1 Kings 20:36
Then said he to him, Because you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as you are departed from me, a lion shall slay you. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(36) A lion shall slay thee.—It is obvious to compare the example of 1Kings 13:24.

1 Kings 20:36. Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the Lord, a lion shall slay thee — If the punishment seem too severe for so small a fault, let it be considered, 1st, That disobedience to God’s express command, especially when delivered by a person known by the party disobeying to be a prophet, was a great sin, and no less than capital, Deuteronomy 18:19. 2d, This fault was much worse in a prophet, who very well knew the authority of God’s commands, and this way of publishing them. 3d, This man might be guilty of many other heinous sins unknown to us, but known to God; for which God might justly cut him off: which God chose to do upon this occasion, that by the severity of this punishment of a prophet’s disobedience, proceeding from pity to his brother, he might teach Ahab the greatness of his sin, in sparing him through foolish pity, whom, by the laws of religion, and justice, and prudence, he should have cut off.20:31-43 This encouragement sinners have to repent and humble themselves before God; Have we not heard, that the God of Israel is a merciful God? Have we not found him so? That is gospel repentance, which flows from an apprehension of the mercy of God, in Christ; there is forgiveness with him. What a change is here! The most haughty in prosperity often are most abject in adversity; an evil spirit will thus affect a man in both these conditions. There are those on whom, like Ahab, success is ill bestowed; they know not how to serve either God or their generation, or even their own true interests with their prosperity: Let favour be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness. The prophet designed to reprove Ahab by a parable. If a good prophet were punished for sparing his friend and God's when God said, Smite, of much sorer punishment should a wicked king be thought worthy, who spared his enemy and God's, when God said, Smite. Ahab went to his house, heavy and displeased, not truly penitent, or seeking to undo what he had done amiss; every way out of humour, notwithstanding his victory. Alas! many that hear the glad tidings of Christ, are busy and there till the day of salvation is gone.The sons of the prophets - The expression occurs here for the first time. It signifies (marginal references), the schools or colleges of prophets which existed in several of the Israelite, and probably of the Jewish, towns, where young men were regularly educated for the prophetical office. These "schools" make their first appearance under Samuel 1 Samuel 19:20. There is no distinct evidence that they continued later than the time of Elisha; but it is on the whole most probable that the institution survived the captivity, and that the bulk of the "prophets," whose works have come down to us belonged to them. Amos Amo 7:14-15 seems to speak as if his were an exceptional case.

Said unto his neighbor - Rather, "to his friend" or "companion " - to one who was, like himself, "a prophet's son," and who ought therefore to have perceived that his colleague spoke "in the word of the Lord."

1Ki 20:35-42. A Prophet Reproves Him.

35-38. Smite me—This prophet is supposed (1Ki 20:8) to have been Micaiah. The refusal of his neighbor to smite the prophet was manifestly wrong, as it was a withholding of necessary aid to a prophet in the discharge of a duty to which he had been called by God, and it was severely punished [1Ki 20:36], as a beacon to warn others (see on [321]1Ki 13:2-24). The prophet found a willing assistant, and then, waiting for Ahab, leads the king unconsciously, in the parabolic manner of Nathan (2Sa 12:1-4), to pronounce his own doom; and this consequent punishment was forthwith announced by a prophet (see on [322]1Ki 21:17).

If the punishment seem too severe for so small a fault, let it be considered.

1. That disobedience to God’s express command, especially when it is delivered by a prophet, is a great sin, and no less than capital, Deu 18:19.

2. This fault was much worse in a prophet, who very well knew the authority of God’s commands, and this way or manner of publishing them.

3. We cannot judge of the case, because this man might be guilty of many other heinous sins unknown to us, but known to God; for which God might justly cut him off; which God chose to do upon this occasion, that by the severity of this punishment of a prophet’s disobedience, proceeding from pity to his brother, he might teach Ahab the greatness of his sin, in sparing him through foolish pity, whom by the laws of religion, and justice, and prudence, and common safety, he should have cut off, and what punishment he might expect for it. Then said he unto him, because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the Lord,.... In not smiting him; which, if he was a prophet, he must know how great an evil it was to disregard or disobey what was said by a prophet in his name; he must be inexcusable:

behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee.

And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him; which may seem severe, yet being an act of disobedience to the command of God, by a prophet of his, was punishable with death.

Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall {r} slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him.

(r) Because you have transgressed the commandment of the Lord.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
36. a lion] On the frequency of wild beasts in the Holy Land at this time, see above on 1 Kings 13:24. The incident here recorded is not without its importance as a comment on disobedience to God’s command, for which a punishment was just to be pronounced against Ahab.Verse 36. - Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the Lord, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion [Heb. the lion, perhaps the lion appointed already to this office, or one that had lately been seen in the neighbourhood] shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a [Heb. the] lion found him [same word as in 1 Kings 13:24, where see note], and slew him [For the same sin as that of "the man of God (1 Kings 13:21, 26), viz., disobedience (Deuteronomy 32:24; Jeremiah 5:6), and disobedience, too, under circumstances remarkably similar to those. In fact, the two histories run on almost parallel lines. In each case it is a prophet who disobeys, and disobeys the "word of the Lord;" in each case the disobedience appears almost excusable; in each case the prophet appears to be hardly dealt with, and suffers instant punishment, whilst the king escapes; in each case the punishment is foretold by a prophet; in each case it is effected by the instrumentality of a lion. And in each case the lesson is the same - that God's commands must be kept, whatever the cost, or that stern retribution will inevitably follow.] After 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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