1Kings 20

 

וּבֶן־הֲדַד מֶלֶךְ־אֲרָם קָבַץ אֶת־כָּל־חֵילוֹ וּשְׁלֹשִׁים וּשְׁנַיִם מֶלֶךְ אִתּוֹ וְסוּס וָרָכֶב וַיַּעַל וַיָּצַר עַל־שֹׁמְרוֹן   20:1 וַיִּלָּחֶם בָּהּ׃

1Kin. 20:1   And Ben-hadad, king of Aram, gathered together his entire host, and thirty-two kings with it, and horses and chariots, and went up and lay siege on Samaria and fought with it.

וַיִּשְׁלַח מַלְאָכִים אֶל־אַחְאָב מֶלֶךְ־יִשְׂרָאֵל הָעִירָה׃   20:2

1Kin. 20:2   And he sent messengers to Ahab, king of Israel, to the city,

וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ כֹּה אָמַר בֶּן־הֲדַד כַּסְפְּךָ וּזְהָבְךָ לִי־הוּא וְנָשֶׁיךָ וּבָנֶיךָ הַטּוֹבִים לִי־הֵם׃   20:3

1Kin. 20:3   and said to him, “Thus says Ben-hadad:  ‘Your silver and your gold, it is for me, and the finest of your wives and of your children, they are for me.’”

וַיַּעַן מֶלֶךְ־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמֶר כִּדְבָרְךָ אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ לְךָ אֲנִי וְכָל־אֲשֶׁר־לִי׃   20:4

1Kin. 20:4   And the king of Israel answered and said, “It is according to your word, my lord, O king.  I am for you, and all that is mine.”

וַיָּשֻׁבוּ הַמַּלְאָכִים וַיֹּאמְרוּ כֹּה־אָמַר בֶּן־הֲדַד לֵאמֹר כִּי־שָׁלַחְתִּי אֵלֶיךָ לֵאמֹר כַּסְפְּךָ וּזְהָבְךָ וְנָשֶׁיךָ   20:5

 וּבָנֶיךָ לִי תִתֵּן׃

1Kin. 20:5   And the messengers came again and said, “Thus speaks Ben-hadad saying: ‘Indeed I sent to you saying, ‘You shall give your silver and your gold and your wives and your children to me,

כִּי אִם־כָּעֵת מָחָר אֶשְׁלַח אֶת־עֲבָדַי אֵלֶיךָ וְחִפְּשׂוּ אֶת־בֵּיתְךָ וְאֵת בָּתֵּי עֲבָדֶיךָ וְהָיָה כָּל־מַחְמַד   20:6

  עֵינֶיךָ יָשִׂימוּ בְיָדָם וְלָקָחוּ׃

1Kin. 20:6   but about this time tomorrow I shall send my servants to you and they will search your house and the houses of your servants and shall there be anything pleasant in your eyes, put in their hand and they shall take.’”

וַיִּקְרָא מֶלֶךְ־יִשְׂרָאֵל לְכָל־זִקְנֵי הָאָרֶץ וַיֹּאמֶר דְּעוּ־נָא וּרְאוּ כִּי רָעָה זֶה מְבַקֵּשׁ כִּי־שָׁלַח אֵלַי לְנָשַׁי   20:7 וּלְבָנַי וּלְכַסְפִּי וְלִזְהָבִי וְלֹא מָנַעְתִּי מִמֶּנּוּ׃

1Kin. 20:7   Then the king of Israel called for all the elders of the land and said, “Know now and see that he is seeking mischief, for he sent to me for my wives and for my children and for my silver and for my gold and I did not withhold from him.”

וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו כָּל־הַזְּקֵנִים וְכָל־הָעָם אַל־תִּשְׁמַע וְלוֹא תֹאבֶה׃   20:8

1Kin. 20:8   And all the elders said to him, and all the people, “Do not listen and do not consent.”

וַיֹּאמֶר לְמַלְאֲכֵי בֶן־הֲדַד אִמְרוּ לַאדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ כֹּל אֲשֶׁר־שָׁלַחְתָּ אֶל־עַבְדְּךָ בָרִאשֹׁנָה אֶעֱשֶׂה וְהַדָּבָר   20:9 הַזֶּה לֹא אוּכַל לַעֲשׂוֹת וַיֵּלְכוּ הַמַּלְאָכִים וַיְשִׁבֻהוּ דָּבָר׃

1Kin. 20:9   So he said to the messengers of Ben-hadad, “Say to my lord, the king, ‘I would have done all that you sent at first to your servant, but I am not able to do this thing.’”  And the messengers departed and brought him back word.

וַיִּשְׁלַח אֵלָיו בֶּן־הֲדַד וַיֹּאמֶר כֹּה־יַעֲשׂוּן לִי אֱלֹהִים וְכֹה יוֹסִפוּ אִם־יִשְׂפֹּק עֲפַר שֹׁמְרוֹן לִשְׁעָלִים   20:10 לְכָל־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר בְּרַגְלָי׃

1Kin. 20:10   And Ben-hadad sent to him and said, “Thus the gods shall do to me and also more, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people who follow me.”

וַיַּעַן מֶלֶךְ־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמֶר דַּבְּרוּ אַל־יִתְהַלֵּל חֹגֵר כִּמְפַתֵּחַ׃   20:11

1Kin. 20:11   And the king of Israel answered and said, “Declare, ‘The girder of armor should not boast as who has ungirded.”

I presume the meaning here is that “who has ungirded” is the victor and the battle is over.  Popular similar aphorisms are don’t count your winnings until the card game is over, or don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.

וַיְהִי כִּשְׁמֹעַ אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וְהוּא שֹׁתֶה הוּא וְהַמְּלָכִים בַּסֻּכּוֹת וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־עֲבָדָיו שִׂימוּ וַיָּשִׂימוּ   20:12 עַל־הָעִיר׃

1Kin. 20:12   And it was when he heard this message, as he drank, he and the kings in the tents, that he said to his servants, “Get set.”  And they got set against the city.

וְהִנֵּה נָבִיא אֶחָד נִגַּשׁ אֶל־אַחְאָב מֶלֶךְ־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמֶר כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה הְרָאִיתָ אֵת כָּל־הֶהָמוֹן   20:13 הַגָּדוֹל הַזֶּה הִנְנִי נֹתְנוֹ בְיָדְךָ הַיּוֹם וְיָדַעְתָּ כִּי־אֲנִי יְהוָה׃

1Kin. 20:13   Then behold, one prophet came close to Ahab, king of Israel, and said, “Thus says the Lord:  ‘Do you see all this great multitude?  Behold, I have delivered it into your hand today, so you will know that I am the Lord.”

וַיֹּאמֶר אַחְאָב בְּמִי וַיֹּאמֶר כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה בְּנַעֲרֵי שָׂרֵי הַמְּדִינוֹת וַיֹּאמֶר מִי־יֶאְסֹר הַמִּלְחָמָה וַיֹּאמֶר   20:14 אָתָּה׃

1Kin. 20:14   And Ahab said, “By whom?”  And he said, “Thus says the Lord:  ‘By the young men of the captains of the provinces.”  And he said, “Who shall start the battle?”  And he said, “You.”

וַיִּפְקֹד אֶת־נַעֲרֵי שָׂרֵי הַמְּדִינוֹת וַיִּהְיוּ מָאתַיִם שְׁנַיִם וּשְׁלֹשִׁים וְאַחֲרֵיהֶם פָּקַד אֶת־כָּל־הָעָם כָּל־בְּנֵי   20:15 יִשְׂרָאֵל שִׁבְעַת אֲלָפִים׃

1Kin. 20:15   Then he numbered the young men of the captains of the provinces, and they were two hundred thirty-two.  And after them he numbered all the people, all the children of Israel, seven thousand.

וַיֵּצְאוּ בַּצָּהֳרָיִם וּבֶן־הֲדַד שֹׁתֶה שִׁכּוֹר בַּסֻּכּוֹת הוּא וְהַמְּלָכִים שְׁלֹשִׁים־וּשְׁנַיִם מֶלֶךְ עֹזֵר אֹתוֹ׃   20:16

1Kin. 20:16   And they went out at noon, while Ben-hadad was becoming drunk in the tents, he and the kings, the thirty-two kings helping him.

וַיֵּצְאוּ נַעֲרֵי שָׂרֵי הַמְּדִינוֹת בָּרִאשֹׁנָה וַיִּשְׁלַח בֶּן־הֲדַד וַיַּגִּידוּ לוֹ לֵאמֹר אֲנָשִׁים יָצְאוּ מִשֹּׁמְרוֹן׃   20:17

1Kin. 20:17   And the young men of the captains of the provinces went out at first, and Ben-hadad sent, and they related to him saying, “Men are coming out from Samaria.”

וַיֹּאמֶר אִם־לְשָׁלוֹם יָצָאוּ תִּפְשׂוּם חַיִּים וְאִם לְמִלְחָמָה יָצָאוּ חַיִּים תִּפְשׂוּם׃   20:18

1Kin. 20:18   And he said, “If they come out in peace, capture them alive, and if they come out for war, capture them alive.”

וְאֵלֶּה יָצְאוּ מִן־הָעִיר נַעֲרֵי שָׂרֵי הַמְּדִינוֹת וְהַחַיִל אֲשֶׁר אַחֲרֵיהֶם׃   20:19

1Kin. 20:19   So these went out from the city, the young men of the captains of the provinces and the army that followed them.

וַיַּכּוּ אִישׁ אִישׁוֹ וַיָּנֻסוּ אֲרָם וַיִּרְדְּפֵם יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּמָּלֵט בֶּן־הֲדַד מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם עַל־סוּס וּפָרָשִׁים׃   20:20

1Kin. 20:20   And they smote each his man, and the Arameans fled and Israel pursued them, but Ben-hadad, king of Aram, escaped on a horse with horsemen.

וַיֵּצֵא מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיַּךְ אֶת־הַסּוּס וְאֶת־הָרָכֶב וְהִכָּה בַאֲרָם מַכָּה גְדוֹלָה׃   20:21

1Kin. 20:21   And the king of Israel went out and smote the horses and the chariots and wrought a great slaughter against the Arameans.

וַיִּגַּשׁ הַנָּבִיא אֶל־מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ לֵךְ הִתְחַזַּק וְדַע וּרְאֵה אֵת אֲשֶׁר־תַּעֲשֶׂה כִּי לִתְשׁוּבַת   20:22 הַשָּׁנָה מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם עֹלֶה עָלֶיךָ׃

1Kin. 20:22   And the prophet came near to the king of Israel and said to him, “Go strengthen yourself, and be aware, and regard what you do, for the returning of the year, the king of Aram is coming up against you.”

וְעַבְדֵי מֶלֶךְ־אֲרָם אָמְרוּ אֵלָיו אֱלֹהֵי הָרִים אֱלֹהֵיהֶם עַל־כֵּן חָזְקוּ מִמֶּנּוּ וְאוּלָם נִלָּחֵם אִתָּם בַּמִּישׁוֹר   20:23 אִם־לֹא נֶחֱזַק מֵהֶם׃

1Kin. 20:23   And the servants of the king of Aram said to him, “Their God is a God of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we.  But if we fight with them in the plain, will we not be stronger than they?”

וְאֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה עֲשֵׂה הָסֵר הַמְּלָכִים אִישׁ מִמְּקֹמוֹ וְשִׂים פַּחוֹת תַּחְתֵּיהֶם׃   20:24

1Kin. 20:24   “So do this thing:  Remove the kings each from his place and put governors in their stead,

וְאַתָּה תִמְנֶה־לְךָ חַיִל כַּחַיִל הַנֹּפֵל מֵאוֹתָךְ וְסוּס כַּסּוּס וְרֶכֶב כָּרֶכֶב וְנִלָּחֲמָה אוֹתָם בַּמִּישׁוֹר   20:25 אִם־לֹא נֶחֱזַק מֵהֶם וַיִּשְׁמַע לְקֹלָם וַיַּעַשׂ כֵּן׃

1Kin. 20:25   and you prepare for yourself an army like the army that fell from you, with horse for horse and chariot for chariot, and we will fight them in the plain. Surely we will be stronger than they.”  And he listened to their voice and did so.

וַיְהִי לִתְשׁוּבַת הַשָּׁנָה וַיִּפְקֹד בֶּן־הֲדַד אֶת־אֲרָם וַיַּעַל אֲפֵקָה לַמִּלְחָמָה עִם־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃   20:26

1Kin. 20:26   Then the returning of the year came and Ben-hadad mustered the Arameans and went up to Aphek to fight with Israel.

וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הָתְפָּקְדוּ וְכָלְכְּלוּ וַיֵּלְכוּ לִקְרָאתָם וַיַּחֲנוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל נֶגְדָּם כִּשְׁנֵי חֲשִׂפֵי עִזִּים וַאֲרָם   20:27 מִלְאוּ אֶת־הָאָרֶץ׃

1Kin. 20:27   And the children of Israel were mustered and provisioned, and they went to meet them.  And the children of Israel camped opposite them like two little flocks of kids while the Arameans filled the land.

וַיִּגַּשׁ אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמֶר כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה יַעַן אֲשֶׁר אָמְרוּ אֲרָם אֱלֹהֵי   20:28 הָרִים יְהוָה וְלֹא־אֱלֹהֵי עֲמָקִים הוּא וְנָתַתִּי אֶת־כָּל־הֶהָמוֹן הַגָּדוֹל הַזֶּה בְּיָדֶךָ וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי־אֲנִי יְהוָה׃

1Kin. 20:28   And the man of God came near and spoke to the king of Israel saying, “Thus says the Lord:  ‘For the reason that the Arameans said, ‘He is a God of the hills, but not a God of the valleys,’ so I will deliver this entire great multitude into your hand, and you will know that I am the Lord.’”                                                                                                         [Return to v. 20:42 below]

וַיַּחֲנוּ אֵלֶּה נֹכַח אֵלֶּה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וַתִּקְרַב הַמִּלְחָמָה וַיַּכּוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל   20:29

  אֶת־אֲרָם מֵאָה־אֶלֶף רַגְלִי בְּיוֹם אֶחָד׃

1Kin. 20:29   And they camped opposite these those seven days, and it was on the seventh day that the battle was begun, and the children of Israel slew the Arameans, one hundred thousand footmen on the first day.

וַיָּנֻסוּ הַנּוֹתָרִים אֲפֵקָה אֶל־הָעִיר וַתִּפֹּל הַחוֹמָה עַל־עֶשְׂרִים וְשִׁבְעָה אֶלֶף אִישׁ הַנּוֹתָרִים וּבֶן־הֲדַד   20:30 נָס וַיָּבֹא אֶל־הָעִיר חֶדֶר בְּחָדֶר׃

1Kin. 20:30   And the rest fled to Aphek, to the city, but the wall fell upon the twenty-seven thousand men remaining as Ben-hadad fled and came in to the innermost part of the city.

וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו עֲבָדָיו הִנֵּה־נָא שָׁמַעְנוּ כִּי מַלְכֵי בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי־מַלְכֵי חֶסֶד הֵם נָשִׂימָה נָּא שַׂקִּים   20:31 בְּמָתְנֵינוּ וַחֲבָלִים בְּרֹאשֵׁנוּ וְנֵצֵא אֶל־מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל אוּלַי יְחַיֶּה אֶת־נַפְשֶׁךָ׃

1Kin. 20:31   And his servants said to him, “Behold now, we have heard about the kings of the house of Israel, that they are merciful kings.  Please let us put sackcloth on our loins and ropes on our heads and go forth to the king of Israel.  Maybe he will spare your life.”

וַיַּחְגְּרוּ שַׂקִּים בְּמָתְנֵיהֶם וַחֲבָלִים בְּרָאשֵׁיהֶם וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל־מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמְרוּ עַבְדְּךָ בֶן־הֲדַד אָמַר   20:32 תְּחִי־נָא נַפְשִׁי וַיֹּאמֶר הַעוֹדֶנּוּ חַי אָחִי הוּא׃

1Kin. 20:32   So they girded sackcloth on their loins and ropes on their heads and went to the king of Israel and said, “Your servant Ben-hadad says, ‘Spare, I pray you, my life.’”  And he said, “Does he yet live?  He is my brother.”

וְהָאֲנָשִׁים יְנַחֲשׁוּ וַיְמַהֲרוּ וַיַּחְלְטוּ הֲמִמֶּנּוּ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אָחִיךָ בֶן־הֲדַד וַיֹּאמֶר בֹּאוּ קָחֻהוּ וַיֵּצֵא אֵלָיו   20:33 בֶּן־הֲדַד וַיַּעֲלֵהוּ עַל־הַמֶּרְכָּבָה׃

1Kin. 20:33   Now the men learned and hastened and caught what was from him and they said, “Ben-hadad is your brother?”  And he said, “Go bring him.”  Then Ben-hadad came forth to him and he made him come up on the chariot.

וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו הֶעָרִים אֲשֶׁר־לָקַח־אָבִי מֵאֵת אָבִיךָ אָשִׁיב וְחוּצוֹת תָּשִׂים לְךָ בְדַמֶּשֶׂק כַּאֲשֶׁר־שָׂם   20:34

  אָבִי בְּשֹׁמְרוֹן וַאֲנִי בַּבְּרִית אֲשַׁלְּחֶךָּ וַיִּכְרָת־לוֹ בְרִית וַיְשַׁלְּחֵהוּ׃

1Kin. 20:34   And he said to him, “I will give back the cities that my father took from your father.  And you shall place streets for yourself in Damascus as my father placed in Samaria.  And with a covenant I shall let you go.”  So he made a covenant for him and he let him go.

וְאִישׁ אֶחָד מִבְּנֵי הַנְּבִיאִים אָמַר אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ בִּדְבַר יְהוָה הַכֵּינִי נָא וַיְמָאֵן הָאִישׁ לְהַכֹּתוֹ׃   20:35

1Kin. 20:35   And one man from the sons of the prophets said to his companion by the word of the Lord, “Smite me, I pray you.”  But the man refused to smite him.

וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ יַעַן אֲשֶׁר לֹא־שָׁמַעְתָּ בְּקוֹל יְהוָה הִנְּךָ הוֹלֵךְ מֵאִתִּי וְהִכְּךָ הָאַרְיֵה וַיֵּלֶךְ מֵאֶצְלוֹ וַיִּמְצָאֵהוּ   20:36ּ הָאַרְיֵה וַיַּכֵּהוּ׃

1Kin. 20:36   And he said to him, “For the reason that you did not listen to the voice of the Lord, behold, as you are departing from me, then a lion will slay you.”  And as he departed from his vicinity, then a lion found him and slew him.

וַיִּמְצָא אִישׁ אַחֵר וַיֹּאמֶר הַכֵּינִי נָא וַיַּכֵּהוּ הָאִישׁ הַכֵּה וּפָצֹעַ׃   20:37

1Kin. 20:37   Then he found another man and said, “Smite me, I pray you.” And the man smote him, striking and wounding.

וַיֵּלֶךְ הַנָּבִיא וַיַּעֲמֹד לַמֶּלֶךְ עַל־הַדָּרֶךְ וַיִּתְחַפֵּשׂ בָּאֲפֵר עַל־עֵינָיו׃   20:38

1Kin. 20:38   Then the prophet went and waited for the king by the way, and he disguised himself with a bandage over his eyes.

וַיְהִי הַמֶּלֶךְ עֹבֵר וְהוּא צָעַק אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר עַבְדְּךָ יָצָא בְקֶרֶב־הַמִּלְחָמָה וְהִנֵּה־אִישׁ סָר וַיָּבֵא   20:39 אֵלַי אִישׁ וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמֹר אֶת־הָאִישׁ הַזֶּה אִם־הִפָּקֵד יִפָּקֵד וְהָיְתָה נַפְשְׁךָ תַּחַת נַפְשׁוֹ אוֹ כִכַּר־כֶּסֶף תִּשְׁקוֹל׃

1Kin. 20:39   As the king was passing by, then he cried out to the king and said, “Your servant went out in the midst of battle and behold, a man turned and brought a man to me and said, ‘Keep this man.  If by any means he is missing, then your life shall be in place of his life, or you shall pay a talent of silver.’”

וַיְהִי עַבְדְּךָ עֹשֵׂה הֵנָּה וָהֵנָּה וְהוּא אֵינֶנּוּ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו מֶלֶךְ־יִשְׂרָאֵל כֵּן מִשְׁפָּטֶךָ אַתָּה חָרָצְתָּ׃   20:40

1Kin. 20:40   “And as your servant was doing this and that, then he was gone.”  And the king of Israel said to him, “So will be your judgment.  You have decided.”

וַיְמַהֵר וַיָּסַר אֶת־הָאֲפֵר מֵסַל עֵינָיו וַיַּכֵּר אֹתוֹ מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי מֵהַנְּבִאִים הוּא׃   20:41

1Kin. 20:41   And he hastened and removed the bandage from being over his eyes and the king of Israel recognized him, that he was from the prophets.

וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה יַעַן שִׁלַּחְתָּ אֶת־אִישׁ־חֶרְמִי מִיָּד וְהָיְתָה נַפְשְׁךָ תַּחַת נַפְשׁוֹ וְעַמְּךָ תַּחַת   20:42 עַמּוֹ׃

1Kin. 20:42   And he said to him, “Thus says the Lord:  ‘Because you presumptuously sent away the man of My curse, so shall your life be in place of his life, and your people in place of his people.’”

I imagine that the prophet is referring here to the message contained in v. 20:28 above.  It’s a bit difficult to decide if that was indeed God’s curse,  Or that God had cursed Aram elsewhere.  But there is no such curse mentioned anywhere before this in the bible.

וַיֵּלֶךְ מֶלֶךְ־יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל־בֵּיתוֹ סַר וְזָעֵף וַיָּבֹא שֹׁמְרוֹנָה׃   20:43

1Kin. 20:43   Then the king of Israel, sad and displeased, went up to his house as he came to Samaria.

 

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