1And Ben-hadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it.
2And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus says Ben-hadad,
3Your silver and your gold are mine; your wives also and your children, even the fairest, are mine.
4And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to your saying, I am yours, and all that I have.
5And the messengers came again, and said, Thus speaks Ben-hadad, saying, Although I have sent unto you, saying, You shall deliver me your silver, and your gold, and your wives, and your children;
6Yet I will send my servants unto you tomorrow about this time, and they shall search your house, and the houses of your servants; and it shall be, that whatsoever is pleasant in your eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away.
7Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, Mark, I pray you, and see how this man seeks trouble: for he sent unto me for my wives, and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold; and I denied him not.
8And all the elders and all the people said unto him, Hearken not unto him, nor consent.
9Therefore he said unto the messengers of Ben-hadad, Tell my lord the king, All that you did send for to your servant at the first I will do: but this thing I will not do. And the messengers departed, and brought him word again.
10And Ben-hadad sent unto him, and said, The gods do so unto me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for a handful for each of the people that follow me.
11And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Let not him that girds on his armor boast himself as he that puts it off.
12And it came to pass, when Ben-hadad heard this message, as he was drinking, he and the kings in the pavilions, that he said unto his servants, Set yourselves in array. And they set themselves in array against the city.
13And, behold, there came a prophet unto 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.
14And Ahab said, By whom? And he said,
Thus says the LORD, Even by the young men of the princes of the provinces.
Then he said, Who shall order the battle? And he answered, You.
15Then 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 seven thousand.
16And they went out at noon. But Ben-hadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him.
17And 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.
18And he said, If they be come out for peace, take them alive; or if they be come out for war, take them alive.
19So these young men of the princes of the provinces came out of the city, and the army which followed them.
20And they slew every one his man: and the Syrians fled; and Israel pursued them: and Ben-hadad the king of Syria escaped on a horse with the horsemen.
21And the king of Israel went out, and struck the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter.
22And the prophet came to the king of Israel, and said unto him, Go, strengthen yourself, and consider, and see what you should do: for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against you.
23And the servants of the king of Syria said unto 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 shall be stronger than they.
24And do this thing, Take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their places:
25And number you 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 shall be stronger than they. And he hearkened unto their voice, and did so.
26And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Ben-hadad numbered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel.
27And the children of Israel were numbered, and were all present, and went against them: and the children of Israel encamped before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country.
28And there came a man of God, and spoke unto 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 will I deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD.
29And they encamped one over against the other seven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined: and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians a hundred thousand footmen in one day.
30But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and there a wall fell upon twenty and seven thousand of the men that were left. And Ben-hadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber.
31And 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 you, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: perhaps he will save your life.
32So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Your servant Ben-hadad says, I pray you, let me live. And he said, Is he yet alive? he is my brother.
33Now the men did diligently observe whether any sign of mercy would come from him, and did quickly catch it: and they said, Your brother Ben-hadad. Then he said, Go, bring him. Then Ben-hadad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot.
34And Ben-hadad said unto him, The cities, which my father took from your father, I will restore; and you shall make streets for yourself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said Ahab, I will send you away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.
35And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbor by the word of the LORD, Smite me, I pray you. And the man refused to smite him.
36Then said he unto him, Because you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as you are departed from me, a lion shall slay you. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him.
37Then he found another man, and said, Smite me, I pray you. And the man struck him, so that in smiting he wounded him.
38So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with ashes upon his face.
39And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he said, Your 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 your life be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver.
40And as your servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So shall your judgment be; you have decided it.
41And he hurried, and took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets.
42And he said unto him, Thus says the LORD,
Because you have let go out of your hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people.
43And the king of Israel went to his house sullen and displeased, and came to Samaria.
Commentaries for 1 Kings 20:0