1 Kings 20:29
And they pitched one over against the other seven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined: and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day.
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1 Kings 20:29. They pitched one over against the other seven days — It may seem strange that they should look one another in the face so long, without coming to any action; for the Syrians had so much advantage in their numbers, that one would have thought they would have immediately encompassed the Israelites, and have destroyed them all: but perhaps the Israelites continued all these days on the rising ground, and the Syrians did not dare to attack them till they came down into the plain. Israel slew of the Syrians a hundred thousand footmen in one day — In all probability they surprised them by a sudden, unexpected attack; and God dismayed them, and struck such a terror into them, that they could make no resistance.

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. No text from Poole on this verse.

And they pitched one over against the other seven days,.... Very probably the Israelites pitched upon an hill, and the Syrians waited till they changed their position, not caring to fall upon them, though so very supernumerary to them, for the reason before given:

and so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined; or they that made war drew nigh, as the Targum, and both sides engaged in battle:

and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians 100,000 footmen in one day; which was a prodigious slaughter to be made by so small an army; the hand of the Lord was visible in it.

And they pitched one over against the other seven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined: and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day.
29. seven days] Perhaps there was some religious idea on the part of the Israelites connected with this time of waiting before they began the battle. After the promise of the man of God, the conflict would have a religious sanction and be entered on with confidence.

an hundred thousand footmen] The number is very large, but Josephus gives the same. If it be correct, the slaughter can hardly have been effected in any other way but by a panic in which these troops cut and trampled down one another.

Verse 29. - And they pitched one over against the other [Heb. these opposite these] seven days. [The Syrians, despite their overwhelming numbers, appear to have been afraid to attack, and the Israelites were naturally reluctant, despite the promise they had received, to join battle with so great a host]. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was Joined [Heb. the war drew near. It may have been by the direction of the man of God that the Israelites attacked on the seventh day, or the precedent of Jericho (Joshua 6:15) may have influenced their leaders; or the number seven, properly the mark and signature of the covenant, may have come to be regarded superstitiously - in fact, as a lucky number (cf. Isaiah 65:11; Esther 3:7]: and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day. [This prodigious slaughter may well create surprise. That two comparatively small companies should be able, physically, to slay, with the rude weapons of that age, 100,000 warriors, fighting for their lives, seems hardly credible. It is probable, therefore, that the numbers here, as elsewhere, have been exaggerated in the course of transcription. Another explanation of the difficulty has, indeed, been suggested by Bahr, viz., that וַיַּכּוּ may signify here, as it undoubtedly does elsewhere, "defeated," "put to flight" (see Genesis 14:5; 1 Samuel 13:4, etc.) And the Hebrew at first sight seems to favour this idea, for it may be rendered literally, they smote Syria, a hundred thousand, etc. The 100,000 would then represent the entire strength of the Syrian infantry. But the mention of the "footmen" and of "one day" alike suggests that it is of slaughter, not dispersion, that the historian speaks.] 1 Kings 20:29After seven days the battle was fought. The Israelites smote the Syrians, a hundred thousand men in one day; and when the rest fled to Aphek, into the city, the wall fell upon twenty-seven thousand men, ἵνα δὲ κακεῖνοι καὶ οὗτοι μάθωσιν, ὡς θεήλατος ἡ πλεεγεέ (Theodoret). The flying Syrians had probably some of them climbed the wall of the city to offer resistance to the Israelites in pursuit, and some of them sought to defend themselves by taking shelter behind it. And during the conflict, through the special interposition of God, the wall fell and buried the Syrians who were there. The cause of the fall is not given. Thenius assumes that it was undermined, in order to remove all idea of any miraculous working of the omnipotence of God. Benhadad himself fled into the city "room to room," i.e., from one room to another (cf. 1 Kings 22:25; 2 Chronicles 18:24).
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