1 Kings 20:5
And the messengers came again, and said, Thus speaks Benhadad, saying, Although I have sent to you, saying, You shall deliver me your silver, and your gold, and your wives, and your children;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Kings 20:5-6. Thus speaketh Ben-hadad, saying, &c. — Although I before demanded not only the dominion of thy treasures, and wives, and children, as thou mayest seem to understand me; but also the actual possession of them, wherewith I would then have been contented: yet now I will not accept of those terms, but, together with thy royal treasures, I expect all the treasures of thy servants or subjects; nor will I wait till thou deliver them to me; but I will send my servants into the city, and they shall search out and take away all thou art fond of, and this to prevent fraud and delay; and then I will grant thee a peace.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. Although I did before demand not only the dominion of thy treasures, and wives, and children, as thou mayest seem to understand me, but also the propriety and actual possession of them, wherewith I would then have been contented; And the messengers came again,.... From Benhadad:

and said, thus speaketh Benhadad, saying, although I have sent unto thee, saying: at the first message:

thou shalt deliver me thy silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children; into his possession, and not as Ahab understood it, that he should be his vassal, and pay a yearly tribute for his quiet enjoyment of them; yet even this he would not now abide by, growing still more haughty upon the mean submission of Ahab, as by what follows.

And the messengers came again, and said, Thus speaketh Benhadad, saying, Although I have sent unto thee, saying, Thou shalt deliver me thy silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. Although I have sent unto thee] The R.V. translates I sent indeed unto thee, and begins the 6th verse with But instead of yet. This brings out the arrogancy of Ben-hadad more fully. It is as though he said ‘You submitted to my first demand, but in spite of that I am not satisfied.’ Now not only Ahab’s houses and treasures are threatened but those of all his subjects. Hence the summoning of a council to discuss the position.Verse 5. - And the messengers came again, and said, Thus speaketh Ben-hadad, saying, Although [Heb. כִּי. According to some of the grammarians, this is merely the Hebrew equivalent of the ὅτι recitantis. But the כִּי אִם of the next verse suggests that there must be a connexion between the two, and that the second emphasizes the first, much as in the A.V.] I have sent unto thee, saying, Thou shalt deliver me thy silver and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children [Our translators have often sacrificed force to elegance by disregarding the order of the Hebrew, which here, e.g., is "Thy silver and thy gold... to me thou shalt give them."] Elisha understanding the sign, left the oxen standing, ran after Elijah, and said to him, "Let me kiss my father and my mother," i.e., take leave of my parents, and when I will follow thee. For the form אשׁקה see Ewald, 228, b. As he has ploughed his earthly field with his twelve pair of oxen, he was not to plough the spiritual field of the twelve tribes of Israel (Luke 9:62). Elijah answered, "Go, return, for what have I done to thee?" שׁוּב לך belong together, as in 1 Kings 19:15; so that Elijah thereby gave him permission to return to his father and mother. כּי signifies for, not yet (Thenius); for there is no antithesis here, according to which כּי might serve for a more emphatic assurance (Ewald, 330, b.). The words "what have I done to thee?" can only mean, I have not wanted to put any constraint upon thee, but leave it to thy free will to decide in favour of the prophetic calling.
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