Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 20

The defeat of Aram in this first battle

1 Kings 20:21-22

It seems that Aram’s army tried to escape from Samaria in the direction of Aram. So, they went north-east, through the hills of central Israel.

If they had gone west, they would have soon reached the plain (level ground) called Sharon. There, their chariots (simple vehicles that horses pulled) would have moved quickly.

However, the hills caused great difficulties for their chariots. Israel’s army was chasing after them. It had horses and mules (a strong animal like a horse) – 1 Kings 18:5. Israel’s soldiers knew their own country well. They did not use chariots in unsuitable places.

So, Israel’s soldiers were able to attack and to defeat many of Aram’s soldiers on their chariots. Aram lost many horses and chariots that day, and many of its soldiers died in the battle. God had given this great success to King Ahab of Israel to prove that he alone is the true God (20:13). We do not read that Ahab turned to God at this time. However, he was willing to listen to the prophets (holy men), whom previously he had tried to murder (19:10). He knew both Micaiah (22:8) and the prophet in 1 Kings 20:41.

The prophet who had promised Ahab success in battle, now warned him. God had shown to that prophet that the war had not ended. Aram would attack Israel again next year. So, Ahab must prepare his army, and he must make Israel’s defences strong, to be ready for the next battle.

Next part: Aram's plan to defeat Israel on the plains (1 Kings 20:23-25)


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