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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
20:12-21 The proud Syrians were beaten, and the despised Israelites were conquerors. The orders of the proud, drunken king disordered his troops, and prevented them from attacking the Israelites. Those that are most secure, are commonly least courageous. Ahab slew the Syrians with a great slaughter. God often makes one wicked man a scourge to another.Pavilions - "Booths" (Genesis 33:17 margin; Leviticus 23:42; Jonah 4:5). The term seems to be properly applied to a stationary "booth" or "hut," as distinguished from a moveable "tent." On military expeditions, and especially in the case of a siege, such "huts" were naturally constructed to shelter the king and his chief officers. 12. as he was drinking, he and the kings in the pavilions—booths made of branches of trees and brushwood; which were reared for kings in the camp, as they still are for Turkish pashas or agas in their expeditions [Keil].

Set yourselves in array—Invest the city.

Set yourselves in array; put yourselves and engines in order to make the assault.

And it came to pass, when Benhadad heard this message (as he was drinking, he and the kings in the pavilions),.... Though it was at noon, or before, 1 Kings 20:16, which shows that he and they were addicted to intemperance:

that he said unto his servants; some of the principal officers of his army:

set yourselves in array; prepare for battle, betake yourselves to your arms, invest the city at once, and place the engines against it to batter it down:

and they set themselves in array against the city; besieged it in form, at least prepared for it; for it seems after all that it was not properly done.

And it came to pass, when Ben-hadad 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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. as he was drinking] Ben-hadad was clearly full of confidence, and was giving a banquet to the allied princes in anticipation of the victory.

he and the kings] i.e. The thirty and two, mentioned in 1 Kings 20:1.

in the pavilions] The word is the same which is used for the temporary booths erected of branches of trees at the feast of Tabernacles. Doubtless the tents of Ben-hadad and his princes were of the like kind, for the erection of which material was not difficult to find.

Set yourselves in array] As there is only the verb expressed here, it is possible to substitute as is done in the margin ‘the engines’ instead of the text. The word is used elsewhere with a noun ‘battering-rams’ after it (Ezekiel 4:2), but there is nothing in this passage to shew us whether the persons or the engines are referred to. Such elliptical phrases are common among words of command.

The LXX. has rendered ‘Build a stockade, and they set a stockade against the city.’

Verse 12. - And it came to pass, when Ben-hadad [Heb. he] heard this message [Heb. word], as he was drinking, he and the kings in the pavilions [Heb. booths. The word shows that, in lieu of tents, kings and generals on an expedition sometimes used leafy huts, like those of Israel (Leviticus 23:34, 42). Such booths, it is said, are still erected on military expeditions in the East], that he said unto his servants, Set yourselves in array [Heb. שִׂימוּ one short, decisive word. His indignation and astonishment were too great for more. We might perhaps render "Form." Cf. 1 Samuel 11:11; Joshua 8:2, 13; Job 1:17; Ezekiel 23:24. It cannot mean οἰκοδομήσατε χάρακα (LXX.)] And they set themselves in array [or formed. Again one word, which is more spirited and graphic, and conveys that the command was instantly obeyed] against the city. 1 Kings 20:12After this reply of Ahab, Benhadad gave command to attack the city, while he was drinking with his kings in the booths. סכּות are booths made of branches, twigs, and shrubs, such as are still erected in the East for kings and generals in the place of tents (vid., Rosenmller, A. u. N. Morgenl. iii. pp. 198-9). שׂימוּ: take your places against the city, sc. to storm it (for שׂים in the sense of arranging the army for battle, see 1 Samuel 11:11 and Job 1:17); not οἰκοδομήσατε χάρακα (lxx), or place the siege train.
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