1 Kings 20:6
Yet I will send my servants unto thee to morrow about this time, and they shall search thine house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, that whatsoever is pleasant in thine eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away.
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(6) Whatsoever is pleasant.—The demand, which is virtually for the plunder of Samaria, probably neither expects nor desires acceptance, and is therefore a refusal of all but unconditional surrender. It is notable that in the last extremity Ahab falls back on an exceptional appeal to the patriotism of the people.

The “elders of the land” (evidently present in Samaria at this time) were the representatives in the northern kingdom of the ancient assembly of the “elders of Israel,” existing from the time of Moses downwards as a senate, having power not only of advice, but of concurrence, in relation to the Judge or King. (See Exodus 3:16; Exodus 12:21; Exodus 24:1; Deuteronomy 27:1; Deuteronomy 31:9; Joshua 7:6; 2Samuel 5:3; 1Kings 8:3). The solemn appointment of the seventy in Numbers 11:24-25 seems to be simply the re-constitution and consecration of the original body. Each tribe and each town had also its lesser body of elders. (See 1Samuel 30:26, “the elders of Judah;” Deuteronomy 19:12; Deuteronomy 21:3, &c., “the elders of the city.”) The authority of all these assemblies must have been at all times largely overborne by the royal power (see 1Kings 21:11), and must have varied according to time and circumstance.

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.Ben-hadad, disappointed by Ahab's consent to an indignity which he had thought no monarch could submit to, proceeds to put a fresh construction on his former demands. 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. 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 have free liberty and power to search out and take away all which they desire, and this to prevent fraud and delay; and then I will grant thee a peace.

Yet I will send my servants unto thee tomorrow about this time,.... He gave him twenty four hours to consider of it:

and they shall search thine house, and the houses of thy servants; the royal palace, and the houses of the noblemen, and even of every of his subjects in Samaria:

and it shall be, that whatsoever is pleasant (or desirable) in thine eyes, they shall put it in, their hand, and take it away; not be content with what should be given, but search for more; and if any in particular was more desirable to the possessor than anything else, that should be sure to be taken away; which was vastly insolent and aggravating.

{c} Yet I will send my servants unto thee to morrow about this time, and they shall search thine house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, that whatsoever is pleasant in thine eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away.

(c) He would not accept his answer unless he out of hand delivered whatever he asked, for he sought an opportunity to make war against him.

6. to-morrow about this time] The imperious victor (as he thought himself) would suffer no delay. His orders were to be carried out at once.

Verse 6. - Yet I will send my servants unto thee tomorrow about this time [This proposal was definite and immediate, the first demand was vague and general. "In the first Ahab was to send what he thought fit to give; in the second, Ben-hadad's servants were to take into their own hands whatsoever they thought fit to sieze" (Wordsworth)], and they shall search thine house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, that whatsoever is pleasant in [Heb. the desire of] thine eyes [The LXX. and some other versions have a plural suffix - their eyes. But the Hebrew text is to be preferred. The object of Ben-hadad was to couch his message in the most oftensive and humiliating terms, and "the desire of thine eyes" would be likely to cut deeper and wound more than "the desire of their eyes"], they shall put it in their hand, and take it away. [If Ahab ever hoped by his abject submission to conciliate the Syrian king, he now finds that his words have had just the opposite effect. For all that the latter concluded from it was that Ahab was one upon whom he might trample at pleasure, and this servility encouraged Ben-hadad to renew his demands in a still more galling and vexatious form. This second message discloses to us still more plainly the royal bully and braggart, and shows us what the "comity of nations" in the old world was often like.] 1 Kings 20:6During the siege Benhadad sent messengers into the city to Ahab with this demand: "Thy silver and thy gold are mine, and the best of thy wives and thy sons are mine;" and Ahab answered with pusillanimity: "According to thy word, my lord king, I and all that is mine are thine." Benhadad was made still more audacious by this submissiveness, and sent messengers the second time with the following notice (1 Kings 20:6): "Yea, if I send my servants to thee to-morrow at this time, and they search thy house and thy servants' houses, all that is the pleasure of thine eyes they will put into their hands and take." אם כּי does not mean "only equals certainly" here (Ewald, 356, b.), for there is neither a negative clause nor an oath, but אם signifies if and כּי introduces the statement, as in 1 Kings 20:5; so that it is only in the repetition of the כּי that the emphasis lies, which can be expressed by yea. The words of Ahab in 1 Kings 20:9 show unquestionably that Benhadad demanded more the second time than the first. The words of the first demand, "Thy silver and thy gold," etc., were ambiguous. According to 1 Kings 20:5, Benhadad meant that Ahab should give him all this; and Ahab had probably understood him as meaning that he was to give him what he required, in order to purchase peace; but Benhadad had, no doubt, from the very first required an unconditional surrender at discretion. He expresses this very clearly in the second demand, since he announces to Ahab the plunder of his palace and also of the palaces of his nobles. כּל־מחמד עניך, all thy costly treasures. It was from this second demand that Ahab first perceived what Benhadad's intention had been; he therefore laid the matter before the elders of the land, i.e., the king's counsellors, 1 Kings 20:7 : "Mark and see that this man seeketh evil," i.e., that he is aiming at our ruin, since he is not contented with the first demand, which I did not refuse him.
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