1 Kings 20:34
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"I will return the cities my father took from your father," Ben-Hadad offered. "You may set up your own market areas in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria." Ahab said, "On the basis of a treaty I will set you free." So he made a treaty with him, and let him go.

New Living Translation
Ben-hadad told him, "I will give back the towns my father took from your father, and you may establish places of trade in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria." Then Ahab said, "I will release you under these conditions." So they made a new treaty, and Ben-hadad was set free.

English Standard Version
And Ben-hadad said to him, “The cities that my father took from your father I will restore, and you may establish bazaars for yourself in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria.” And Ahab said, “I will let you go on these terms.” So he made a covenant with him and let him go.

New American Standard Bible
Ben-hadad said to him, "The cities which my father took from your father I will restore, and you shall make streets for yourself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria." Ahab said, "And I will let you go with this covenant." So he made a covenant with him and let him go.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then Ben-hadad said to him, "I restore to you the cities that my father took from your father, and you may set up marketplaces for yourself in Damascus, like my father set up in Samaria." Ahab responded, "On the basis of this treaty, I release you." So he made a treaty with him and released him.

International Standard Version
Ben-hadad made this promise to Ahab: "I will restore the cities that my ancestors took from your ancestors. You'll be able to build streets named after yourself in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria." "With this promise I will release you," Ahab replied. So Ahab made a treaty with Ben-hadad and let him go.

NET Bible
Ben Hadad said, "I will return the cities my father took from your father. You may set up markets in Damascus, just as my father did in Samaria." Ahab then said, "I want to make a treaty with you before I dismiss you." So he made a treaty with him and then dismissed him.

New Heart English Bible
Ben Hadad said to him, "The cities which my father took from your father I will restore. You shall make streets for yourself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria." "I," said Ahab, "will let you go with this covenant." So he made a covenant with him, and let him go.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Benhadad told him, "I will give back the towns my father took from your father. You may set up trading centers in Damascus as my father did in Samaria." Ahab said, "If you will put this into a treaty, I will let you go." So Ahab made a treaty with Benhadad and let him go.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And [Ben-hadad] 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.' 'And I, said Ahab, will let thee go with this covenant.' So he made a covenant with him, and let him go.

New American Standard 1977
And Ben-hadad said to him, “The cities which my father took from your father I will restore, and you shall make streets for yourself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria.” Ahab said, “And I will let you go with this covenant.” So he made a covenant with him and let him go.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Benhadad said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make plazas for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria, and I will leave here confederated with thee. So he made a covenant with him and sent him away.

King James 2000 Bible
And Ben-hadad said unto him, The cities, which my father took from your father, I will restore; and you shall make streets for yourself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said Ahab, I will send you away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.

American King James Version
And Ben-hadad said to him, The cities, which my father took from your father, I will restore; and you shall make streets for you in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said Ahab, I will send you away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.

American Standard Version
And Ben-hadad'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. And I,'said Ahab , will let thee go with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and let him go.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he said to him: The cities which my father took from thy father, I will restore: and do thou make thee streets in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria, and having made a league I will depart from thee. So he made a league with him, and let him go.

Darby Bible Translation
And [Ben-Hadad] said to him, The cities that my father took from thy father I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thyself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. And I [said Ahab] will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.

English Revised Version
And Ben-hadad 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. And I, said Ahab, will let thee go with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and let him go.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Ben-hadad said to 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.

World English Bible
Ben Hadad said to him, "The cities which my father took from your father I will restore. You shall make streets for yourself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria." "I," said Ahab, "will let you go with this covenant." So he made a covenant with him, and let him go.

Young's Literal Translation
And he saith unto him, 'The cities that my father took from thy father, I give back, and streets thou dost make for thee in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria;' -- 'and I, with a covenant, send thee away;' and he maketh with him a covenant, and sendeth him away.
Study Bible
Ahab Spares Ben-Hadad
33Now the men took this as an omen, and quickly catching his word said, "Your brother Ben-hadad." Then he said, "Go, bring him." Then Ben-hadad came out to him, and he took him up into the chariot. 34Ben-hadad said to him, "The cities which my father took from your father I will restore, and you shall make streets for yourself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria." Ahab said, "And I will let you go with this covenant." So he made a covenant with him and let him go. 35Now a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to another by the word of the LORD, "Please strike me." But the man refused to strike him.…
Cross References
1 Samuel 11:1
Now Nahash the Ammonite came up and besieged Jabesh-gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, "Make a covenant with us and we will serve you."

1 Kings 15:20
So Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah and all Chinneroth, besides all the land of Naphtali.

1 Kings 20:33
Now the men took this as an omen, and quickly catching his word said, "Your brother Ben-hadad." Then he said, "Go, bring him." Then Ben-hadad came out to him, and he took him up into the chariot.
Treasury of Scripture

And Ben-hadad said to him, The cities, which my father took from your father, I will restore; and you shall make streets for you in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said Ahab, I will send you away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.

1 Kings 13:21-24,26 And he cried to the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus …

1 Samuel 15:22,23 And Samuel said, Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings …

(34) Make streets--properly, squares, or quarters of a city. This concession implies a virtual acknowledgment of supremacy; for the right to have certain quarters for residence, for trade, perhaps even for garrison, in the capital of a king, belongs only to one who has sovereignty over him. Hence it goes beyond the significance of the restoration of the cities--conquered, it would seem, from Omri, unless, indeed, taking "father" in the sense of predecessor, the reference is to the Syrian victories in the days of Baasha. (See 1Kings 15:20.) The narrative seems to convey an idea that the covenant was made hastily, on insufficient security. The great point, however, was that a war, victoriously conducted under prophetic guidance, should not have been concluded without prophetic sanction.

Verse 34. - And Ben-hadad said unto him The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore [We can hardly see in these words "the terms of peace which he is willing to offer as the price of his freedom" (Rawlinson), because he was absolutely at Ahab's mercy, and was not in a position to make any stipulations; but they express Ben-hadad's idea of the results which must follow the conquest. His utter defeat would necessitate this reconstruction of their respective territories, etc. We cannot be quite certain that the cities here referred to are those enumerated in 1 Kings 15:20, as taken by Ben-hadad's armies from Baasha. For Baasha was not the father, nor even was he the "ancestor" (as Keil, later edition) of Ahab, but belonged to a different dynasty. At the same time it is quite conceivable that a prince in Ben-hadad's position, in his ignorance or forgetfulness of the history of Israel, might use the word "father" improperly, or even in the sense of "predecessor." We know that אָב had a very extended signification.] Keil and Bahr, however, think that we have a reference to some war in the reign of Omri (cf. 1 Kings 16:27), which is not recorded in Scripture. And the words which follow make this extremely probable, inasmuch as in Baasha's days Samaria had no existence] ? and thou shalt make streets [חצות lit., whatever is without; hence streets, spaces, quarters] for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. [The commentators are agreed that a permission to establish bazaars or quarters, in which the Hebrews might live and trade, is here conceded]. Then said Ahab [These words are rightly supplied by our translators. The meaning would have been quite clear had the Hebrews been familiar with the use of quotation marks. For lack of these, all the versions ascribe the words to Ben-hadad], I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him and sent him away. And Benhadad said unto him,.... The word Benhadad is not in the original text, and some, as Osiander and others, have thought they are the words of Ahab last spoken of; which seems most likely, who not only took Benhadad into his chariot, but in his great and superabundant kindness, though the conqueror, said to him what follows:

the cities which my father took from thy father I will restore; that is, those cities which Omri, the father of Ahab, had taken from the father of Benhadad; for as Omri was a prince of might and valour, 1 Kings 16:16, it is more probable that he took cities from the king of Syria, than that the king of Syria should take any from him, and which Ahab in his circumstances weakly promises to restore:

and thou shall make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria; which confirms it that it is Ahab, and not Benhadad, that is speaking; for Benhadad's father never had any power nor residence in Samaria, whereas Omri, the father of Ahab, had, he built it, and made it his royal seat; and, in like manner, Ahab promises Benhadad that he should have his palace at Damascus, the metropolis of Syria, and exercise power there, and over all Syria; whereby Ahab renounced all right he had to the kingdom, and any of the cities of it: for by "streets" are not meant those literally so called, for the making of which there was no reason; nor markets to take a toll from, as some, supposing them to be the words of Benhadad; nor courts of judicature, to oblige them to pay it who refused it, as others; nor fortresses to keep them in awe; but a royal palace, as a learned critic (t) has observed, for Benhadad to reside in; this Ahab gave him power to erect, and added:

and I will send thee away with this covenant; or promise now made:

so he made a covenant with him; confirmed the above promises:

and sent him away; free, to enjoy his crown and kingdom, for which folly and weakness Ahab is reproved by a prophet, 1 Kings 20:42.

(t) Vallandi Dissert. ad 1. Reg. xx. 33, 34. Subsect. 2. sect. 4. 34. streets for thee in Damascus—implying that a quarter of that city was to be assigned to Jews, with the free exercise of their religion and laws, under a judge of their own. This misplaced kindness to a proud and impious idolater, so unbecoming a theocratic monarch, exposed Ahab to the same censure and fate as Saul (1Sa 15:9, etc.). It was in opposition to God's purpose in giving him the victory.20:31-43 This encouragement sinners have to repent and humble themselves before God; Have we not heard, that the God of Israel is a merciful God? Have we not found him so? That is gospel repentance, which flows from an apprehension of the mercy of God, in Christ; there is forgiveness with him. What a change is here! The most haughty in prosperity often are most abject in adversity; an evil spirit will thus affect a man in both these conditions. There are those on whom, like Ahab, success is ill bestowed; they know not how to serve either God or their generation, or even their own true interests with their prosperity: Let favour be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness. The prophet designed to reprove Ahab by a parable. If a good prophet were punished for sparing his friend and God's when God said, Smite, of much sorer punishment should a wicked king be thought worthy, who spared his enemy and God's, when God said, Smite. Ahab went to his house, heavy and displeased, not truly penitent, or seeking to undo what he had done amiss; every way out of humour, notwithstanding his victory. Alas! many that hear the glad tidings of Christ, are busy and there till the day of salvation is gone.
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OT History: 1 Kings 20:34 Ben Hadad said to him The cities (1Ki iKi i Ki 1 Kg 1kg) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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