1 Kings 20
The Scriptures (ISR 1998)

1And Ben-Haḏaḏ the sovereign of Aram gathered all his army, and there were thirty-two sovereigns with him, with horses and chariots. And he went up and besieged Shomeron, and fought against it.

2And he sent messengers into the city to Aḥaḇ sovereign of Yisra’ĕl, and said to him, “Thus said Ben-Haḏaḏ,

3‘Your silver and your gold are mine, and your wives and children, the best, are mine.’ ”

4And the sovereign of Yisra’ĕl answered and said, “As you say, my master, O sovereign, I am yours, and all that I have.”

5And the messengers came back and said, “Thus speaks Ben-Haḏaḏ, saying, ‘Indeed I have sent to you, saying, “Give me your silver and your gold, your wives and your children,”

6but about this time tomorrow I shall send my servants to you, and they shall search your house and the houses of your servants. And it shall be, that whatever is pleasing in your eyes they shall lay hold of and take it.’ ”

7And the sovereign of Yisra’ĕl called all the elders of the land, and said, “Please know and see the evil this one is seeking, for he sent to me for my wives, and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold, and I did not refuse him.”

8And all the elders and all the people said to him, “Do not listen nor agree.”

9So he said to the messengers of Ben-Haḏaḏ, “Say to my master the sovereign, ‘All that you sent for to your servant the first time I shall do, but this I am unable to do.’ ” And the messengers went and brought back word to him.

10And Ben-Haḏaḏ sent to him and said, “The mighty ones do so to me, and more also, if enough dust is left of Shomeron for a handful for each of the people who follow me.”

11And the sovereign of Yisra’ĕl answered and said, “Speak, ‘Him who girds on his armour should not boast like him who lays it down.’ ”

12And it came to be when this word was heard, as he and the sovereigns were drinking in the booths, that he said to his servants, “Set yourselves.” So they set themselves against the city.

13And see, a prophet came near to Aḥaḇ sovereign of Yisra’ĕl, saying, “Thus said יהוה, ‘Have you seen all this great company? See, I am giving it into your hand today, and you shall know that I am יהוה.’ ”

14And Aḥaḇ said, “By whom?” And he said, “Thus said יהוה, ‘By the young rulers of the provinces.’ ” And he said, “Who opens the attack?” Then he answered, “You.”

15And he mustered the young rulers of the provinces, and there were two hundred and thirty-two. And after them he mustered all the people, all the children of Yisra’ĕl, seven thousand.

16And they went out at noon, while Ben-Haḏaḏ and the thirty-two sovereigns helping him were getting drunk in the booths.

17And the young rulers of the provinces went out first. And Ben-Haḏaḏ sent out, and they reported to him, saying, “Men have come out of Shomeron!”

18Then he said, “If they have come out for peace, seize them alive. And if they have come out for battle, seize them alive.”

19So these young rulers of the provinces went out of the city with the army which followed them.

20And each smote his man, so the Arameans fled, and Yisra’ĕl pursued them. And Ben-Haḏaḏ the sovereign of Aram escaped on a horse with the horsemen.

21And the sovereign of Yisra’ĕl went out and smote the horses and chariots, and smote the Arameans, a great smiting.

22And the prophet came to the sovereign of Yisra’ĕl and said to him, “Go, strengthen yourself. And know and see what you should do, for at the turn of the year the sovereign of Aram is coming up against you.”

23And the servants of the sovereign of Aram said to him, “Their mighty ones are mighty ones of the hills. That is why they were stronger than we. But let us fight against them in the plain – are we not stronger than they?

24“Now do this: Take away the sovereigns, each from his position, and put officers in their places,

25and number an army like the army that you have lost, horse for horse and chariot for chariot, and let us fight against them in the plain – are we not stronger than they?” And he listened to their voice and did so.

26And it came to be, at the turn of the year, that Ben-Haḏaḏ mustered the Arameans and went up to Aphĕq to fight against Yisra’ĕl.

27And the children of Yisra’ĕl were mustered and were fed, and they went against them. And the children of Yisra’ĕl encamped before them like two little flocks of goats, while the Arameans filled the land.

28And there came near a man of Elohim and spoke to the sovereign of Yisra’ĕl, and said, “Thus said יהוה, ‘Because the Arameans have said, “יהוה is Elohim of the hills, but He is not Elohim of the valleys,” therefore I shall give all this great company into your hand, and you shall know that I am יהוה.’ ”

29And they encamped opposite each other for seven days. And it came to be that on the seventh day the battle was joined. And the children of Yisra’ĕl smote one hundred thousand foot soldiers of the Arameans in one day.

30And those that were left fled to Aphĕq, into the city, and a wall fell on twenty-seven thousand of the men who were left. And Ben-Haḏaḏ fled and went into the city, into an inner room.

31And his servants said to him, “See now, we have heard that the sovereigns of the house of Yisra’ĕl are kind sovereigns. Please, let us put sackcloth around our waists and ropes around our heads, and go out to the sovereign of Yisra’ĕl. It could be that he spares your life.”

32So they girded sackcloth on their loins and put ropes around their heads, and came to the sovereign of Yisra’ĕl and said, “Your servant Ben-Haḏaḏ said, ‘Please let me live.’ ” And he said, “Is he still alive? He is my brother.”

33And the men divined and they quickly grasped it and said, “Your brother Ben-Haḏaḏ.” And he said, “Go, bring him.” So Ben-Haḏaḏ came out to him, and he let him come up on the chariot.

34And Ben-Haḏaḏ said to him, “The cities which my father took from your father I return. And set up market-places for yourself in Damascus, as my father did in Shomeron.” And Aḥaḇ said, “I send you away with this covenant.” And he made a covenant with him and sent him away.

35And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his neighbour by the word of יהוה, “Smite me, please.” But the man refused to smite him.

36Then he said to him, “Because you have not obeyed the voice of יהוה, see, as soon as you leave me a lion shall smite you.” And when he left him, a lion found him and smote him.

37And he found another man, and said, “Smite me, please.” So the man smote him, smiting and wounding.

38Then the prophet went and waited for the sovereign by the way, and disguised himself with ashes on his eyes.

39And as the sovereign passed by, he cried out to the sovereign and said, “Your servant went out into the midst of the battle. And see, a man came over and brought a man to me, and said, ‘Guard this man. If he should in any way be missing, your life shall be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver.’

40“And it came to be, while your servant was busy here and there, he was gone.” And the sovereign of Yisra’ĕl said to him, “Your judgment is right, you yourself have decided it.”

41Then he quickly removed the ashes from his eyes. And the sovereign of Yisra’ĕl recognised him as one of the prophets.

42And he said to him, “Thus said יהוה, ‘Because you have let slip out of your hand a man whom I put under the ban, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people.’ ”

43And the sovereign of Yisra’ĕl went to his house embittered and displeased, and came to Shomeron.

1 Kings 19
Top of Page
Top of Page