Now 1Ben-hadadking of Aramgatheredall his army, 2and there were thirty-twokings with him, and horses and chariots. And he went up and 3besiegedSamaria and fought against it.
Then he sentmessengers to the city to Ahabking of Israel and said to him, "ThussaysBen-hadad,
'Your silver and your gold are mine; your most beautifulwives and children are also mine.' "
The king of Israelreplied, "It is according to your word, my lord, O king; I am yours, and all that I have."
Then the messengersreturned and said, "ThussaysaBen-hadad, 'Surely, I sent to you saying, "You shall give me your silver and your gold and your wives and your children,"
but about this timetomorrow I will send my servants to you, and they will search your house and the houses of your servants; and bwhatever is desirable in your eyes, they will ctake in their hand and carry away.' "
Then the king of Israelcalledall the elders of the land and said, "Pleaseobserve and 4seehowthis man is looking for trouble; for he sent to me for my wives and my children and my silver and my gold, and I did not refuse him."
8All the elders and all the peoplesaid to him, "Do not listen or consent."
So he said to the messengers of Ben-hadad, "Tell my lord the king, 'All that you sent for to your servant at the first I will do, but thisthing I cannotdo.' " And the messengersdeparted and brought him wordagain.
10Ben-hadadsent to him and said, "May 5the godsdoso to me and more also, if the dust of Samaria will suffice for handfuls for all the peoplewhodfollow me."
Then the king of Israelreplied, "Tell him, '6Let not him who girds on his armor boast like him who takes it off.' "
When Ben-hadad heardthismessage, as 7he was drinkingewith the kings in the ftemporaryshelters, he said to his servants, "Station yourselves." So they stationed themselves against the city.
Now behold, a prophetapproachedAhabking of Israel and said, "Thussays the LORD, 'Have you seenallthisgreatmultitude? Behold, 8I will deliver them into your handtoday, and 9you shall know that I am the LORD.' "
14Ahabsaid, "By whom?" So he said, "Thussays the LORD, 'By the youngmen of the rulers of the provinces.' " Then he said, "Who shall gbegin the battle?" And he hanswered, "You."
Then he mustered the youngmen of the rulers of the provinces, and there were 232 ; and after them he musteredall the people, even all the sons of Israel, 7,000 .
They went out at noon, while 10Ben-hadad was drinking himself drunk in the itemporarysheltersjwith the thirty-twokings who helped him.
The youngmen of the rulers of the provinceswent out first; and Ben-hadadsent out and they told him, saying, "Men have come out from Samaria."
1811Then he said, "If they have come out for peace, take them alive; or if they have come out for war, take them alive."
So thesewent out from the city, the youngmen of the rulers of the provinces, and the armywhichfollowed them.
They kkilledeach his man; and the Arameansfled and Israelpursued them, and Ben-hadadking of Aramescaped on a horse with horsemen.
The king of Israelwent out and lstruck the horses and chariots, and mkilled the Arameans with a greatslaughter.
Then 12the prophetcamenear to the king of Israel and said to him, "Go, strengthen yourself and observe and seewhat you have to do; for 13at the turn of the year the king of Aram will come up against you."
Now the servants of the king of Aramsaid to him, "14Their gods are gods of the mountains, therefore they were strongerthan we; but rather let us fightagainst them in the plain, and surely we will be strongerthan they.
24"Dothisthing: remove the kings, each from his place, and putcaptains in their place,
and nmuster an army like the army that you have lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot. Then we will fightagainst them in the plain, and surely we will be strongerthan they." And he listened to their voice and didso.
2615At the turn of the year, Ben-hadadmustered the Arameans and went up to 16Aphek to fightagainstIsrael.
The sons of Israel were mustered and were provisioned and went to meet them; and the sons of Israelcampedbefore them like twolittleflocks of goats, 17but the Arameansfilled the country.
Then 18a man of Godcamenear and spoke to the king of Israel and said, "Thussays the LORD, 'Because the Arameans have said, "19The LORD is a god of the mountains, but He is not a god of the valleys," therefore 20I will giveallthisgreatmultitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD.' "
So they campedoneoveragainst the othersevendays. And on the seventhday the battle was joined, and the sons of Israelokilled of the Arameans100,000footsoldiers in oneday.
But the restfled to 21Aphek into the city, and the wallfell on 27,000men who were left. And Ben-hadadfled and came into the city22into an innerchamber.
3123His servantssaid to him, "Beholdnow, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are mercifulkings, please let us 24putsackcloth on our loins and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel; perhaps he will save your plife."
So 25they girdedsackcloth on their loins and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel and said, "26Your servantBen-hadadsays, 'Please let me live.' " And he said, "Is he stillalive? He is my brother."
Now the menqtook this as an omen, and quicklyrcatching his word said, "Your brotherBen-hadad." Then he said, "Go, bring him." Then Ben-hadadcame out to him, and he stook him up into the chariot.
Ben-hadad said to him, "27The citieswhich my fathertook from your father I will restore, and you shall makestreets for yourself in Damascus, as my fathermade in Samaria." Ahab said, "And I will let you go with this covenant." So he made a covenant with him and let him go.
Now a certainman of 28the sons of the prophetssaid to tanother29by the word of the LORD, "Pleasestrike me." But the manrefused to strike him.
Then he said to him, "Because you have not listened to the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as you have departed from me, 30a lion will ukill you." And as soon as he had departed from him a lionfound him and vkilled him.
Then he foundanotherman and said, "Pleasewstrike me." And the manxstruck him, ywounding him.
So the prophetdeparted and waited for the king by the way, and 31disguised himself with a bandageover his eyes.
As the kingpassed by, he cried to the king and said, "Your servantwent out into the midst of the battle; and behold, a manturnedaside and brought a man to me and said, 'Guardthisman; if for anyreason he is missing, 32then your life shall be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver.'
"While your servant was busyhere and there, he was gone." And the king of Israelsaid to him, "So shall your judgment be; you yourself have decided it."
Then he hastilytook the bandageaway from his eyes, and the king of Israelrecognized him that he was of the prophets.
He said to him, "Thussays the LORD, 'Because you have letgo out of your hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore 33your zlife shall go for his aalife, and your people for his people.' "
So 34the king of Israelwent to his housesullen and vexed, and came to Samaria.