1 Kings 20:28
And there came a man of God, and spoke to the king of Israel, and said, Thus said the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(28)A man of God—apparently not the same as before. We see from 1Kings 20:35 that the prophetic order was now numerous. The vindication of the majesty of God before the Syrians, as well as before Israel—like the more celebrated case of the rebuke of the blasphemy of Sennacherib (2Kings 19:16-34)—is in accordance with the prayer of Solomon, or the similar utterances in the Psalms (Psalm 67:2; Psalm 102:15; Psalm 138:4), “That all the people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee;” and also with such prophetic declarations as those of Ezekiel 20:9, “I wrought for my Name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen.” It is a foreshadowing of that view of all nations, as in some degree having knowledge of God and probation before Him, which is afterwards worked out fully in the prophetic writings. The intense and powerful Monotheism of the religion of Israel, in spite of all its backslidings, could hardly have been without influence over the neighbouring nations (see 2Kings 5:15), especially at a time when the remembrance of Solomon’s vast empire, and still wider influence, would yet linger through the tenacious traditions of the East.

1 Kings 20:28. Because the Syrians have said, &c. — What they had said, this man of God knew, either from common report, strengthened by their present choice of plain ground for the battle; or rather, by revelation from God, to whose inspection their secret counsels lay open, 2 Kings 6:12. His omnipotence being disputed, he sent his prophet to predict the vengeance coming on his enemies; and their defeat in the plains was a singular and undeniable confirmation, both of his omnipotence and veracity. Ye shall know that I am the Lord — Namely, the universal Lord of all places, persons, and things.20:22-30 Those about Benhadad advised him to change his ground. They take it for granted that it was not Israel, but Israel's gods, that beat them; but they speak very ignorantly of Jehovah. They supposed that Israel had many gods, to whom they ascribed limited power within a certain district; thus vain were the Gentiles in their imaginations concerning God. The greatest wisdom in worldly concerns is often united with the most contemptible folly in the things of God.A man of God - Evidently not the prophet who had spoken to Ahab the year before 1 Kings 20:13, 1 Kings 20:22. He probably dwelt in the neighborhood of Samaria. Now that Ahab and his army had marched out into the Trans-Jordanic territory, another prophet, a native probably of that region, announced God's will to them. 27-31. like two little flocks of kids—Goats are never seen in large flocks, or scattered, like sheep; and hence the two small but compact divisions of the Israelite force are compared to goats, not sheep. Humanly speaking, that little handful of men would have been overpowered by numbers. But a prophet was sent to the small Israelite army to announce the victory, in order to convince the Syrians that the God of Israel was omnipotent everywhere, in the valley as well as on the hills. And, accordingly, after the two armies had pitched opposite each other for seven days, they came to an open battle. One hundred thousand Syrians lay dead on the field, while the fugitives took refuge in Aphek, and there, crowding on the city walls, they endeavored to make a stand against their pursuers; but the old walls giving way under the incumbent weight, fell and buried twenty-seven thousand in the ruins. Ben-hadad succeeded in extricating himself, and, with his attendants, sought concealment in the city, fleeing from chamber to chamber; or, as some think it, an inner chamber, that is, a harem; but seeing no ultimate means of escape, he was advised to throw himself on the tender mercies of the Israelitish monarch. Because the Syrians have said; which he knew, either by common report, strengthened by their present choice of a plain ground for the battle; or rather, by revelation from God, who discovered their secret counsels, 2 Kings 6:12. I am the Lord, to wit, the universal Lord of all places, and persons, and things. And there came a man of God,.... The same as before, 1 Kings 20:13 or had come (p) before the little army went out to meet the Syrians; though he might go to Ahab when encamped, for his encouragement:

and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, thus saith the Lord, because the Syrians have said, the Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys; See Gill on 1 Kings 20:23.

therefore will I deliver, all this great multitude into thine hand; not for Ahab's sake would the Lord do this, who does not appear thankful to God for the former victory, nor to be reformed from his idolatry, and the better for it, but for the honour of his own name, which had been blasphemed by the Syrians:

and ye shall know that I am the Lord; both of hills and valleys, the omnipotent Jehovah, the only true God.

(p) "accesserat", Vatablus.

And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that {m} I am the LORD.

(m) Who has the same power in the valley as on the hills and can also destroy a multitude with few as with many.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
28. And there came a man of God] R.V. And a man of God came near. See on 1 Kings 20:13 above.

This was probably a different person from the prophet of 1 Kings 20:13; 1 Kings 20:22.

and said] This is the same word in the original with that rendered ‘and spake’ just a few words before. It seems probable, as the verse makes equally good sense without it, that its repetition is due to an error of the scribe. Some versions do not represent it.

the Lord is God] R.V. a god, twice in this verse, thus bringing it into accord with the alteration in 23.Verse 28. - And there came a man of God [Whether this is the same person as the "prophet" of vers. 13, 22, is not quite clear. The difference in the designation (see on 1 Kings 13:1 and p. 303) would lead us to suppose that a different messenger was meant. It is true the Hebrew has the article "the man of God" (LXX. ὁ ἄνθρωπος τοῦ θεοῦ), but אִיּשׁ הֶךאלהִים (see Judges 13:6; Deuteronomy 33:1) is often hardly distinguishable from the same words without the article], and spake [Heb. said, same word as below] unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians [Heb. Syria, but with a plural verb] have said, The Lord is Cod of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord. [It was partly for the instruction of Israel, and to confirm their wavering faith in Jehovah (see ver. 13), that this deliverance was wrought. But it was also that neighbouring nations might learn His power, and that His name might be magnified among the heathen.] After this victory the prophet came to Ahab again, warning him to be upon his guard, for at the turn of the year, i.e., the next spring (see at 2 Samuel 11:1), the Syrian king would make war upon him once more.
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