But it came to pass, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)But.—And.
When.—So some MSS. The ordinary text has, “about the time of Ahab’s death” (ke for be).
Rebelled—i.e., refused payment of the annual tribute.
Mesha is the monarch who wrote the inscription on the "Moabite stone" (2 Kings 1:1 note). The points established by the Inscription are:
2. That Omri reconquered the country, and that it then became subject to the northern kingdom, and remained so throughout his reign and that of his son Ahab, and into the reign of Ahab's son and successor, Ahaziah;
3. That the independence was regained by means of a war, in which Mesha took town after town from the Israelites, including in his conquests many of the towns which, at the original occupation of the holy land, had passed into the possession of the Reubenites or the Gadites, as Baal-Meon Numbers 32:38, Kirjathaim Numbers 32:37, Ataroth Numbers 32:34, Nebo Numbers 32:38, Jahaz Joshua 13:18, etc.;
4. That the name of Yahweh was well known to the Moabites as that of the God of the Israelites; and2 Kings 1:1. It is here repeated to make way for the following story. Ahaziah did not attempt the recovery of Moab, either because he was a man of a low spirit and courage; or because his sickness, or the shortness of his reign, gave not opportunity for it. But it came to pass, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. when Ahab was dead] The sickness of Ahaziah had no doubt prevented him from taking any step during his brief reign to suppress the revolt of Moab. It is probable that during Ahaziah’s time all those reconquests, that are mentioned in the Mesha tablet, were made by the Moabites, the king of Israel being able to offer no resistance.
(Note: Augustine, or the author of the Sermo 204 de Tempore (or Sermo 41 de Elisaeo in t. v. of the Opp. August., ed. J. P. Migne, p. 1826), which is attributed to him, gives a similar explanation. "The insolent boys," he says, "are to be supposed to have done this at the instigation of their parents; for they would not have called out if it had displeased their parents." And with regard to the object of the judicial punishment, he says it was inflicted "that the elders might receive a lesson through the smiting of the little ones, and the death of the sons might be a lesson to the parents; and that they might learn to fear the prophet, whom they would not love, notwithstanding the wonders which he performed.")
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