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1 Kings 20:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And Ben-hadad 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 fought against it.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now Ben-hadad king of Aram gathered all his army, and there [were] thirty-two kings with him, and horses and chariots. And he went up and besieged Samaria and fought against it.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And Ben-hadad the king of Syria collected all his army: and [there were] thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Ben-Hadad king of Syria assembled all his host; and there were thirty-two kings with him, and horses and chariots; and he went up and besieged Samaria, and fought against it.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Now, Ben-hadad, king of Syria, had gathered together all his forces, and, thirty-two kings, were with him, and horses and chariots,—then came he up, and laid siege to Samaria, and made war against it.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Ben-Hadad king of Aram hath gathered all his force, and thirty and two kings [are] with him, and horse and chariot, and he goeth up and layeth siege against Samaria, and fighteth with it,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And Benadad, king of Syria, gathered together all his host, and there were two and thirty kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and going up, he fought against Samaria, and besieged it.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And Benhadad the King of Syria gathered all his hoste together, and [there were] thirtie and two kings with him, and horses, and charets: and hee went vp and besieged Samaria, and warred against it.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And the son of Hadad{gr.Ader} gathered all his forces, and went up and besieged Samaria, [he] and thirty-two kings with him, and all [his] horse and chariots: and they went up and besieged Samaria, and fought against it.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— 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 warred against it.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And Ben Ha בֶּן־הֲדַד 1130
{1130} Prime
From H1121 and H1908; son of Hadad; Ben Hadad, the name of several Syrian kings.
the king 4428
{4428} Prime
From H4427; a king.
of rm אֲרָם 758
{0758} Prime
From the same as H0759; the highland; Aram or Syria, and its inhabitants; also the name of a son of Shem, a grandson of Nahor, and of an Israelite.
gathered y6908
[6908] Standard
A primitive root; to grasp, that is, collect.
<0000> Grammar
The original word in the Greek or Hebrew is translated by more than one word in the English. The English translation is separated by one or more other words from the original.
all his host y2428
[2428] Standard
From H2342; probably a force, whether of men, means or other resources; an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength.
together: 6908
{6908} Prime
A primitive root; to grasp, that is, collect.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
(0853) Complement
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
(3605) Complement
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
(2428) Complement
From H2342; probably a force, whether of men, means or other resources; an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength.
and [there were] thirty 7970
{7970} Prime
Multiple of H7969; thirty; or (ordinal) thirtieth.
and two 8147
{8147} Prime
(The first form being dual of H8145; the second form being feminine); two; also (as ordinal) twofold.
kings 4428
{4428} Prime
From H4427; a king.
with x854
(0854) Complement
Probably from H0579; properly nearness (used only as a preposition or adverb), near; hence generally with, by, at, among, etc.
him, and horses, 5483
{5483} Prime
From an unused root meaning to skip (properly for joy); a horse (as leaping); also a swallow (from its rapid flight).
and chariots: 7393
{7393} Prime
From H7392; a vehicle; by implication a team; by extension cavalry; by analogy a rider, that is, the upper millstone.
and he went up 5927
{5927} Prime
A primitive root; to ascend, intransitively (be high) or active (mount); used in a great variety of senses, primary and secondary, literally and figuratively.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
and besieged 6696
{6696} Prime
A primitive root; to cramp, that is, confine (in many applications, literally and figuratively, formative or hostile).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
(5921) Complement
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
mrn שֹׁמרוֹן, 8111
{8111} Prime
From the active participle of H8104; watch station; Shomeron, a place in Palestine.
and warred 3898
{3898} Prime
A primitive root; to feed on; figuratively to consume; by implication to battle (as destruction).
<8735> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 1602
against it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Kings 20:1

_ _ 1 Kings 20:1-12. Ben-hadah besieges Samaria.

_ _ Ben-hadad the king of Syria — This monarch was the son of that Ben-hadad who, in the reign of Baasha, made a raid on the northern towns of Galilee (1 Kings 15:20). The thirty-two kings that were confederate with him were probably tributary princes. The ancient kings of Syria and Phoenicia ruled only over a single city, and were independent of each other, except when one great city, as Damascus, acquired the ascendency, and even then they were allied only in time of war. The Syrian army encamped at the gates and besieged the town of Samaria.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

1 Kings 20:1-11

_ _ Here is, I. The threatening descent which Ben-hadad made upon Ahab's kingdom, and the siege he laid to Samaria, his royal city, 1 Kings 20:1. What the ground of the quarrel was we are not told; covetousness and ambition were the principle, which would never want some pretence or other. David in his time had quite subdued the Syrians and made them tributaries to Israel, but Israel's apostasy from God makes them formidable again. Asa had tempted the Syrians to invade Israel once (1 Kings 15:18-20), and now they did it of their own accord. It is dangerous bringing a foreign force into the country: posterity may pay dearly for it. Ben-hadad had with him thirty-two kings, who were either tributaries to him, and bound in duty to attend him, or confederates with him, and bound in interest to assist him. How little did the title of king look when all these poor petty governors pretended to it!

_ _ II. The treaty between these two kings. Surely Israel's defence had departed from them, or else the Syrians could not have marched so readily, and with so little opposition, to Samaria, the head and heart of the country, a city lately built, and therefore, we may suppose, not well fortified, but likely to fall quickly into the hands of the invaders; both sides are aware of this, and therefore,

_ _ 1. Ben-hadad's proud spirit sends Ahab a very insolent demand, 1 Kings 20:2, 1 Kings 20:3. A parley is sounded, and a trumpeter (we may suppose) is sent into the city, to let Ahab know that he will raise the siege upon condition that Ahab become his vassal (Nay, his villain), and not only pay him a tribute out of what he has, but make over his title to Ben-hadad, and hold all at his will, even his wives and children, the godliest of them. The manner of expression is designed to gall them; “All shall be mine, without exception.”

_ _ 2. Ahab's poor spirit sends Ben-hadad a very disgraceful submission. It is general indeed (he cannot mention particulars in his surrender with so much pleasure as Ben-hadad did in his demand), but it is effectual: I am thine, and all that I have, 1 Kings 20:4. See the effect of sin. (1.) If he had not by sin provoked God to depart from him, Ben-hadad could not have made such a demand. Sin brings men into such straits, by putting them out of divine protection. If God may not rule us, our enemies shall. A rebel to God is a slave to all besides. Ahab had prepared his silver and gold for Baal, Hosea 2:8. Justly therefore is it taken from him; such an alienating amounts to a forfeiture. (2.) If he had not by sin wronged his own conscience, and set that against him, he could not have made such a mean surrender. Guilt dispirits men, and makes them cowards. He knew Baal could not help, and had no reason to think that God would, and therefore was content to buy his life upon any terms. Skin for skin, and all that is dear to him, he will give for it; he will rather live a beggar than not die a prince.

_ _ 3. Ben-hadad's proud spirit rises upon his submission, and becomes yet more insolent and imperious, 1 Kings 20:5, 1 Kings 20:6. Ahab had laid his all at his feet, at his mercy, expecting that one king would use another generously, that this acknowledgment of Ben-hadad's sovereignty would content him, the honour was sufficient for the present, and he might hereafter make use of it if he saw cause (Satis est prostrasse leoniIt suffices the lion to have laid his victim prostrate); but this will not serve. (1.) Ben-hadad is as covetous as he is proud, and cannot go away unless he have the possession as well as the dominion. He thinks it not enough to call it his, unless he have it in his hands. He will not so much as lend Ahab the use of his own goods above a day longer. (2.) He is as spiteful as he is haughty. Had he come himself to select what he had a mind for, it would have shown some respect to a crowned head; but he will send his servants to insult the prince, and hector over him, to rifle the palace, and strip it of all its ornaments; nay, to give Ahab the more vexation, they shall be ordered, not only to take what they please, but, if they can learn which are the persons or things that Ahab is in a particular manner fond of, to take those: Whatsoever is pleasant in thy eyes they shall take away. We are often crossed in that which we most dote upon; and that proves least safe which is most dear. (3.) He is as unreasonable as he is unjust, and will construe the surrender Ahab made for himself as made for all his subjects too, and will have them also to lie at his mercy: “They shall search, not only thy house, but the houses of thy servants too, and plunder them at discretion.” Blessed be God for peace and property, and that what we have we can call our own.

_ _ 4. Ahab's poor spirit begins to rise too, upon this growing insolence; and, if it becomes not bold, yet it becomes desperate, and he will rather hazard his life than give up all thus. (1.) How he takes advice of his privy-council, who encourage him to stand it out. He speaks but poorly (1 Kings 20:7), appeals to them whether Ben-hadad be not an unreasonable enemy, and do not seek mischief. What else could he expect from one who, without any provocation given him, had invaded his country and besieged his capital city? He owns to them how he had truckled to him before, and will have them advise him what he should do in this strait; and they speak bravely (Hearken not to him, nor consent, 1 Kings 20:8), promising no doubt to stand by him in the refusal. (2.) Yet he expresses himself very modestly in his denial, 1 Kings 20:9. He owns Ben-hadad's dominion over him: “Tell my lord the king I have no design to affront him, nor to receded from the surrender I have already made; what I offered at first I will stand to, but this thing I may not do; I must not give what is none of my own.” It was a mortification to Ben-hadad that even such an abject spirit as Ahab's durst deny him; yet it should seem, by his manner of expressing himself, that he durst not have done it if his people had not animated him.

_ _ 5. Ben-hadad proudly swears the ruin of Samaria. The threatening waves of his wrath, meeting with this check, rage and foam, and make a noise. In his fury, he imprecates the impotent revenge of his gods, if the dust of Samaria serve for handfuls for his army (1 Kings 20:10), so numerous, so resolute, an army will be bring into the field against Samaria, and so confident is he of their success; it will be done as easily as the taking up of a handful of dust; all shall be carried away, even the ground on which the city stands. Thus confident is his pride, thus cruel is his malice; this prepares him to be ruined, though such a prince and such a people are unworthy of the satisfaction of seeing him ruined.

_ _ 6. Ahab sends him a decent rebuke to his assurance, dares not defy his menaces, only reminds him of the uncertain turns of war (1 Kings 20:11): “Let not him that begins a war, and is girding on his sword, his armour, his harness, boast of victory, or think himself sure of it, as if he had put it off, and had come home a conqueror.” This was one of the wisest words that ever Ahab spoke, and is a good item or momento to us all; it is folly to boast beforehand of any day, since we know not what it may bring forth (Proverbs 27:1), but especially to boast of a day of battle, which may prove as much against us as we promise ourselves it will be for us. It is impolitic to despise an enemy, and to be too sure of victory is the way to be beaten. Apply it to our spiritual conflicts. Peter fell by his confidence. While we are here we are but girding on the harness, and therefore must never boast as though we had put it off. Happy is the man that feareth always, and is never off his watch.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

1 Kings 20:1

Gathered his host — To war against Israel: wherein his design was to enlarge the conquest which his father had made, but God's design was to punish Israel for their apostacy and idolatry.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

1 Kings 20:1

And Benhadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and [there were] thirty and two (a) kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it.

(a) That is, governors and rulers of provinces.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
am 3103, bc 901


1 Kings 15:18 Then Asa took all the silver and the gold [that were] left in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants: and king Asa sent them to Benhadad, the son of Tabrimon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,
1 Kings 15:20 So Benhadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of the hosts which he had against the cities of Israel, and smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abelbethmaachah, and all Cinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali.
2 Kings 8:7-10 And Elisha came to Damascus; and Benhadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, The man of God is come hither. ... And Elisha said unto him, Go, say unto him, Thou mayest certainly recover: howbeit the LORD hath shewed me that he shall surely die.
2 Chronicles 16:2-4 Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of the LORD and of the king's house, and sent to Benhadad king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying, ... And Benhadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abelmaim, and all the store cities of Naphtali.
Jeremiah 49:27 And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Benhadad.
Amos 1:4 But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad.

Thirty and two:

1 Kings 20:16 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.
1 Kings 20:24 And do this thing, Take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their rooms:
Genesis 14:1-5 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; ... And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that [were] with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim,
Judges 1:7 And Adonibezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered [their meat] under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.
Ezra 7:12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect [peace], and at such a time.
Isaiah 10:8 For he saith, [Are] not my princes altogether kings?
Ezekiel 26:7 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people.
Daniel 2:37 Thou, O king, [art] a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.

and horses:

Exodus 14:7 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them.
Deuteronomy 20:1 When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, [and] a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
Judges 4:3 And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.
1 Samuel 13:5 And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which [is] on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Bethaven.
Isaiah 37:24 By thy servants hast thou reproached the Lord, and hast said, By the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, [and] the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the height of his border, [and] the forest of his Carmel.


Leviticus 26:25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of [my] covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
Deuteronomy 28:52 And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.
2 Kings 6:24-29 And it came to pass after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria. ... So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son.
2 Kings 17:5-6 Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. ... In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor [by] the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
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Gn 14:1. Ex 14:7. Lv 26:25. Dt 20:1; 28:52. Jg 1:7; 4:3. 1S 13:5. 1K 15:18, 20; 20:16, 24. 2K 6:24; 8:7; 17:5. 2Ch 16:2. Ezr 7:12. Is 10:8; 37:24. Jr 49:27. Ezk 26:7. Dn 2:37. Am 1:4.

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