Now there was one Obed, who was a prophet at that time in Samaria
;he met the army before the city walls, and with a loud voice told them
that they had gotten the victory not by their own strength, but by reason
of the anger God had against king Ahaz. And he complained that they were
not satisfied with the good success they had had against him, but were
so bold as to make captives out of their kinsmen the tribes of Judah and
Benjamin. He also gave them counsel to let them go home without doing them
any harm, for that if they did not obey God herein, they should be punished.
So the people of Israel came together to their assembly, and considered
of these matters, when a man whose name was Berechiah, and who was one
of chief reputation in the government, stood up, and the others with him,
and said, "We will not suffer the citizens to bring these prisoners
into the city, lest we be all destroyed by God; we have sins enough of
our own that we have committed against him, as the prophets assure us;
nor ought we therefore to introduce the practice of new crimes." When
the soldiers heard that, they permitted them to do what they thought best.
So the forenamed men took the captives, and let them go, and took care
of them, and gave them provisions, and sent them to their own country,
without doing them any harm. However, these four went along with them,
and conducted them as far as Jericho, which is not far from Jerusalem,
and returned to Samaria.