But right after that it says that Israel was laid siege by the king of Aram. what's the idea here?

Does it mean that those particular troops that were dealt with nicely by the king of Israel and Elisha.

כב וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא תַכֶּה הַאֲשֶׁר שָׁבִיתָ בְּחַרְבְּךָ וּבְקַשְׁתְּךָ אַתָּה מַכֶּה שִׂים לֶחֶם וָמַיִם לִפְנֵיהֶם וְיֹאכְלוּ וְיִשְׁתּוּ וְיֵלְכוּ אֶל אֲדֹנֵיהֶם:

And he said, "You shall not slay. Do you slay those you have captured with your sword and with your bow? Set food and water for them and let them eat and drink and go to their masters.

כג וַיִּכְרֶה לָהֶם כֵּרָה גְדוֹלָה, וַיֹּאכְלוּ וַיִּשְׁתּוּ, וַיְשַׁלְּחֵם, וַיֵּלְכוּ אֶל-אֲדֹנֵיהֶם; וְלֹא-יָסְפוּ עוֹד גְּדוּדֵי אֲרָם, לָבוֹא בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל.

23 And he prepared for them a lavish feast, and they ate and drank, and he sent them away and they went to their masters; and Aramean troops no longer continued to invade the land of Israel.

כד וַיְהִי אַחֲרֵי כֵן וַיִּקְבֹּץ בֶּן הֲדַד מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם אֶת כָּל מַחֲנֵהוּ וַיַּעַל וַיָּצַר עַל שֹׁמְרוֹן:

24 And it was after this, that Ben-Hadad the king of Aram, mustered all his camp; and he went up and besieged Samaria.

2 Answers 2


The commentary of the Ralbag, says that the smaller bands of Aramean troops no longer risked incursions into the land at all points and behind enemy lines. Rather, they turned to formal battle and siege exclusively.


The Radak in his peirush says that the word עוד does not brings a sense of no more as in "forever" but "for some time", as we deduce from some pesukim. The Torah itself use this meaning in Bereishis 46:29:

כט וַיֶּאְסֹר יוֹסֵף מֶרְכַּבְתּוֹ, וַיַּעַל לִקְרַאת-יִשְׂרָאֵל אָבִיו גֹּשְׁנָה; וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו, וַיִּפֹּל עַל-צַוָּארָיו, וַיֵּבְךְּ עַל-צַוָּארָיו, עוֹד.

And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen; and he presented himself unto him, and fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.

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