1 Kings 20:3
Your silver and your gold is mine; your wives also and your children, even the best, are mine.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Kings 20:3-4. Thy silver and thy gold is mine — I challenge them as my own, and expect to have them forthwith delivered, if thou expect peace with me. The king said, My lord, O king, I am thine — I do so far comply with thy demand, that I will own thee for my lord, and myself for thy vassal, and will hold my wives, and children, and estate, as by thy favour, and with an acknowledgment.20:1-11 Benhadad sent Ahab a very insolent demand. Ahab sent a very disgraceful submission; sin brings men into such straits, by putting them out of the Divine protection. If God do not rule us, our enemies shall: guilt dispirits men, and makes them cowards. Ahab became desperate. Men will part with their most pleasant things, those they most love, to save their lives; yet they lose their souls rather than part with any pleasure or interest to prevent it. Here is one of the wisest sayings that ever Ahab spake, and it is a good lesson to all. It is folly to boast of any day to come, since we know not what it may bring forth. Apply it to our spiritual conflicts. Peter fell by self-confidence. Happy is the man who is never off his watch.It may be supposed that a considerable time had passed in the siege, that the city had been reduced to an extremity, and that ambassadors had been sent by Ahab to ask terms of peace short of absolute surrender, before Ben-hadad would make such a demand. He would expect and intend his demand to be rejected, and this would have left him free to plunder the town, which was evidently what he desired and purposed. 2-12. Thus said Ben-hadad, Thy silver and thy gold is mine—To this message sent him during the siege, Ahab returned a tame and submissive answer, probably thinking it meant no more than an exaction of tribute. But the demand was repeated with greater insolence; and yet, from the abject character of Ahab, there is reason to believe he would have yielded to this arrogant claim also, had not the voice of his subjects been raised against it. Ben-hadad's object in these and other boastful menaces was to intimidate Ahab. But the weak sovereign began to show a little more spirit, as appears in his abandoning "my lord the king" for the single "tell him," and giving him a dry but sarcastic hint to glory no more till the victory is won. Kindling into a rage at the cool defiance, Ben-hadad gave orders for the immediate sack of the city. I challenge them as my own, and accordingly expect to have them forthwith delivered into my possession, if thou expectest peace with me. Thy silver and thy gold is mine,.... Not of right, but reckoning it as good as in his hands, Ahab not being able to resist him:

and thy wives also; for it seems he had more than Jezebel:

and thy children; which were many, for he had no less than seventy sons, 2 Kings 10:1,

even the goodliest are mine: some aggravate this, as if his view was to commit the unnatural sin with his male children, when in his possession.

Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. even the goodliest] These words are omitted in the LXX. The claim laid to the wives and children would in Oriental eyes amount to a deposition of the monarch, or a deprivation of his royal power. It was one of the first acts of a conqueror to seize the wives of the vanquished opponent. Ahab’s fear of going forth would encourage Ben-hadad to treat him thus, just as his submissive answer at first only led to larger demands on the part of the besieger.Verse 3. - Thy silver and thy gold is mine [Heb. mine it is]; thy wives also and thy children [Nothing reveals Ben-hadad's object more clearly than the mention of Ahab's wives. When we consider how jealously the seraglio of an Eastern prince is guarded, and how the surrender of the harem is a virtual surrender of the throne (2 Samuel 16:21, 22; note on 1 Kings 2:22), and certainly a surrender of all manhood and self-respect, we see that his aim was to wound Ahab in his tenderest point, to humble him to the lowest depths of degradation, and possibly to force a quarrel upon him], even the goodliest [The LXX. omits this. Bahr says the word can only apply to the sons, and that it must mean the most eminent young men of the city - not Ahab's children - whom Ben-hadad demanded as hostages. But against this is

(1) Ahab's answer, "All that I have," etc.;

(2) the fact that Ben-hadad obviously meant insult and plunder; and

(3) the language of ver. 7, where see note], are mine. [Heb. mine are they. Rawlinson would explain this excessive demand of the Syrian king by the assumption that when it was made the siege had already lasted a long time, and that the people were now reduced to the greatest straits, circumstances which the historian, with the characteristic brevity of the sacred writers, omits to mention. But really no such supposition is needed. The overwhelming force which Ben-hadad had at his back would, in his eyes, justify any demands. And the prima facie view of ver. 2 is that the messengers were sent on the first approach of the army, or rather at the beginning of the siege.] But in order that he might learn, to his shame, that the cause of the Lord in Israel appeared much more desperate to his eye, which was clouded by his own dissatisfaction, than it really was in the eye of the God who knows His own by number and by name, the Lord added: "I have seven thousand left in Israel, all knees that have not bent before Baal, and every mouth that hath not kissed him." מדבּרה המּשׂק, into the desert of Damascus (with the He loc. with the construct state as in Deuteronomy 4:41; Joshua 12:1, etc.; cf. Ewald, 216, b.), i.e., the desert lying to the south and east of the city of Damascus, which is situated on the river Barady; not per desertum in Damascum (Vulg., Luth., etc.); for although Elijah would necessarily pass through the Arabian desert to go from Horeb to Damascus, it was superfluous to tell him that he was to go that way, as there was no other road. The words "return by thy way ... and anoint Hazael," etc., are not to be understood as signifying that Elijah was to go at once to Damascus and anoint Hazael there, but simply that he was to do this at a time which the Spirit would more precisely indicate. According to what follows, all that Elijah accomplished immediately was to call Elisha to be his successor; whereas the other two commissions were fulfilled by Elisha after Elijah's ascension to heaven (2 Kings 8 and 9). The opinion that Elijah also anointed Hazael and Jehu immediately, but that this anointing was kept secret, and was repeated by Elisha when the time for their public appearance arrived, has not only very little probability in itself, but is directly precluded by the account of the anointing of Jehu in 2 Kings 9. The anointing of Hazael and Jehu is mentioned first, because God had chosen these two kings to be the chief instruments of His judgments upon the royal family and people for their idolatry. It was only in the case of Jehu that a real anointing took place (2 Kings 9:6); Hazael was merely told by Elisha that he would be king (2 Kings 8:13), and Elisha was simply called by Elijah to the prophetic office by having the cloak of the latter thrown upon him. Moreover, the Messianic passage, Isaiah 61:1, is the only one in which there is any allusion to the anointing of a prophet. Consequently משׁח must be taken figuratively here as in Judges 9:8, as denoting divine consecration to the regal and prophetic offices. And so, again, the statement that Elisha would slay those who escaped the sword of Jehu is not to be understood literally. Elisha slew by the word of the Lord, which brought judgments upon the ungodly, as we see from 2 Kings 2:24 (cf. Jeremiah 1:10; Jeremiah 18:7). The "seven thousand," who had not bowed the knee before Baal, are a round number for the ἐκλογν́ of the godly, whom the Lord had preserved for Himself in the sinful kingdom, which was really very large in itself, however small it might be in comparison with the whole nation. The number seven is the stamp of the works of God, so that seven thousand is the number of the "remnant according to the election of grace" (Romans 11:5), which had then been preserved by God. Kissing Baal was the most usual form in which this idol was worshipped, and consisted not merely in throwing kisses with the hand (cf. Job 31:27, and Plin. h. n. 28, 8), but also in kissing the images of Baal, probably on the feet (cf. Cicero in Verr. 4, 43).
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