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.
And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him,
Thus saith Benhadad,
Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the
goodliest, are mine.
And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying,
I am thine, and all that I have.
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;
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.
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 not unto him, nor
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 Benhadad was drinking himself drunk in the
pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him.
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.
And he said, Whether they be come out for peace, take them alive; or whether they
be come out for war, take them alive.
So these young men of the princes of the provinces came out of the city, and the
army which followed them.
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.
And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the
Syrians with a great slaughter.
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.
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.
And do this thing, Take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put
captains in their rooms:
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 Benhadad numbered the Syrians,
and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 him.
Then he found another man, and said, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man smote him,
so that in smiting he wounded him.
So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself
with ashes upon his face.
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 judgement be; thyself hast decided it.
And he hasted, and took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel
discerned him that he was of the prophets.
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 people.
And the king of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased, and came to