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1 Kings 20 World English Bible (WEB)

20 Ben Hadad the king of Syria gathered all his army together; and there were thirty-two kings with him, with horses and chariots. He went up and besieged Samaria, and fought against it. He sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel, into the city, and said to him, “Ben Hadad says, ‘Your silver and your gold is mine. Your wives also and your children, even the best, are mine.’”

The king of Israel answered, “It is according to your saying, my lord, O king. I am yours, and all that I have.”

The messengers came again, and said, “Ben Hadad says, ‘I sent indeed to you, saying, “You shall deliver me your silver, and your gold, and your wives, and your children; but I will send my servants to you tomorrow about this time, and they will search your house, and the houses of your servants; whatever is pleasant in your eyes, they will put it in their hand, and take it away.”’”

Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, “Please notice how this man seeks mischief; for he sent to me for my wives, and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold; and I didn’t deny him.”

All the elders and all the people said to him, “Don’t listen, and don’t consent.”

Therefore he said to the messengers of Ben Hadad, “Tell my lord the king, ‘All that you sent for to your servant at the first I will do; but this thing I cannot do.’”

The messengers departed, and brought him back the message. 10 Ben Hadad sent to him, and said, “The gods do so to me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria will be enough for handfuls for all the people who follow me.”

11 The king of Israel answered, “Tell him, ‘Don’t let him who puts on his armor brag like he who takes it off.’”

12 When Ben Hadad heard this message, as he was drinking, he and the kings, in the pavilions, he said to his servants, “Prepare to attack!” So they prepared to attack the city.

13 Behold, a prophet came near to Ahab king of Israel, and said, “Yahweh says, ‘Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will deliver it into your hand today. Then you will know that I am Yahweh.’”

14 Ahab said, “By whom?”

He said, “Yahweh says, ‘By the young men of the princes of the provinces.’”

Then he said, “Who shall begin the battle?”

He answered, “You.”

15 Then he mustered the young men of the princes of the provinces, and they were two hundred and thirty-two. After them, he mustered all the people, even all the children of Israel, being seven thousand. 16 They went out at noon. But Ben Hadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty-two kings who helped him. 17 The young men of the princes of the provinces went out first; and Ben Hadad sent out, and they told him, saying, “Men are coming out from Samaria.”

18 He said, “If they have come out for peace, take them alive; or if 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 They each killed his man. The Syrians fled, and Israel pursued them. Ben Hadad the king of Syria escaped on a horse with horsemen. 21 The king of Israel went out, and struck the horses and chariots, and killed the Syrians with a great slaughter. 22 The prophet came near to the king of Israel, and said to him, “Go, strengthen yourself, and mark, and see what you do; for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against you.”

23 The servants of the king of Syria said to him, “Their god is a god of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we. But let’s fight against them in the plain, and surely we will be stronger than they. 24 Do this thing: take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their place. 25 Muster an army, like the army that you have lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot. We will fight against them in the plain, and surely we will be stronger than they are.”

He listened to their voice, and did so. 26 At the return of the year, Ben Hadad mustered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel. 27 The children of Israel were mustered and given provisions, and went against them. The children of Israel encamped before them like two little flocks of young goats; but the Syrians filled the country. 28 A man of God came near and spoke to the king of Israel, and said, “Yahweh says, ‘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 shall know that I am Yahweh.’”

29 They encamped opposite each other for seven days. So it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined; and the children of Israel killed one hundred thousand footmen of the Syrians in one day. 30 But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and the wall fell on twenty-seven thousand men who were left. Ben Hadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner room. 31 His servants said to him, “See now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings. Please let us put sackcloth on our bodies, and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel. Maybe he will save your life.”

32 So they put sackcloth on their bodies and ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, “Your servant Ben Hadad says, ‘Please let me live.’”

He said, “Is he still alive? He is my brother.”

33 Now the men observed diligently, and hurried to take this phrase; and they said, “Your brother Ben Hadad.”

Then he said, “Go, bring him.”

Then Ben Hadad came out to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot. 34 Ben Hadad said to him, “The cities which my father took from your father I will restore. You shall make streets for yourself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria.”

“I”, said Ahab, “will let you go with this covenant.” So he made a covenant with him, and let him go.

35 A certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his fellow by Yahweh’s word, “Please strike me!”

The man refused to strike him. 36 Then he said to him, “Because you have not obeyed Yahweh’s voice, behold, as soon as you have departed from me, a lion will kill you.” As soon as he had departed from him, a lion found him and killed him.

37 Then he found another man, and said, “Please strike me.”

The man struck him and wounded him. 38 So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with his headband over his eyes. 39 As the king passed by, he cried to the king; and he said, “Your servant went out into the middle of the battle; and behold, a man came over, and brought a man to me, and said, ‘Guard this man! If by any means he is missing, then your life shall be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent[a] of silver.’ 40 As your servant was busy here and there, he was gone.”

The king of Israel said to him, “So shall your judgment be. You yourself have decided it.”

41 He hurried, and took the headband away from his eyes; and the king of Israel recognized that he was one of the prophets. 42 He said to him, “Yahweh says, ‘Because you have let go out of your hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore your life will take the place of his life, and your people take the place of his people.’”

43 The king of Israel went to his house sullen and angry, and came to Samaria.

Footnotes:

  1. 20:39 A talent is about 30 kilograms or 66 pounds
World English Bible (WEB)

by Public Domain. The name "World English Bible" is trademarked.

1 Kings 20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

War with Aram

20 Now Ben-hadad king of Aram gathered all his army, and there were thirty-two kings with him, and horses and chariots. And he went up and besieged Samaria and fought against it. Then he sent messengers to the city to Ahab king of Israel and said to him, “Thus says Ben-hadad, ‘Your silver and your gold are mine; your most beautiful wives and children are also mine.’” The king of Israel replied, “It is according to your word, my lord, O king; I am yours, and all that I have.” Then the messengers returned and said, “Thus says [a]Ben-hadad, ‘Surely, I sent to you saying, “You shall give me your silver and your gold and your wives and your children,” but about this time tomorrow I will send my servants to you, and they will search your house and the houses of your servants; and [b]whatever is desirable in your eyes, they will [c]take in their hand and carry away.’”

Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land and said, “Please observe and see how this man is looking for trouble; for he sent to me for my wives and my children and my silver and my gold, and I did not refuse him.” All the elders and all the people said to him, “Do not listen or consent.” So he said to the messengers of Ben-hadad, “Tell my lord the king, ‘All that you sent for to your servant at the first I will do, but this thing I cannot do.’” And the messengers departed and brought him word again. 10 Ben-hadad sent to him and said, “May the gods do so to me and more also, if the dust of Samaria will suffice for handfuls for all the people who [d]follow me.” 11 Then the king of Israel replied, “Tell him, ‘Let not him who girds on his armor boast like him who takes it off.’” 12 When Ben-hadad heard this message, as he was drinking [e]with the kings in the [f]temporary shelters, he said to his servants, “Station yourselves.” So they stationed themselves against the city.

Ahab Victorious

13 Now behold, a prophet approached Ahab king of Israel and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will deliver them into your hand today, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’” 14 Ahab said, “By whom?” So he said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘By the young men of the rulers of the provinces.’” Then he said, “Who shall [g]begin the battle?” And he [h]answered, “You.” 15 Then he mustered the young men of the rulers of the provinces, and there were 232; and after them he mustered all the people, even all the sons of Israel, 7,000.

16 They went out at noon, while Ben-hadad was drinking himself drunk in the [i]temporary shelters [j]with the thirty-two kings who helped him. 17 The young men of the rulers of the provinces went out first; and Ben-hadad sent out and they told him, saying, “Men have come out from Samaria.” 18 Then he said, “If they have come out for peace, take them alive; or if they have come out for war, take them alive.”

19 So these went out from the city, the young men of the rulers of the provinces, and the army which followed them. 20 They [k]killed each his man; and the Arameans fled and Israel pursued them, and Ben-hadad king of Aram escaped on a horse with horsemen. 21 The king of Israel went out and [l]struck the horses and chariots, and [m]killed the Arameans with a great slaughter.

22 Then the prophet came near to the king of Israel and said to him, “Go, strengthen yourself and observe and see what you have to do; for at the turn of the year the king of Aram will come up against you.”

23 Now the servants of the king of Aram said to him, “Their gods are gods of the mountains, therefore they were stronger than we; but rather let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we will be stronger than they. 24 Do this thing: remove the kings, each from his place, and put captains in their place, 25 and [n]muster an army like the army that you have lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot. Then 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.

Another Aramean War

26 At the turn of the year, Ben-hadad mustered the Arameans and went up to Aphek to fight against Israel. 27 The sons of Israel were mustered and were provisioned and went to meet them; and the sons of Israel camped before them like two little flocks of goats, but the Arameans filled the country. 28 Then a man of God came near and spoke to the king of Israel and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because the Arameans have said, “The Lord is a god of the mountains, but He is not a god of the valleys,” therefore I will give all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’” 29 So they camped one over against the other seven days. And on the seventh day the battle was joined, and the sons of Israel [o]killed of the Arameans 100,000 foot soldiers in one day. 30 But the rest fled to Aphek into the city, and the wall fell on 27,000 men who were left. And Ben-hadad fled and came into the city into an inner chamber.

31 His servants said to him, “Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings, please let us put sackcloth on our loins and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel; perhaps he will save your [p]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 servant Ben-hadad says, ‘Please let me live.’” And he said, “Is he still alive? He is my brother.” 33 Now the men [q]took this as an omen, and quickly [r]catching his word said, “Your brother Ben-hadad.” Then he said, “Go, bring him.” Then Ben-hadad came out to him, and he [s]took him up into the chariot. 34 Ben-hadad said to him, “The cities which my father took from your father I will restore, and you shall make streets for yourself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria.” Ahab said, “And I will let you go with this covenant.” So he made a covenant with him and let him go.

35 Now a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to [t]another by the word of the Lord, “Please strike me.” But the man refused to strike him. 36 Then he said to him, “Because you have not listened to the voice of the Lord, behold, as soon as you have departed from me, a lion will [u]kill you.” And as soon as he had departed from him a lion found him and [v]killed him. 37 Then he found another man and said, “Please [w]strike me.” And the man [x]struck him, [y]wounding him. 38 So the prophet departed and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with a bandage over his eyes. 39 As the king passed by, he cried to the king and said, “Your servant went out into the midst of the battle; and behold, a man turned aside and brought a man to me and said, ‘Guard this man; if for any reason he is missing, then your life shall be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver.’ 40 While your servant was busy here and there, he was gone.” And the king of Israel said to him, “So shall your judgment be; you yourself have decided it.” 41 Then he hastily took the bandage away from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him that he was of the prophets. 42 He said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have let go out of your hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore your [z]life shall go for his [aa]life, and your people for his people.’” 43 So the king of Israel went to his house sullen and vexed, and came to Samaria.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 20:5 Lit Ben-hadad, saying
  2. 1 Kings 20:6 Lit all the desire of your eyes
  3. 1 Kings 20:6 Lit put
  4. 1 Kings 20:10 Lit are at my feet
  5. 1 Kings 20:12 Lit he and
  6. 1 Kings 20:12 Or booths
  7. 1 Kings 20:14 Lit bind
  8. 1 Kings 20:14 Lit said
  9. 1 Kings 20:16 Or booths
  10. 1 Kings 20:16 Lit he and the 32 kings
  11. 1 Kings 20:20 Lit smote
  12. 1 Kings 20:21 Lit smote
  13. 1 Kings 20:21 Lit smote
  14. 1 Kings 20:25 Lit number
  15. 1 Kings 20:29 Lit smote
  16. 1 Kings 20:31 Lit soul
  17. 1 Kings 20:33 Lit divined
  18. 1 Kings 20:33 Lit caught from him
  19. 1 Kings 20:33 Lit caused him to come up
  20. 1 Kings 20:35 Lit his neighbor
  21. 1 Kings 20:36 Lit smite
  22. 1 Kings 20:36 Lit smote
  23. 1 Kings 20:37 Lit smite
  24. 1 Kings 20:37 Lit smote
  25. 1 Kings 20:37 Lit striking and wounding
  26. 1 Kings 20:42 Lit soul
  27. 1 Kings 20:42 Lit soul
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

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