King James Version

1 Kings 20

1And 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 Samaria, and warred against it.

And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Benhadad,

Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine.

And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have.

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;

Yet I will send my servants unto thee to morrow about 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.

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.

And all the elders and all the people said unto him, Hearken not unto him, nor consent.

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 brought 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 Ben-hadad 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, 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.

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 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.

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Første Kongebog 20

Kong Ahab besejrer den aramæiske hær i to omgange

1På den tid mobiliserede kong Ben-Hadad af Aram sin hær, og sammen med 32 af sine allierede fyrster og deres utallige heste og stridsvogne belejrede han Samaria, Israels hovedstad. 2-3 Så sendte han bud ind i byen til kong Ahab af Israel og lod sige: „Jeg vil have dit sølv og guld. Jeg vil også have dine smukkeste koner og dine stærkeste sønner.”

„Jeg accepterer, min herre konge,” svarede Ahab tilbage. „Du kan tage, hvad du vil, af det, som er mit.”

Efter det svar sendte Ben-Hadad budbringerne til Ahab med en ny besked: „Godt nok sagde jeg, at jeg ville have dit sølv og guld, dine koner og dine børn. Men i morgen ved denne tid vil jeg sende mine folk til dit palads og dine hoffolks huse for at hente alt af værdi!”

Da tilkaldte Ahab landets ledende mænd. „Den mand er ondskabsfuld!” sagde han. „Jeg gik med til at give ham mine koner og børn og mit sølv og guld—men nu vil han have alle vores ejendele!”

„Du skal ikke give efter!” svarede både lederne og folket.

Derfor sendte Ahab følgende besked med tilbage til kong Ben-Hadad: „Jeg accepterer dit første krav, men ikke mere!”

10 Ben-Hadad blev vred og sendte nu følgende budskab til Ahab: „Måtte guderne behandle mig på det grusomste, hvis jeg ikke knuser Samaria, så der kun er støv tilbage!”

11 Men Ahab gav svar på tiltale. „Sig til ham,” snerrede han, „at rigtige krigere venter med at prale af sejren, til de har vundet slaget!” 12 Dette svar nåede kong Ben-Hadad, mens han sad i sit telt og drak sammen med sine allierede. „Gør klar til angreb!” beordrede han sine officerer, og de gjorde sig klar til at storme byen.

13 Imidlertid var der kommet en profet til kong Ahab med et budskab fra Herren: „Se godt på disse mægtige fjendehære! I dag skal du få at se, at jeg er Herren, for jeg vil give dig sejr over dem!”

14 „Hvordan vil Herren gøre det?” spurgte Ahab.

Profeten svarede: „Herren siger: ‚Ved hjælp af distriktsguvernørernes elitetropper.’ ”

„Jamen, skal vi angribe først?” spurgte Ahab.

„Ja,” svarede profeten.

15 Så mønstrede Ahab distriktsguvernørernes elitetropper—232 i alt. Dertil kom resten af Israels hær på 7000 mand.

16-17 Ved middagstid, mens kong Ben-Hadad og de 32 allierede fyrster stadig sad og drak i deres telte, marcherede Ahabs elitetropper ud af byen, fulgt af Israels krigere. Ben-Hadad fik meldingen fra sine udkigsposter: „Der er nogle folk på vej herhen fra byen.” 18 Han lod sig ikke forstyrre, men svarede: „Fang dem levende, hvad enten de kommer for at overgive sig eller for at slås.”

19-20 Så snart elitetropperne og den øvrige hær kom i kamp med Ben-Hadads folk, slog elitetropperne alle deres modstandere ihjel. Da flygtede den aramæiske hær i panik, og israelitterne forfulgte dem. Kong Ben-Hadad undslap til hest sammen med de øvrige ryttere, 21 men hovedparten af stridsvognene og hestene blev taget som krigsbytte af Israels hær, så den aramæiske hær led et stort nederlag.

22 Profeten vendte snart efter tilbage til Ahab med følgende råd: „Du må hellere ruste dig til en hård kamp, for den aramæiske konge vil komme tilbage næste år med fornyet styrke.”

23 Efter nederlaget sagde Ben-Hadads officerer til ham: „Israels gud er en bjerggud. Det er derfor israelitterne vandt slaget på Samarias bjerg, men hvis vi kan lokke dem ned på sletten, kan vi sagtens slå dem. 24 Hør her, hvad vi foreslår: Du skal afsætte alle småkongerne og indsætte guvernører i stedet. 25 Så skal du samle en ny hær, lige så stor som den, du mistede, og med lige så mange heste og vogne og mænd som før. Når vi så kæmper på sletten, er vi de stærkeste.”

Kongen fulgte deres råd. 26 Næste forår mønstrede han hele den aramæiske hær og marcherede mod Israel, men denne gang planlagde han at møde dem ved byen Afek. 27 Også Israel mobiliserede, gjorde forsyningslinierne klar og slog lejr over for dem. Men i sammenligning med den enorme aramæiske hær, der bredte sig ud over hele sletten, lignede israelitternes hær et par små gedeflokke.

28 Da kom profeten igen til kong Ahab med et budskab fra Herren: „Siden aramæerne påstår, at jeg er en bjerggud, som ingen magt har på sletterne, vil jeg give dig sejr over deres store hær. I skal erfare, at jeg er den almægtige Gud.”

29 I seks dage lå israelitterne og aramæerne over for hinanden i deres lejre og ventede, og på den syvende dag begyndte slaget. Den dag dræbte israelitterne 100.000 aramæiske fodfolk. 30 Resten søgte i dækning bag Afeks mure. Men murene styrtede sammen og dræbte endnu 27.000. Ben-Hadad flygtede ind i byen og gemte sig i et baglokale i et af husene. 31 Dér opsøgte nogle af hans officerer ham og sagde: „Herre, vi har hørt, at Israels konger har ry for at vise nåde. Giv os tilladelse til at skifte rustningen ud med sækkelærred og at binde et reb om halsen for at vise vores underdanighed. Så vil vi gå til kong Ahab og se, om han vil skåne dit liv.”

32 Derpå gik de til Ahab og sagde: „Din tjener Ben-Hadad trygler dig om at skåne hans liv.”

„Lever han endnu?” spurgte Ahab forbavset. „Han er jo min kollega.”

33 Det tog mændene som et godt tegn, og de fortsatte i samme skure: „Ja, bestemt, Ben-Hadad og dig har meget tilfælles.”

„Hent ham endelig,” sagde Ahab. Og da Ben-Hadad kom, tog Ahab ham op i sin vogn.

34 „Lad os indgå et forlig,” sagde Ben-Hadad. „Jeg lover at levere de byer tilbage, som min far tog fra din far, og jeg giver dig lov til at drive handel i Damaskus, sådan som min far gjorde det i Samaria.” „Det er i orden. Du har din frihed,” svarede Ahab. Ben-Hadad slap altså fri ved at slutte en fredspagt med Ahab.

En profet fordømmer Ahab

35 En af profeterne fik da et budskab fra Herren. Han henvendte sig til en af de andre profeter og sagde: „Slå mig med dit sværd!” Men den anden profet nægtede at gøre det. 36 Da sagde den første profet: „Fordi du ikke adlød Herrens befaling, bliver du dræbt af en løve, når du går herfra!” Og ganske rigtigt: Da han vendte sig og gik, blev han angrebet af en løve og dræbt.

37 Profeten henvendte sig derefter til en anden profet og sagde: „Slå mig med dit sværd!” Og han adlød, så den første profet blev såret.

38 Den sårede profet gik nu hen og stillede sig ved vejen for at vente på kong Ahab. Han havde taget bind om hovedet, så det dækkede hans øjne. 39 Da kongen kørte forbi, råbte profeten: „Herre, jeg var med i slaget, og en af de andre soldater overlod en krigsfange i min varetægt og sagde: ‚Pas på denne mand! Hvis han slipper væk, må du bøde for det med dit liv eller med en sæk fuld af sølvstykker.’ 40 Men i et ubemærket øjeblik, da jeg havde travlt med andre ting, forsvandt fangen.”

„Du har afsagt din egen dom,” svarede kongen. „Du skal dø eller betale løsesummen.”

41 I samme øjeblik rev profeten bindet fra øjnene, og kongen genkendte ham som en af profeterne. 42 Derpå sagde profeten til kongen: „Hør, hvad Herren siger til dig: Fordi du skånede den mand, som jeg sagde skulle dø, skal du dø i hans sted—og dit folk skal gå til grunde i stedet for hans.”

43 Ærgerlig og vred kørte kong Ahab hjem til Samaria.