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Home > Study Desk
Passage Display[Printer-friendly Verses]   
 1 Kings 20
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The New American Standard Bible
   Book of 1 KingsClick Verse Reference for Study Notes
    20:1-43 - Study Chapter  - Click for Chapter Audio

War with Aram

1 Now Ben-hadad R756 king of Aram gathered all his army, and R757 there were thirty-two kings with him, and horses and chariots. And he went up and besieged R758 Samaria and fought against it. 2 Then he sent messengers to the city to Ahab king of Israel and said to him, "Thus says Ben-hadad, 3 `Your silver and your gold are mine; your most beautiful wives and children are also mine.' " 4 The king of Israel replied, "It is according to your word, my lord, O king; I am yours, and all that I have." 5 Then the messengers returned and said, "Thus says Ben-hadad, F457 `Surely, I sent to you saying, "You shall give me your silver and your gold and your wives and your children," 6 but about this time tomorrow I will send my servants to you, and they will search your house and the houses of your servants; and whatever F458 is desirable in your eyes, they will take F459 in their hand and carry away.' "

7 Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land and said, "Please observe and see R759 how this 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." 8 All the elders and all the people said to him, "Do not listen or consent." 9 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 this thing I cannot do.' " And the messengers departed and brought him word again. 10 Ben-hadad sent to him and said, "May the R760 gods do so to me and more also, if the dust of Samaria will suffice for handfuls for all the people who follow F460 me." 11 Then the king of Israel replied, "Tell him, `Let R761 not him who girds on his armor boast like him who takes it off.' " 12 When Ben-hadad heard this message, as he R762 was drinking with F461 the kings in the temporary F462 shelters, he said to his servants, "Station yourselves." So they stationed themselves against the city.

Ahab Victorious

13 Now behold, a prophet approached Ahab king of Israel and said, "Thus says the LORD, `Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I R763 will deliver them into your hand today, and you R764 shall know that I am the LORD.' " 14 Ahab said, "By whom?" So he said, "Thus says the LORD, `By the young men of the rulers of the provinces.' " Then he said, "Who shall begin F463 the battle?" And he answered, F464 "You." 15 Then he mustered the young men of the rulers of the provinces, and there were 232; and after them he mustered all the people, even all the sons of Israel, 7,000.

16 They went out at noon, while Ben-hadad R765 was drinking himself drunk in the temporary F465 shelters with F466 the thirty-two kings who helped him. 17 The young men of the rulers of the provinces went out first; and Ben-hadad sent out and they told him, saying, "Men have come out from Samaria." 18 Then R766 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 went out from the city, the young men of the rulers of the provinces, and the army which followed them. 20 They killed F467 each his man; and the Arameans fled and Israel pursued them, and Ben-hadad king of Aram escaped on a horse with horsemen. 21 The king of Israel went out and struck F468 the horses and chariots, and killed F468 the Arameans with a great slaughter.

22 Then the R767 prophet came near to the king of Israel and said to him, "Go, strengthen yourself and observe and see what you have to do; for at R768 the turn of the year the king of Aram will come up against you."

23 Now the servants of the king of Aram said to him, "Their R769 gods are gods of the mountains, therefore they were stronger than we; but rather let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we will be stronger than they. 24 "Do this thing: remove the kings, each from his place, and put captains in their place, 25 and muster F469 an army like the army that you have lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot. Then we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we will be stronger than they." And he listened to their voice and did so.

Another Aramean War

26 At R770 the turn of the year, Ben-hadad mustered the Arameans and went up to Aphek R771 to fight against Israel. 27 The sons of Israel were mustered and were provisioned and went to meet them; and the sons of Israel camped before them like two little flocks of goats, but R772 the Arameans filled the country. 28 Then a R773 man of God came near and spoke to the king of Israel and said, "Thus says the LORD, `Because the Arameans have said, "The R774 LORD is a god of the mountains, but He is not a god of the valleys," therefore I R775 will give all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD.' " 29 So they camped one over against the other seven days. And on the seventh day the battle was joined, and the sons of Israel killed F470 of the Arameans 100,000 foot soldiers in one day. 30 But the rest fled to Aphek R776 into the city, and the wall fell on 27,000 men who were left. And Ben-hadad fled and came into the city into R777 an inner chamber.

31 His R778 servants said to him, "Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings, please let us put R779 sackcloth on our loins and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel; perhaps he will save your life." F471 32 So they R780 girded sackcloth on their loins and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel and said, "Your R781 servant Ben-hadad says, `Please let me live.' " And he said, "Is he still alive? He is my brother." 33 Now the men took F472 this as an omen, and quickly catching F473 his word said, "Your brother Ben-hadad." Then he said, "Go, bring him." Then Ben-hadad came out to him, and he took F474 him up into the chariot. 34 Ben-hadad said to him, "The R782 cities which my father took from your father I will restore, and you shall make streets for yourself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria." Ahab said, "And I will let you go with this covenant." So he made a covenant with him and let him go.

35 Now a certain man of the R783 sons of the prophets said to another F475 by R784 the word of the LORD, "Please strike me." But the man refused to strike him. 36 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, a R785 lion will kill F476 you." And as soon as he had departed from him a lion found him and killed F477 him. 37 Then he found another man and said, "Please strike F478 me." And the man struck F479 him, wounding F480 him. 38 So the prophet departed and waited for the king by the way, and disguised R786 himself with a bandage over his eyes. 39 As the king passed by, he cried to the king and said, "Your servant went out into the midst of the battle; and behold, a man turned aside and brought a man to me and said, `Guard this man; if for any reason he is missing, then R787 your life shall be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver.' 40 "While your servant was busy here and there, he was gone." And the king of Israel said to him, "So shall your judgment be; you yourself have decided it." 41 Then he hastily took the bandage away from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him that he was of the prophets. 42 He said to him, "Thus says the LORD, `Because you have let go out of your hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore your R788 life F481 shall go for his life, F481 and your people for his people.' " 43 So the R789 king of Israel went to his house sullen and vexed, and came to Samaria.


R756: 1 Kings 15:18,20; 2 Kings 6:24
R757: 1 Kings 22:31
R758: 1 Kings 16:24; 2 Kings 6:24
R759: 2 Kings 5:7
R760: 1 Kings 19:2; 2 Kings 6:31
R761: Proverbs 27:1
R762: 1 Kings 16:9; Proverbs 31:4,5
R763: 1 Kings 20:28
R764: 1 Kings 18:36
R765: 1 Kings 16:9; 20:12; Proverbs 20:1
R766: 2 Kings 14:8-12
R767: 1 Kings 20:13
R768: 2 Samuel 11:1; 1 Kings 20:26
R769: 1 Kings 14:23; Jeremiah 16:19-21; Romans 1:21-23
R770: 1 Kings 20:22
R771: 2 Kings 13:17
R772: Judges 6:3-5; 1 Samuel 13:5-8
R773: 1 Kings 17:18
R774: 1 Kings 20:23
R775: 1 Kings 20:13
R776: 1 Kings 20:26
R777: 1 Kings 22:25; 2 Chronicles 18:24
R778: 1 Kings 20:23-26
R779: Genesis 37:34; 2 Samuel 3:31
R780: 1 Kings 20:31
R781: 1 Kings 20:3-6
R782: 1 Kings 15:20
R783: 2 Kings 2:3-7
R784: 1 Kings 13:17,18
R785: 1 Kings 13:24
R786: 1 Kings 14:2
R787: 2 Kings 10:24
R788: 1 Kings 20:39
R789: 1 Kings 21:4


Copyright Statement: The New American Standard Bible
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995; Audio Recording Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, (P) 1989 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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