Document:  All > Holy Books > Old Testament > 1 Kings > Chapter 20

20:1 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.

20:2 And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and
said unto him, Thus saith Benhadad, 20:3 Thy silver and thy gold is
mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine.

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 have.

20:5 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; 20:6 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.

20:7 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.

20:8 And all the elders and all the people said unto him, Hearken not
unto him, nor consent.

20:9 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.

20:10 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.

20:11 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.

20:12 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 unto his
servants, Set yourselves in array. And they set themselves in array
against the city.

20:13 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.

20:14 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.

20:15 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.

20:16 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.

20:17 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.

20:18 And he said, Whether they be come out for peace, take them
alive; or whether they be come out for war, take them alive.

20:19 So these young men of the princes of the provinces came out of
the city, and the army which followed them.

20:20 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.

20:21 And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and
chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter.

20:22 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.

20:23 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.

20:24 And do this thing, Take the kings away, every man out of his
place, and put captains in their rooms: 20:25 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.

20:26 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.

20:27 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.

20:28 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.

20:29 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.

20:30 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.

20:31 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.

20:32 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.

20:33 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.

20:34 And Ben-hadad 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.

20:35 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.

20:36 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

20:37 Then he found another man, and said, Smite me, I pray thee. And
the man smote him, so that in smiting he wounded him.

20:38 So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and
disguised himself with ashes upon his face.

20:39 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.

20:40 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.

20:41 And he hasted, and took the ashes away from his face; and the
king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets.

20:42 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

20:43 And the king of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased,
and came to Samaria.

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