1 Kings 20
Ben-hadad, not content with Ahab's homage, besiegeth Samaria.
1 Kings 20:1 And Benhadad the King of Syria gathered all his hoste together, and [there were] thirtie and two kings with him, and horses, and charets: and hee went vp and besieged Samaria, and warred against it. 1 Kings 20:2 And hee sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel, into the city, and saide vnto him, Thus saith Benhadad, 1 Kings 20:3 Thy siluer and thy gold is mine, thy wiues also, and thy children, [euen] the goodliest, are mine. 1 Kings 20:4 And the king of Israel answered, and said, My lord O king, according to thy saying, I [am] thine, and all that I haue. 1 Kings 20:5 And the messengers came againe, and saide, Thus speaketh Benhadad, saying, Although I haue sent vnto thee, saying, Thou shalt deliuer me thy siluer, and thy gold, and thy wiues, and thy children: 1 Kings 20:6 Yet I will send my seruants vnto thee to morrow about this time, and they shall search thine house, and the houses of thy seruants; and it shall be, that whatsoeuer is pleasant in thine eies, they shall put [it] in their hand, and take [it] away. 1 Kings 20:7 Then the king of Israel called all the Elders of the land, and saide; Marke, I pray you, and see how this [man] seeketh mischiefe: for hee sent vnto me for my wiues, and for my children, and for my siluer, and for my gold, and I denied him not. 1 Kings 20:8 And all the Elders, and all the people said vnto him; Hearken not [vnto him], nor consent. 1 Kings 20:9 Wherefore hee said vnto the messengers of Benhadad, Tell my lord the king, All that thou diddest send for to thy seruant at the first, I will doe: but this thing I may not doe. And the messengers departed, and brought him word againe. 1 Kings 20:10 And Benhadad sent vnto him, and said, The gods doe so vnto me and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people that follow me. 1 Kings 20:11 And the king of Israel answered, and said, Tell [him], Let not him that girdeth on [his harnesse], boast himselfe, as he that putteth it off. 1 Kings 20:12 And it came to passe, when [Benhadad] heard this message (as hee was drinking, he and the kings in the pauilions) that hee said vnto his seruants, Set [yourselues in aray]. And they set [themselues in aray] against the citie.
By the direction of a prophet, the Syrians are slain.
1 Kings 20:13 And behold, there came a Prophet vnto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou seene all this great multitude? behold, I will deliuer it into thine hand this day, and thou shalt knowe that I am the LORD. 1 Kings 20:14 And Ahab saide, By whom? and he saide, Thus saith the LORD, [Euen] by the young men of the Princes of the prouinces: Then he said, Who shall order the battell? And hee answered, Thou. 1 Kings 20:15 Then he numbred the young men of the Princes of the prouinces, and they were two hundred and thirty two: and after them hee numbred all the people, [euen] all the children of Israel, [being] seuen thousand. 1 Kings 20:16 And they went out at noone: But Benhadad was drinking himselfe drunke in the pauilions, hee and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him. 1 Kings 20:17 And the young men of the Princes of the Prouinces went out first, and Benhadad sent out, and they told him, saying, There are men come out of Samaria. 1 Kings 20:18 And he said, Whether they be come out for peace, take them aliue: or whether they be come out for warre, take them aliue. 1 Kings 20:19 So these yong men of the princes of the prouinces, came out of the citie, and the armie which followed them: 1 Kings 20:20 And they slew euery one his man: and the Syrians fled, and Israel pursued them: and Benhadad the king of Syria escaped on an horse, with the horsemen. 1 Kings 20:21 And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and charets, and slewe the Syrians with a great slaughter.
As the prophet forewarned Ahab, the Syrians, trusting in the valleys, come against him in Aphek.
1 Kings 20:22 And the Prophet came to the king of Israel, and said vnto him, Goe, strengthen thy selfe, and marke and see what thou doest: for at the returne of the yeere, the king of Syria will come vp against thee. 1 Kings 20:23 And the seruants of the King of Syria said vnto him, Their gods [are] gods of the hilles, therefore they were stronger then wee: but let vs fight against them in the plaine, and surely we shall be stronger then they. 1 Kings 20:24 And doe this thing, Take the kings away, euery man out of his place, and put captaines in their roumes. 1 Kings 20:25 And number thee an armie, like the armie that thou hast lost, horse for horse, and charet for charet: and wee will fight against them in the plaine, [and] surely wee shall be stronger then they. And hee hearkened vnto their voice, and did so. 1 Kings 20:26 And it came to passe at the returne of the yeere, that Benhadad numbred the Syrians, and went vp to Aphek, to fight against Israel. 1 Kings 20:27 And the children of Israel were numbred, and were all present, and went against them: and the children of Israel pitched before them, like two little flockes of kids: but the Syrians filled the countrey.
By the word of the prophet, and God's judgment, the Syrians are smitten again.
1 Kings 20:28 And there came a man of God, and spake vnto the king of Israel, and sayd, Thus sayth the LORD, Because the Syrians haue sayde, The LORD [is] God of the hilles, but hee [is] not God of the valleys: therefore will I deliuer all this great multitude into thine hand, [and] yee shall know that I am the LORD. 1 Kings 20:29 And they pitched one ouer against the other seuen daies, and so it was, that in the seuenth day the battell was ioyned: and the children of Israel slewe of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day. 1 Kings 20:30 But the rest fled to Aphek, into the citie, and there a wall fell vpon twentie and seuen thousand of the men that were left: and Benhadad fled, and came into the citie, into an inner chamber.
The Syrians, submitting themselves, Ahab sendeth Ben-hadad away with a covenant.
1 Kings 20:31 And his seruants said vnto him, Behold now, wee haue heard that the kings of the house of Israel are mercifull kings: let vs, I pray thee, put sackcloth on our loines, and ropes vpon our heads, and goe out to the king of Israel; peraduenture he will saue thy life. 1 Kings 20:32 So they girded sackcloth on their loynes, and [put] ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Thy seruant Benhadad saith, I pray thee, let me liue. And he said, Is he yet aliue? he [is] my brother. 1 Kings 20:33 Now the men did diligently obserue whether any thing would come from him, and did hastily catch [it]: and they saide, Thy brother Benhadad. Then he said, Goe ye, bring him: then Benhadad came forth to him: and hee caused him to come vp into the charet. 1 Kings 20:34 And [Benhadad] said vnto him, The cities which my father tooke 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 couenant. So he made a couenant with him, and sent him away.
The prophet, under the parable of a prisoner, making Ahab judge himself, denounceth God's judgment against him.
1 Kings 20:35 And a certaine man of the sonnes of the Prophets, saide vnto his neighbour in the word of the LORD, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man refused to smite him. 1 Kings 20:36 Then said he vnto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voyce of the LORD, beholde, assoone as thou art departed from me, a lyon shal slay thee. And assoone as hee was departed from him, a lyon found him, and slew him. 1 Kings 20:37 Then he found another man, and said, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man smote him, so that in smiting hee wounded [him]. 1 Kings 20:38 So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himselfe with ashes vpon his face. 1 Kings 20:39 And as the king passed by, he cried vnto the king: and he saide, Thy seruant went out into the mids of the battell, and behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man vnto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any meanes he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of siluer. 1 Kings 20:40 And as thy seruant was busie here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel saide vnto him, So [shall] thy iudgement [bee], thy selfe hast discided [it]. 1 Kings 20:41 And he hasted, and tooke the ashes away from his face, and the king of Israel discerned him that hee [was] of the Prophets. 1 Kings 20:42 And hee said vnto him, Thus saith the LORD, Because thou hast let goe out of [thy] hand, a man whom I appointed to vtter destruction, therfore thy life shall goe for his life, and thy people for his people. 1 Kings 20:43 And the king of Israel went to his house, heauie, and displeased, and came to Samaria.