First Kings Chapters (English Bible : Catholic Public Domain Version – CPDV)
1 Then Benhadad, the king of Syria, gathered together his entire army. And there were thirty-two kings with him, with horses and chariots. And ascending, he fought against Samaria, and he besieged it.
2 And sending messengers into the city, to Ahab, the king of Israel,
3 he said: “Thus says Benhadad: Your silver and your gold is mine. And your wives and your best sons are mine.”
4 And the king of Israel responded, “In agreement with your word, my lord the king, I am yours, with all that is mine.”
5 And the messengers, returning, said: “Thus says Benhadad, who sent us to you: Your silver and your gold, and your wives and your sons, you shall give to me.
6 Therefore, tomorrow, at this same hour, I will send my servants to you, and they will search your house and the houses of your servants. And all that pleases them, they will put in their hands and take away.”
7 Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and he said: “Let your souls take heed, and see that he commits treachery against us. For he sent to me for my wives and sons, and for silver and gold. And I did not refuse.”
8 And all those greater by birth, with all the people, said to him, “You should neither listen, nor acquiesce to him.”
9 And so, he responded to the messengers of Benhadad: “Tell my lord the king: Everything about which you sent to me in the beginning, I your servant will do. But this thing, I am not able to do.”
10 And returning, the messengers took this to him, and he sent again and said, “May the gods do these things to me, and may they add these other things, if the dust of Samaria is enough to fill the hands of all the people who follow me.”
11 And responding, the king of Israel said, “Tell him that one who is girded should not boast the same as one who is ungirded.”
12 Then it happened that, when Benhadad had heard this word, he and the kings were drinking in a pavilion. And he said to his servants, “Encircle the city.” And they encircled it.
13 And behold, one prophet, drawing near to Ahab, the king of Israel, said to him: “Thus says the Lord: Certainly, you have seen this entire exceedingly great multitude? Behold, I will deliver them into your hand today, so that you may know that I am the Lord.”
14 And Ahab said, “By whom?” And he said to him: “Thus says the Lord: By the footmen of the leaders of the provinces.” And he said, “Who should begin to do battle?” And he said, “You should.”
15 Therefore, he took a count of the servants of the leaders of the provinces. And he found the number to be two hundred thirty-two. And he set them in order after the people, all the sons of Israel, who were seven thousand.
16 And they went out at midday. But Benhadad was drinking; he was inebriated in his pavilion, and the thirty-two kings with him, who had arrived in order to assist him.
17 Then the servants of the leaders of the provinces went out to the first place, at the front. And so, Benhadad sent, and they reported to him, saying: “Men have gone out from Samaria.”
18 And he said: “If they have arrived for peace, apprehend them alive; if to do battle, capture them alive.”
19 Therefore, the servants of the leaders of the provinces went out, and the remainder of the army was following.
20 And each one struck down the man who came against him. And the Syrians fled, and Israel pursued them. Also, Benhadad, the king of Syria, fled on a horse, with his horsemen.
21 But the king of Israel, going out, struck the horses and the chariots, and he struck the Syrians with a great slaughter.
22 Then a prophet, drawing near to the king of Israel, said to him: “Go and be strengthened. And know and see what you are doing. For in the following year, the king of Syria will rise up against you.”
23 Then truly, the servants of the king of Syria said to him: “Their gods are the gods of the mountains; because of this, they have overwhelmed us. But it is better that we fight against them in the plains, and then we will prevail over them.
24 Therefore, you should do this word: Remove each of the kings from your army, and set commanders in their place.
25 And replace the number of soldiers who have been cut down of yours, and the horses, in accord with the earlier number of horses, and the chariots, in accord with the number of chariots that you had before. And we will fight against them in the plains, and you will see that we will prevail over them.” And he trusted in their counsel, and he did so.
26 Therefore, after the passing of the year, Benhadad took a count of the Syrians, and he ascended to Aphek, so that he might fight against Israel.
27 Then the sons of Israel were numbered, and taking provisions, they set out to the opposite side. And they stretched out the camp facing them, like two little flocks of goats. But the Syrians filled the land.
28 And one man of God, drawing near, said to the king of Israel: “Thus says the Lord: Because the Syrians have said, ‘The Lord is the God of the mountains, but he is not the God of the valleys,’ I will deliver this entire great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
29 And for seven days, both sides arranged each of their battle lines. Then, on the seventh day, the war was undertaken. And the sons of Israel struck down, from the Syrians, one hundred thousand foot soldiers in one day.
30 Then those who had remained fled to Aphek, into the city. And the wall fell upon twenty-seven thousand men of those who had remained. Then Benhadad, fleeing, entered the city, into a room that was inside another room.
31 And his servants said to him: “Behold, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel show clemency. And so, let us put sackcloth around our waists, and ropes on our heads, and let us go out to the king of Israel. Perhaps he will save our lives.”
32 So they wrapped sackcloth around their waists, and they placed ropes on their heads. And they went to the king of Israel, and they said to him: “Your servant, Benhadad, says: ‘I beg you to let my soul live.’ ” And he replied, “If he is still alive, he is my brother.”
33 The men accepted this as a good sign. And hastily, they took up the word from his mouth, and they said, “Benhadad is your brother.” And he said to them, “Go, and bring him to me.” Therefore, Benhadad went out to him, and he lifted him onto his chariot.
34 And he said to him: “The cities that my father took from your father, I will return. And you may make streets for yourself in Damascus, just as my father made in Samaria. And after we have made a pact, I will withdraw from you.” Therefore, he formed a pact with him, and he released him.
35 Then a certain man from the sons of the prophets said to his associate, by the word of the Lord, “Strike me.” But he was not willing to strike.
36 And he said to him: “Because you were not willing to heed the voice of the Lord, behold, you will depart from me, and a lion will slay you. And when he had departed a short distance from him, a lion found him, and slew him.
37 But upon finding another man, he said to him, “Strike me.” And he struck him, and wounded him.
38 Then the prophet departed. And he met the king along the way, and he changed his appearance by sprinkling dust around his mouth and eyes.
39 And when the king had passed by, he cried out to the king, and he said: “Your servant went out to do battle in close quarters. And when one man had fled, a certain person brought him to me, and he said: ‘Guard this man. For if he slips away, your life will take the place of his life, or you will weigh out one talent of silver.’
40 And while I was distracted, turning one way and another, suddenly, he was not to be seen.” And the king of Israel said to him, “This is your judgment, that which you yourself have decreed.”
41 Then immediately, he wiped away the dust from his face, and the king of Israel recognized him, that he was one of the prophets.
42 And he said to him: “Thus says the Lord: Because you have released from your hand a man worthy of death, your life will take the place of his life, and your people will take the place of his people.”
43 And so the king of Israel returned to his house, unwilling to listen, and a fury entered into Samaria.