Question #15. How many men in Israel had not bowed the knee to Baal?
(1 Kings 19:18)



The Second Battle With Syria

1 Kings 20: 22-34

Josephus Book 8, Chapter 14, Section 3-4

(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, 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 they 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.

(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, 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 {Ben-hadad} 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.


3. Now Benhadad when he had saved himself, and as much of his army as he could, out of the battle, he consulted with his friends how he might make another expedition against the Israelites.

Now those friends advised him not to fight with them on the hills, because their God was potent in such places, and thence ii had come to pass that they had very joined battle with them in the plain they should beat them.

They also gave him this further advice, to send home those kings whom he had brought as his auxiliaries, but to retain their army, and to set captains over it instead of kings, and to raise an army out of their country, and let them be in the place of the former who perished in the battle, together with horses and chariots.

So he judged their counsel to be good, and acted according to it in the management of the army.

4. At the beginning of the spring, Benhadad took his army with him, and led it against the Hebrews; and when he was come to a certain city which was called Aphek, he pitched his camp in the Great Plain.

Ahab also went to meet him with his army, and pitched his camp over against him, although his army was a very small one, if it were compared with the enemy's but the prophet came again to him, and told him, that God would give him the victory, that he might demonstrate his own power to be not only on the mountains, but on the plains also; which it seems was quite contrary to the opinion of the Syrians.

So they lay quiet in their camp seven days; but on the last of those days, when the enemies came out of their camp, and put themselves in array in order to fight, Ahab also brought out his own army; and when the battle was joined, and they fought valiantly, he put the enemy to flight, and pursed them, and pressed upon them, and slew them; nay, they were destroyed by their own chariots, and by one another; nor could any more than a few of them escape to their own city Aphek, who were also killed by the walls falling upon them, being in number twenty-seven thousand.

Now there were slain in this battle a hundred thousand more; but Benhadad, the king of the Syrians fled away, with certain others of his most faithful servants, and hid himself in a cellar under ground; and when these told him that the kings of Israel were humane and merciful men, and that they might make use of the usual manner of supplication, and obtain deliverance from Ahab, in case he would give them leave to go to him: he gave them leave accordingly.

So they came to Ahab, clothed in sackcloth, with ropes about their heads, (for this was the ancient manner of supplication among the Syrians,) and said that Benhadad desired he would save him; and that he would ever be a servant to him for that favour.

Ahab replied he was glad that he was alive, and not hurt in the battle; and he further promised him the same honor and kindness that a man would shew to his brother.

So they received assurances upon oath from him, that when he came to him he should receive no harm from him, and then went and brought him out of the cellar wherein he was hid, and brought him to Ahab as he sat in his chariot.

So Benhadad worshipped him; and Ahab gave him into his hand, and made him come up to him into his chariot, and kissed him, and bade him be of good cheer, and not to expect that any mischief should be done to him.

So Benhadad returned him thanks, and professed that he would remember his kindness to him all the days of his life; and promised he would restore those cities of the Israelites which the former kings had taken from them, and grant that he should have leave to come to Damascus, as his forefathers had to come to Samaria.

So they confirmed their covenant by oaths; and Ahab made him many presents, and sent him back to his own kingdom. And made against Ahab and the Israelites.

Micaiah Rebukes Ahab

1 Kings 20: 35-43

Josephus Book 8, Chapter 14, Section 5

(35) And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbor 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 cried unto the king: and he said, Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be 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.


5. But a certain prophet, whose name was Micaiah, I came to one of the Israelites, and bade him smite him on the head, for by so doing he would please God; but when he would not do so, he foretold to him, that since he disobeyed the commands of God, he should meet with a lion and be destroyed by him.

When this sad accident had befallen the man, the prophet came again to another, and gave him the same injunction; so he smote him, and wounded his skull: upon which he bound up his head, and came to the king, and told him that he had been a soldier of his, and had the custody of one of the prisoners committed to him by an officer, and that the prisoner being run away, he was in danger of losing his own life by the means of that officer, who had threatened him, that if the prisoner escaped he would kill him; and when Ahab had said that he would justly die, he took off the binding that was about his head, and was known by the king to be Micaiah the prophet, who made use of this artifice as a prelude to the following words; for he said that God would punish him who had suffered Benhadad, a blasphemer against him, to escape punishment; and that he would so bring it about, that he should die by the other's means,* and his people by the other's army.

* It is here remarkable that in Josephus's copy, this prophet, whose severe denunciation of a disobedient person's slaughter by a lion had lately come to pass, was no other than Micaiah, the son of Imlah, who as he now denounced God's judgement on disobedient Ahab, seems directly to have been that very prophet whom the same Ahab, in 1 Kings 22:8, complains of "as one whom he hated, because he did not prophesy good concerning him, but evil" and who, in that chapter, openly repeats his denunciation against him; all which came to pass accordingly.

Upon which Ahab was very angry at the prophet, and gave commandment that he should be put in prison, and there kept; but for himself, he was in confusion at the words of Micaiah, and returned to his own house.

This manner of supplication for men's lives among the Syrians, with ropes or halters about their heads or necks, is, I suppose, no strange thing in later ages, even in our own country.





Question #16. Syria's army numbered at least 127, 000. Based upon verse 25, about how many men did Israel's 7,232-man army defeat in the first battle?

      (  ) 10, 000           (  ) 127, 000           (  ) 1,000,000

Question #17. The Syrians knew why they were defeated. Why did the Syrians believe they were defeated by Israel?

      (  ) a. Israel had better warriors.
      (  ) b. Israel has the best weaponry money could buy.
      (  ) c. Israel's God defeated the Syrians

Syria Is Defeated On One Of God's National Holidays

In 1 Kings 20:22 we are told that Syria would come against Israel "at the turn of the year". The "turn of the year" is the beginning of the year, specifically, the month Abib. The passover is Abib 14 and the days of unleavened Bread. God had earlier prepared the way by placing fear in the hearts of Israel's enemies. Read also Joshua 4, 5 & 6.

Question #18. Why did God dry up the Red Sea and the River Jordan? (Joshua 4:24)


Question #19. Why did God defeat the Syrians for Israel? (1 Kings 20:28)


Question #20. In Joshua 6:1-5 Israel pitched against Jericho seven days. How many days did Israel pitch against Syria? (1 Kings 20:29)


Question #21. In verse 30 a wall fell on 27, 000 men of Syria. Where did another wall fall to Israel's advantage?


Question #22. Is God pleased when His enemies surrender to save their lives and we let them live?

      (  ) Yes.     (  ) No.

Answers and Next page - Click Here


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