1 Kings Chapter 20
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1 And Benhadad 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 made war against it.
Last updated: Jan, 2013
1 And Benhadad 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.
2 And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Benhadad,
3 Thy silver and thy gold [is] mine; thy wives also and thy children, [even] the goodliest, [are] mine.
4 And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I [am] thine, and all that I have.
5 And the messengers came again, and said, Thus speaketh Benhadad, saying, Although I have sent unto thee, saying, Thou shalt deliver me thy silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children;
6 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 pleasant in thine eyes, they shall put [it] in their hand, and take [it] away.
7 Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, Mark, I pray you, and see how this [man] seeketh mischief: 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.
8 And all the elders and all the people said unto him, Hearken not [unto him], nor consent.
9 Wherefore he said unto the messengers of Benhadad, 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.
10 And Benhadad sent unto him, and said, The gods do so unto me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people that follow me.
11 And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell [him], Let not him that girdeth on [his harness] boast himself as he that putteth it off.
12 And it came to pass, when [Benhadad] 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.
13 And, behold, there came 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 thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD.
14 And Ahab said, By whom? And he said, Thus saith the LORD, [Even] by the young men of the princes of the provinces. Then he said, Who shall order the battle? And he answered, Thou.
15 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] seven thousand.
16 And they went out at noon. But Benhadad [was] drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him.
17 And the young men of the princes of the provinces went out first; and Benhadad sent out, and they told him, saying, There are men come out of Samaria.
18 And he said, Whether they be come out for peace, take them alive; or whether they be come out for war, take them alive.
19 So these young men of the princes of the provinces came out of the city, and the army which followed them.
20 And they slew every one his man: and the Syrians fled; and Israel pursued them: and Benhadad the king of Syria escaped on an horse with the horsemen.
21 And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter.
22 And the prophet came to the king of Israel, and said unto him, Go, strengthen thyself, and mark, and see what thou doest: for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee.
23 And 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.
24 And do this thing, Take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their rooms:
25 And number thee an army, like the army that 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.
26 And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Benhadad numbered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel.
27 And the children of Israel were numbered, and were all present, and went against them: and the children of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country.
28 And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith 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 thine hand, and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.
29 And they pitched 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 an hundred thousand footmen in one day.
30 But 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 Benhadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber.
31 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, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: peradventure he will save thy life.
32 So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and [put] ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Thy servant Benhadad saith, I pray thee, let me live. And he said, [Is] he yet alive? he [is] my brother.
33 Now the men did diligently observe whether [any thing would come] from him, and did hastily catch [it]: and they said, Thy brother Benhadad. Then he said, Go ye, bring him. Then Benhadad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot.
34 And [Benhadad] said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then [said Ahab], I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.
35 And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour in the word of the LORD, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man refused to smite him.
36 Then said he unto him, Because 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.
37 Then he found another man, and said, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man smote him, so that in smiting he wounded [him].
38 So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with ashes upon his face.
39 And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he said, 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 pay a talent of silver.
40 And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So [shall] thy judgment [be]; thyself hast decided [it].
41 And he hasted, and took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he [was] of the prophets.
42 And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Because thou 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.
43 And the king of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased, and came to Samaria.
King James Version
1 And Ben-Hadad king of Aram hath gathered all his force, and thirty and two kings [are] with him, and horse and chariot, and he goeth up and layeth siege against Samaria, and fighteth with it,
2 and sendeth messengers unto Ahab king of Israel, to the city,
3 and saith to him, 'Thus said Ben-Hadad, 'Thy silver and thy gold are mine, and thy wives and thy sons -- the best -- are mine.'
4 And the king of Israel answereth and saith, 'According to thy word, my lord, O king: I [am] thine, and all that I have.'
5 And the messengers turn back and say, 'Thus spake Ben-Hadad, saying, Surely I sent unto thee, saying, Thy silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy sons, to me thou dost give;
6 for if, at this time to-morrow, I send my servants unto thee then they have searched thy house, and the houses of thy servants, and it hath been, every desirable thing of thine eyes they place in their hand, and have taken away.'
7 And the king of Israel calleth to all the elders of the land, and saith, 'Know, I pray you, and see that evil this [one] is seeking, for he sent unto me for my wives, and for my sons, and for my silver, and for my gold, and I withheld not from him.'
8 And all the elders and all the people say unto him, 'Do not hearken, nor consent.'
9 And he saith to the messengers of Ben-Hadad, 'Say to my lord the king, All that thou didst send for unto thy servant at the first I do, and this thing I am not able to do;' and the messengers go and take him back word.
10 And Ben-Hadad sendeth unto him, and saith, 'Thus do the gods to me, and thus do they add, if the dust of Samaria suffice for handfuls for all the people who [are] at my feet.'
11 And the king of Israel answereth and saith, 'Speak ye: let not him who is girding on boast himself as him who is loosing [his armour].'
12 And it cometh to pass at the hearing of this word -- and he is drinking, he and the kings, in the booths -- that he saith unto his servants, 'Set yourselves;' and they set themselves against the city.
13 And lo, a certain prophet hath come nigh unto Ahab king of Israel, and saith, 'Thus said Jehovah, 'Hast thou seen all this great multitude? lo, I am giving it into thy hand to-day, and thou hast known that I [am] Jehovah.'
14 And Ahab saith, 'By whom?' and he saith, 'Thus said Jehovah, By the young men of the heads of the provinces;' and he saith, 'Who doth direct the battle?' and he saith, 'Thou.'
15 And he inspecteth the young men of the heads of the provinces, and they are two hundred, two and thirty, and after them he hath inspecteth the whole of the people, all the sons of Israel, seven thousand,
16 and they go out at noon, and Ben-Hadad is drinking -- drunk in the booths, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings, helping him.
17 And the young men of the heads of the provinces go out at the first, and Ben-Hadad sendeth, and they declare to him, saying, 'Men have come out of Samaria.'
18 And he saith, 'If for peace they have come out -- catch them alive; and if for battle they have come out -- alive catch them.'
19 And these have gone out of the city -- the young men of the heads of the provinces -- and the force that [is] after them,
20 and smite each his man, and Aram fleeth, and Israel pursueth them, and Ben-Hadad king of Aram escapeth on a horse, and the horsemen;
21 and the king of Israel goeth out, and smiteth the horses, and the charioteers, and hath smitten among the Aramaeans a great smiting.
22 And the prophet cometh nigh unto the king of Israel, and saith to him, 'Go, strengthen thyself, and know and see that which thou dost, for at the turn of the year the king of Aram is coming up against thee.'
23 And the servants of the king of Aram said unto him, 'Gods of hills [are] their gods, therefore they were stronger than we; and yet, we fight with them in the plain -- are we not stronger than they?
24 'And this thing do thou: turn aside the kings each out of his place, and set captains in their stead;
25 and thou, number to thee a force as the force that is fallen from thee, and horse for horse, and chariot for chariot, and we fight with them in the plain; are we not stronger than they?' and he hearkeneth to their voice, and doth so.
26 And it cometh to pass at the turn of the year, that Ben-Hadad inspecteth the Aramaeans, and goeth up to Aphek, to battle with Israel,
27 and the sons of Israel have been inspected, and supported, and go to meet them, and the sons of Israel encamp before them, like two flocks of goats, and the Aramaeans have filled the land.
28 And there cometh nigh a man of God, and speaketh unto the king of Israel, and saith, 'Thus said Jehovah, Because that the Aramaeans have said, God of hills [is] Jehovah, and He [is] not God of valleys -- I have given the whole of this great multitude into thy hand, and ye have known that I [am] Jehovah.'
29 And they encamp one over-against another seven days, and it cometh to pass on the seventh day, that the battle draweth near, and the sons of Israel smite Aram -- a hundred thousand footmen in one day.
30 And those left flee to Aphek, unto the city, and the wall falleth on twenty and seven chief men who are left, and Ben-Hadad hath fled, and cometh in unto the city, into the innermost part.
31 And his servants say unto him, 'Lo, we pray thee, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel -- that they are kind kings; let us put, we pray thee, sackcloth on our loins, and ropes on our heads, and we go out unto the king of Israel; it may be he doth keep thee alive.'
32 And they gird sackcloth on their loins, and ropes [are] on their heads, and they come in unto the king of Israel, and say, 'Thy servant Ben-Hadad hath said, Let me live, I pray thee;' and he saith, 'Is he yet alive? he [is] my brother.'
33 And the men observe diligently, and hasten, and catch it from him, and say, 'Thy brother Ben-Hadad;' and he saith, 'Go ye in, bring him;' and Ben-Hadad cometh out unto him, and he causeth him to come up on the chariot.
34 And he saith unto him, 'The cities that my father took from thy father, I give back, and streets thou dost make for thee in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria;' -- 'and I, with a covenant, send thee away;' and he maketh with him a covenant, and sendeth him away.
35 And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour by the word of Jehovah, 'Smite me, I pray thee;' and the man refuseth to smite him,
36 and he saith to him, 'Because that thou hast not hearkened to the voice of Jehovah, lo, thou art going from me, and the lion hath smitten thee;' and he goeth from him, and the lion findeth him, and smiteth him.
37 And he findeth another man, and saith, 'Smite me, I pray thee;' and the man smiteth him, smiting and wounding,
38 and the prophet goeth and standeth for the king on the way, and disguiseth himself with ashes on his eyes.
39 And it cometh to pass -- the king is passing by -- that he hath cried unto the king, and saith, 'Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle, and lo, a man hath turned aside and bringeth in unto me a man, and saith, Keep this man; if he be at all missing, then hath thy life been for his life, or a talent of silver thou dost weigh out;
40 and it cometh to pass, thy servant is working hither and thither, and he is not!' and the king of Israel saith unto him, Right [is] thy judgment; thou hast determined [it].'
41 And he hasteth and turneth aside the ashes from off his eyes, and the king of Israel discerneth him, that he [is] of the prophets,
42 and he saith unto him, 'Thus said Jehovah, Because thou hast sent away the man I devoted, out of [thy] hand, even thy life hath been for his life, and thy people for his people;'
43 and the king of Israel goeth unto his house, sulky and wroth, and cometh in to Samaria.