Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 20

Israel’s great success in the second battle

1 Kings 20:29-30

For six days, the two armies waited for the battle to begin. On one side was Aram’s vast army, with soldiers from many nations and good military equipment. On the other side was Israel’s army, which was very small. Perhaps Aram’s army could not believe that Israel’s whole army had arrived. So, they waited because they wanted to defeat Israel completely in a single battle.

However, Israel’s army had arrived, and on the seventh day, the battle began. God had promised that he would cause that small army from Israel to defeat Aram’s vast army. That would show that he really is the true God (20:28).

The Bible gives us no other reason for the extraordinary success of Israel’s army at that battle. It seems likely that Israel’s men, too, could give no other explanation for their great success. Aram’s men only knew that they had suffered a very terrible defeat. Clearly, the advice that Aram’s king received about Israel’s God, was wrong (20:23). Israel’s God, the only true God, was as powerful on level ground as he was on the hills.

Near to the battle was a town called Aphek, and many of Aram’s soldiers escaped there. They hoped that its strong wall would protect them. That wall surrounded the town for its defence. However, the wall that they expected to save their lives in fact caused their deaths. It fell on them.

Ben-Hadad, the king of Aram, also escaped into that town. He found a secret room there where he hid. Then he sent his officials to go to speak to King Ahab of Israel on his behalf.

Next part: Ben-Hadad appeals to Ahab for his life (1 Kings 20:31-32)


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