1 Then Benhadad, 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 warred against it.
2 And he sent messengers to Ahab, king of Israel, into the city and said unto him, Thus hath Benhadad said,
3 Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine.
4 And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy word, I am thine and all that I have.
5 And the messengers came again and said, Thus hath Benhadad said, Although I have sent unto thee, saying, Thou shalt deliver me thy silver and thy gold and thy wives and thy children,
6 yet I will send my slaves unto thee tomorrow about this time, and they shall search thy house and the houses of thy slaves; and it shall be that whatever is precious in thine eyes, they shall put it in their hand and take it away.
7 Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land and said, Understand, I pray you, and see how this man seeks only evil, 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.
8 And all the elders and all the people said unto him, Hearken not unto him, nor consent.
9 So he said unto the messengers of Benhadad, Tell my lord the king, All that thou didst send for to thy slave at the first I will do, but this thing I may not do. And the messengers departed and brought him word again.
10 And Benhadad sent unto him again and said, The gods do so unto me, and more also, that the dust of Samaria shall not be enough for the open hands of all the people that follow me.
11 And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Let not him that girds on his harness boast as he that puts it off.
12 And when he heard this word, as he was drinking with the kings in the pavilions, he said unto his slaves, Set yourselves in array. And they set themselves in array against the city.
13 And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab, king of Israel, saying, Thus hath the LORD said, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will deliver it into thy hand today, that thou shalt know that I am the LORD.
14 And Ahab said, By whom? And he said, Thus hath the LORD said, Even by the young men of the princes of the provinces. Then he said, Who shall begin the battle? And he answered, Thou.
15 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 sons of Israel, being seven thousand.
16 And they went out at noon. But Benhadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty-two kings that helped him.
17 And the young men of the princes of the provinces went out first. And Benhadad had sent out men who warned him, saying, There are men come out of Samaria.
18 Then he said, If they have come out for peace, take them alive; or if they have come out for war, take them alive.
19 So these young men of the princes of the provinces came out of the city, and the army followed after them.
20 And each one smote the man that came against him; and the Syrians fled; and Israel pursued them. And Benhadad, the king of Syria, escaped on a horse with some of the horsemen.
21 And the king of Israel went out and smote the horsemen and the chariots and smote the Syrians with a great slaughter.
22 And the prophet came to the king of Israel and said unto him, Go, strengthen thyself, and consider, and see what thou must do, for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee.
23 And the slaves of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods are gods of the mountains; therefore, they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.
24 Therefore, do this: Remove the kings from their positions and put captains in their place.
25 And prepare another army like the army that thou hast lost, horse for horse and chariot for chariot; then 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.
26 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.
27 And the sons of Israel were numbered and took provisions and went against them; and the sons of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the land.
28 Then the man of God came and spoke unto the king of Israel and said, Thus hath the LORD said, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the mountains, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore, I will deliver all this great multitude into thy hand that ye may know that I am the LORD.
29 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 sons of Israel slew of the Syrians one hundred thousand footmen in one day.
30 But the rest fled to Aphek into the city, and the wall fell upon twenty-seven thousand of the men that were left. And Benhadad also fled and came into the city, into an inner chamber.
31 Then his slaves 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 give thee thy life.
32 So they girded sackcloth on their loins and put ropes on their heads and came to the king of Israel and said, Thy slave Benhadad saith, I pray thee, let me live. And he replied, If he is yet alive, he is my brother.
33 Now these men took this as a good omen and quickly took this word from his mouth, and they said, Thy brother Benhadad! And he said, Go ye, bring him. Then Benhadad came forth to him, and he caused him to come up into the chariot.
34 And Benhadad said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make plazas for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria, and I will leave here confederated with thee. So he made a covenant with him and sent him away.
35 Then a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour by the word of the LORD, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man refused to smite him.
36 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 smite thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him and smote him.
37 Then he found another man and said, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man smote him and wounded him.
38 So the prophet departed and waited for the king by the way and disguised himself with a veil over his eyes.
39 And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king, and he said, Thy slave went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside and brought a man unto me and said, Guard this man; if by any means he should get away, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver.
40 And when thy slave was busy here and there, he disappeared. Then the king of Israel said unto him, So shall thy sentence be; thou thyself hast decided it.
41 Then he quickly took the veil away from his face; and the king of Israel recognized that he was of the prophets.
42 And he said unto him, Thus hath the LORD said, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand the man of my anathema, therefore, thy life shall go for his life and thy people for his people.
43 And the king of Israel went to his house, sad and angry, and came to Samaria.