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ed, so that he saw horses and chariots of fire round about the prophet; then the Almighty caused all the hosts of Syria to become blind, so that they could not tell where they were, neither could they see Elisha, who led them into Samaria, to the king of Israel, who, at the request of the man of God, spared their lives, fed them with meat and drink, and sent them home again to their king: "So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel."
After this, the Syrians went up against Samaria, and besieged it: this means, that they placed their men on all sides, so that there was no way of escape for those who were thus shut up in the city. You will readily think this must have been a very terrible thing, because after a little while, when they had eaten up all the food which they had with them, they could not get out to fetch any more; this made the famine very dreadful, so much so, that some of the poor people were driven to eat their own children. When they were thus almost despairing, Elisha declared, that by the next day, at that hour, the famine should cease, and food become plentiful in Samaria: and it came to pass, that in the course of the night, God made the
Syrians to hear a great noise as of chariot, and horses, and they fled in great haste leaving much food behind them, and all their baggage, for they thought the Israelites had brought all the neighbouring kings against them. Then the people of Israel went out of the city in which they had been shut up, and searched the tents of the Syrians, but could find no one there, they therefore seized all the food and treasure that were left. Thus did the Almighty cause Elisha's words to come to pass, and His people to be relieved in their distress.
You have not forgotten, I dare say, the Shunamite woman, who built the little room on the wall, for the prophet to rest in when he pleased, and whose son he raised again to life: it was told her, by Elisha, that a famine should spread over her country; and she took his advice and left her own land for seven years, which time she spent among the Philistines; at the end of this period she returned to her home, but having been absent so long, she found she could no longer call it her own; she told her story to the king, who was talking with Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, about the many wonderful works which his master had done, when the
poor woman came before him; and upon hearing that it was her son whom the pro phet had restored to life, the king commanded that her property should be given to her again, saying, "Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now." Thus was this good woman yet further rewarded for her kindness to the man of God.
Elisha lived many years after these events took place, and you will find, in the Bible, that he was all the time engaged as the prophet of the Lord, among His people, making known to them the will of the Almighty, even until the day of his death; for we find, that while he was ill of the sickness of which he died, the king of Israel came to consult him, and he prophesied that he should get three victories over Syria; "and Elisha died, and they buried him."
In the course of the following year, as some men were burying a dead man, they were alarmed and threw the body hastily into the sepulchre (6) of the man of God; "and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood up on his feet." Thus even after he was dead, the power of doing
good seemed to linger about his lifeless remains, and he was made the means of bringing one of his fellow-creatures to life again.
Such an event as this may not often occur; yet you should remember, that the memory of the just is blessed, and every good man leaves an example behind him, which it would be well for us to imitate: "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches;" now, although you should not do good merely for the sake of being well thought of by your fellow-creatures, but because you know it to be your duty, and from a wish to please God: yet you may be sure, that if, while you have the good opinion of those around you, it is, at the same time, your earnest wish to have your hearts right in the sight of God; if you walk in the path of "humility," and have daily in your hearts "the fear of the Lord," you will find that these things "are riches, honour, and life.
IF you have been interested about the prophets of whom I have told you, you may very likely wish to hear of the prophet Jonah, who lived in the days of Jeroboam, the son of Joash, that king of Israel who consulted Elisha in his last sickness, and to whom the man of God prophesied that he should gain three victories over Syria.
Jonah was commanded by his God to go to Nineveh, a great city of which we read in the Bible, but which has so fallen, that the place where it stood is not known at this day, and its ruins cannot be found. In the time of Jonah we may suppose it was standing in all its splendor, but alas, although so grand to look upon, the people who lived therein did not serve the Lord aright, and God had said that it should fall: then Jonah was commanded to "go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it." But he did not obey his God, and we read that "he rose up and