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20:1 Ben-hadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together; and there were thirty-two kings with him, and horses and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and fought against it.
20:2 He sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel, into the city, and said to him, Thus says Ben-hadad,
20:4 The king of Israel answered, It is according to your saying, my lord, O king; I am yours, and all that I have.
20:6 but 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, that whatever is pleasant in your eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away.
20:7 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.
20:8 All the elders and all the people said to him, Don`t you listen, neither consent.
20:9 Therefore he said to the messengers of Ben-hadad, Tell my lord the king, All that you did send for to your servant at the first I will do; but this thing I may not do. The messengers departed, and brought him word again.
20:11 The king of Israel answered, Tell him, Don`t let him who girds on [his armor] boast himself as he who puts it off.
20:12 It happened, 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]. They set [themselves in array] against the city.
20:13 Behold, a prophet came near to Ahab king of Israel, and said, Thus says Yahweh, Have you seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into your hand this day; and you shall know that I am Yahweh.
20:15 Then he mustered the young men of the princes of the provinces, and they were two hundred and thirty-two: and after them he mustered all the people, even all the children of Israel, being seven thousand.
20:16 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.
20:18 He said, Whether they are come out for peace, take them alive, or whether they are come out for war, taken them alive.
20:19 So these went out of the city, the young men of the princes of the provinces, and the army which followed them.
20:21 The king of Israel went out, and struck the horses and chariots, and killed the Syrians with a great slaughter.
20:22 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.
20:23 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 us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.
20:24 Do this thing: take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their room;
20:25 and number you 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, and surely we shall be stronger than they. He listened to their voice, and did so.
20:26 It happened at the return of the year, that Ben-hadad mustered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel.
20:27 The children of Israel were mustered, and were provisioned, 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 A man of God came near and spoke to the king of Israel, and said, Thus says Yahweh, Because the Syrians have said, Yahweh is a god of the hills, but he is not a god of the valleys; therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am Yahweh.
20:29 They encamped one over against the other seven days. So it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined; and the children of Israel killed of the Syrians one hundred thousand footmen in one day.
20:31 His servants said to him, See now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, we pray you, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: peradventure he will save your life.
20:32 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. He said, Is he yet alive? he is my brother.
20:33 Now the men observed diligently, and hurried to catch whether it were his mind; and they said, Your brother Ben-hadad. Then he said, Go you, bring him. Then Ben-hadad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot.
20:34 [Ben-hadad] said to him, The cities which my father took from your father I will restore; and you shall make streets for you 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.
20:35 A certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his fellow by the word of Yahweh, Please strike me. The man refused to strike him.
20:36 Then said he to him, Because you have not obeyed the voice of Yahweh, behold, as soon as you are departed from me, a lion shall kill you. As soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and killed him.
20:37 Then he found another man, and said, Please strike me. The man struck him, smiting and wounding him.
20:39 As the king passed by, he cried to the king; and he 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, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall your life be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver.
20:40 As your servant was busy here and there, he was gone. The king of Israel said to him, So shall your judgment be; yourself have decided it.
20:41 He hurried, and took the headband away from his eyes; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets.
20:43 The king of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased, and came to Samaria.