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Discover the Arts! Each day a different image from the Literary, Performing, or Visual Arts representing a portion of Scripture
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2017 November 19

Slaughter of the Syrians by the Children of Israel (c. 1865)
Gustav Dore (1832-1883)
Romanticism Style
Dore's English Bible (1866)
Image Source: Jesus Footprints


[ I will again be working through the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. I will be adding links, resources, images, and the like, upgrading the former work-through which began with the 2013-10-12 posting which can be found, along with the full Genesis to Revelation postings, in the Archive Page. Postings will be at midnight Eastern Time, as I am able. However, no chapters will be skipped, even though a posting may be late. And all postings will be housed in the Archive Page. ]

     Explanation: In 1 Kings 20, Benhadad, the king of Syria, came against Ahab, King of Israel (Kings of Judah and Israel Chart), and besieged Israel's capital city, Samaria. Benhadad demanded all of Ahab's silver, his gold, and the best of his wives and children. Ahab agreed; but Benhadad escalated his demands and told Ahab that he also wanted to search the houses of Ahab and his servants and take whatever he wanted (1-6).
     Ahab gathered the elders of the land; and when he told them Benhadad's demands, they told him not to agree. Ahab then told Benhadad that he would agree to the original terms but not to the search and seizure terms. Benhadad told Ahab that he would come against him with overwhelming force and that there would be so many soldiers plundering the city that not even handfuls of dust would be left. But Ahab told him not to boast until the battle was over. When Benhadad heard this message he was drinking; and he responded by sending his troops against Samaria (7-12).
     At that time, a prophet came to Ahab and told him that the LORD would show himself to be the LORD by delivering the Syrians into the hand of Ahab. Ahab ordered the battle and gathered seven thousand two hundred and thirty two warriors -- two hundred and thirty two of the princes of the provinces, and the other seven thousand from the rest of Israel (13-15).
     First, Ahab sent out the two hundred and thirty two princes of the provinces and their troops (drawn, perhaps, from the seven thousand) at noon while Benhadad and the thirty two kings who were his allies were again drinking. Benhadad commanded his men to capture them (16-18).
     But Ahab's troops slaughtered the Syrians and chased them. Benhadad escaped (19-21).
     The prophet spoke again to Ahab telling him to strengthen himself because Benhadad would return again at the turn of the year (22).
     Benhadad's servants told him that they had been defeated because the gods of Israel were gods of the hills; so they told him to fight Israel in the plains (23-25).
     At the turn of the year, the Syrians went to Aphek to fight Israel. They filled the area; but Israel was like two little flocks before them. A man of God came and told Ahab that he would enable Ahab to defeat the Syrians because they said that He was a god of the hills, not a god of the valleys. After seven days Israel began the battle and killed a hundred thousand Syrians (26-29).
     The rest of the Syrians fled to Aphek, but a wall collapsed and killed twenty seven thousand of them. Benhadad fled to an inner chamber within the city. His servants advised him to ask for mercy, which he did. Ahab received him as a brother; and they made a covenant (30-34).
     In preparation for delivering a message to Ahab, a prophet asked a man to wound him. But he refused; and the prophet told him that a lion would kill him for his disobedience. This happened. The prophet then asked another man to wound him; and he did so. So the prophet waited for Ahab. When Ahab came by, the prophet pretended to be someone who had lost a prisoner of war and he had to pay for the misdeed with his life or by paying a talent of silver. Ahab said he would have to pay the penalty. The prophet revealed his true identity and told Ahab that Ahab and his people would pay with their lives for letting Benhadad go, because the LORD had dedicated Benhadad to utter destruction; but Ahab failed to carry out this sentence from God. And Ahab returned to Samaria greatly depressed (35-43).
     [ Sermons: William Still. Sinclair B Ferguson. Various. ]
     [ Illustration: Today's image depicts the main event in today's chapter, the defeat of Benhadad of Syria by Ahab of Israel. ]


PLEASE NOTE: Use the resources on this and other sites thoughtfully, particularly the commentaries and encyclopedias. I have attempted to list conservative, scholarly resources. However, some providers use liberal or liberal-influenced commentaries such as the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (in Bible Hub). Such commentaries are undoubtedly included by the provider for the wealth of useful information and comments which they provide. By consulting several commentaries, it should be fairly easy to sort out the wheat from the chaff. If, however, you would like personal assistance, write to me at AD LIB ARTS EMAIL.

     [Chapter 20: Related Scriptures: 1 Kings 19.] .
     [1] Amos 1:4; Jeremiah 49:27; 2 Samuel 8:3-13; 2 Samuel 10:19.
     [6] Exodus 3:16; Exodus 12:21; Exodus 24:1; Deuteronomy 27:1; Deuteronomy 31:9; Joshua 7:6; 2 Samuel 5:3; 1 Kings 8:3; Numbers 11:24-25; 1 Samuel 30:26; Deuteronomy 19:12; Deuteronomy 21:3; 1 Kings 21:11.
     [13] 1 Kings 22:6-7.
     [20] 1 Samuel 14; Judges 7:16-23; 1 Samuel 14:6.
     [22] 2 Samuel 11:1.
     [23] Judges 4:6-14; 1 Samuel 31:1; 1 Kings 20:27.
     [26] 2 Kings 13:17; 1 Samuel 29:1.
     [28] 2 Kings 19:16-34; Psalm 67:2; Psalm 102:15; Psalm 138:4; Ezekiel 20:9; 2 Kings 5:15.
     [33] 2 Kings 10:15-16.
     [34] 1 Kings 15:20.
     [35] 1 Kings 22; 1 Samuel 10:5; 1 Samuel 10:10; 1 Samuel 19:20; Amos 7:14.
     [36] 1 Kings 13:24.
     [39] 2 Samuel 12:1-4; 2 Samuel 14:5-11; 1 Kings 21:4.
     [42] 2 Kings 13:19; 1 Kings 22:34-36.
     -- From Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers ]

          [ CHRONOLOGY: GENERAL. Patriarchs (Traditional). Judges # 1. Judges # 2. Kings # 1. Kings # 2. Prophets # 1. Prophets # 2. NT # 1. NT # 2. NT # 3. ]

          [ MAPS: Maps # 1. Maps # 2. Maps # 3. Maps # 4. Maps # 5. ]

          [ COMMENTARIES, ETC: GENERAL: Bible Study Tools; Bible Hub: Study Light; Blue Letter Bible // PSALMS: Monergism: Precept Austin: The Treasury of David; John Gill; John Calvin - Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

          [ MUSIC: GENERAL: The Cyber Hymnal // PSALMS: Genevan Psalter (Instrumental). VARIOUS ARTISTS: Micha'el Ben David. Sons of Korah. Fernando Ortega. Janet Isaac Morrison. Music of the Bible Revealed - Suzanne Haik-Vantoura. Dr. David Erb. Gregorian Chants. ]


John Calvin - CCEL | Analytical Chart - BLB


Gospel Harmony - Summary | The Harmony of the Gospels - Augustine | Gospel Harmony Chart - Online Bible

Greek Harmony of the Gospels - Robertson - (Downloadable PDF) | Gospel Harmony in English - Robertson - (Downloadable PDF)


Hebrew and Greek Interlinear Download - Scripture 4 All

Bible Hub Interlinear Hebrew and Greek Bible

Bible Hub Hebrew Interlinear | Scripture 4 All Hebrew Interlinear

Mounce Interlinear | Bible Hub Greek Interlinear | Scripture 4 All Greek Interlinear Bible

1 Kings Detailed Outline

1 Kings 20

Notes: In the Hebrew Bible 1 Kings and 2 Kings were one Book. Overlapping dates for various kings indicate overlapping reigns (co-regencies).

1. The Reign of Solomon (1 Kings 1:1 - 1 Kings 11:43) - 971 - 931 B.C. Israel

2. The Divided Kingdom (1 Kings 12:1 - 2 Kings 25:30) - 931 - 560 B.C. Israel

J. Ahab of Israel (1 Kings 16:29 - 22:40) - {874-853 B.C.}

Map | Time Line

     1 And Benhadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged [sieged upon] Samaria, and warred against it. 2 And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Benhadad, 3 Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine. 4 And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have. 5 And the messengers came again, and said, Thus speaketh Benhadad, saying, Although I have sent unto thee, saying, Thou shalt deliver me thy silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children; 6 Yet I will send my servants unto thee to morrowabout this time, and they shall search thine house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, that whatsoever is pleasant in thine eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away.
     7 Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, Mark, I pray you, and see how this man seeketh mischief: for he sent unto me for my wives, and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold; and I denied him not. 8 And all the elders and all the people said unto him, Hearken not unto him, nor consent. 9 Wherefore he said unto the messengers of Benhadad, Tell my lord the king, All that thou didst send for to thy servant at the first I will do: but this thing I may not do. And the messengers departed, and bought him word again. 10 And Benhadad sent unto him, and said, The gods do so unto me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people that follow me. 11 And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off. 12 And it came to pass, when Benhadad heard this message, as he was drinking, he and the kings in the pavilions, that he said unto his servants, Set yourselves in array. And they set themselves in array against the city.
     13 And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD. 14 And Ahab said, By whom? And he said, Thus saith the LORD, Even by the young men of the princes of the provinces. Then he said, Who shall order the battle? And he answered, Thou. 15 Then he numbered the young men of the princes of the provinces, and they were two hundred and thirty two: and after them he numbered all the people, even all the children of Israel, being seven thousand.
     16 And they went out at noon. But Benhadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him. 17 And the young men of the princes of the provinces went out first; and Benhadad sent out, and they told him, saying, There are men come out of Samaria. 18 And he said, Whether they be come out for peace, take them alive; or whether they be come out for war, take them alive.
     19 So these young men of the princes of the provinces came out of the city, and the army which followed them. 20 And they slew every one his man: and the Syrians fled; and Israel pursued them: and Benhadad the king of Syria escaped on an horse with the horsemen. 21 And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter.
     22 And the prophet came to the king of Israel, and said unto him, Go, strengthen thyself, and mark, and see what thou doest: for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee.
     23 And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. 24 And do this thing, take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their rooms: 25 And number thee an army, like the army that thou hast lost [that fell from you], horse for horse, and chariot for chariot: and we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. And he hearkened unto their voice, and did so.
     26 And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Benhadad numbered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel. 27 And the children of Israel were numbered, and were all present, and went against them: and the children of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country. 28 And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 29 And pitched one over against the other seven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined: and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day.
     30 But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and there a wall fell upon twenty and seven thousand of the men that were left. And Benhadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber [a chamber in a chamber]. 31 And his servants said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, I pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: peradventure he will save thy life. 32 So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Thy servant Benhadad saith, I pray thee thee, let me live. And he said, Is he yet alive? he is my brother. 33 Now the men did diligently observe whether any thing would come from him, and did hastily catch it: and they said, Thy brother Benhadad. Then he said, Go ye, bring him. Then Benhadad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot. 34 And Benhadad said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said Ahab, I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.
     35 And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour in the word of the LORD, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man refused to smite him. 36 Then said he unto him, 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. 37 Then he found another man, and said, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man smote him, so that in smiting he wounded him. 38 So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with ashes upon his face. 39 And as the king passed by, he criedunto the king: and he said, Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and bought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing [to be missing he is missing], then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver. 40 And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it. 41 And he hasted, and took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets. 42 And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people. 43 And the king of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased, and came to Samaria.

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