|Haftarah Metzorah: Background Text I|
The King of Aram was fighting against Israel. He took counsel with his servants, saying, “My encampments will be in such and such a place.” The man of God (Elisha) sent word to the King of Israel, saying, “Beware of passing by this place, for that is where Aram is lurking.” The King of Israel sent scouts to the place about which the man of God had spoken to him and had warned him, and he took care to avoid that place. This happened not just ones and not just twice.
The heart of the king of our Aram became perturbed over this matter. He summoned his servants and said to them, “Won't you tell me which of our people is reporting to the King of Israel?”
One of his servants said, “It is not so, my master the king! Rather, Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the King of Israel even the things that you discuss in your bedroom.”
He said, “go and see where he is, and I will send men and capture him.”
It was told to him, saying, “He is in Dothan.” He sent horses and chariots and a larger army there; they came at night and surrounded the city.
The attendant of the man of God was early to arise and he set out, when behold; and Army was surrounding the city, with horse and chariot. His attendance said to him, “Alas, my master, what shall we do?”
Elisha said, “Fear not, for we have more forces with us than they have with them!” Elisha then prayed and said, “God, please open up his eyes that he may see!” God then opened up the attendance eyes and he saw that, behold, the mountain was full of horses and the chariot of fire, all around Elisha.
The Aramaeans then descended upon him; Elisha prayed to God, and said, “Please strike this nation with blindness!” And He struck them with blindness, according to the word of Elisha.
Elisha then said to them, “This is not the right way, and this is not the right city! Follow me and I will lead you to the man whom you seek,” and he led them to Samaria.
It happened when they arrived at Samaria that Elisha said, “God, open the eyes of these people that they may see!” God opened up their eyes and they realized that they were in the midst of Samaria.
The king of Israel said to Elisha when he saw them, “Shall I strike them down? Shall I strike them down, my father?”
But he said, “Do not strike them down! Would you strike down people who might you have captured with your sword and your bow? Rather, place food and water before that. Let them eat injury and then return to their masters.”
So he prepared a large meal for them, and they ate and drank; and he sent them away and they went to their masters. And the bands of Aramaeans no longer came into the land of Israel. (II Kings 6:8–23)