|1 Kings 20 |
1 Now Benhadad, the king of Syria, gathered all his army together; there were thirty two kings with their horses and chariots with him. And he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it.
2 Then he sent messengers into the city to Ahab, king of Israel, and said to him, "Thus says Benhadad,
3 'Your silver and your gold are mine; your fairest wives and your children are also mine."
4 And the king of Israel answered and said, "My lord, O king, just as you say, I and all that I have are yours."
5 And the messengers came again and said, "Thus says Benhadad, Although I have sent to you, saying, 'You shall deliver to me your silver, your gold, your wives, and your children;'
6 Tomorrow at about this time, I will send my servants to search your palace and the houses of your servants; and whatever is pleasant in your eyes they will seize and carry away."
7 Then the king of Israel called together all the elders of the land and said, "Notice and see how this man seeks trouble. He sent to me for my wives, my children, my silver, and my gold, and I did not refuse him."
8 And all the elders and all the people said to him, "Do not listen to him or consent."
9 Therefore he said to the messengers of Benhadad, "Tell my lord the king, 'All that you first demanded from your servant I will do, but this thing I can not do.'" So the messengers departed and brought him word.
10 Then Benhadad sent back to him and said, "May the gods do so to me, and more also, if enough dust is left of Samaria to give each of the people who follow me a handful."
11 And the king of Israel answered and said, "Tell him, 'Let not the one who puts on his armor boast like the one who takes it off.'"
12 When Benhadad heard this message as he and the kings were drinking in the tents, he said to his servants, "Set yourselves in array to attack." And they set themselves in array against the city.
13 And behold, there came a prophet to Ahab king of Israel, saying, "Thus says the LORD, 'Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will deliver it into your hand this day, and you shall know that I am the LORD.'"
14 And Ahab said, "By whom?" And the prophet said, "Thus says the LORD, 'By the young officers of the rulers of the provinces.'" Then Ahab asked, "Who will order the battle?" And he answered, "You."
15 Then Ahab mustered the young officers of the rulers of the provinces, and there were two hundred thirty two of them. And after them he mustered all the people of the children of Israel, who numbered seven thousand.
16 So they went out at noon. But Benhadad and the thirty two kings who were helping him were drinking themselves drunk in the tents.
17 The young officers of the rulers of the provinces went out first; and Benhadad sent out a patrol, and they told him, "There are men coming out of Samaria."
18 And he said, "Whether they come out for peace or for war, take them alive."
19 So these young officers of the rulers of the provinces went out of the city, and the army followed them.
20 And each one killed his opponent; so the Syrians fled, and Israel pursued them. But Benhadad, the king of Syria, escaped on a horse with the horsemen.
21 Then the king of Israel went out and struck the horses and chariots and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter.
22 And the prophet came to the king of Israel and said to him, "Go, strengthen yourself and give attention to what you should do, for at the first of the year the king of Syria will return against you."
23 Then the servants of the king of Syria said to him, "Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we. But let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we will be stronger than they.
24 So do this thing: Remove the kings from their position, and put captains in their place.
25 And muster yourself an army like the army that you have lost, horse for horse and chariot for chariot. And we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we will be stronger than they." And he heeded their voice and did so.
26 So in the spring of the year, Benhadad mustered the Syrians and went up to Aphek to fight against Israel.
27 And the children of Israel were mustered and given provisions, and went against them. The children of Israel camped before them like two small flocks of kids, but the Syrians filled the country.
28 Then a man of God came and spoke to the king of Israel and said, "Thus says the LORD: Because the Syrians have said, 'The LORD is God of the hills but he is not God of the valleys,' therefore I will deliver all this great multitude into your hands, and you shall know that I am the LORD.'"
29 So they camped opposite one another for seven days. And on the seventh day the battle was joined; and the children of Israel slew a hundred thousand footmen of the Syrians in one day.
30 And the rest fled to the city of Aphek, and the wall fell upon twenty seven thousand of the men who were left. But Benhadad fled into the city, into an inner chamber.
31 And his servants said to him, "Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings. Let us, I pray you, put sackcloth on our loins and ropes upon our necks, and go out to the king of Israel; perhaps he will spare your life."
32 So they girded sackcloth on their loins and put ropes on their necks, and came to the king of Israel and said, "Your servant Benhadad says, 'I pray you, let me live.'" And Ahab said, "Is he still alive? He is my brother."
33 Now the men took this as a sign and they hastily grasped at it and said, "Yes, your brother Benhadad." Then Ahab said, "Go and bring him." So Benhadad came out to him, and Ahab had him come up into his chariot.
34 And Benhadad said to him, "I will restore the cities that my father took from your father, and you may make markets for yourself in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria." Then Ahab said, "I will set you free on the basis of this treaty." So he made a treaty with him and sent him away.
35 Now a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his neighbor by the word of the LORD, "Strike me, I pray you." But the man refused to strike him.
36 Then said he to him, "Because you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as you leave me, a lion shall slay you." And as soon as he had left him, a lion found him and killed him.
37 Then the prophet found another man and said, "Strike me, I pray you." And the man struck him and wounded him.
38 So the prophet departed and waited for the king by the road, and disguised himself with ashes upon his face.
39 And as the king passed by, he cried out to the king and said, "Your servant went out into the midst of the battle, and behold, a man turned aside and brought a man to me and said, 'Guard this man. If for any reason he is missing, then your life shall be required for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver.'
40 But while your servant was busy here and there, the man disappeared." And the king of Israel said to him, "So shall your verdict be; you yourself have decided it."
41 Then the prophet quickly took the ashes from his face and the king of Israel recognized that he was one of the prophets.
42 And he said to the king, "Thus says the LORD, 'Because you have let go out of your hand the man whom I had appointed to utter destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people.'"
43 So the king of Israel went to his palace in Samaria sullen and resentful.
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