Reading 100/341, 1 Kings 18.41-20.43

...1 Kings...

Elijah said to Ahab, Get you up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, and he bowed himself down on the earth, and put his face between his knees. He said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. He went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. He said, Go again seven times. It happened at the seventh time, that he said, "Behold, a small cloud, like a man's hand, is rising out of the sea." He said, Go up, tell Ahab, Make ready your chariot, and get you down, that the rain not stop you. It happened in a little while, that the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel, and the hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and he girded up his waist, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel. Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel send a messenger to Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time. When he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day's journey into the desert, and came and sat down under a juniper tree, and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, It is enough; now, O the Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. He lay down and slept under a juniper tree, and behold, an angel touched him, and said to him, Arise and eat. He looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on the coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drink, and laid him down again. The angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you. He arose, and ate and drink, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the Mount of God. He came there to a cave, and lodged there, and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, What are you doing here, Elijah? He said, I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of Armies; for the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and slain your prophets with the sword, and I, I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away. He said, Go forth, and stand on the mountain before the Lord. Behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind, and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake, and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire, and after the fire a still small voice. It was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entrance of the cave. Behold, there came a voice to him, and said, What are you doing here, Elijah? He said, I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of Armies; for the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and slain your prophets with the sword, and I, I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away. The Lord said to him, Go, return on your way to the desert of Damascus, and when you come, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria, and Jehu the son of Nimshi shall you anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah shall you anoint to be prophet in your room. It shall happen, that he who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu kill, and he who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha kill. Yet will I leave me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth which has not kissed him. So he departed there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing, with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth, and Elijah passed over to him, and cast his mantle on him. He left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray you, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you. He said to him, Go back again; for what have I done to you? He returned from following him, and took the yoke of oxen, and killed them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave to the people, and they ate. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered to him. Ben Hadad the king of Syria gathered all his army together, and there were thirty-two kings with him, and horses and chariots, and he went up and besieged Samaria, and fought against it. He sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel, into the city, and said to him, Thus says Ben Hadad, Your silver and your gold is mine; your wives also and your children, the best, are mine. The king of Israel answered, It is according to your saying, my lord, O king; I am yours, and all that I have. The messengers came again, and said, Thus speaks Ben Hadad, saying, I sent indeed to you, saying, You shall deliver me your silver, and your gold, and your wives, and your children; but I will send my servants to you tomorrow about this time, and they shall search your house, and the houses of your servants, and it shall be, that whatever is pleasant in your 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, Please notice how this man seeks mischief, for he sent to me for my wives, and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold, and I did not deny him. All the elders and all the people said to him, Do not you listen, nor consent. Therefore he said to the messengers of Ben Hadad, Tell my lord the king, All that you did send for to your servant at the first I will do; but this thing I may not do. The messengers departed, and brought him word again. Ben Hadad sent to him, and said, The gods do so to me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people who follow me. The king of Israel answered, Tell him, Do not let him who girds on his armor boast himself as he who puts it off. It happened, when Ben Hadad heard this message, as he was drinking, he and the kings, in the pavilions, that he said to his servants, Set yourselves in array. They set themselves in array against the city. Behold, a prophet came near to Ahab king of Israel, and said, Thus says the Lord, Have you seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into your hand this day, and you shall know that I am the Lord. Ahab said, By whom? He said, Thus says the Lord, By the young men of the princes of the provinces. Then he said, Who shall begin the battle? He answered, You. Then he mustered the young men of the princes of the provinces, and they were two hundred and thirty-two, and after them he mustered all the people, all the children of Israel, being seven thousand. They went out at noon. But Ben Hadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty-two kings who helped him. 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 Samaria. He said, Whether they are come out for peace, take them alive, or whether they are come out for war, taken them alive. So these went out of the city, the young men of the princes of the provinces, and the army which followed them. They killed everyone his man, and the Syrians fled, and Israel pursued them, and Ben Hadad the king of Syria escaped on a horse with horsemen. The king of Israel went out, and struck the horses and chariots, and killed the Syrians with a great slaughter. The prophet came near to the king of Israel, and said to him, Go, strengthen yourself, and mark, and see what you do; for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against you. The servants of the king of Syria said to 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. Do this thing, take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their room, and number you an army, like the army that you have 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. He listened to their voice, and did so. It happened at the return of the year, that Ben Hadad mustered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel. The children of Israel were mustered, and were provisioned, and went against them, and the children of Israel encamped before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country. A man of God came near and spoke to the king of Israel, and said, Thus says the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, the Lord is a god of the hills, but he is not a god of the valleys; therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord. They encamped one over against the other seven days. So it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined, and the children of Israel killed of the Syrians one hundred thousand footmen in one day. But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city, and the wall fell on twenty-seven thousand men who were left. Ben Hadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber. His servants said to him, See now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings, let us, we pray you, put sackcloth on our bodies, and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel, peradventure he will save your life. So they girded sackcloth on their bodies, and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Your servant Ben Hadad says, please let me live. He said, Is he yet alive? he is my brother. Now the men observed diligently, and hurried to catch whether it were his mind, and they said, Your brother Ben Hadad. Then he said, Go you, bring him. Then Ben Hadad came forth to him, and he caused him to come up into the chariot. Ben Hadad said to him, The cities which my father took from your father I will restore, and you shall make streets for you in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. I, said Ahab, will let you go with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and let him go. A certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his fellow by the word of the Lord, Please strike me. The man refused to strike him. Then said he to him, Because you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, behold, as soon as you are departed from me, a lion shall kill you. As soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and killed him. Then he found another man, and said, Please strike me. The man struck him, smiting and wounding him. So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with his headband over his eyes. As the king passed by, he cried to the king, and he said, Your servant went out into the midst of the battle, and behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man to me, and said, Keep this man, if by any means he be missing, then shall your life be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver. As your servant was busy here and there, he was gone. The king of Israel said to him, So shall your judgment be; yourself have decided it. He hurried, and took the headband away from his eyes, and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets. He said to him, Thus says the Lord, Because you have let go out of your hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people. The king of Israel went to his house sullen and angry, and came to Samaria.

No comments:

Post a Comment

In order to comment, you first must "Join this Site" using the blue button on the left side of the page.