I Kings 20
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1  And Ben-hadad the king of Aram gathered all his host together; and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses and chariots; and he went up and besieged Shomron, and fought against it.

א  וּבֶן הֲדַד מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם קָבַץ אֶת כָּל חֵילוֹ וּשְׁלֹשִׁים וּשְׁנַיִם מֶלֶךְ אִתּוֹ וְסוּס וָרָכֶב וַיַּעַל וַיָּצַר עַל שֹׁמְרוֹן וַיִּלָּחֶם בָּהּ.

2  And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Yisrael, into the city,

ב  וַיִּשְׁלַח מַלְאָכִים אֶל אַחְאָב מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל הָעִירָה.

3  and said unto him: ‘Thus saith Ben-hadad: Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine.’

ג  וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ כֹּה אָמַר בֶּן הֲדַד כַּסְפְּךָ וּזְהָבְךָ לִי הוּא וְנָשֶׁיךָ וּבָנֶיךָ הַטּוֹבִים לִי הֵם.

4  And the king of Yisrael answered and said: ‘It is according to thy saying, my lord, O king: I am thine, and all that I have.’

ד  וַיַּעַן מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמֶר כִּדְבָרְךָ אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ לְךָ אֲנִי וְכָל אֲשֶׁר לִי.

5  And the messengers came again, and said: ‘Thus speaketh Ben-hadad, saying: I sent indeed unto thee, saying: Thou shalt deliver me thy silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children;

ה  וַיָּשֻׁבוּ הַמַּלְאָכִים וַיֹּאמְרוּ כֹּה אָמַר בֶּן הֲדַד לֵאמֹר כִּי שָׁלַחְתִּי אֵלֶיךָ לֵאמֹר כַּסְפְּךָ וּזְהָבְךָ וְנָשֶׁיךָ וּבָנֶיךָ לִי תִתֵּן.

6  but I will send my servants unto thee tomorrow about this time, and they shall search thy 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.’

kee im ka-AYT ma-KHAR esh-LAKH et a-va-DAI ay-LE-kha v’-khi-p’-SU et bay-t’-KHA v’-AYT ba-TAY a-va-DE-kha v’-ha-YAH kol makh-MAD ay-NE-kha ya-SEE-mu v’-ya-DAM v’-la-KA-khu

ו  כִּי אִם כָּעֵת מָחָר אֶשְׁלַח אֶת עֲבָדַי אֵלֶיךָ וְחִפְּשׂוּ אֶת בֵּיתְךָ וְאֵת בָּתֵּי עֲבָדֶיךָ וְהָיָה כָּל מַחְמַד עֵינֶיךָ יָשִׂימוּ בְיָדָם וְלָקָחוּ.

20:6   Whatsoever is pleasant in thine eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away

According to Rashi, Ben-hadad is demanding that the People of Israel turn over their Torah scrolls to him. Rashi notes that Ahab understands that the Torah is not his private possession, but rather a national treasure. Thus, he asks the elders of the Land of Israel what to do. Though the elders have sinned through idolatry, they still have honor for the Torah and refuse to permit turning over the precious Scrolls of the Law to the enemy. Even someone almost totally spiritually disconnected still maintains a small connection to God, and that connection often emerges in times of crisis.

Comment

7  Then the king of Yisrael 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.’

ז  וַיִּקְרָא מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְכָל זִקְנֵי הָאָרֶץ וַיֹּאמֶר דְּעוּ נָא וּרְאוּ כִּי רָעָה זֶה מְבַקֵּשׁ כִּי שָׁלַח אֵלַי לְנָשַׁי וּלְבָנַי וּלְכַסְפִּי וְלִזְהָבִי וְלֹא מָנַעְתִּי מִמֶּנּוּ.

8  And all the elders and all the people said unto him: ‘Hearken thou not, neither consent.’

ח  וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו כָּל הַזְּקֵנִים וְכָל הָעָם אַל תִּשְׁמַע וְלוֹא תֹאבֶה.

9  Wherefore he said unto the messengers of Ben-hadad: ‘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 back word.

ט  וַיֹּאמֶר לְמַלְאֲכֵי בֶן הֲדַד אִמְרוּ לַאדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ כֹּל אֲשֶׁר שָׁלַחְתָּ אֶל עַבְדְּךָ בָרִאשֹׁנָה אֶעֱשֶׂה וְהַדָּבָר הַזֶּה לֹא אוּכַל לַעֲשׂוֹת וַיֵּלְכוּ הַמַּלְאָכִים וַיְשִׁבֻהוּ דָּבָר.

10  And Ben-hadad sent unto him, and said: ‘The gods do so unto me, and more also, if the dust of Shomron shall suffice for handfuls for all the people that follow me.’

י  וַיִּשְׁלַח אֵלָיו בֶּן הֲדַד וַיֹּאמֶר כֹּה יַעֲשׂוּן לִי אֱלֹהִים וְכֹה יוֹסִפוּ אִם יִשְׂפֹּק עֲפַר שֹׁמְרוֹן לִשְׁעָלִים לְכָל הָעָם אֲשֶׁר בְּרַגְלָי.

11  And the king of Yisrael answered and said: ‘Tell him: Let not him that girdeth on his armour boast himself as he that putteth it off.’

יא  וַיַּעַן מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמֶר דַּבְּרוּ אַל יִתְהַלֵּל חֹגֵר כִּמְפַתֵּחַ.

12  And it came to pass, when [Ben-hadad] heard this message, as he was drinking, he and the kings, in the booths, that he said unto his servants: ‘Set yourselves in array.’ And they set themselves in array against the city.

יב  וַיְהִי כִּשְׁמֹעַ אֶת הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וְהוּא שֹׁתֶה הוּא וְהַמְּלָכִים בַּסֻּכּוֹת וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל עֲבָדָיו שִׂימוּ וַיָּשִׂימוּ עַל הָעִיר.

13  And, behold, a Navi came near unto Ahab king of Yisrael, and said: ‘Thus saith Hashem: Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thy hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am Hashem.’

יג  וְהִנֵּה נָבִיא אֶחָד נִגַּשׁ אֶל אַחְאָב מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמֶר כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה הֲרָאִיתָ אֵת כָּל הֶהָמוֹן הַגָּדוֹל הַזֶּה הִנְנִי נֹתְנוֹ בְיָדְךָ הַיּוֹם וְיָדַעְתָּ כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה.

14  And Ahab said: ‘By whom?’ And he said: ‘Thus saith Hashem: By the young men of the princes of the provinces.’ Then he said: ‘Who shall begin the battle?’ And he answered: ‘Thou.’

יד  וַיֹּאמֶר אַחְאָב בְּמִי וַיֹּאמֶר כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה בְּנַעֲרֵי שָׂרֵי הַמְּדִינוֹת וַיֹּאמֶר מִי יֶאְסֹר הַמִּלְחָמָה וַיֹּאמֶר אָתָּה.

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 Bnei Yisrael, being seven thousand.

טו  וַיִּפְקֹד אֶת נַעֲרֵי שָׂרֵי הַמְּדִינוֹת וַיִּהְיוּ מָאתַיִם שְׁנַיִם וּשְׁלֹשִׁים וְאַחֲרֵיהֶם פָּקַד אֶת כָּל הָעָם כָּל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל שִׁבְעַת אֲלָפִים.

16  And they went out at noon. But Ben-hadad was drinking himself drunk in the booths, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him.

טז  וַיֵּצְאוּ בַּצָּהֳרָיִם וּבֶן הֲדַד שֹׁתֶה שִׁכּוֹר בַּסֻּכּוֹת הוּא וְהַמְּלָכִים שְׁלֹשִׁים וּשְׁנַיִם מֶלֶךְ עֹזֵר אֹתוֹ.

17  And the young men of the princes of the provinces went out first; and Ben-hadad sent out, and they told him, saying: ‘There are men come out from Shomron.’

יז  וַיֵּצְאוּ נַעֲרֵי שָׂרֵי הַמְּדִינוֹת בָּרִאשֹׁנָה וַיִּשְׁלַח בֶּן הֲדַד וַיַּגִּידוּ לוֹ לֵאמֹר אֲנָשִׁים יָצְאוּ מִשֹּׁמְרוֹן.

18  And he said: ‘Whether they are come out for peace, take them alive; or whether they are come out for war, take them alive.’

יח  וַיֹּאמֶר אִם לְשָׁלוֹם יָצָאוּ תִּפְשׂוּם חַיִּים וְאִם לְמִלְחָמָה יָצָאוּ חַיִּים תִּפְשׂוּם.

19  So these went out of the city, the young men of the princes of the provinces, and the army which followed them.

יט  וְאֵלֶּה יָצְאוּ מִן הָעִיר נַעֲרֵי שָׂרֵי הַמְּדִינוֹת וְהַחַיִל אֲשֶׁר אַחֲרֵיהֶם.

20  And they slew every one his man; and the Arameans fled, and Yisrael pursued them; and Ben-hadad the king of Aram escaped on a horse with horsemen.

כ  וַיַּכּוּ אִישׁ אִישׁוֹ וַיָּנֻסוּ אֲרָם וַיִּרְדְּפֵם יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּמָּלֵט בֶּן הֲדַד מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם עַל סוּס וּפָרָשִׁים.

21  And the king of Yisrael went out, and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Arameans with a great slaughter.

כא  וַיֵּצֵא מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיַּךְ אֶת הַסּוּס וְאֶת הָרָכֶב וְהִכָּה בַאֲרָם מַכָּה גְדוֹלָה.

22  And the Navi came near to the king of Yisrael, and said unto him: ‘Go, strengthen thyself, and mark, and see what thou doest; for at the return of the year the king of Aram will come up against thee.’

כב  וַיִּגַּשׁ הַנָּבִיא אֶל מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ לֵךְ הִתְחַזַּק וְדַע וּרְאֵה אֵת אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשֶׂה כִּי לִתְשׁוּבַת הַשָּׁנָה מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם עֹלֶה עָלֶיךָ.

23  And the servants of the king of Aram said unto him: ‘Their God is a God 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.

כג  וְעַבְדֵי מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם אָמְרוּ אֵלָיו אֱלֹהֵי הָרִים אֱלֹהֵיהֶם עַל כֵּן חָזְקוּ מִמֶּנּוּ וְאוּלָם נִלָּחֵם אִתָּם בַּמִּישׁוֹר אִם לֹא נֶחֱזַק מֵהֶם.

24  And do this thing: take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put governors in their room:

כד  וְאֶת הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה עֲשֵׂה הָסֵר הַמְּלָכִים אִישׁ מִמְּקֹמוֹ וְשִׂים פַּחוֹת תַּחְתֵּיהֶם.

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.

כה  וְאַתָּה תִמְנֶה לְךָ חַיִל כַּחַיִל הַנֹּפֵל מֵאוֹתָךְ וְסוּס כַּסּוּס וְרֶכֶב כָּרֶכֶב וְנִלָּחֲמָה אוֹתָם בַּמִּישׁוֹר אִם לֹא נֶחֱזַק מֵהֶם וַיִּשְׁמַע לְקֹלָם וַיַּעַשׂ כֵּן.

26  And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Ben-hadad mustered the Arameans, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Yisrael.

כו  וַיְהִי לִתְשׁוּבַת הַשָּׁנָה וַיִּפְקֹד בֶּן הֲדַד אֶת אֲרָם וַיַּעַל אֲפֵקָה לַמִּלְחָמָה עִם יִשְׂרָאֵל.

27  And Bnei Yisrael were mustered, and were victualled, and went against them; and Bnei Yisrael encamped before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Arameans filled the country.

כז  וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הָתְפָּקְדוּ וְכָלְכְּלוּ וַיֵּלְכוּ לִקְרָאתָם וַיַּחֲנוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל נֶגְדָּם כִּשְׁנֵי חֲשִׂפֵי עִזִּים וַאֲרָם מִלְאוּ אֶת הָאָרֶץ.

28  And a man of God came near and spoke unto the king of Yisrael, and said: ‘Thus saith Hashem: Because the Arameans have said: Hashem is a God of the hills, but he is not a God of the valleys; therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thy hand, and ye shall know that I am Hashem.’

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

29  And they encamped one over against the other seven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined; and Bnei Yisrael slew of the Arameans a hundred thousand footmen in one day.

כט  וַיַּחֲנוּ אֵלֶּה נֹכַח אֵלֶּה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וַתִּקְרַב הַמִּלְחָמָה וַיַּכּוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת אֲרָם מֵאָה אֶלֶף רַגְלִי בְּיוֹם אֶחָד.

30  But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and the wall fell upon twenty and seven thousand men that were left. And Ben-hadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber.

ל  וַיָּנֻסוּ הַנּוֹתָרִים אֲפֵקָה אֶל הָעִיר וַתִּפֹּל הַחוֹמָה עַל עֶשְׂרִים וְשִׁבְעָה אֶלֶף אִישׁ הַנּוֹתָרִים וּבֶן הֲדַד נָס וַיָּבֹא אֶל הָעִיר חֶדֶר בְּחָדֶר.

31  And his servants said unto him: ‘Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Yisrael are merciful kings; let us, we pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Yisrael; peradventure he will save thy life.’

לא  וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו עֲבָדָיו הִנֵּה נָא שָׁמַעְנוּ כִּי מַלְכֵי בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי מַלְכֵי חֶסֶד הֵם נָשִׂימָה נָּא שַׂקִּים בְּמָתְנֵינוּ וַחֲבָלִים בְּרֹאשֵׁנוּ וְנֵצֵא אֶל מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל אוּלַי יְחַיֶּה אֶת נַפְשֶׁךָ.

32  So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Yisrael, and said: ‘Thy servant Ben-hadad saith: I pray thee, let me live.’ And he said: ‘Is he yet alive? he is my brother.’

לב  וַיַּחְגְּרוּ שַׂקִּים בְּמָתְנֵיהֶם וַחֲבָלִים בְּרָאשֵׁיהֶם וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמְרוּ עַבְדְּךָ בֶן הֲדַד אָמַר תְּחִי נָא נַפְשִׁי וַיֹּאמֶר הַעוֹדֶנּוּ חַי אָחִי הוּא.

33  Now the men took it for a sign, and hastened to catch it from him; and they said: ‘Thy brother Ben-hadad.’ Then he said: ‘Go ye, bring him.’ Then Ben-hadad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into his chariot.

לג  וְהָאֲנָשִׁים יְנַחֲשׁוּ וַיְמַהֲרוּ וַיַּחְלְטוּ הֲמִמֶּנּוּ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אָחִיךָ בֶן הֲדַד וַיֹּאמֶר בֹּאוּ קָחֻהוּ וַיֵּצֵא אֵלָיו בֶּן הֲדַד וַיַּעֲלֵהוּ עַל הַמֶּרְכָּבָה.

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 Shomron.’ ‘And I[, said Ahab,] will let thee go with this covenant.’ So he made a covenant with him, and let him go.

לד  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו הֶעָרִים אֲשֶׁר לָקַח אָבִי מֵאֵת אָבִיךָ אָשִׁיב וְחֻצוֹת תָּשִׂים לְךָ בְדַמֶּשֶׂק כַּאֲשֶׁר שָׂם אָבִי בְּשֹׁמְרוֹן וַאֲנִי בַּבְּרִית אֲשַׁלְּחֶךָּ וַיִּכְרָת לוֹ בְרִית וַיְשַׁלְּחֵהוּ.

35  And a certain man of the sons of the N’viim said unto his fellow by the word of Hashem: ‘Smite me, I pray thee.’ And the man refused to smite him.

לה  וְאִישׁ אֶחָד מִבְּנֵי הַנְּבִיאִים אָמַר אֶל רֵעֵהוּ בִּדְבַר יְהוָה הַכֵּינִי נָא וַיְמָאֵן הָאִישׁ לְהַכֹּתוֹ.

36  Then said he unto him: ‘Because thou hast not hearkened to the voice of Hashem, 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.

לו  וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ יַעַן אֲשֶׁר לֹא שָׁמַעְתָּ בְּקוֹל יְהוָה הִנְּךָ הוֹלֵךְ מֵאִתִּי וְהִכְּךָ הָאַרְיֵה וַיֵּלֶךְ מֵאֶצְלוֹ וַיִּמְצָאֵהוּ הָאַרְיֵה וַיַּכֵּהוּ.

37  Then he found another man, and said: ‘Smite me, I pray thee.’ And the man smote him, smiting and wounding him.

לז  וַיִּמְצָא אִישׁ אַחֵר וַיֹּאמֶר הַכֵּינִי נָא וַיַּכֵּהוּ הָאִישׁ הַכֵּה וּפָצֹעַ.

38  So the Navi departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with his headband over his eyes.

לח  וַיֵּלֶךְ הַנָּבִיא וַיַּעֲמֹד לַמֶּלֶךְ עַל הַדָּרֶךְ וַיִּתְחַפֵּשׂ בָּאֲפֵר עַל עֵינָיו.

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.

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

40  And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone.’ And the king of Yisrael said unto him: ‘So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it.’

מ  וַיְהִי עַבְדְּךָ עֹשֵׂה הֵנָּה וָהֵנָּה וְהוּא אֵינֶנּוּ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל כֵּן מִשְׁפָּטֶךָ אַתָּה חָרָצְתָּ.

41  And he hastened, and took the headband away from his eyes; and the king of Yisrael discerned him that he was of the N’viim.

מא  וַיְמַהֵר וַיָּסַר אֶת הָאֲפֵר מעל (מֵעֲלֵי) עֵינָיו וַיַּכֵּר אֹתוֹ מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי מֵהַנְּבִיאִים הוּא.

42  And he said unto him: ‘Thus saith Hashem: Because thou hast let go out of thy hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people.’

מב  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה יַעַן שִׁלַּחְתָּ אֶת אִישׁ חֶרְמִי מִיָּד וְהָיְתָה נַפְשְׁךָ תַּחַת נַפְשׁוֹ וְעַמְּךָ תַּחַת עַמּוֹ.

43  And the king of Yisrael went to his house sullen and displeased, and came to Shomron.

מג  וַיֵּלֶךְ מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל בֵּיתוֹ סַר וְזָעֵף וַיָּבֹא שֹׁמְרוֹנָה.

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I Kings 19
I Kings 21

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I Kings 20