1. And Ben-Hadad the king of Syria gathered all his army together. And thirty-two kings were with him, and horses and chariots. And he went up and laid siege to Samaria, and warred against it.
2. And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel, and to the city, and said to him, “Thus says Ben-Hadad,
3. ‘Your silver and your gold are mine, your wives also and your sons, the best of them are mine.’ ”
4. And the king of Israel answered and said, “My lord, O king, according to your saying I am yours and all that I have.”
5. And the messengers came again and said, “Ben-Hadad speaks in this way, saying, ‘Although I have sent to you saying, “You shall deliver me your silver and your gold and your wives and your sons,”
6. Yet I will send my servants to you tomorrow about this time, and they shall search your house and the houses of your servants. And it shall be, whatever is pleasant in your eyes, they will put it in their hand and take it away.’ ”
7. And the king of Israel called all the elders of the land and said, “Please note and see how this one seeks mischief, for he sent to me for my wives and for my sons, and for my silver and for my gold. And I did not keep them back from him.”
8. And all the elders and all the people said to him, “Do not listen nor consent!”
9. And 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 may not do.’ ” And the messengers left and brought him word again.
10. And Ben-Hadad sent to him and said, “May the gods do so to me, and more also, if enough dust remains of Samaria for handfuls for all the people who follow me.”
11. And the king of Israel answered and said, “Tell him, ‘Do not let him who girds on his armor boast himself like the one who loosens his armor.’ ”
12. Now it came to pass, when Ben-Hadad heard this word, and he was drinking, he and the kings in the booths,he said to his servants, “Set yourselves in battle order,” and they set in order against the city.
13. And behold, a prophet came near to Ahab king of Israel, saying, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will deliver it into your hand today, and you shall know that I am the LORD.’ ”
14. And Ahab said, “By whom?” And he said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘By the young men of the rulers of the provinces.’ ” And he said, “Who shall order the battle?” And he answered, “You.”
15. And he numbered the young men of the rulers 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, seven thousand.
16. And they went out at noon. But Ben- Hadad was drinking himself drunk in their tents, he and the kings, even the thirty-two kings who helped him.
17. And the young men of the rulers of the provinces went out first. And Ben-Hadad sent out, and they told him, saying, “There are men coming out of Samaria.”
18. And 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 young men of the rulers of the provinces came out of the city, and the army which followed them.
20. And they each one killed his man. And the Syrians fled. And Israel pursued them. And Ben-Hadad the king of Syria escaped on a horse with the horsemen.
21. And the king of Israel went out and struck the horses and chariots, and killed
the Syrians with a great slaughter.
22. And the prophet came to the king of Israel and said to him, “Go, strengthen yourself, and take note and see what you need to do, for in the spring of the year the king of Syria will come up against you.”
23. And the servants of the king of Syria said to him, “Their gods are gods of the hills. On account of this they were stronger than we were. But let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.
24. Now do this thing, take the kings away, each man out of his place, and put commanders in their places,
25. And you shall assemble 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. Are we not stronger than they?” And he hearkened to their voice and did so.
26. Now it came to pass in the spring of the year, Ben-Hadad numbered the Syrians that went up to Aphek to fight against Israel.
27. And the children of Israel were assembled, and were fed, and went to meet them. And the children of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks of goats. And the Syrians filled the country.
28. And a man of God came near and spoke to the king of Israel, and said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Because the Syrians have said, “The LORD is God of the hills, but He is not God of the valleys,” therefore I will deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD.’ ”
29. And they pitched opposite one another seven days. Then it came to pass on the seventh day that the battle commenced. And the children of Israel struck Syria, a hundred thousand footmen in one day.
30. But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city. And there a wall fell upon twenty-seven thousand of those remaining. And Ben-Hadad fled and came into the city, into an inner room.
31. And 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 upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel. Perhaps he will save your life.”
32. And they bound sackcloth on their loins and 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. And the men carefully observed, and quickly picked up on his word, and they said, “Your brother Ben-Hadad.” And he said, “Go and bring him.” And Ben-Hadad came out to him, and he caused him to come up into the chariot.
34. Then 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.” And Ahab said, “I will send you away with this covenant.” So he made a covenant with him and sent him away.
35. And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his neighbor, “By the word of the LORD, please strike me!” And the man refused to strike him.
36. And he said to him, “Because you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as you have departed from me, a lion shall kill you.” And as soon as he had departed from him, a lion found him and killed him.
37. And he found another man and said, “Please strike me.” And the man struck him, so that he wounded him in striking him.
38. And the prophet went and waited for the king by the wayside, and disguised himself with ashes upon his face.
39. And as the king passed by, it came to pass he cried to the king. And he said, “Your servant went out into the middle of the battle, and, behold, a man turned aside and brought a man to me and said, ‘Keep this man. If he is missing by any means, then your life shall be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver.’
40. Then it came to pass as 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. And he hurried and took the ashes away from his face. And the king of Israel saw that he was one of the prophets.
42. And he said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Because you have let go out of your hand a man whom I devoted to destruction, therefore your life shall be 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.
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