1 Reis 20

1 And 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 fought against it.

2 And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel, into the city, and said to him, Thus says Ben-hadad,

3 Your silver and your gold is mine; your wives also and your sons, even the goodliest, are mine.

4 And the king of Israel answered and said, It is according to your saying, my lord, O king; I am yours, and all that I have.

5 And the messengers came again, and said, Thus speaks Ben-hadad, saying, I indeed sent to you, saying, You will deliver to me your silver, and your gold, and your wives, and your sons;

6 but I will send my slaves to you tomorrow about this time, and they will search your house, and the houses of your slaves; and it will be, that whatever is pleasant in your eyes, they will put it in their hand, and take it away.

7 Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, Consider, I pray you{+}, and see how this man seeks mischief: for he sent to me for my wives, and for my sons, and for my silver, and for my gold; and I didn't deny him.

8 And all the elders and all the people said to him, Don't listen, neither consent.

9 Therefore he said to the messengers of Ben-hadad, Tell my lord the king, All that you sent for to your slave at the first I will do; but this thing I will not do. And the messengers departed, and brought him word again.

10 And Ben-hadad sent to him, and said, The gods do so to me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria will suffice for handfuls for all the people who follow me.

11 And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Don't let him who girds on [his armor] boast himself as he who puts it off.

12 And it came to pass, when [Ben-hadad] heard this message, as he was drinking, he and the kings, in the pavilions, that he said to his slaves, Set [yourselves in array]. And they set [themselves in array] against the city.

13 And, look, a prophet came near to Ahab king of Israel, and said, Thus says Yahweh, Have you seen all this great multitude? Look, I will deliver it into your hand this day; and you will know that I am Yahweh.

14 And Ahab said, By whom? And he said, Thus says Yahweh, By the young men of the princes of the provinces. Then he said, Who will begin the battle? And he answered, You.

15 Then he mustered the young men of the princes of the provinces, and they were two hundred and thirty-two: and after them he mustered all the people, even all the sons of Israel, being seven thousand.

16 And 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.

17 And the young men of the princes of the provinces went out first; and Ben-hadad sent out, and they told him, saying, Men have come out from Samaria.

18 And he said, Whether they have come out for peace, take them alive, or whether they have come out for war, take them alive.

19 So these went out of the city, the young men of the princes of the provinces, and the army which followed them.

20 And 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 horsemen.

21 And 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 near to the king of Israel, and said to him, Go, strengthen yourself, and consider, and see what you do; for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against you.

23 And the slaves of the king of Syria said to him, Their god is a god 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 And do this thing: take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their place;

25 and you number for 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 listened to their voice, and did so.

26 And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Ben-hadad mustered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel.

27 And the sons of Israel were mustered, and were victualled, and went against them: and the sons of Israel encamped before them like two little flocks of young goats; but the Syrians filled the country.

28 And a man of God came near and spoke to the king of Israel, and said, Thus says Yahweh, Because the Syrians have said, Yahweh is a god of the hills, but he is not a god of the valleys; therefore I will deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you{+} will know that I am Yahweh.

29 And they encamped one opposite the other seven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined; and the sons of Israel slew of the Syrians a hundred thousand footmen in one day.

30 But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and the wall fell on twenty and seven thousand men who were left. And Ben-hadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber.

31 And his slaves said to him, Look now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, we pray you, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: perhaps he will save your life.

32 So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and [put] ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Your slave Ben-hadad says, I pray you, let me live. And he said, Is he yet alive? He is my brother.

33 Now the men were using magic, and hurried to catch whether it was his mind; 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.

34 And [Ben-hadad] said to him, The cities which my father took from your father I will restore; and you will make streets for yourself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. And I, [said Ahab], will let you go with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and let him go.

35 And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his fellow man by the word of Yahweh, Strike me, I pray you. And the man refused to strike him.

36 Then he said to him, Because you have not obeyed the voice of Yahweh, look, as soon as you depart from me, a lion will slay you. And as soon as he departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him.

37 Then he found another man, and said, Strike me, I pray you. And the man struck him, striking and wounding him.

38 So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with his headband over his eyes.

39 And as the king passed by, he cried to the king; and he said, Your slave went out into the midst of the battle; and, look, a man turned aside, and brought a man to me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he is missing, then your life will be for his life, otherwise you will pay a talent of silver.

40 And as your slave was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said to him, So your judgment will be; you yourself have decided it.

41 And he hurried, and took the headband away from his eyes; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets.

42 And he said to him, Thus says Yahweh, Because you have let go out of your hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore your life will go for his life, and your people for his people.

43 And the king of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased, and came to Samaria.