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Summary: We are never really aware of the secret burdens that some people carry.

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2 Kings 6:24-30 KJV And it came to pass after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria. [25] And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver. [26] And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king. [27] And he said, If the LORD do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress? [28] And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. [29] So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son. [30] And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he rent his clothes; and he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, and, behold, he had sackcloth within upon his flesh.

I. THE HISTORY OF SAMARIA

-This is one of the most horrific tales that is told in Scripture. Samaria was under siege and her citizens were literally doing everything imaginable to stave off the attacks of their enemies.

-Samaria was the capital city of the northern ten tribes commonly referred to as Israel. Jerusalem was the capital city of the southern portion which was composed of two tribes, Benjamin and Judah.

-Samaria, established by Omri, had in her past experienced some great moments.

• It was the place that the great prophet Elijah had confronted the wicked Ahab and the savage Jezebel.

• It was the place that God had blinded the Syrian soldiers when they tried to capture Elisha.

• It was the place that Namaan had gotten violently angry because Elisha refused to come out and meet him to help him get a cure for his leprosy.

-In the end, this is the place that four lepers would find the Syrian armies had fled from their camps and there was enough to sustain the city. But that is what happened in the end.

A. The Siege of Samaria

-For now, we see that Samaria has shut the gates and locked itself in. The famine in the city was of such magnitude that hunger had worked its terrible spell on them.

• The head of an unclean and forbidden beast, a donkey, sold for eighty pieces of silver.

• The dried remains of dove dung was sold for five pieces of silver to make a stew of sorts.

-Every day, King Jehoram, in his efforts to encourage the people the best way he could would walk on the walls and call out to his people to keep heart amidst their struggles.

-One day as he was walking along, he was stopped by a woman who begin to plead her cause to him. She had made a bargain with her neighbor that they would boil and eat her son and then after they had consumed him, they would then do the same thing with her son.

-But as the day drew near for the neighbor to bring her son to the cooking pot, her hunger had been appeased enough that she refused to do so, now the child has been hidden.

-Listen to the cry of Isaiah,

Isaiah 49:15 AMP . . . Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?

-A mother can never forget her own child no matter what the circumstances.

-This story would almost be too far-fetched to believe but the fact remains that it happened in Jerusalem when it was under siege. Jeremiah the prophet had prophesied it would take place there and it did.

Lamentations 4:10 KJV The hands of the pitiful women have sodden (boiled—ESV) their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.

-We are shocked at this sort of thing taking place but I have to bring this up that the not too distance past has also noted its own share of cannibalistic behavior.

B. Starvation

1. The Donner Party

The Donner Party (sometimes called the Donner–Reed Party) was a group of American pioneers who set out for California in a wagon train. Delayed by a series of mishaps, they spent the winter of 1846–47 snowbound in the Sierra Nevada. Some of the emigrants resorted to cannibalism to survive, eating those who had succumbed to starvation and sickness.

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