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Haftara Metzorah

II Kings 7.3-20

Now there were four lepers at the entrance to the gate; and they said to one another: “Why should we sit here until we die?”

“If we say: ‘Let us enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we will die there. If we remain here, we will also die. Come, therefore, and let us go over to the Aramean camp. If they spare our lives, we will live; if they kill us, we will simply die.”

They arose at twilight, to go to the Aramean camp, behold, not a man was there.

For God caused the Aramean camp to hear the sound of chariots and horses, the sound of a great army. So they said to one another: “The king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and Egyptians, to come against us.” So they arose and fled in the twilight, leaving their tents, horses, asses, and the camp just as it was, and fled for their lives.

When the lepers came to the outer edge of the camp, they entered a tent, ate and drank, and took there silver, gold and clothing, and went and hid them. They returned and entered another tent, took from there also, and went and hid them. They said to one another; “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news and we are silent. If we wait until morning, punishment will overtake us. Come therefore, let us go and tell the king’s household.”

They came and called to the gatekeepers of the city and told them: “We went to the Aramean camp and behold, not a man was seen or heard, only the horse and asses tied, and the tents as they were.” Then the gatekeepers called, and told it to the the king’s household within.

The king arose in the night and said to his servants: “I will tell you what the Armeans have done to us. They know that we are hungry, therefore they have left the camp and hidden themselves in the field, thinking: When they come out of the city, we will take them alive and enter the city.”

One of his servants answered: “Let some men take five of the remaining horses in the city behold, they are as all the multitude of Israel that are left in it; behold, they are as all the multitude of Israel that are consumed. Let us send and see.”

They therefore took two chariots with horses; and the king sent them after the Aramean army, saying: “Go and see.” They followed them as far as the Jordan; and lo, all the way was full of garments and vessels, which the Arameans had thrown away in their haste. The messengers returned and told the king. People went out and plundered the Aramean camp. So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to God’s word.

The king appointed a captain on whose head leaned to in charge of the gate; and the people trampled him in the gate, and he died as the man of God said, when the king came down to him. It happened, as the man of God said to the king: “Two measures of barley for a shekel; and a measure of fine flour for a shekel; shall be tomorrow about this time in the gate of Samaria.”

The captain answered the man of God, saying: “Now, behold, if God should make windows in heaven, could such a thing be?” and he said; “Behold, you will see it with your eyes, but not eat of it.”

It happened that way; for the people trampled him in the gate, and he died.