1 Kings

1 Kings 20 ©

1 Ben-hadad king of Syria, not content with Ahab's submissive homage, warreth against Samaria. 13 By a prophet's direction the Syrians are smitten. 22 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. 28 A prophet declaring it beforehand to be a special judgment on them, they are again defeated with a great slaughter. 31 They entreat submissively to Ahab, who receiveth Ben-hadad kindly, and sendeth him away with a covenant of peace. 35 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 he esent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Ben-hadad,


Thy fsilver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine.


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.

m v.6.

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 Ben-hadad sent unto him, and said, The ngods odo so unto me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall psuffice for handfuls for all the people that 3follow me.


And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, qLet not him that girdeth on his rharness boast himself as he that putteth it off.


And it came to pass, when Ben-hadad heard this 4message, as he was sdrinking, he and the kings in the 5*pavilions, that he said unto his servants, 6Set yourselves in array. And they set themselves in array against the city.


¶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 Ahab said, By whom? And he said, Thus saith the LORD, Even by the 8young men of the princes of the provinces. Then he said, Who shall 9order the battle? And he answered, vThou.


Then he numbered the young men of the princes of the provinces, and they were two hundred and thirty two: and after them he numbered all the people, even all the children of Israel, being wseven thousand.


And they went out at noon. xBut Ben-hadad was drinking himself drunk in the *pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him.


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.


And he said, yWhether they be come out for peace, take them alive; or whether they be come out for war, take them alive.


So these young men of the princes of the provinces came out of the city, and the army which followed them.


And they slew zevery one his man: and the Syrians afled; and Israel pursued them: and Ben-hadad the king of Syria escaped on an horse with the horsemen.

z v.15.

And the king of Israel bwent out, and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter.


¶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.

c v.13,28.

And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, fTheir gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.


And do this thing, gTake the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their *rooms:


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 it came to pass at the return of the year, that Ben-hadad numbered the Syrians, and went up hto Aphek, 11to fight against Israel.


And the children of Israel were numbered, and 12were all present, and went against them: and the children of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians ifilled the country.


¶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.

l v.23.

And they pitched one over against the other nseven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined: and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians oan hundred thousand footmen in one day.


But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; pand there a wall fell upon twenty and seven thousand of the men that were left. And Ben-hadad fled, and came into the city, 13into an inner chamber.


¶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 a certain man of the wsons of the prophets said unto his neighbour xin the word of the LORD, ySmite me, I pray thee. And the man refused to smite him.


Then said he unto him, zBecause thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him.


Then he found another man, and said, aSmite me, I pray thee. And the man smote him, 14so that in smiting he wounded him.


So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and bdisguised himself with ashes upon his face.


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 as thy servant was busy here and there, 16he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, dSo shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it.


And he hasted, and took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets.


And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Because ethou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people.


And the king of Israel went to his house fheavy and displeased, and came to Samaria.