Monday, August 30, 2010

2 Kings, Chapter 7

More miraculous deeds by Elisha.

First, he predicts the commodities markets and commits a little insider trading, telling his disciples how much flour and barley are going to cost the next day. One of them questions him and he threatens to have god smote him.

Next, four lepers enter the city and try to decide whether to just sit there until they die, or to throw themselves on the mercy of the Syrians. I'm pretty sure I know what Newt Gingrich would advise. They decide in the end to beg the Syrians for some food and wander over to their camp, which has been abandoned so quickly the horses are still tied up, because god made some trumpet noises and they thought the Hitites and the Egyptians had joined the Israelites against them, which should make it obvious how easy it actually was to defeat the Syrians in those days. The lepers set to plundering the Syrian tents.

Eventually they decide that hanging out in a deserted camp is a bit creepy, so they go to the king's palace, where they tell the porter what they've just seen. The porter is sufficiently impressed to go and wake the king, who is skeptical, thinking the Syrians are trying to lure his people out of the city. He is convinced by another servant to survey the camp in a chariot. He goes out and isn't attacked so the people come and raid the camp, causing the price of flour and barley to go up (or down, it isn't clear) as Elisha predicted.

The man who questioned Elisha is trampled to death by the returning scavengers. Lovely.

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