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“And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods are gods 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.” – 1 Kings 20:23
1 Kings 20:1-34 · Revelation 14:1-12 · Psalm 95
Benhadad king of Syria was making war on Ahab king of Israel. After the reign of Solomon, when the northern tribes revolted and set up a separate government, these northern tribes, called Israel, were continually at war with Syria – at times paying tribute and at times gaining independence, but, as we know, finally taken captive by the Assyrians, never to return.
We recall that in the Scriptures Babylon represents the love of self, the love of ruling over others, the lust of dominion; and Syria – or Assyria, the longer form of the name – represents pride in one’s own intellectual powers, pride of self-intelligence, the belief that men are able of themselves to determine what is true or false, good or bad.
When Naaman the Syrian came to Elisha to be healed of his leprosy and was told to go wash in Jordan, he replied, “Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? May I not wash in them and be clean?” The Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus the capital city of Syria, which seemed to Naaman better than all the waters of Israel, represent streams of natural thought – the judging of right by worldly standards rather than by the Lord’s teachings and commandments, represented by the Jordan.
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