1 Kings 20: Syria goes to war with Israel and loses.


Ben-hadad, king of Syria had sieged Samara. He sent messengers to Ahab, king of Israel, asking him to surrender. The people of Israel refused. So the king of Syria amassed his army. Israel was able to organize 232 men to fight (there were only 7,000 people in Israel total. Ben Hadad made a tactical error thinking they had come to surrender, but the Israelis fought and slew the Syrians. Ben-hadad escaped on a horse. The Syrians decided that the problem was – they had fought on a hill and clearly the Israeli god was a god of the hills, therefore we should fight them on a plain. So 1 year later, the Syrians in great number when to Aphek. And the Israelis came and pitched their tents and they were like two little flocks of kids compared to the Syrian army.  After 7 days, they fought and the Israelis slew 100,000 footmen in 1 day. The rest fled to the city, and a wall fell on them and another 27,000 men died in the rubble. Ben-hadad escaped and asked Ahab for mercy; which was granted. A prophet had a neighbor hit him (it took him 2 tries to get someone to do it) and he went and found king Ahab and told him, God isn’t happy that you let Ben-hadad go free when you should have killed him.

In other words:

The kind of Syria wages war against Israel twice, and loses badly, twice, despite vastly outnumbering them.

Favorite bit:

1 Kings 20:27 – And the children of Israel were number, 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.

Adding insult to injury bit:

1 Kings 20:30 – 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.

That’s not really fair bit:

1 Kings 20:35, 36 – 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. Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the Lord, behod, 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.

Moral Lesson Learned: 

Never underestimate your enemy (1 Kings 20)