1 Kings 20:4
And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to your saying, I am yours, and all that I have.
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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 do so far comply with thy demand, that I will own thee for my lord, and myself for thy vassal and tributary; and will hold my wives, and children, and estate as by thy favour, and with an acknowledgment. But it is not likely that he would deliver up his wives and children into the barbarian’s hand, or that his proud and imperious wife Jezebel would permit him to do so. And the king of Israel answered and said, my lord, O king,.... So he said to Benhadad's messengers, representing him, as acknowledging his sovereignty over him:

according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I:have: which he understood of holding all that he had of him, by giving him homage, and paying him tribute; not that he was to deliver all his substance, and especially his wives and children, into his hands.

And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, {b} I am thine, and all that I have.

(b) I am content to obey and pay tribute.

4. according to thy saying] The R.V. inserts It is before these words and thus brings out the division of the verse as marked in the Hebrew. The order of words in the original is ‘It is according to thy saying, my lord, O king.’Verse 4. - And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have. [Much has been written about Ahab's pusillanimous acquiescence in these disgraceful terms, etc. But it is not absolutely clear that he ever meant to surrender either wives or children to the invader. All that is certain is that he judged it wise, in the presence of the enormous force arrayed against him, to make every possible concession, to adopt the most subservient tone, and to cringe at the feet of Ben-hadad. But all the time he may have hoped that his soft answer would turn away wrath. It is very far from certain that had Ben-hadad sent to demand the wives and children which Ahab here seems willing to yield to him they would have been sent. When Ben-hadad threatens (ver. 6) a measure which involved much less indignity than the surrender of the entire seraglio to his lusts, Ahab stands at bay. Allowance must be made for the exaggerations of Eastern courtesy. The writer was entertained in 1861 by Jacob esh Shellabi, then sheykh of the Samaritans, who repeatedly used words very similar to these. "This house is yours," he would say; never meaning, however, that he should be taken at his word.] Call of Elisha to be a prophet. - 1 Kings 19:19. As he went thence (viz., away from Horeb), Elijah found Elisha the son of Shaphat at Abel-Meholah, in the Jordan valley (see at Judges 7:22), occupied in ploughing; "twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he himself with the twelfth" (a very wealthy man therefore), and threw his cloak to him as he passed by. The prophet's cloak was sign of the prophet's vocation so that throwing it to him was a symbol of the call to the prophetic office.
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