The first demand of King Ben-hadad (1 Kings 20:1-20:4)

“King Ben-hadad of Aram gathered all his army together. Thirty-two kings were with him, along with horses and chariots. He marched against Samaria, laid siege to it, and attacked it. Then he sent messengers into the city to King Ahab of Israel. He said to him. ‘Thus says Ben-hadad. ‘Your silver and your gold are mine. Your fairest wives and children also are mine.’ The king of Israel answered. ‘As you say, my lord, O king, I am yours, and all that I have.’”

This is an odd story. This may have been Ben-hadad II, since Ben-hadad I had made a deal with King Asa (911-870 BCE) of Judah to attack Israel. This may be a continuation of this battle. King Ben-hadad had with him 32 kings. These must have 32 chiefs or kings or small territories. His messengers came to King Ahab to tell him they he wanted all their gold, silver, wives, and children. In a strange response Ahab seems to say okay. You can have everything.

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