His officials said to him, "Look, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful.1 Let us go to the king of Israel with sackcloth2 around our waists and ropes around our heads. Perhaps he will spare your life."
Wearing sackcloth around their waists and ropes around their heads, they went to the king of Israel and said, "Your servant Ben-Hadad says: 'Please let me live.' " The king answered, "Is he still alive? He is my brother."
The men took this as a good sign and were quick to pick up his word. "Yes, your brother Ben-Hadad!" they said. "Go and get him," the king said. When Ben-Hadad came out, Ahab had him come up into his chariot.
"I will return the cities3 my father took from your father," Ben-Hadad4 offered. "You may set up your own market areas5 in Damascus,6 as my father did in Samaria." [Ahab said, ] "On the basis of a treaty7 I will set you free." So he made a treaty with him, and let him go.