Bishops' Bible

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 hoast together, hauing thirtie & two kinges with him, and horses and charets: and went vp and besieged Samaria, & warred against it. 1 Kings 20:2 And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the citie, and sayde vnto him, thus saith Benhadad. 1 Kings 20:3 Thy siluer & thy gold is myne, & the fayrest of thy wiues & of thy childre be mine. 1 Kings 20:4 And the king of Israel aunswered and said: My lord king, according to thy saying, I am thyne and all that I haue. 1 Kings 20:5 And when the messengers came againe, they sayd, thus sayth Benhadad: Forasmuch as I haue sent vnto thee, saying, Thou shalt deliuer me thy siluer and thy golde, and thy wyues, and thy children: 1 Kings 20:6 I will therfore send my seruauntes vnto thee to morowe this time: and they shall searche thyne house, & the houses of thy seruauntes, and whatsoeuer is pleasaunt in thyne eyes, they shall take it in their handes, and bring it away. 1 Kings 20:7 Then the king of Israel sent for all the elders of the land, and said: Take heede I pray you, and see howe this felowe goeth about mischiefe: For he sent vnto me for my wiues, for my children, for my siluer, and for my golde, and I denyed him not. 1 Kings 20:8 And all the elders and all the people said: Hearken not vnto him, nor consent. 1 Kings 20:9 Wherfore he sayde vnto the messengers of Benhadad: Tell my lord the king, all that thou dyddest send for to thy seruaut at the first time, that I will do: but this thing I may not do. And the messengers departed, and brought aunswere againe. 1 Kings 20:10 And Benhadad sent vnto him againe, and sayde: Thus and thus do the gods vnto me, if the dust of Samaria be enough for al the people that folowe me, to take euery man an handfull. 1 Kings 20:11 And the king of Israel aunswered, and sayd: Tell him, let not him that putteth on his harnesse boast him selfe, as he that putteth it of. 1 Kings 20:12 And it fortuned, that when Benhadad hearde that tydinges, as he was with the kinges drinking within the pauilions, and he saide vnto this seruauntes, Put your selues in order. And they set them selues in aray against the citie.

By the direction of a prophet, the Syrians are slain.

1 Kings 20:13 And beholde, there came a prophete vnto Ahab king of Israel, saying, thus sayeth the Lord: Hast thou seene all this great multitude? beholde, I will deliuer it into thyne hand this day, & thou shalt knowe that I am the Lorde. 1 Kings 20:14 And Ahab sayd: By whom? He sayde: Thus sayth the Lorde, euen by the seruauntes of the gouernours of ye shyres. He sayd againe: who shall order the battayle? And he aunswered: Thou. 1 Kings 20:15 Then he numbred the seruauntes of the gouernours of the shyres, & they were two hundred and thirtie and two: And after them also he numbred all the people of the children of Israel [euen] seuen thousande. 1 Kings 20:16 And they went out at noone: but Benhadad dyd drinke till he was drunken in the pauillions, both he and the kinges: eue thirtie & two kinges, that holpe him. 1 Kings 20:17 And the seruauntes of the gouernours of the shyres went out first, and Benhadad sent out, & they shewed him, saying: There are men come out of Samaria. 1 Kings 20:18 He sayde: Whether they be come out for peace, take them alyue: or whether they be come out to fight, take them yet alyue. 1 Kings 20:19 And so those young men of the gouernours of the shyres came out of the citie, and the hoast after them: 1 Kings 20:20 And they slue euery one his enemie [that came in his way:] and the Syrians fled, & they of Israel folowed after the: And Benhadad the king of Syria scaped on a horse, with his horsemen. 1 Kings 20:21 And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and charettes, & with a great slaughter slue he the Syrians.

As the prophet forewarned Ahab, the Syrians, trusting in the valleys, come against him in Aphek.

1 Kings 20:22 (And there came a prophete to the king of Israel, and said vnto him: Go foorth, and play the man, be wyse, & take heede what thou doest: for when the yere is gone about, the king of Syria will come vp against thee.) 1 Kings 20:23 And the seruauntes of the king of Syria sayde vnto him: The gods of the hilles are their gods, and therefore they had the better of vs: but let vs fight against them in the playne, and [for what ye will] we shall haue the better of them. 1 Kings 20:24 And this do: Take the kinges away euery man out of his place, & put dukes in their roomes: 1 Kings 20:25 And do thou number thee an hoast, lyke the hoast that thou hast lost, such horses and suche charets, and we will fight against them in the plaine, and thou shalt see vs get the better of the. And he hearkened vnto their voyce, and dyd euen so. 1 Kings 20:26 And it fortuned, that after the yere was gone about, Benhadad numbred the Syrians, and went vp to Aphec to fight against Israel. 1 Kings 20:27 And the children of Israel were numbred, & with their whole number went they against them, and the children of Israel pitched before them lyke two litle flockes of kiddes: 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 sayd vnto the king of Israel, thus sayth the Lorde: Because the Syrians haue sayd, the Lorde is but God of the hilles, and not God of the valleys: therfore wil I deliuer all this great multitude into thyne hande, and ye shall knowe that I am the Lorde. 1 Kings 20:29 And they pitched one ouer against the other seuen dayes: and it came to passe, that in the seuenth day the battaile was ioyned, and the children of Israel slue of the Syrians an hundred thousande footemen in one day. 1 Kings 20:30 But the rest fled to Aphec into the citie, and there fell a wall vpon twentie and seuen thousande of the men that were left: And Benhadad fled, and came into the citie, from chamber to chamber.

The Syrians, submitting themselves, Ahab sendeth Ben-hadad away with a covenant.

1 Kings 20:31 And his seruauntes said vnto him: Behold, we haue heard say that the kinges of the house of Israel are mercyfull kinges: We will therfore put sackcloth about our loynes, and ropes about our heades, and go out to the king of Israel, if happyly he will saue thy lyfe. 1 Kings 20:32 And so they girded sackcloth about their loynes, & put ropes about their heades, and came to the king of Israel, and said: Thy seruaunt Benhadad sayth, I pray thee let me lyue. He sayde: Is he yet alyue? he is my brother. 1 Kings 20:33 And ye men toke that word for good lucke and hastyly caught it out of his mouth, and sayd: Yea thy brother Benhadad. He sayde: Go, bring him hyther. And Benhadad came out vnto him, and he caused him to come vp into the charet. 1 Kings 20:34 And he said vnto him: The cities which my father toke from thy father, I will restore agayne, and thou shalt make streates for thee in Damasco, as my father dyd in Samaria: And I wil make an appoyntment with thee, & send the away. And so he made an appoyntment 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 there was a certayne man of the children of the prophetes, whiche sayde vnto his neyghbour in the word of the Lord: Smyte me I pray thee. And the man woulde not smyte him. 1 Kings 20:36 Then sayd he vnto him: Because thou hast not hearkened vnto the voyce of the Lorde: beholde, assoone as thou art departed fro me, a lion shal slay thee. And it came to passe, that assoone as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slue him. 1 Kings 20:37 Then he founde another man, & sayde: Smyte me I pray thee. And the man smote him, so that in smyting he wounded him. 1 Kings 20:38 So the prophete went foorth, & wayted for the king by the way, and put him selfe out of knowledge with ashes whiche he layed vpon his face. 1 Kings 20:39 And when the king came by, he cryed vnto the king, and sayde: Thy seruaunt wet out in the middes of the battel, and behold there went away a man, whom another man brought vnto me, & sayde, Kepe this man: and if he be myssed or lost, thy lyfe shall go for his, or els thou shalt pay a talent of siluer. 1 Kings 20:40 And as thy seruaunt had here & there to do, he was gone. And the king of Israel sayde vnto him: Euen so shall thy iudgement be, as thou hast defined it thy selfe. 1 Kings 20:41 And he hasted, & toke the ashes away from his face, and the king of Israel knewe him, that he was of ye prophetes. 1 Kings 20:42 And he sayde vnto him, Thus sayth the Lorde: Because thou hast let go out of thy hande a man that is in my curse, thy lyfe shall go for his lyfe, and thy people for his people. 1 Kings 20:43 And the king of Israel went to his house wayward and in displeasure, and came to Samaria.

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