20:1 And Ben-hadad the king of Syria collected all his army: and
[there were] thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and
chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred
20:2 And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the
city, and said to him, Thus saith Ben-hadad,
20:3 Thy silver and thy gold [is] mine; thy wives also and thy
children, [even] the most comely, [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
Ben-hadad, saying, Although I have sent to thee, saying, Thou
shalt deliver to me thy silver, and thy gold, and thy wives,
and thy children;
20:6 Yet I will send my servants to thee to-morrow about this
time, and they shall search thy house, and the houses of thy
servants; and it shall be, [that] whatever is pleasant in thy
eyes, they shall take [it] in their hand, and carry [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 to 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 to him, Hearken
not [to him], nor consent.
20:9 Wherefore he said to the messengers of Ben-hadad, 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 Ben-hadad sent to him, and said, The gods do so to 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 to his servants, Set [yourselves in array]. And they
set [themselves in array] against the city.
20:13 And behold, there came a prophet to Ahab king of Israel,
saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou seen all this great
multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thy 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 Ben-hadad [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 Ben-hadad sent out, and they told him, saying, There
are men come out of Samaria.
20:18 And he said, Whether they have come out for peace, take
them alive; or whether they have come out for war, take them
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 Ben-hadad the king of Syria escaped on
a 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 to
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
20:23 And the servants of the king of Syria said to 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 to their voice, and did
20:26 And it came to pass at the return of the year, that
Ben-hadad numbered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight
20:27 And the children of Israel were numbered, and were all
present, and went against them: and the children of Israel
encamped before them like two little flocks of kids; but the
Syrians filled the country.
20:28 And there came a man of God, and spoke to 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 thy hand, and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.
20:29 And they encamped 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 a 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 Ben-hadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner
20:31 And his servants said to 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: it may be he will save
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 Ben-hadad saith, I pray thee, let me live. And he said,
[Is] he yet alive? he [is] my brother.
20:33 Now the men diligently observed whether [any thing would
come] from him, and did hastily catch [it]: and they said, Thy
brother Ben-hadad. Then he said, Go ye, bring him. Then
Ben-hadad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into
20:34 And [Ben-hadad] said to 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 to his
neighbor in the word of the LORD, Smite me, I pray thee. And
the man refused to smite him.
20:36 Then said he to him, Because thou hast not obeyed the
voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as thou hast departed from
me, a lion will slay thee. And as soon as he had departed from
him, a lion found him, and slew him.
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
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 to 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 to me, and said,
Keep this man: if by any means he shall be missing, then shall
thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of
20:40 And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone.
And the king of Israel said to 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 to 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.
20:43 And the king of Israel went to his house heavy and
displeased, and came to Samaria.