Bible: 1 Kings 20:26-43

20:26 In the spring 1  Ben Hadad mustered the Syrian army 2  and marched to Aphek to fight Israel. 3  20:27 When the Israelites had mustered and had received their supplies, they marched out to face them in battle. When the Israelites deployed opposite them, they were like two small flocks 4  of goats, but the Syrians filled the land. 20:28 The prophet 5  visited the king of Israel and said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because the Syrians said, “The Lord is a god of the mountains and not a god of the valleys,” I will hand over to you this entire huge army. 6  Then you will know that I am the Lord.’

20:29 The armies were deployed opposite each other for seven days. On the seventh day the battle began, and the Israelites killed 100,000 Syrian foot soldiers in one day. 20:30 The remaining 27,000 ran to Aphek and went into the city, but the wall fell on them. 7  Now Ben Hadad ran into the city and hid in an inner room. 8  20:31 His advisers 9  said to him, “Look, we have heard that the kings of the Israelite dynasty are kind. 10  Allow us to put sackcloth around our waists and ropes on our heads 11  and surrender 12  to the king of Israel. Maybe he will spare our lives.” 20:32 So they put sackcloth around their waists and ropes on their heads and went to the king of Israel. They said, “Your servant 13  Ben Hadad says, ‘Please let me live!’” Ahab 14  replied, “Is he still alive? He is my brother.” 15  20:33 The men took this as a good omen and quickly accepted his offer, saying, “Ben Hadad is your brother.” Ahab 16  then said, “Go, get him.” So Ben Hadad came out to him, and Ahab pulled him up into his chariot. 20:34 Ben Hadad 17  said, “I will return the cities my father took from your father. You may set up markets 18  in Damascus, just as my father did in Samaria.” 19  Ahab then said, “I want to make a treaty with you before I dismiss you.” 20  So he made a treaty with him and then dismissed him.

A Prophet Denounces Ahab’s Actions

20:35 One of the members of the prophetic guild, speaking with divine authority, ordered his companion, “Wound me!” 21  But the man refused to wound him. 20:36 So the prophet 22  said to him, “Because you have disobeyed the Lord, as soon as you leave me a lion will kill you.” When he left him, a lion attacked and killed him. 20:37 He found another man and said, “Wound me!” So the man wounded him severely. 23  20:38 The prophet then went and stood by the road, waiting for the king. He also disguised himself by putting a bandage down over his eyes. 20:39 When the king passed by, he called out to the king, “Your servant went out into the heat 24  of the battle, and then a man turned aside and brought me a prisoner. 25  He told me, ‘Guard this prisoner. If he ends up missing for any reason, 26  you will pay with your life or with a talent 27  of silver.’ 28  20:40 Well, it just so happened that while your servant was doing this and that, he disappeared.” The king of Israel said to him, “Your punishment is already determined by your own testimony.” 29  20:41 The prophet 30  quickly removed the bandage from his eyes and the king of Israel recognized he was one of the prophets. 20:42 The prophet 31  then said to him, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Because you released a man I had determined should die, you will pay with your life and your people will suffer instead of his people.’ 32  20:43 The king of Israel went home to Samaria 33  bitter and angry.

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