1 Kings 20 ©
Ben-hadad king of Syria, not content with Ahab's submissive homage, warreth against Samaria. By a prophet's direction the Syrians are smitten. According as the prophet had forewarned Ahab, the Syrians next year come against him in Aphek, in confidence of better success in the plain than on the hills. A prophet declaring it beforehand to be a special judgment on them, they are again defeated with a great slaughter. They entreat submissively to Ahab, who receiveth Ben-hadad kindly, and sendeth him away with a covenant of peace. A prophet, having first by a parable brought Ahab to condemn himself, denounceth God's judgment against him for his unseasonable lenience.
AND aBen-hadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were bthirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and cbesieged dSamaria, and warred against it.
And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, gI am thine, and all that I have.
And the messengers came again, and said, Thus speaketh Ben-hadad, saying, Although I have sent unto thee, saying, hThou shalt deliver me thy silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children;
Yet I will send my servants unto thee to morrow about this time, and they shall search thine house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, that whatsoever is 1pleasant in thine eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away.
Then ithe king of Israel called jall the elders of the land, and said, kMark, I pray you, and see how this man lseeketh mischief: for he sent unto me for my wives, and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold; and 2I denied him not.
And all the elders and all the people said unto him, mHearken not unto him, nor consent.
Wherefore he said unto the messengers of Ben-hadad, Tell my lord the king, All that thou didst send for to thy servant at the first I will do: but this thing I may not do. And the messengers departed, and brought him word again.
¶And, tbehold, there 7came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and uthou shalt know that I am the LORD.
And the young men of the princes of the provinces went out first; and Ben-hadad sent out, and they told him, saying, There are men come out of Samaria.
So these young men of the princes of the provinces came out of the city, and the army which followed them.
¶And the cprophet came to the king of Israel, and said unto him, Go, dstrengthen thyself, and mark, and see what thou doest: for eat the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee.
And number thee an army, like the army 10that thou hast lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot: and we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. And he hearkened unto their voice, and did so.
¶And there came ja man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, kBecause the Syrians have said, lThe LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, mtherefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
¶And his servants said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, I pray thee, qput sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: *peradventure he will save thy life.
So they girded rsackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Thy sservant Ben-hadad saith, I pray thee, let me live. And he said, Is he yet alive? he is my brother.
Now the men did diligently observe whether any thing would come from him, and did hastily catch it: and they said, Thy brother Ben-hadad. Then he said, Go ye, bring him. Then Ben-hadad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot.
And Ben-hadad said unto him, tThe cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in uDamascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said Ahab, I will send thee away with this covenant. So vhe made a covenant with him, and sent him away.
And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he csaid, Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt 15pay a talent of silver.
And he hasted, and took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets.