Story Fourteen

THE CHARIOTS OF FIRE AROUND ELISHA
THERE was constant war between Ĭś̝ ra-el through all the years of Ē̇-lī́ shȧ, the prophet. And the king of Ĭś̝ ra-el found Ē̇-lī́ shȧ a greater help than his horses and chariots. For whenever the king of Sy̆ŕ ĭ-ȧ told his officers to make an attack upon any place in the land of Ĭś̝ ra-el, Ē̇-lī́ shȧ would send word to the king of Ĭś̝ ra-el, saying, "Watch carefully that place, and send men to guard it, for the Sy̆ŕ ĭ-ans̝ are coming to attack it.”
And then, when the Sy̆ŕ an army came to the place, they were sure to find it strongly guarded so that their soldiers could do nothing. This happened so many times that the king of Sy̆ŕ ĭ-ȧ, at last said to his nobles, "Someone among you is secretly helping the king of Ĭś̝ ra-el, and is sending him word of all our plans. Will no one tell me who the traitor is?”
And they said, "No one of us, my lord, O king, has made known your plans; but Ē̇-lī́ shȧ, the prophet that is in Ĭś̝ ra-el, tells the king of Ĭś̝ ra-el the words that you speak in your own room.”
Then the king of Sy̆ŕ ĭ-ȧ said, "Go and find where that man is, so that I may send an army to take him.”
After a time the king of Sy̆ŕ ĭ-a heard that Ē̇-lī́ shȧ was staying in Dṓ than. Then he sent to that place a great army, with horses and chariots. They came by night, and stood in a great ring all around the city, ready to seize the prophet. In the morning the prophet's helper rose up early; and he found the city surrounded on every side by a host of men, with swords and spears. He called Ē̇-lī́ shȧ, in great alarm, and said to him, "O my master, what shall we do?”
"Fear not," answered Ē̇-lī́ shȧ, "there are more men on our side than on theirs.”
And then Ē̇-lī́ shȧ prayed to the Lord, saying, "O Lord, open the eyes of this young man, and let him see who are with us.”
Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw what other men could not see, that the mountain on which the city stood was covered with horses and chariots of fire, sent by the Lord to keep his prophet safe. But this the Sy̆ŕ ĭ-ans̝ could not see; and they came up to the gates of the city to take Ē̇-lī́ shȧ. Then Ē̇-lī́ shȧ prayed to the Lord, saying, "Lord, make these men blind for a little while." Then a mist came over the eyes of the Sy̆ŕ ĭ-ans̝, and they could not see clearly. And Ē̇-lī́ shȧ went out to them, and said, "This is not the right city, but I will show you the way. Follow me.”
And Ē̇-lī́ shȧ led them from Dṓ than to Sā̇-mā́ rĭ-ȧ, and into the walls of the city, where the army of Ĭś̝ ra-el were standing all around them. Then Ē̇-lī́ shȧ prayed, "O Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.”
And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw the walls of Sā̇-mā́ rĭ-ȧ, and the host of Ĭś̝ ra-el all around them. The king of Ĭś̝ ra-el was glad to have his enemies in his power; and he said to Ē̇-lī́ shȧ, "My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?”
But Ē̇-lī́ shȧ said to him, "You shall not kill them. Would you kill helpless men whom you had taken as prisoners? Give them bread to eat, and water to drink, and send them home to their master.”
So, instead, of killing the Sy̆ŕ ĭ-an soldiers, or holding them as prisoners, the king of Ĭś̝ ra-el set plenty of food before them, and gave them all that they needed. Then he sent them home to their master, the king of Sy̆ŕ ĭ-ȧ. And after that it was a long time before the Sy̆ŕ ĭ-ȧ armies came into the land of Ĭś̝ ra-el.