1 Kings 20:31
New International Version
His officials said to him, "Look, we have heard that the kings of Israel are merciful. Let us go to the king of Israel with sackcloth around our waists and ropes around our heads. Perhaps he will spare your life."

New Living Translation
Ben-hadad's officers said to him, "Sir, we have heard that the kings of Israel are merciful. So let's humble ourselves by wearing burlap around our waists and putting ropes on our heads, and surrender to the king of Israel. Then perhaps he will let you live."

English Standard Version
And his servants said to him, “Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings. Let us put sackcloth around our waists and ropes on our heads and go out to the king of Israel. Perhaps he will spare your life.”

Berean Study Bible
Then the servants of Ben-hadad said to him, “Look now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful. Let us go out to the king of Israel with sackcloth around our waists and ropes around our heads. Perhaps he will spare your life.”

New American Standard Bible
His servants said to him, "Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings, please let us put sackcloth on our loins and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel; perhaps he will save your life."

King James Bible
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.

Christian Standard Bible
His servants said to him, "Consider this: we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings. So let's put sackcloth around our waists and ropes around our heads, and let's go out to the king of Israel. Perhaps he will spare your life."

Contemporary English Version
His officials said, "Your Majesty, we've heard that Israel's kings keep their agreements. We will wrap sackcloth around our waists, put ropes around our heads, and ask Ahab to let you live."

Good News Translation
His officials went to him and said, "We have heard that the Israelite kings are merciful. Give us permission to go to the king of Israel with sackcloth around our waists and ropes around our necks, and maybe he will spare your life."

Holman Christian Standard Bible
His servants said to him, "Consider this: we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings. So let's put sackcloth around our waists and ropes around our heads, and let's go out to the king of Israel. Perhaps he will spare your life."

International Standard Version
"Look, now," his advisors suggested, "we've heard that the Israeli kings are merciful. So let's clothe ourselves with sackcloth, tie our hair back with ropes, and go out to the king of Israel. Maybe he'll spare your life."

NET Bible
His advisers said to him, "Look, we have heard that the kings of the Israelite dynasty are kind. Allow us to put sackcloth around our waists and ropes on our heads and surrender to the king of Israel. Maybe he will spare our lives."

New Heart English Bible
His servants said to him, "See now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings. Please let us put sackcloth on our bodies, and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel. Maybe he will save your life."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
His officers told him, "We have heard that the kings of Israel are merciful. Allow us to dress in sackcloth, put ropes around our necks, and go to the king of Israel. Maybe he'll let you live."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And his servants said unto him: 'Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings; let us, we 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.'

New American Standard 1977
And his servants said to him, “Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings, please let us put sackcloth on our loins and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel; perhaps he will save your life.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then his slaves 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 give thee thy life.

King James 2000 Bible
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 you, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: perhaps he will save your life.

American King James Version
And his servants said to him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, I pray you, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: peradventure he will save your life.

American Standard Version
And his servants said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, we 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.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And he sent into the city to Achaab king of Israel, and said to him, Thus says the son of Ader,

Douay-Rheims Bible
And his servants said to him: Behold, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful: so let us put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: perhaps he will save our lives.

Darby Bible Translation
And his servants said to 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; perhaps he will save thy life.

English Revised Version
And his servants said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, we 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.

Webster's Bible Translation
And his servants said to 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: it may be he will save thy life.

World English Bible
His servants said to him, "See now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings. Please let us put sackcloth on our bodies, and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel. Maybe he will save your life."

Young's Literal Translation
And his servants say unto him, 'Lo, we pray thee, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel -- that they are kind kings; let us put, we pray thee, sackcloth on our loins, and ropes on our heads, and we go out unto the king of Israel; it may be he doth keep thee alive.'
Study Bible
Ahab Spares Ben-hadad
31Then the servants of Ben-hadad said to him, “Look now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful. Let us go out to the king of Israel with sackcloth around our waists and ropes around our heads. Perhaps he will spare your life.” 32So with sackcloth around their waists and ropes around their heads, they went to the king of Israel and said, “Your servant Ben-hadad says, ‘Please spare my life.’” And the king answered, “Is he still alive? He is my brother.”…
Cross References
Genesis 37:34
Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth around his waist, and mourned for his son many days.

2 Samuel 3:31
Then David ordered Joab and all the people with him, "Tear your clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourn before Abner." And King David himself walked behind the funeral bier.

1 Kings 20:23
Meanwhile, the servants of the king of Aram said to him, "Their gods are gods of the hills. That is why they prevailed over us. Instead, we should fight them on the plains; surely then we will prevail.

1 Kings 20:32
So with sackcloth around their waists and ropes around their heads, they went to the king of Israel and said, "Your servant Ben-hadad says, 'Please spare my life.'" And the king answered, "Is he still alive? He is my brother."

Psalm 69:11
I made sackcloth my clothing, and I was sport to them.

Treasury of Scripture

And his servants said to him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, I pray you, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: peradventure he will save your life.

the men

Proverbs 25:13
As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.

Luke 16:8
And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

and he caused

2 Kings 10:15
And when he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me thine hand. And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot.

Acts 8:31
And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.







Lexicon
Then the servants of [Ben-hadad]
עֲבָדָיו֒ (‘ă·ḇā·ḏāw)
Noun - masculine plural construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5650: Slave, servant

said
וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ (way·yō·mə·rū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

to him,
אֵלָיו֮ (’ê·lāw)
Preposition | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 413: Near, with, among, to

“Look
הִנֵּֽה־ (hin·nêh-)
Interjection
Strong's Hebrew 2009: Lo! behold!

now,
נָ֣א (nā)
Interjection
Strong's Hebrew 4994: I pray', 'now', 'then'

we have heard
שָׁמַ֔עְנוּ (šā·ma‘·nū)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 8085: To hear intelligently

that
כִּ֗י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 3588: A relative conjunction

the kings
מַלְכֵי֙ (mal·ḵê)
Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 4428: A king

of the house
בֵּ֣ית (bêṯ)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 1004: A house

of Israel
יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל (yiś·rā·’êl)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3478: Israel -- 'God strives', another name of Jacob and his desc

are merciful.
חֶ֖סֶד (ḥe·seḏ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2617: Kindness, piety, reproof, beauty

Let us go out
וְנֵצֵא֙ (wə·nê·ṣê)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive imperfect Cohortative if contextual - first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 3318: To go, bring, out, direct and proxim

to
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 413: Near, with, among, to

the king
מֶ֣לֶךְ (me·leḵ)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 4428: A king

of Israel
יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל (yiś·rā·’êl)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3478: Israel -- 'God strives', another name of Jacob and his desc

[with]
נָשִׂ֣ימָה (nā·śî·māh)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect Cohortative - first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 7760: Put -- to put, place, set

sackcloth
שַׂקִּ֨ים (śaq·qîm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 8242: A mesh, coarse loose cloth, sacking, a bag

around our waists
בְּמָתְנֵ֜ינוּ (bə·mā·ṯə·nê·nū)
Preposition-b | Noun - mdc | first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 4975: The waist, small of the back, the loins

and ropes
וַחֲבָלִ֣ים (wa·ḥă·ḇā·lîm)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 2256: A rope, a measuring line, a district, inheritance, a noose, a company, a throe, ruin

around our heads.
בְּרֹאשֵׁ֗נוּ (bə·rō·šê·nū)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 7218: The head

Perhaps
אוּלַ֖י (’ū·lay)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 194: Perhaps

he will spare
יְחַיֶּ֥ה (yə·ḥay·yeh)
Verb - Piel - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2421: To live, to revive

your life.�
נַפְשֶֽׁךָ׃ (nap̄·še·ḵā)
Noun - feminine singular construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5315: A soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion
(31) Ropes upon our heads--like "the ropes round the necks" of the burghers of Calais, in the days of Edward III. The envoys offer themselves as naked, helpless criminals, to sue for mercy.

Verse 31. - And his servants [Possibly the very same men who (ver. 23) had counselled this second expedition] said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings [As no doubt they were when compared with contemporary pagan sovereigns]: let us, I pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins [in token of humiliation and contrition, שַׂק is identical, radically, with σάκκος, saccus, and our sack], and ropes upon our heads [i.e., round our necks. To show how completely they were at Ahab's mercy. Bahr shows that this custom still exists in China but the well-known story of the citizens of Calais, after its siege by Edward III., supplies a closer illustration], and go out [Heb. go] to the king of Israel [It would appear from the language of ver. 33 am if Ahab's army was now besieging the place. He himself may have kept at a safe distance from it]: peradventure he will save thy life. [LXX. our lives, τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.] 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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Alphabetical: and are around Behold go have he heads heard him His house Israel king kings Let life loins Look merciful now of officials on our out Perhaps please put ropes sackcloth said save servants spare that the to us waists we will with your

OT History: 1 Kings 20:31 His servants said to him See now (1Ki iKi i Ki 1 Kg 1kg) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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