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The Lord Gives Israel Another Victory

20:22 The prophet25 visited the king of Israel and instructed him, “Go, fortify your defenses.26 Determine27 what you must do, for in the spring28 the king of Syria will attack29 you.” 20:23 Now the advisers30 of the king of Syria said to him: “Their God is a god of the mountains. That’s why they overpowered us. But if we fight them in the plains, we will certainly overpower them. 20:24 So do this: Dismiss the kings from their command, and replace them with military commanders. 20:25 Muster an army like the one you lost, with the same number of horses and chariots.31 Then we will fight them in the plains; we will certainly overpower them.” He approved their plan and did as they advised.32

20:26 In the spring33 Ben Hadad mustered the Syrian army34 and marched to Aphek to fight Israel.35 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 flocks36 of goats, but the Syrians filled the land. 20:28 The prophet37 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.38 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.39 Now Ben Hadad ran into the city and hid in an inner room.40 20:31 His advisers41 said to him, “Look, we have heard that the kings of the Israelite dynasty are kind.42 Allow us to put sackcloth around our waists and ropes on our heads43 and surrender44 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 servant45 Ben Hadad says, ‘Please let me live!’ ” Ahab46 replied, “Is he still alive? He is my brother.47 20:33 The men took this as a good omen and quickly accepted his offer, saying, “Ben Hadad is your brother.” Ahab48 then said, “Go, get him.” So Ben Hadad came out to him, and Ahab pulled him up into his chariot. 20:34 Ben Hadad49 said, “I will return the cities my father took from your father. You may set up markets50 in Damascus, just as my father did in Samaria.”51 Ahab then said, “I want to make a treaty with you before I dismiss you.”52 So he made a treaty with him and then dismissed him.


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