1 Kings 20:13
And, behold, there came a prophet to Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus said the LORD, Have you seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into your hand this day; and you shall know that I am the LORD.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) There came a prophet.—The appearance of this unknown prophet evidently shows (see also 1Kings 22:6-7) that Ahab’s enmity to the prophetic order was over since the great day at Carmel, and that the schools of the prophets were forming themselves again—perhaps not free from connection with the idolatry of Jeroboam, but safe from all attacks from the worshippers of Baal. It is notable that in all these political functions of prophecy Elijah does not appear, reserving himself for the higher moral and religious mission from God. Ahab receives the prophet’s message with perfect confidence and reverence; he has returned in profession to the allegiance to Jehovah, which he had, perhaps, never wholly relinquished.

1 Kings 20:13. And, behold there came a prophet unto Ahab — One of those, probably, that had been hid, but was now commanded of God to appear and carry a message to Ahab; which the prophet did not fear to do, as he brought him such good news as those which follow. Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou seen this great multitude, &c.? — God, though forsaken and neglected by Ahab, prevents him with his gracious promise of help; that Ahab and the idolatrous Israelites might hereby be fully convinced, or left without excuse; that Ben-hadad’s intolerable pride, and contempt of God, and of his people, might be punished; and that the remnant of his prophets and people, who were involved in the same calamity with the rest of the Israelites, might be preserved and delivered. I am the Lord — And not Baal, because I will deliver thee, which he cannot do.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.The rabbinical commentators conjecture that this prophet was Micaiah, the son of Imlah, who is mentioned below 1 Kings 22:8.

Hast thou seen all this great multitude? - The boast of Ben-hadad 1 Kings 20:10, was not without a basis of truth; his force seems to have exceeded 130, 000 (compare 1 Kings 20:25, 1 Kings 20:29-30). In his wars with the Assyrians we find him sometimes at the head of 100, 000 men.

1Ki 20:13-20. The Syrians Are Slain.

13-21. behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab—Though the king and people of Israel had highly offended Him, God had not utterly cast them off. He still cherished designs of mercy towards them, and here, though unasked, gave them a signal proof of His interest in them, by a prophet's animating announcement that the Lord would that day deliver the mighty hosts of the enemy into his hand by means of a small, feeble, inadequate band. Conformably to the prophet's instructions, two hundred thirty-two young men went boldly out towards the camp of the enemy, while seven thousand more, apparently volunteers, followed at some little distance, or posted themselves at the gate, to be ready to reinforce those in front if occasion required it. Ben-hadad and his vassals and princes were already, at that early hour—scarcely midday—deep in their cups; and though informed of this advancing company, yet confiding in his numbers, or it may be, excited with wine, he ordered with indifference the proud intruders to be taken alive, whether they came with peaceful or hostile intentions. It was more easily said than done; the young men smote right and left, making terrible havoc among their intended captors; and their attack, together with the sight of the seven thousand, who soon rushed forward to mingle in the fray, created a panic in the Syrian army, who immediately took up flight. Ben-hadad himself escaped the pursuit of the victors on a fleet horse, surrounded by a squadron of horse guards. This glorious victory, won so easily, and with such a paltry force opposed to overwhelming numbers, was granted that Ahab and his people might know (1Ki 20:13) that God is the Lord. But we do not read of this acknowledgment being made, or of any sacrifices being offered in token of their national gratitude.

There came a prophet; who having hid himself before, now ventures to come to Ahab, having this welcome message in his mouth.

Thus saith the Lord: God, though forsaken and neglected by Ahab, prevents him with his gracious promise of help; partly that Ahab and the idolatrous Israelites might hereby be fully convinced, and won to God, or left without all excuse; and partly, that Ben-hadad’s intolerable pride, and contempt of God, and of his people, might be repressed and punished; and partly, that the remnant of his prophets and people who were involved in the same calamity with the rest of the Israelites might be preserved and delivered.

Thou shalt know that I am the Lord, and not Baal, because I will deliver thee, which he cannot do. And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel,.... Supposed by the Jewish writers to be Micaiah the son of Imlah, 1 Kings 22:9 one of those perhaps that Obadiah hid in the cave, and now is sent out publicly on an errand to Ahab:

saying, thus saith the Lord, hast thou seen all this great multitude? considered what a vast number Benhadad's army consisted of:

behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; as great as it is:

and thou shalt know that I am the Lord; and not Baal, who can save by few as well as by many, and from a great multitude.

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 the LORD.

(g) Before God went about with signs and miracles to pull Ahab from his impiety, and now again with wonderful victories.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13–21. God by a prophet promises the victory to Ahab. The Syrians are defeated (Not in Chronicles)

13. there came a prophet] The Hebrew verb is not the common word for ‘to come.’ The R.V. has therefore translated it here, and in 1 Kings 20:22; 1 Kings 20:28, by came near, as it is very frequently translated elsewhere in the A.V.

This prophet must have been one of those who were saved at the time of Jezebel’s attempt to destroy them all. Obadiah had saved a hundred, and no doubt others also escaped. When Elijah complained ‘I, even I only, am left,’ the reason was that, through the persecution, a stop had been put to all prophetic activity. In the present strait we need not doubt that any messenger of good tidings would be welcome. So that there is nothing strange about the prophet’s visit. The national thoughts were occupied on other things than the slaughter of Jehovah’s prophets.Verse 13. - And, behold, there came a prophet [Heb. one prophet. Cf. 1 Kings 13:11. According to Jewish writers, this was Micaiah, son of Imlah, but 1 Kings 22:8 negatives this supposition, This is another proof that all the prophets had not been exterminated. Where Elijah was at this time, or why he was not employed, we have no means of determining. Bahr says that he was "least of all suited for such a message," but not if he had learned the lesson of 1 Kings 19:12. At the same time, it is to be remembered that he invariably appears as the minister of wrath. It may also be reasonably asked why this gracious interposition was granted to the kingdom of Samaria at all. Was not this invasion, and would not the sack of the city have been, a just recompense for the gross corruption of the age, for the persecution of the prophets, etc.? But to this it may be replied that Ben-hadad was not then the instrument which God had designed for the correction of Israel (see 1 Kings 19:17; 1 Kings 22:31; 2 Kings 10:32), and furthermore that by his brutal tyranny and despotic demands, he had himself merited a chastisement. The city, too, may have been delivered for the sake of the seven thousand (1 Kings 19:18; 2 Kings 19:34. Cf. Genesis 18:26 sqq.) But this gracious help in the time of extremity was primarily designed as a proof of Jehovah's power over the gods of Syria (cf. vers. 13, 28; 1 Kings 18:39; 2 Kings 19:22 sqq.), and so as an instrument for the conversion of Israel. His supremacy over the idols of Phoenicia had already been established] unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? [el. ver. 10. "In Ben-hadad's wars with the Assyrians, we sometimes find him at the head of nearly 100,000 men" (Rawlinson).] Behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord. [This explains to us the motif of this great deliverance.] During the siege Benhadad sent messengers into the city to Ahab with this demand: "Thy silver and thy gold are mine, and the best of thy wives and thy sons are mine;" and Ahab answered with pusillanimity: "According to thy word, my lord king, I and all that is mine are thine." Benhadad was made still more audacious by this submissiveness, and sent messengers the second time with the following notice (1 Kings 20:6): "Yea, if I send my servants to thee to-morrow at this time, and they search thy house and thy servants' houses, all that is the pleasure of thine eyes they will put into their hands and take." אם כּי does not mean "only equals certainly" here (Ewald, 356, b.), for there is neither a negative clause nor an oath, but אם signifies if and כּי introduces the statement, as in 1 Kings 20:5; so that it is only in the repetition of the כּי that the emphasis lies, which can be expressed by yea. The words of Ahab in 1 Kings 20:9 show unquestionably that Benhadad demanded more the second time than the first. The words of the first demand, "Thy silver and thy gold," etc., were ambiguous. According to 1 Kings 20:5, Benhadad meant that Ahab should give him all this; and Ahab had probably understood him as meaning that he was to give him what he required, in order to purchase peace; but Benhadad had, no doubt, from the very first required an unconditional surrender at discretion. He expresses this very clearly in the second demand, since he announces to Ahab the plunder of his palace and also of the palaces of his nobles. כּל־מחמד עניך, all thy costly treasures. It was from this second demand that Ahab first perceived what Benhadad's intention had been; he therefore laid the matter before the elders of the land, i.e., the king's counsellors, 1 Kings 20:7 : "Mark and see that this man seeketh evil," i.e., that he is aiming at our ruin, since he is not contented with the first demand, which I did not refuse him.
Links
1 Kings 20:13 Interlinear
1 Kings 20:13 Parallel Texts


1 Kings 20:13 NIV
1 Kings 20:13 NLT
1 Kings 20:13 ESV
1 Kings 20:13 NASB
1 Kings 20:13 KJV

1 Kings 20:13 Bible Apps
1 Kings 20:13 Parallel
1 Kings 20:13 Biblia Paralela
1 Kings 20:13 Chinese Bible
1 Kings 20:13 French Bible
1 Kings 20:13 German Bible

Bible Hub






1 Kings 20:12
Top of Page
Top of Page