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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 20

 

 

Verse 1

1 Kings 20:1 And Benhadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and [there were] thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it.

Ver. 1. And there were thirty and two kings with him.] Reguli; petty kings, such as once were the kings of Canaan, thirty-two likewise in number; {Joshua 12:7, &c.} such as were once the kings of this land. Caesar telleth us of four kings of Kent in his time, viz., Cingentorix, Carvilius, Taximagulus, and Segonax, who shared that country amongst them.

And he went up and besieged Samaria.] Some towns of Israel Benhadad or his father had taken thirty years before, [1 Kings 15:17-20] and now he would have all; like as the Gauls, having once tasted of the sweet wines of Italy, would never be at rest till they had got that whole country. (a)


Verse 2

1 Kings 20:2 And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Benhadad,

Ver. 2. And he sent messengers.] As presuming they should find that favour with Ahab which himself denied to Ahab’s messengers, whom he commanded to be taken alive, whatsoever their errand was. This was against the law of arms. [1 Kings 20:18]


Verse 3

1 Kings 20:3 Thy silver and thy gold [is] mine; thy wives also and thy children, [even] the goodliest, [are] mine.

Ver. 3. Thy silver and thy gold is mine.] Non iure, sed imperio; not by any right that Benbadad had to it, but because he was at this time mightier than Ahab, and able, as he thought, to over power him. Thus a great dog worrieth a less, only because he is bigger and stronger.

Sic cedit viribus aequum.


Verse 4

1 Kings 20:4 And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I [am] thine, and all that I have.

Ver. 4. I am thine, and all that I have.] This, say some, was responsum admodum muliebre, a very cowardly answer of Ahab. Others hold that he did well and wisely, whilst, as a reed in a tempest, he thus stoopeth to the violent charge of so potent an enemy. It is not for the overpowered to capitulate; weakness may not argue, but yield.


Verse 5

1 Kings 20:5 And the messengers came again, and said, Thus speaketh Benhadad, saying, Although I have sent unto thee, saying, Thou shalt deliver me thy silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children;

Ver. 5. And the messengers came again] Ita fere fit, ut veterem fereudo iniuriam invites novam. Insolency is unreasonable: "the unjust knoweth no shame." [Zephaniah 3:5]


Verse 6

1 Kings 20:6 Yet I will send my servants unto thee to morrow about this time, and they shall search thine house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, [that] whatsoever is pleasant in thine eyes, they shall put [it] in their hand, and take [it] away.

Ver. 6. Whatsoever is pleasant in thine eyes.] Ahab, as bad as he was, had a name among these Syrians for a merciful man; [1 Kings 20:31] this is now not respected, because he is at such an under. How much better Mithridates, king of Pontus, of whom it is said that he hated such as trampled upon virtue forsaken of fortune.


Verse 7

1 Kings 20:7 Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, Mark, I pray you, and see how this [man] seeketh mischief: for he sent unto me for my wives, and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold; and I denied him not.

Ver. 7. And I denied him not.] I refused not to be his vassal and tributary, acknowledging his sovereignty; but no reason will content him, nothing but the rifling of our houses, ravishing of our wives, spoiling us of all.


Verse 8

1 Kings 20:8 And all the elders and all the people said unto him, Hearken not [unto him], nor consent.

Ver. 8. Hearken not unto him.] Stand to the issue of a bloody war rather.

Victorem a victo superari saepe videmus.

A cane non magno saepe tenetur aper. ”


Verse 9

1 Kings 20:9 Wherefore he said unto the messengers of Benhadad, Tell my lord the king, All that thou didst send for to thy servant at the first I will do: but this thing I may not do. And the messengers departed, and brought him word again.

Ver. 9. But this thing I may not do.] He saith not, This thing I will not do, which plainly discovereth his dastardliness and pusillanimity. {cowardliness} He had not "the spirit of power," because not "of a sound mind." [2 Timothy 1:7]


Verse 10

1 Kings 20:10 And Benhadad sent unto him, and said, The gods do so unto me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people that follow me.

Ver. 10. The gods do so to me, and more also.] Indictio belli plusquam Thrasonica. Such prodigious pride and presumption usually precedeth ruin. Thus Julian the apostate, going against the Persians, vowed at his return to sacrifice the blood of Christians. So the Constable of France vowed the destruction of Geneva, but God forbade it.

If the dust of Samaria.] We shall be able not only to reduce it to dust, but also to carry it away in our hands when we have so done; quanquam aurum quaerebant Syri, non arenam, although it was not dust they came for, but gold, silver, and all desirables. [1 Kings 20:5-6]


Verse 11

1 Kings 20:11 And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell [him], Let not him that girdeth on [his harness] boast himself as he that putteth it off.

Ver. 11. Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast, &c.] Ne glorietur accinctus quasi discinctus. It is no wisdom to triumph before the victory, and to sell the hide before the beast is taken; as did Xerxes in his expedition against Greece; the Pompeians before the Pharsalian field was fought; the French at the battle of Agincourt; the Spaniards in 1588, with their invincible Armada, as they called it, but falsely and foolishly. It had been three years a-rigging; and triumphant poems were beforehand printed by Don Bernardine Mendoza, the Spanish ambassador in France, concerning the good success thereof. But what was the issue? the Armada was defeated and dispersed, God from heaven fighting against them, not a hundred English lacking, and but one small ship lost, (a) &c. Exitus belli incertus. When Francis I, king of France, was busily consulting with his captains how to lead his army over the Alps into Italy, whether this way or that way, Amaril, his fool, sprang out of a corner where he sat unseen, and bade them rather take care which way they should bring their army out of Italy back again.


Verse 12

1 Kings 20:12 And it came to pass, when [Benhadad] heard this message, as he [was] drinking, he and the kings in the pavilions, that he said unto his servants, Set [yourselves in array]. And they set [themselves in array] against the city.

Ver. 12. As he was drinking.] Even unto drunkenness, [1 Kings 20:16] which is none of the best counsellors. Drunkards are besotted and disabled: as a snuff of a candle in a socket drowned in the tallow yieldeth little or no light, but only a stench.

He and the kings.] Who were, likely, preferred by him to places of honour and trust in the army, according to their ability in drinking: like as Novellus surnamed. Tricongius - for that he could drink three bottles of wine together with one breath - was therefore made proconsul by Tiberius. Alexander, also inviting various of his lords to supper, provided a crown of one hundred and eighty pounds to be given to those that should drink most.


Verse 13

1 Kings 20:13 And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD.

Ver. 13. And, behold, there came a prophet.] Michaiah, as some think; or one of those haply that were hid by Obadiah.

Behold, I will deliver it into thine hand.] Ahab was lewd, saith a reverend man, but Benhadad insolent. If therefore Ahab shall be scourged with the rod of Benhadad’s fear, Benhadad shall be smitten with the sword of Ahab’s revenge. Of all things God will not endure a presumptuous and self-confident vaunter. There is no cause to fear him that trusts in himself. (a)


Verse 14

1 Kings 20:14 And Ahab said, By whom? And he said, Thus saith the LORD, [Even] by the young men of the princes of the provinces. Then he said, Who shall order the battle? And he answered, Thou.

Ver. 14. Even by the young men of the princes, &c.] By the noblemen’s sons, the young courtiers, and cavaliers. These were fresh water soldiers, likely, and unexperienced; carpet knights, fitter for a canopy than a camp, for language than a lance; but God had therefore the more glory by the victory gotten by them.

Who shall order the battle?] i.e., Set upon the Syrians, after that they are disordered by the young gallants. (a)


Verse 15

1 Kings 20:15 Then he numbered the young men of the princes of the provinces, and they were two hundred and thirty two: and after them he numbered all the people, [even] all the children of Israel, [being] seven thousand.

Ver. 15. And they were two hundred and thirty.] These having God’s word for their warrant, had better success than those three hundred Roman gentlemen, who going out - for a name - to fight with some neighbouring enemies, perished by their own foolhardiness. (a)


Verse 16

1 Kings 20:16 And they went out at noon. But Benhadad [was] drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him.

Ver. 16. And Benhadad was drinking himself drunk.] Security is the certain usher of destruction. See 1 Kings 20:12.


Verse 17

1 Kings 20:17 And the young men of the princes of the provinces went out first; and Benhadad sent out, and they told him, saying, There are men come out of Samaria.

Ver. 17. And the young men … went out first.] As a forlorn hope to set first on the enemy: or as that Sacra cohors in the Theban army.


Verse 18

1 Kings 20:18 And he said, Whether they be come out for peace, take them alive; or whether they be come out for war, take them alive.

Ver. 18. Take them alive.] He bore himself so bold upon his great strength, that he thought there was no more to do but to take them alive. He considered not that they were Deo armati; and that himself was held fast "in the snare of the devil, being taken alive by him at his will," [2 Timothy 2:26] as a beast is taken in a toil. (a)


Verse 19

1 Kings 20:19 So these young men of the princes of the provinces came out of the city, and the army which followed them.

Ver. 19. And the army which followed them,] viz., Those seven thousand, [1 Kings 20:15] which Pellican saith were godly, confiding men; and Martyr thinketh they were the seven thousand that had not bowed their knees to Baal. Piety is the ground of all true valour.


Verse 20

1 Kings 20:20 And they slew every one his man: and the Syrians fled; and Israel pursued them: and Benhadad the king of Syria escaped on an horse with the horsemen.

Ver. 20. And the Syrians fled … and Benhadad escaped on a horse.] So that it might now have been well said unto him, as once Zebul said unto Gaal. [ 9:38] Where is now thy mouth, wherewith thou boastest so great things. [1 Kings 20:10] Is not this the people that thou hast despised? Go out, I pray now, and fight with them. But it is well observed, that those who vaunt most, have oft the least courage: as those creatures who have the greatest hearts of flesh, are the most timorous; as the stag, panther, hare, &c.


Verse 21

1 Kings 20:21 And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter.

Ver. 21. And slew the Syrians.] Whom God had smitten with fear, that cowardly passion, which betrayeth many, and exposeth them to more danger than those that stand it out to the utmost, the battle at Edgehill, for instance.


Verse 22

1 Kings 20:22 And the prophet came to the king of Israel, and said unto him, Go, strengthen thyself, and mark, and see what thou doest: for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee.

Ver. 22. And the prophet came to the king.] The same prophet as before, likely, [1 Kings 20:13] whether Michaiah or any other.

And mark and see what thou dost.] Make thy peace with God, and set thyself in a readiness for another encounter next year.


Verse 23

1 Kings 20:23 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.

Ver. 23. And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him.] Nothing they said to him of his drunkenness, or their own dastardliness; but tell him a tale of their tutelary gods, that they were gods of the plains and valleys only, not of the mountains, as the Israelites’ gods were: and hence the miscarriage Augustine (a) telleth us of the Romans, that for the hill tops they had their deum Iugatinum; for their little hills, the goddess Collatina; and for the valleys, Valloma. Ovid also brings in those petty deities thus speaking,

Dii sumus agrestes, et qui dominantur in altis

Montibus; Imperium est in sua tecta Iovi. ” - Ovid, Fastor., lib. vi.


Verse 24

1 Kings 20:24 And do this thing, Take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their rooms:

Ver. 24. Take the kings away.] As being rather the knights of Venus, than of Bellona; and are better at tossing a pot than a pike.


Verse 25

1 Kings 20:25 And number thee an army, like the army that thou hast lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot: and we will fight against them in the plain, [and] surely we shall be stronger than they. And he hearkened unto their voice, and did so.

Ver. 25. The army that thou hast lost.] Heb., That was fallen. They who are fallen in the field are looked upon as lost. And yet Miles Cobelitz, a Christian soldier, sore wounded and all bloody, rising out of a heap of slain men after a great fight, stabbed to death Amurath, the great Turk, as he took a view of the dead bodies, which without number lay on heaps in the field. (a) And in that memorable fight betwixt the Dauphin of France and the Helvetians near Basle, Burchard Monk, a noble and valiant commander, vaunting of his victory, and putting up his helmet, that he might see what a slaughter had been made there that day, had his death wound given him by a half-dead Helvetian, who, getting up upon his knees, threw a stone at him, and hit him in the forehead. (b)

And we will flght against them in the plain.] See on 1 Kings 20:23.


Verse 26

1 Kings 20:26 And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Benhadad numbered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel.

Ver. 26. And went up to Aphek.] Which was, saith Lyra, a strong city in Asher, taken from the Israelites by the Syrians, before which lay a great plain of the same name; famous for many great battles there fought. Benhadad chose to fight here, that if he were worsted, he might repair to it for refuge. But how reckless was Pompey, who, when to fight with Caesar, that great soldier and conqueror, never considered into what place he were best to retire if he lost the day, as indeed he did, and no wonder.


Verse 27

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

Ver. 27. And were all present.] All the last year’s army that had been so victorious, not a man of them was missing; and that was very much. Ahab had the same promise, and therefore maketh use of the same forces as before.


Verse 28

1 Kings 20:28 And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD [is] God of the hills, but he [is] not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.

Ver. 28. And there came a man of God.] Or, There had come a man of God and had spoken unto the king of Israel.

Therefore I will deliver.] Here the Lord wrought for his own great name, as he doth oft. See Ezekiel 20:8; Ezekiel 20:14; Ezekiel 20:22; Ezekiel 20:24. Our jealous God hateth to be robbed of his glory, even by ignorant pagans, whose tongues might seem no slander.


Verse 29

1 Kings 20:29 And they pitched one over against the other seven days. And [so] it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined: and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day.

Ver. 29. And they pitched one over against the other.] So did the Turks and Christians, under Baldwin, king of Jerusalem: for three months’ space they lay facing one another, and then both armies rose; the Christians fearing the multitude of the Turks, and the Turks the valour of the Christians: wherefore they returned without any notable thing done. (a) But these Israelites neither stayed so long, nor did so little; for after seven days’ waiting for the enemy’s onset, they fell on, and made a huge slaughter.


Verse 30

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. And Benhadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber.

Ver. 30. But the rest fled to Aphek.] See on 1 Kings 20:26. No place can secure a blasphemer from the divine vengeance.

And there a wall fell] By some earthquake, likely, or other immediate hand of God, for their insolency against him. The stones in the wall of Aphek shall sooner turn executioners, than a blasphemous Aramite shall escape unrevenged. At the coronation of Pope Clement V, John, duke of Brittany, with others, were in like sort slain by the fall of a wall at Lyons; Philip, king of France, was thereby also wounded; the Pope himself was struck off his horse, his crown struck off his head, and a carbuncle of very great price lost out of it. (a) A fair warning to that foul sinner who had upon his head the names of blasphemy. [Revelation 13:1; Revelation 13:5-6]

Into an inner chamber.] Into a chamber within a chamber, glad to hide himself in any hole. So Manasseh that faced the heavens in his prosperity, in trouble basely hides his head among the bushes. [2 Chronicles 33:12] Gidlimer overcome by Bellisarius, and besieged, sent to beg of him three things; (1.) A piece of bread to ease his hunger; (2.) A sponge to dry his eyes; (3.) A harp to cheer up his heart, well-nigh broke with grief.


Verse 31

1 Kings 20:31 And his servants said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel [are] merciful kings: let us, I pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: peradventure he will save thy life.

Ver. 31. We have heard that the kings, &c.] Merciful to those that they have beaten in battle. Julius Caesar had got such a name; (a) and our Queen Elizabeth, who for her merciful returning home certain Italians taken here in the 1588 invasion, was termed St Elizabeth by some at Venice.

Let us, I pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins.] Let us address ourselves to king Ahab, Lugubri sontium habitu misericordiam implorantium, in the most submissive manner, begging mercy. Thus the Britons, in the time of Valentinian III, being oppressed by their northern enemies, sent their ambassadors in torn garments, with sand on their heads, to Aetius, the Roman Prefect of Gaul; who thereupon was moved to send them help. (b) So the inhabitants of Cremona, in Italy, sought pardon of their rebellion, with halters about their necks, at the hands of Henry VII, emperor of Germany, and got off for a great sum of money, (c) So when our King Edward III laid siege to Calais, the townsmen desired parley, and had this final sentence, that six of the chief of them should be sent to the king bareheaded, barefooted, in their shirts, with halters about their necks, the keys of the town and castle in their hands, and submit themselves to the king’s will. (d) So in King Henry VI’s days, the multitude that had followed Cade the rebel, came naked in their shirts to the king on Blackheath, humbly praying mercy, which they obtained. (e)


Verse 32

1 Kings 20:32 So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and [put] ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Thy servant Benhadad saith, I pray thee, let me live. And he said, [Is] he yet alive? he [is] my brother.

Ver. 32. So they girded sackcloth.] See 1 Kings 20:31.

Thy servant Benhadad saith.] Not long since it was, Thy lord Benhadad saith, All that thou hast is mine. Pride goeth before a fall. It was a great foretoken of Darius’s ruin, when in his proud embassy to Alexander he called himself king of kings, and cousin of the gods; but for Alexander, he called him his servant. Decent fortunas secundas superbiae, said he in Plautus, but without reason; Great men may well be proud. How much better Polybius, that grave historian, who by the example of M. Attilius Regulus, - haughty and merciless to the Carthaginians, of whom he was shortly after glad to crave mercy, - teacheth men to use their prosperity moderately; and not to look for any long continuance of it. (a)

I pray thee, let me live.] Life is a sweet mercy, [Esther 7:3; Jeremiah 39:18; Jeremiah 45:5] and man is a life loving creature, said Aesop.

He is my brother.] Haec non clementia fuit, sed dementia, saith one. This was not courtsey, but foolery. (b) Brother Benhadad will ere long fight against Ahab with that life which he had given him. [1 Kings 22:31]


Verse 33

1 Kings 20:33 Now the men did diligently observe whether [any thing would come] from him, and did hastily catch [it]: and they said, Thy brother Benhadad. Then he said, Go ye, bring him. Then Benhadad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot.

Ver. 33. Now the men did diligently observe.] Augurum more: vel pro omine acceperunt et festinarunt rapere ab eo: i.e., ex ore eius verbum. Those that earnestly desire anything, will be glad of any word to work upon, or any ground of hope to obtain in time. The Swiss assembled in a diet at Baden, heard the Pope’s nuncio inviting them to send their divines to the Council of Trent; and receiving the brief, one of the burgomasters of Zurie did kiss it. The Pope advertised hereof, could not choose but tell it to all the ambassadors residing with him, with much joy. (a)

And did hastily catch it.] Should not men hastily catch at any word of comfort that falleth from God’s sweet mouth, making their utmost best of it? [Isaiah 66:11] I will hearken, with both ears earnestly, "what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace to his people, and to his saints; but let not them turn again to folly." [Psalms 85:8]

And he caused him to come up into the chariot.] This was more than he would do for the prophet Elijah, whom he suffered to run by his chariot. [1 Kings 18:46]


Verse 34

1 Kings 20:34 And [Benhadad] said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then [said Ahab], I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.

Ver. 34. The cities which my father took from thy father.] That is, From thy predecessor Baasha. [1 Kings 15:20]

I will restore.] Which yet he did not; witness Ramothgilead. [1 Kings 22:4]

And thou shalt make streets for thee.] Fora rerum venalium constitues tibi, ex quibus vectigalia accipies quasi nundinas; markets out of which thou shalt have the toll and other dues.

I will send thee away.] This was too great facility; such as afterwards cost him his life.

And sent him away.] This preservation of Benhadad was but a reservation; for he was afterward murdered by cruel Hazael. [2 Kings 8:15]


Verse 35

1 Kings 20:35 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.

Ver. 35. And a certain man of the sons of the prophets.] This was Michaiah, saith Josephus, and other Jewish doctors, whom Ahab therefore had cast into prison, and therefore so readily knew where to have him, [1 Kings 22:9] and whither to resend him. [1 Kings 22:26]

Smite me, I pray thee.] (1.) That hereby I may show Ahab how he hath wounded his own soul by sparing Benhadad; (2.) What a wound both he and his people shall hereafter receive hereby; (3.) That I may seem a wounded soldier, and so may have the easier access to Ahab.


Verse 36

1 Kings 20:36 Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, 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.

Ver. 36. A lion found him, and slew him.] So dangerous a thing it is for a man to prefer his own reason before God’s command. There is not a more noble proof of our faith, than to captivate all the powers of our understanding and will to our Creator: and without all questioning to go blind folded whither he will lead us.


Verse 37

1 Kings 20:37 Then he found another man, and said, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man smote him, so that in smiting he wounded [him].

Ver. 37. And the man smote him.] See on 1 Kings 20:36.


Verse 38

1 Kings 20:38 So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with ashes upon his face.

Ver. 38. And disguised himself.] He slurried his face with ashes cast upon blood, that he might not appear to be a prophet; for then guilty Ahab would not have heard him, especially being now puffed up by his great victory.


Verse 39

1 Kings 20:39 And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he said, Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver.

Ver. 39. Thy servant went ont.] Parabolically all, {as 1 Samuel 12:1-2, &c., See Trapp on "1 Samuel 12:1" &c} to bring Ahab to pass an impartial sentence against himself, in the person of another.


Verse 40

1 Kings 20:40 And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So [shall] thy judgment [be]; thyself hast decided [it].

Ver. 40. So shall thy judgment be.] See on 1 Kings 20:39.


Verse 41

1 Kings 20:41 And he hasted, and took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he [was] of the prophets.

Ver. 41. And the king of Israel discerned him.] He had known him before for a prophet, and was ill-affected unto him for his plain dealing. [1 Kings 22:8]


Verse 42

1 Kings 20:42 And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Because thou hast let go out of [thy] hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people.

Ver. 42. A man whom I had appointed to utter destruction.] Heb., A man of mine accursing; such as was the king of Jericho, and his people, and afterwards Agag king of Amalek. [1 Samuel 15:33] He had vilified and blasphemed the God of Israel, [1 Kings 20:28] and was therefore devoted to destruction. So was Julian the apostate, Chosroes king of Persia, Lucian the athiest, devoured by dogs, &c.

Therefore thy life shall go for his life.] Let princes and judges take heed by Ahab’s example, how they save the lives of such as by God’s law ought to die, of blasphemers especially. Ambrose, closing up the story of Ahab and Jezebel’s fearful end, saith, Fuge ergo, dives, eiusmodi exitum, &c. Shun Ahab’s sin, as thou desirest to shun Ahab’s end.


Verse 43

1 Kings 20:43 And the king of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased, and came to Samaria.

Ver. 43. Heavy and displeased.] Not with a "sorrow according to God," but such as arose from a slavish fear: this heavy message in the midst of his triumph, being worse than the whip and bell hung up usually in the chariot of the Roman triumpher, to show him what he might one day come to, viz., to be whipped as a slave, yea, to lose his head as an offender.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 20:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-20.html. 1865-1868.

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