1 Kings chapter .xx.

And Benhadad king of Siria gathered all his host together, and thirty two kings with him, with horse and chariot: and went up and besieged Samaria and warred against it. And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him: thus sayeth Benhadad. Thy silver and thy gold is mine, and the best of thy wives, and the best of thy children be mine. And the king of Israel answered and said: my lord king, according to thy saying, I am thine with all I have. And the messengers came again to Ahab and said: thus sayeth Benhadad. I have therefore sent unto thee, saying: deliver me then thy silver and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children. Or else I will send my servants unto thee by tomorrow this time: and they shall search thine house, and the houses of thy servants, which shall take all that is glorious in thine eyes, and bring it away with them. Then the king of Israel sent for the elders of the land and said: take heed I pray you and see, how this fellow goeth about mischief. For he sent unto me, for my wives and my children, and my silver and my gold: and I denied him nothing of it. And all the elders of Israel and all the people said: hearken not to him nor consent. Whereupon he said unto the messengers of Benhadad: tell my lord the king, all that he sent for the first time, that I will do: but this request I may not do. And the messengers departed and brought him word. Then Benhadad sent unto him and said: thus do the Gods to me and so thereto, if the dust of Samaria be enough for all the people that follow me, that every man may have an handful. And the king of Israel answered and said: tell him, let not him that putteth on his harness boast himself, as he putteth it off.
And when Benhadad heard that tidings, as he and the kings were drinking in the pavilions, he said unto his servants: put ye in array. And they put themselves in array against the city. And behold there came a Prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, and said to him: thus sayeth the LORD. Seest thou all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver them into thine hand this day, that thou mayest know that I am the LORD. And Ahab said, by whom? And he said thus sayeth the LORD: even by the men of the governors of the shires. And Ahab said: who shall join battle? And he said, thou. Then he numbered the men of the governors of the shires: and they were two hundredth and thirty two. And after them he numbered all the people, and all the children of Israel were seven thousand. And they went out at noon when Benhadad was a drinking strong drink in the pavilions with the thirty two kings that holp him. And the men of the sheriffs of the shires went out first. And Benhadad sent out, and they shewed him saying: there came men out of Samaria. And he said: if they come out for peace, take them alive. And also if they come for war, take them yet alive. And when those men of the sheriffs of the shires were come out of the city and the Host after them, they slew every one of them his man. And the Sirians fled, and Israel followed after them. And Benhadad the king of Siria escaped on a horse with his horsemen. And the king of Israel went out and smote horse and chariot, and slew a great slaughter of the Sirians.
Then there came a Prophet to the king of Israel, and said to him: go forth and play the man, be wise and take heed what thou doest: for when the year is about, the king of Siria will come against thee again. Then said the servants of the kings of Siria to him: the gods of the hills are their gods, and therefore they had the better of us. But let us fight with them in the plain, and for what ye will, we shall have the better of them. And this do: take the kings away every man out of his place, and put dukes in their rooms. And do thou number thee an host, like the host that thou hast lost, and horse for horse and chariot for chariot, and let us fight with them in the plain, and for a wager, we get the better of them. And the king hearkened unto their voice and did even so. And as soon as the year was about, Benhadad numbered the Sirians and went up to Aphek to war with Israel. And the children of Israel were numbered and provided of vitailles, and went against them, and pitched before them like two little flocks of kids: but the Sirians filled the country. Then there came a man of God and said unto the king of Israel: thus sayeth the LORD. Because the Sirians say, that the LORD is but a God of the hills, and not God of the valleys too: therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand that ye may know that I am the LORD. And they pitched one over against the other seven days, and the seventh day joined battle. And the children of Israel slew of the Sirians an hundredth thousand footmen in one day. And the rest fled to Aphek into the city. And there fell a wall upon twenty seven thousand of them that were left. And Benhadad fled and went into the city, from chamber to chamber.
Then said his servants unto him: behold, we have heard say, that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings. Let us put sack cloth about our Loins and ropes about our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: haply he will save thy life. And they girded sack cloth about their loins and put ropes about their heads, and went out to the king of Israel and said: thy servant Benhadad sayeth, I pray thee let me live. And he said: is he yet alive? what he is my brother. And they took the word for good luck and hastily caught it out of his mouth and said: yea thy brother Benhadad. Then he said: go and bring him. And Benhadad came out to him, and the other took him up into the chariot. And Benhadad said: the cities which my father took from thy father, I will restore again. And thou shalt make streets for thee in Damasco, as my father did in Samaria. And I will make an appointment with thee and send thee away. And so he made an appointment with him and sent him away. Then a certain man of the children of the Prophets said unto his fellow with the word of the LORD, smite me I pray thee. And the man would not smite him. And he said, because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD: behold, as soon as thou art departed from me a lion shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a Lion found him and slew him. Then he found another man and said to him: smite me I pray thee. And the man gave him a good stripe and wounded him. And the Prophet went forth and waited for the king by the way and put ashes upon his eyes, and put himself out of knowledge. And when the king came by, he cried unto him and said, thy servant went out in the midst of the battle. And see, there was one began to flee. And there came a man to me and said: keep this man. And if he be missed thy life shall go for his, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver. And as thy servant had here and there to do, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him: even so shall thy judgement be as thou hast defined it thyself. And he hasted and took the ashes away from his eyes: and the king of Israel knew him, that he was of the Prophets. And he said unto the king, thus sayeth the LORD: because thou hast let go a man that ought to have died, thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his. And the king of Israel went to his house wayward and heavy, and entered into Samaria.


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Praise the Everlasting Lord for His Faithful Word.