20:1 And Benhadad the king of Syria gathered all his host
together: and [there were] thirty and two a kings with
him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged
Samaria, and warred against it.
(a) That is, governors and rulers of provinces.
20:4 And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king,
according to thy saying, b I [am] thine, and all that I
(b) I am content to obey and pay tribute.
20:6c 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.
(c) He would not accept his answer unless he out of hand
delivered whatever he asked, for he sought an
opportunity to make war against him.
20:8 And all the elders and all the people said unto him,
Hearken d not [unto him], nor consent.
(d) They thought it their duty to risk their lives, rather
than grant that thing which was not lawful, only to
satisfy the lust of a tyrant.
20:10 And Benhadad sent unto him, and said, The gods do so unto
me, and more also, if the e dust of Samaria shall
suffice for handfuls for all the people that follow me.
(e) Much less will there be found any prey that is worth
anything, when they are so many.
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 f putteth it off.
(f) Do not boast before the victory is won.
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 g that I [am]
(g) Before God went about with signs and miracles to pull
Ahab from his impiety, and now again with wonderful
20:17 And the h 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.
(h) That is, young men trained in the service of princes.
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 i horsemen.
(i) They who were appointed for the preservation of his
20:23 And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their
k 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.
(k) Thus the wicked blaspheme God in their fury, who
nonetheless he does not permit to go unpunished.
20:27 And the children of Israel were numbered, and were all l
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.
(l) All those who were in the battle of the previous
years, (1Ki 20:15).
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
m I [am] the LORD.
(m) Who has the same power in the valley as on the hills
and can also destroy a multitude with few as with
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 n
loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of
Israel: peradventure he will save thy life.
(n) In sign of submission and that we have deserved death,
if he will punish us with rigour.
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 o Benhadad. Then he said, Go ye,
bring him. Then Benhadad came forth to him; and he caused
him to come up into the chariot.
(o) He is alive.
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 p 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
(p) You shall appoint in my chief city what you will, and
I will obey you.
20:35 And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto
his neighbour in the word of the LORD, q Smite me, I
pray thee. And the man refused to smite him.
(q) By this external sign he would more likely touch the
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 r slay thee. And as soon as he was
departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him.
(r) Because you have transgressed the commandment of the
20:39 And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he
said, s 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.
(s) By this parable he makes Ahab condemn himself who made
a covenant with God's enemy, and let him escape whom
God had appointed to be slain.