Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Israel-Syria at War I Kings 20

I Kings 20:20 "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."

Benhadad could not have known that his kingship was doomed when he went off into battle against Israel. Elijah had already been sent c19v15 to anoint Hazael to be king over Syria.

Nevertheless, Benhadad decided to strip Israel of its possessions. He and 32 other kings. He made demands of the King of Israel and when those were agreed to, he increased his demands. Apparently, he was going to attack no matter what.

Demand one: v3 "Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest are mine."

The king of Israel agreed to this but I don't know how. Second Demand: v6 "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 thy eyes they shall put it in their hand and take it away."

Finally, that got the kings anger up and he was ready to fight. Benhadad invokes his gods against Israel with this threat. v10 "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."

I'm not sure but I think he is saying that he has more people to attack than there are handfuls of dirty in Samaria.

Israel's reply: v11 "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."

Now that's a riddle: He might have been saying that 'You put your pants on just like I do.' or Since he mentioned harness he may have been calling him something like a donkey.

Regardless diplomacy has failed :) .

The armies:
Syria: 100,1000 footmen, v29great multitude v28 (campaign one was like campaign 2 in number)
Israel: 232 princes, 7,000 people

In this the first campaign the people went out and Benhadad ordered them taken alive. He was drunk. That plan did not work and the Syrians were slain and fled.

In the second campaign, the Syrian numbers were suppose to be the same according to the kings advisers. Also, they told the king that the gods of Israel (Really the one God) was God only of the mountain where they lost the first battle so they would fight in the plain or valley.

v27 "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."

Help is on the way, in the following long verse we see the LORD letting the Syrians that he is not restricted to victory in the hills:

v28 "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."

v29 "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. v30 But the rest fled..."

There is more to the chapter, Jezebeel is silent for now. But Ahad spared the king of Syria after he had been delivered into his hand and it displeased the LORD. v42 So Ahab's life was required in return. But not just now.

Psalm 61:3 "For thou hast been a shelter for me and a strong tower from the enemy."

Keywords: Bible Study, Old Testament, Old Old Story, Ahab, Syria. Israel and Syria at war. God is God of the valley as well as the mountain.

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