3 There were four men, lepers, outside the gate. They said to one another, “Why should we sit here waiting for death?
v’-ar-ba-AH a-na-SHEEM ha-YU m’-tzo-ra-EEM PE-takh ha-SHA-ar va-yo-m’-RU EESH el ray-AY-hu MAH a-NAKH-nu yo-sh’-VEEM POH ad MAT-nu
ג וְאַרְבָּעָה אֲנָשִׁים הָיוּ מְצֹרָעִים פֶּתַח הַשָּׁעַר וַיֹּאמְרוּ אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ מָה אֲנַחְנוּ יֹשְׁבִים פֹּה עַד־מָתְנוּ׃
7:3 There were four men, lepers, outside the gate.
One of the most righteous and pious Jerusalemites of the 20th century, Rabbi Aryeh Levin (1885-1969), was beloved for his visits to the sick. Rabbi Levin would go to the hospitals of Jerusalem every Friday and speak with the nurses to find out which patients received no visitors. At the beds of these forgotten souls whom no relatives came to see, he would sit for hours, caressing each one’s hand and offering words of encouragement and cheer. He was also a frequent visitor at hospitals for lepers, including a hospital in Bethlehem where most of the patients were Arabs. Rabbi Levin began this practice after he had found a woman weeping bitterly by the Western Wall. He asked her, “what makes you cry so intensely?” She explained that her child had no cure, and was locked up in the leper hospital. Rabbi Levin immediately decided to visit the young child, and when he arrived, all the patients burst into tears. It had been years since they had the privilege of seeing a visitor from the outside world.Comment
4 If we decide to go into the town, what with the famine in the town, we shall die there; and if we just sit here, still we die. Come, let us desert to the Aramean camp. If they let us live, we shall live; and if they put us to death, we shall but die.”
ד אִם־אָמַרְנוּ נָבוֹא הָעִיר וְהָרָעָב בָּעִיר וָמַתְנוּ שָׁם וְאִם־יָשַׁבְנוּ פֹה וָמָתְנוּ וְעַתָּה לְכוּ וְנִפְּלָה אֶל־מַחֲנֵה אֲרָם אִם־יְחַיֻּנוּ נִחְיֶה וְאִם־יְמִיתֻנוּ וָמָתְנוּ׃
5 They set out at twilight for the Aramean camp; but when they came to the edge of the Aramean camp, there was no one there.
6 For Hashem had caused the Aramean camp to hear a sound of chariots, a sound of horses—the din of a huge army. They said to one another, “The king of Yisrael must have hired the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Mizraim to attack us!”
7 And they fled headlong in the twilight, abandoning their tents and horses and asses—the [entire] camp just as it was—as they fled for their lives.
va-ya-ku-MU va-ya-NU-su va-NE-shef va-ya-az-VU et o-ha-lay-HEM v’-ET su-say-HEM v’-et kha-MO-ray-HEM ha-ma-kha-NEH ka-a-SHER HEE va-ya-NU-su el naf-SHAM
ז וַיָּקוּמוּ וַיָּנוּסוּ בַנֶּשֶׁף וַיַּעַזְבוּ אֶת־אָהֳלֵיהֶם וְאֶת־סוּסֵיהֶם וְאֶת־חֲמֹרֵיהֶם הַמַּחֲנֶה כַּאֲשֶׁר־הִיא וַיָּנֻסוּ אֶל־נַפְשָׁם׃
7:7 And they fled headlong in the twilight
The enemies of Israel miraculously flee, abandoning their entire camp. Similarly, there have been times in the State of Israel’s history where the enemy fled before engaging the Israel Defense Forces. A famous example occurred during the Six Day War, when IDF Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren and his driver single-handedly captured the holy city of Chevron. When they drove into Chevron, mistakenly thinking IDF soldiers were already there, they were greeted with a city full of white flags and empty of soldiers. Hashem’s miracles are always in evidence among the soldiers of Israel.1 comment
8 When those lepers came to the edge of the camp, they went into one of the tents and ate and drank; then they carried off silver and gold and clothing from there and buried it. They came back and went into another tent, and they carried off what was there and buried it.
ח וַיָּבֹאוּ הַמְצֹרָעִים הָאֵלֶּה עַד־קְצֵה הַמַּחֲנֶה וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל־אֹהֶל אֶחָד וַיֹּאכְלוּ וַיִּשְׁתּוּ וַיִּשְׂאוּ מִשָּׁם כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב וּבְגָדִים וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיַּטְמִנוּ וַיָּשֻׁבוּ וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל־אֹהֶל אַחֵר וַיִּשְׂאוּ מִשָּׁם וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיַּטְמִנוּ׃
9 Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This is a day of good news, and we are keeping silent! If we wait until the light of morning, we shall incur guilt. Come, let us go and inform the king’s palace.”
ט וַיֹּאמְרוּ אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ לֹא־כֵן אֲנַחְנוּ עֹשִׂים הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה יוֹם־בְּשֹׂרָה הוּא וַאֲנַחְנוּ מַחְשִׁים וְחִכִּינוּ עַד־אוֹר הַבֹּקֶר וּמְצָאָנוּ עָווֹן וְעַתָּה לְכוּ וְנָבֹאָה וְנַגִּידָה בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ׃
10 They went and called out to the gatekeepers of the city and told them, “We have been to the Aramean camp. There is not a soul there, nor any human sound; but the horses are tethered and the asses are tethered and the tents are undisturbed.”
11 The gatekeepers called out, and the news was passed on into the king’s palace.
יא וַיִּקְרָא הַשֹּׁעֲרִים וַיַּגִּידוּ בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ פְּנִימָה׃
12 The king rose in the night and said to his courtiers, “I will tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know that we are starving, so they have gone out of camp and hidden in the fields, thinking: When they come out of the town, we will take them alive and get into the town.”
יב וַיָּקָם הַמֶּלֶךְ לַיְלָה וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־עֲבָדָיו אַגִּידָה־נָּא לָכֶם אֵת אֲשֶׁר־עָשׂוּ לָנוּ אֲרָם יָדְעוּ כִּי־רְעֵבִים אֲנַחְנוּ וַיֵּצְאוּ מִן־הַמַּחֲנֶה לְהֵחָבֵה בהשדה [בַשָּׂדֶה] לֵאמֹר כִּי־יֵצְאוּ מִן־הָעִיר וְנִתְפְּשֵׂם חַיִּים וְאֶל־הָעִיר נָבֹא׃
13 But one of the courtiers spoke up, “Let a few of the remaining horses that are still here be taken—they are like those that are left here of the whole multitude of Yisrael, out of the whole multitude of Yisrael that have perished—and let us send and find out.”
14 They took two teams of horses and the king sent them after the Aramean army, saying, “Go and find out.”
יד וַיִּקְחוּ שְׁנֵי רֶכֶב סוּסִים וַיִּשְׁלַח הַמֶּלֶךְ אַחֲרֵי מַחֲנֵה־אֲרָם לֵאמֹר לְכוּ וּרְאוּ׃
15 They followed them as far as the Yarden, and found the entire road full of clothing and gear which the Arameans had thrown away in their haste; and the messengers returned and told the king.
16 The people then went out and plundered the Aramean camp. So a se’ah of choice flour sold for a shekel, and two se’eem of barley for a shekel—as Hashem had spoken.
טז וַיֵּצֵא הָעָם וַיָּבֹזּוּ אֵת מַחֲנֵה אֲרָם וַיְהִי סְאָה־סֹלֶת בְּשֶׁקֶל וְסָאתַיִם שְׂעֹרִים בְּשֶׁקֶל כִּדְבַר יְהֹוָה׃
17 Now the king had put the aide on whose arm he leaned in charge of the gate; and he was trampled to death in the gate by the people—just as the man of Hashem had spoken, as he had spoken when the king came down to him.
יז וְהַמֶּלֶךְ הִפְקִיד אֶת־הַשָּׁלִישׁ אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁעָן עַל־יָדוֹ עַל־הַשַּׁעַר וַיִּרְמְסֻהוּ הָעָם בַּשַּׁעַר וַיָּמֹת כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר בְּרֶדֶת הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵלָיו׃
18 For when the man of Hashem said to the king, “This time tomorrow two se’eem of barley shall sell at the gate of Shomron for a shekel, and a se’ah of choice flour for a shekel,”
יח וַיְהִי כְּדַבֵּר אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ לֵאמֹר סָאתַיִם שְׂעֹרִים בְּשֶׁקֶל וּסְאָה־סֹלֶת בְּשֶׁקֶל יִהְיֶה כָּעֵת מָחָר בְּשַׁעַר שֹׁמְרוֹן׃
19 the aide answered the man of Hashem and said, “Even if Hashem made windows in the sky, could this come to pass?” And he retorted, “You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it.”
יט וַיַּעַן הַשָּׁלִישׁ אֶת־אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים וַיֹּאמַר וְהִנֵּה יְהֹוָה עֹשֶׂה אֲרֻבּוֹת בַּשָּׁמַיִם הֲיִהְיֶה כַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַיֹּאמֶר הִנְּךָ רֹאֶה בְּעֵינֶיךָ וּמִשָּׁם לֹא תֹאכֵל׃
20 That is exactly what happened to him: The people trampled him to death in the gate.
כ וַיְהִי־לוֹ כֵּן וַיִּרְמְסוּ אֹתוֹ הָעָם בַּשַּׁעַר וַיָּמֹת׃