Book 10 : NEVIIM - I KINGS - Chapter 020
And Ben-hadad the king of Aram 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
And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel, into the
and said unto him: 'Thus saith Ben-hadad: Thy silver and
thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are
And the king of Israel answered and said: 'It is according
to thy saying, my lord, O king: I am thine, and all that I have.
And the messengers came again, and said: 'Thus speaketh
Ben-hadad, saying: I sent indeed unto thee, saying: Thou shalt deliver me thy
silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children
but I will send my servants unto thee tomorrow about this
time, and they shall search thy 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.
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.
And all the elders and all the people said unto him:
'Hearken thou not, neither consent.
Wherefore he said unto 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 back word
And Ben-hadad 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.
And the king of Israel answered and said: 'Tell him: Let
not him that girdeth on his armour boast himself as he that putteth it off.
And it came to pass, when Ben-hadad heard this message, as
he was drinking, he and the kings, in the booths, that he said unto his
servants: 'Set yourselves in array.' And they set themselves in array against
And, behold, a prophet came near unto Ahab king of Israel,
and said: 'Thus saith HaShem: Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I
will deliver it into thy hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am HaShem.
And Ahab said: 'By whom?' And he said: 'Thus saith HaShem:
By the young men of the princes of the provinces.' Then he said: 'Who shall
begin the battle?' And he answered: 'Thou.
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
And they went out at noon. But Ben-hadad was drinking
himself drunk in the booths, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that
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 from Samaria.
And he said: 'Whether they are come out for peace, take
them alive; or whether they are come out for war, take them alive.
So these went out of the city, the young men of the
princes of the provinces, and the army which followed them
And they slew every one his man; and the Arameans fled,
and Israel pursued them; and Ben-hadad the king of Aram escaped on a horse with
And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and
chariots, and slew the Arameans with a great slaughter
And the prophet came near 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 Aram will come up against thee.
And the servants of the king of Aram said unto him: 'Their
G-d is a G-d 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
And do this thing: take the kings away, every man out of
his place, and put governors in their room
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
And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Ben-hadad
mustered the Arameans, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel
And the children of Israel were mustered, and were
victualled, and went against them; and the children of Israel encamped before
them like two little flocks of kids; but the Arameans filled the country
And a man of G-d came near and spoke unto the king of
Israel, and said: 'Thus saith HaShem: Because the Arameans have said: HaShem is
a G-d of the hills, but he is not a G-d of the valleys; therefore will I deliver
all this great multitude into thy hand, and ye shall know that I am HaShem.
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 Arameans a hundred thousand footmen in one day
But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and the wall
fell upon twenty and seven thousand men that were left. And Ben-hadad fled, and
came into the city, into an inner chamber
And his servants said unto him: 'Behold now, we have heard
that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings; let us, we 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.
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
Now the men took it for a sign, and hastened to catch it
from him; 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 his
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.' 'And I ,said Ahab, will let thee go
with this covenant.' So he made a covenant with him, and let him go
And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto
his fellow by the word of HaShem: 'Smite me, I pray thee.' And the man refused
to smite him
Then said he unto him: 'Because thou hast not heartened to
the voice of HaShem, 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
Then he found another man, and said: 'Smite me, I pray
thee.' And the man smote him, smiting and wounding him
So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the
way, and disguised himself with his headband over his eyes
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
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
And he hastened, and took the headband away from his eyes;
and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets
And he said unto him: 'Thus saith HaShem: Because thou
hast let go out of thy hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore
thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people.
And the king of Israel went to his house sullen and
displeased, and came to Samaria
Book 10 : NEVIIM - I KINGS - Chapter 020