings to attack us!”So they got up and fledJdg 7:21; Ps 48:4-6; Pr 28:1; Isa 30:17 in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.

The men who had leprosyIsa 33:23; 35:6 reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.

Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.”

10 So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, “We went into the Aramean camp and no one was there—not a sound of anyone—only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.”11 The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.

12 The king got up in the night and said to his officers, “I will tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving; so they have left the camp to hideJos 8:4 in the countryside, thinking, ‘They will surely come out, and then we will take them alive and get into the city.’”

13 One of his officers answered, “Have some men take five of the horses that are left in the city. Their plight will be like that of all the Israelites left here—yes, they will only be like all these Israelites who are doomed. So let us send them to find out what happened.”

14 So they selected two chariots with their horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army. He commanded the drivers, “Go and find out what has happened.”15 They followed them as far as the Jordan, and they found the whole road strewn with the clothing and equipment the Arameans had thrown away in their headlong flight.Job 27:22 So the messengers returned and reported to the king.16 Then the people went out and plunderedIsa 33:4, 23 the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of the finest flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel,ver 1 as the Lord had said.

17 Now the king had put the officer on whose arm he leaned in charge of the gate, and the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died,S ver 2 just as the man of God had foretold when the king came down to his house.18 It happened as the man of God had said to the king: “About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”

19 The officer had said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgatesS ver 2 of the heavens, could this happen?” The man of God had replied, “You will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of it!”20 And that is exactly what happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died.

The Floating Ax Head

One day the group of prophets came to Elisha and told him, “As you can see, this place where we meet with you is too small.Let’s go down to the Jordan River, where there are plenty of logs. There we can build a new place for us to meet.”

“All right,” he told them, “go ahead.”

“Please come with us,” someone suggested.

“I will,” he said.So he went with them.

When they arrived at the Jordan, they began cutting down trees.But as one of them was cutting a tree, his ax head fell into the river. “Oh, sir!” he cried. “It was a borrowed ax!”

“Where did it fall?” the man of God asked. When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it into the water at that spot. Then the ax head floated to the surface.“Grab it,” Elisha said. And the man reached out and grabbed it.

Elisha Traps the Arameans

When the king of Aram was at war with Israel, he would confer with his officers and say, “We will mobilize our forces at such and such a place.”

But immediately Elisha, the man of God, would warn the king of Israel, “Do not go near that place, for the Arameans are planning to mobilize their troops there.”10 So the king of Israel would send word to the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he would be on the alert there.

11 The king of Aram became very upset over this. He called his officers together and demanded, “Which of you is the traitor? Who has been informing the king of Israel of my plans?”

12 “It’s not us, my lord the king,” one of the officers replied. “Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel even the words you speak in the privacy of your bedroom!”

13 “Go and find out where he is,” the king commanded, “so I can send troops to seize him.”

And the report came back: “Elisha is at Dothan.”14 So one night the king of Aram sent a great army with many chariots and horses to surround the city.

15 When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha.

16 “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!”17 Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.

18 As the Aramean army advanced toward him, Elisha prayed, “O Lord, please make them blind.” So the Lord struck them with blindness as Elisha had asked.

19 Then Elisha went out and told them, “You have come the wrong way! This isn’t the right city! Follow me, and I will take you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to the city of Samaria.

20 As soon as they had entered Samaria, Elisha prayed, “O Lord, now open their eyes and let them see.” So the Lord opened their eyes, and they discovered that they were in the middle of Samaria.

21 When the king of Israel saw them, he shouted to Elisha, “My father, should I kill them? Should I kill them?”

22 “Of course not!” Elisha replied. “Do we kill prisoners of war? Give them food and drink and send them home again to their master.”

23 So the king made a great feast for them and then sent them home to their master. After that, the Aramean raiders stayed away from the land of Israel.

Ben-Hadad Besieges Samaria

24 Some time later, however, King Ben-hadad of Aram mustered his entire army and besieged Samaria.25 As a result, there was a great famine in the city. The siege lasted so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty pieces of silver, and a cup of dove’s dung sold for five piecesHebrew sold for 80 [shekels] [2 pounds or 0.9 kilograms] of silver, and 1⁄4 of a cab [0.3 liters] of dove’s dung sold for 5 [shekels] [2 ounces or 57 grams]. Dove’s dung may be a variety of wild vegetable. of silver.

26 One day as the king of Israel was walking along the wall of the city, a woman called to him, “Please help me, my lord the king!”

27 He answered, “If the Lord doesn’t help you, what can I do? I have neither food from the threshing floor nor wine from the press to give you.”28 But then the king asked, “What is the matter?”

She replied, “This woman said to me: ‘Come on, let’s eat your son today, then we will eat my son tomorrow.’29 So we cooked my son and ate him. Then the next day I said to her, ‘Kill your son so we can eat him,’ but she has hidden her son.”

30 When the king heard this, he tore his clothes in despair. And as the king walked along the wall, the people could see that he was wearing burlap under his robe next to his skin.31 “May God strike me and even kill me if I don’t separate Elisha’s head from his shoulders this very day,” the king vowed.

32 Elisha was sitting in his house with the elders of Israel when the king sent a messenger to summon him. But before the messenger arrived, Elisha said to the elders, “A murderer has sent a man to cut off my head. When he arrives, shut the door and keep him out. We will soon hear his master’s steps following him.”

33 While Elisha was still saying this, the messenger arrived. And the kingHebrew he. said, “All this misery is from the Lord! Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”

Elisha replied, “Listen to this message from the Lord! This is what the Lord says: By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, six quarts of choice flour will cost only one piece of silver,Hebrew 1 seah [7.3 liters] of choice flour will cost 1 shekel [0.4 ounces or 11 grams]; also in 7:16, 18. and twelve quarts of barley grain will cost only one piece of silver.Hebrew 2 seahs [14.6 liters] of barley grain will cost 1 shekel [0.4 ounces or 11 grams]; also in 7:16, 18.

The officer assisting the king said to the man of God, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!”

But Elisha replied, “You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!”

Outcasts Visit the Enemy Camp

Now there were four men with leprosyOr with a contagious skin disease. The Hebrew word used here and throughout this passage can describe various skin diseases. sitting at the entrance of the city gates. “Why should we sit here waiting to die?” they asked each other.“We will starve if we stay here, but with the famine in the city, we will starve if we go back there. So we might as well go out and surrender to the Aramean army. If they let us live, so much the better. But if they kill us, we would have died anyway.”

So at twilight they set out for the camp of the Arameans. But when they came to the edge of the camp, no one was there!For the Lord had caused the Aramean army to hear the clatter of speeding chariots and the galloping of horses and the sounds of a great army approaching. “The king of Israel has hired the Hittites and EgyptiansPossibly and the people of Muzur, a district near Cilicia. to attack us!” they cried to one another.So they panicked and ran into the night, abandoning their tents, horses, donkeys, and everything else, as they fled for their lives.

When the men with leprosy arrived at the edge of the camp, they went into one tent after another, eating and drinking wine; and they carried off silver and gold and clothing and hid it.Finally, they said to each other, “This is not right. This is a day of good news, and we aren’t sharing it with anyone! If we wait until morning, some calamity will certainly fall upon us. Come on, let’s go back and tell the people at the palace.”

10 So they went back to the city and told the gatekeepers what had happened. “We went out to the Aramean camp,” they said, “and no one was there! The horses and donkeys were tethered and the tents were all in order, but there wasn’t a single person around!”11 Then the gatekeepers shouted the news to the people in the palace.

Israel Plunders the Camp

12 The king got out of bed in the middle of the night and told his officers, “I know what has happened. The Arameans know we are starving, so they have left their camp and have hidden in the fields. They are expecting us to leave the city, and then they will take us alive and capture the city.”

13 One of his officers replied, “We had better send out scouts to check into this. Let them take five of the remaining horses. If something happens to them, it will be no worse than if they stay here and die with the rest of us.”

14 So two chariots with horses were prepared, and the king sent scouts to see what had happened to the Aramean army.15 They went all the way to the Jordan River, following a trail of clothing and equipment that the Arameans had thrown away in their mad rush to escape. The scouts returned and told the king about it.16 Then the people of Samaria rushed out and plundered the Aramean camp. So it was true that six quarts of choice flour were sold that day for one piece of silver, and twelve quarts of barley grain were sold for one piece of silver, just as the Lord had promised.17 The king appointed his officer to control the traffic at the gate, but he was knocked down and trampled to death as the people rushed out.

So everything happened exactly as the man of God had predicted when the king came to his house.18 The man of God had said to the king, “By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, six quarts of choice flour will cost one piece of silver, and twelve quarts of barley grain will cost one piece of silver.”

19 The king’s officer had replied, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!” And the man of God had said, “You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!”20 And so it was, for the people trampled him to death at the gate!

And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us.

Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye.

And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go.

So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood.

But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed.

And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.

Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.

Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp.

And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down.

10 And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.

11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel?

12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.

13 And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan.

14 Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.

15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?

16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

18 And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

19 And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria.

20 And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.

21 And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them?

22 And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.

23 And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.

24 And it came to pass after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria.

25 And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver.

26 And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king.

27 And he said, If the Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress?

28 And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow.

29 So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son.

30 And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he rent his clothes; and he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, and, behold, he had sackcloth within upon his flesh.

31 Then he said, God do so and more also to me, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stand on him this day.

32 But Elisha sat in his house, and the elders sat with him; and the king sent a man from before him: but ere the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, See ye how this son of a murderer hath sent to take away mine head? look, when the messenger cometh, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door: is not the sound of his master's feet behind him?

33 And while he yet talked with them, behold, the messenger came down unto him: and he said, Behold, this evil is of the Lord; what should I wait for the Lord any longer?

Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.

Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.

And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die?

If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.

And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there.

For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.

Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life.

And when these lepers came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver, and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it; and came again, and entered into another tent, and carried thence also, and went and hid it.

Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king's household.

10 So they came and called unto the porter of the city: and they told them, saying, We came to the camp of the Syrians, and, behold, there was no man there, neither voice of man, but horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were.

11 And he called the porters; and they told it to the king's house within.

12 And the king arose in the night, and said unto his servants, I will now shew you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we be hungry; therefore are they gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city.

13 And one of his servants answered and said, Let some take, I pray thee, five of the horses that remain, which are left in the city, (behold, they are as all the multitude of Israel that are left in it: behold, I say, they are even as all the multitude of the Israelites that are consumed:) and let us send and see.

14 They took therefore two chariot horses; and the king sent after the host of the Syrians, saying, Go and see.

15 And they went after them unto Jordan: and, lo, all the way was full of garments and vessels, which the Syrians had cast away in their haste. And the messengers returned, and told the king.

16 And the people went out, and spoiled the tents of the Syrians. So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the Lord.

17 And the king appointed the lord on whose hand he leaned to have the charge of the gate: and the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died, as the man of God had said, who spake when the king came down to him.

18 And it came to pass as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, Two measures of barley for a shekel, and a measure of fine flour for a shekel, shall be to morrow about this time in the gate of Samaria:

19 And that lord answered the man of God, and said, Now, behold, if the Lord should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.

20 And so it fell out unto him: for the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died.

Acts 15:36-16:15

Disagreement Between Paul and Barnabas

36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the townsAc 13:4, 13, 14, 51; 14:1, 6, 24, 25 where we preached the word of the LordS Ac 13:48 and see how they are doing.”37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark,S Ac 12:12 with them,38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted themAc 13:13 in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,40 but Paul chose SilasS ver 22 and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord.S Ac 11:2341 He went through Syriaver 23; S Lk 2:2 and Cilicia,S Ac 6:9 strengthening the churches.Ac 16:5

Timothy Joins Paul and Silas

16 Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra,Ac 14:6 where a disciple named TimothyAc 17:14; 18:5; 19:22; 20:4; Ro 16:21; 1Co 4:17; 16:10; 2Co 1:1, 19; Php 1:1; 2:19; Col 1:1; 1Th 1:1; 3:2, 6; 2Th 1:1; 1Ti 1:2, 18; 2Ti 1:2, 5, 6; Phm 1 lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer2Ti 1:5 but whose father was a Greek.The believersver 40; S Ac 1:16 at Lystra and IconiumS Ac 13:51 spoke well of him.Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.Gal 2:3As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and eldersS Ac 11:30 in JerusalemAc 15:2 for the people to obey.Ac 15:28, 29So the churches were strengthenedAc 9:31; 15:41 in the faith and grew daily in numbers.S Ac 2:41

Paul’s Vision of the Man of Macedonia

Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of PhrygiaAc 2:10; 18:23 and Galatia,Ac 18:23; Gal 1:2; 3:1 having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.S Ac 2:9When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of JesusRo 8:9; Gal 4:6; Php 1:19; 1Pe 1:11 would not allow them to.So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.ver 11; Ac 20:5; 2Co 2:12; 2Ti 4:13During the night Paul had a visionS Ac 9:10 of a man of MacedoniaAc 19:21, 29; 20:1, 3; Ro 15:26; 1Co 16:5; 1Th 1:7, 8 standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”10 After Paul had seen the vision, wever 10-17; Ac 20:5-15; 21:1-18; 27:1-28:16 got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospelAc 14:7 to them.

Lydia’s Conversion in Philippi

11 From TroasS ver 8 we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis.12 From there we traveled to Philippi,Ac 20:6; Php 1:1; 1Th 2:2 a Roman colony and the leading city of that districtThe text and meaning of the Greek for the leading city of that district are uncertain. of Macedonia.S ver 9 And we stayed there several days.

13 On the SabbathS Ac 13:14 we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of ThyatiraRev 1:11; 2:18, 24 named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heartLk 24:45 to respond to Paul’s message.15 When she and the members of her householdS Ac 11:14 were baptized,S Ac 2:38 she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.

Paul and Barnabas Separate

36 After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.”37 Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark.38 But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work.39 Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus.40 Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care.41 Then he traveled throughout Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches there.

Paul’s Second Missionary Journey

16 Paul went first to Derbe and then to Lystra, where there was a young disciple named Timothy. His mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek.Timothy was well thought of by the believersGreek brothers; also in 16:40. in Lystra and Iconium,so Paul wanted him to join them on their journey. In deference to the Jews of the area, he arranged for Timothy to be circumcised before they left, for everyone knew that his father was a Greek.Then they went from town to town, instructing the believers to follow the decisions made by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem.So the churches were strengthened in their faith and grew larger every day.

A Call from Macedonia

Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time.Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia,Phrygia, Galatia, Asia, Mysia, and Bithynia were all districts in what is now Turkey. but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there.So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas.

That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!”10 So weLuke, the writer of this book, here joined Paul and accompanied him on his journey. decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.

Lydia of Philippi Believes in Jesus

11 We boarded a boat at Troas and sailed straight across to the island of Samothrace, and the next day we landed at Neapolis.12 From there we reached Philippi, a major city of that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. And we stayed there several days.

13 On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there.14 One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying.15 She and her household were baptized, and she asked us to be her guests. “If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we agreed.

36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.

37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.

38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.

39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;

40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.

41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

16 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:

Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.

Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.

And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.

And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,

After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.

And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.

10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.

11 Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis;

12 And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.

13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.

14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

Psalm 142:1-7

Psalm 142In Hebrew texts 142:1-7 is numbered 142:2-8.

A maskilTitle: Probably a literary or musical term of David. When he was in the cave.1Sa 22:1; 24:3; Ps 57 Title A prayer.

I cry aloudS 1Ki 8:52; Ps 3:4 to the Lord;

I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.Ps 30:8

I pour out before him my complaint;Ps 64:1

before him I tell my trouble.S Ps 50:15

When my spirit grows faintPs 6:2; 77:3; 84:2; 88:4; 143:4, 7; Jer 8:18; La 1:22 within me,

it is you who watch over my way.

In the path where I walk

people have hidden a snare for me.

Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;

no one is concerned for me.

I have no refuge;Jer 25:35

no one caresJer 30:17 for my life.

I cry to you, Lord;

I say, “You are my refuge,S Ps 46:1

my portionS Dt 32:9; Ps 16:5 in the land of the living.”S Job 28:13; Ps 27:13

Listen to my cry,S Ps 17:1

for I am in desperate need;S Ps 79:8

rescue meS Ps 25:20 from those who pursue me,

for they are too strongJer 31:11 for me.

Set me free from my prison,S Ps 66:11

that I may praise your name.Ps 7:17; 9:2

Then the righteous will gather about me

because of your goodness to me.S 2Ch 6:41

Psalm 142

A psalmHebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term. of David, regarding his experience in the cave. A prayer.

I cry out to the Lord;

I plead for the Lord’s mercy.

I pour out my complaints before him

and tell him all my troubles.

When I am overwhelmed,

you alone know the way I should turn.

Wherever I go,

my enemies have set traps for me.

I look for someone to come and help me,

but no one gives me a passing thought!

No one will help me;

no one cares a bit what happens to me.

Then I pray to you, O Lord.

I say, “You are my place of refuge.

You are all I really want in life.

Hear my cry,

for I am very low.

Rescue me from my persecutors,

for they are too strong for me.

Bring me out of prison

so I can thank you.

The godly will crowd around me,

for you are good to me.”

142 I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication.

I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.

When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.

I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.

I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.

Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.

Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

Proverbs 17:24-25

24 A discerning person keeps wisdom in view,

but a fool’s eyesS Job 31:1 wander to the ends of the earth.

25 A foolish son brings grief to his father

and bitterness to the mother who bore him.S Pr 10:1

24 Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom,

but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

25 Foolish childrenHebrew A foolish son. bring grief to their father

and bitterness to the one who gave them birth.

24 Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.

25 A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.

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