1 Kings 22:11
And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron: and he said, Thus said the LORD, With these shall you push the Syrians, until you have consumed them.
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(11) Zedekiah.—The name itself (“righteousness of Jehovah”) must certainly imply professed devotion to the true God, whose Name here is first uttered by him. Symbolic action was not unfrequent in the prophets. (See Note on 1Kings 11:30.) The use of the horns, as emblems of victorious strength, is also familiar, as in the utterance of Balaam (Numbers 23:22), in the blessing of Moses (Deuteronomy 33:17), in the song of Hannah (1Samuel 3:1), in the visions of Daniel and Zechariah (Daniel 8:3-10; Zechariah 1:18-19).

1 Kings 22:11. Zedekiah made him horns of iron — Fit emblems of the power and victory of these two kings. The devil is God’s ape, and the false prophets imitated the true, who, when they declared God’s mind by words, did also sometimes confirm it by sensible signs, Isaiah 20:2; Jeremiah 27:2. Thus saith the Lord — Hebrew, Jehovah, in whose name he pretends to speak, to gain the more credit and countenance to his words.22:1-14 The same easiness of temper, which betrays some godly persons into friendship with the declared enemies of religion, renders it very dangerous to them. They will be drawn to wink at and countenance such conduct and conversation as they ought to protest against with abhorrence. Whithersoever a good man goes, he ought to take his religion with him, and not be ashamed to own it when he is with those who have no regard for it. Jehoshaphat had not left behind him, at Jerusalem, his affection and reverence for the word of the Lord, but avowed it, and endeavoured to bring it into Ahab's court. And Ahab's prophets, to please Jehoshaphat, made use of the name of Jehovah: to please Ahab, they said, Go up. But the false prophets cannot so mimic the true, but that he who has spiritual senses exercised, can discern the fallacy. One faithful prophet of the Lord was worth them all. Wordly men have in all ages been alike absurd in their views of religion. They would have the preacher fit his doctrine to the fashion of the times, and the taste of the hearers, and yet to add. Thus saith the Lord, to words that men would put into their mouths. They are ready to cry out against a man as rude and foolish, who scruples thus to try to secure his own interests, and to deceive others.Horns of iron - The horn in Scripture is the favorite symbol of power; and pushing with the horn is a common metaphor for attacking and conquering enemies (see Deuteronomy 33:17; Compare Psalm 44:5; Daniel 8:4). Zedekiah, in employing a symbolic action, was following the example of a former Israelite prophet 1 Kings 11:30.

Thus saith the Lord - Or, יהוה yehovâh. Zedekiah lays aside the unmeaningful "Lord" אדני 'ǎdonāy of the general company of Israelite prophets 1 Kings 22:6, and professes to have a direct message from Yahweh to Ahab. He may have believed his own words, for the "lying spirit" 1 Kings 22:22 may have seemed to him a messenger from Yahweh. All the rest followed his example 1 Kings 22:12.

11. Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron—Small projections, of the size and form of our candle extinguishers (worn in many parts of the East as military ornaments), were worn by the Syrians of that time, and probably by the Israelite warriors also. Zedekiah, by assuming two horns, personated two heroes, and, pretending to be a prophet, wished in this manner to represent the kings of Israel and Judah in a military triumph. It was a symbolic action, to impart greater force to his language (see De 33:17); but it was little more than a flourish with a spontoon [Calmet, Fragments]. Horns of iron; fit emblems of the power and victory of these two kings. The devil is God’s ape, and the false prophets sometimes imitating the true, who when they declared God’s mind by words, did also oftentimes confirm it by sensible signs. See Isaiah 20:2 Jeremiah 27:2.

Thus saith the Lord, Heb. Jehovah; whose name he pretends, to gain the more credit and countenance to his words. See Poole "1 Kings 21:7". And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron,.... Horns are emblems of power and might, and iron ones of greater strength still; the prophets sometimes made use of visible signs, to represent the things they prophesied of should come to pass, see Isaiah 20:2, and the same method this prophet took:

and he saith, thus saith the Lord; imitating the true prophets: with these shall thou push the Syrians until thou hast consumed them: Abarbinel thinks he had in view the blessing of Joseph by Moses, Deuteronomy 33:17 where he is compared to a bullock with horns; and these said to be the ten thousands of Ephraim, and the thousands of Manasseh; and Ahab being of the tribe of Joseph, and ruling in Ephraim and Manasseh, the prophet chose to make use of this emblem for his encouragement.

And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him {i} horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith the LORD, With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them.

(i) The true prophets of God were accustomed to use signs for the confirmation of their doctrine, Isa 20:2, Jer 7:2 in which the false prophets imitated them, thinking by it to make their doctrine more believable.

11. Zedekiah] In 1 Kings 22:24 we see that Zedekiah was the leader of Ahab’s prophets. His action here is one of those symbolical proceedings not uncommon with the prophets. Thus Ahijah significantly rent his garment into twelve pieces (1 Kings 11:30) and gave Jeroboam ten. Zedekiah’s language, addressed to Ahab, is probably an allusion to the blessing of Ephraim in Deuteronomy 33:17. By this time Ephraim had become the representative tribe of the Northern Kingdom, and of him Moses had said ‘his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth.’ By such language not only Ahab, but Jehoshaphat might be encouraged to trust more to the prophecies of success.

until thou have consumed them] R.V. until they be consumed. There is nothing in the original to warrant ‘thou.’Verse 11. - And Zedekiah [This name = "Justice of Jehovah," is one of the proofs that these cannot have been prophets of Baal, as Stanley and others suppose] the son of Chenaanah [ = "Canaanitess." But we gather from 1 Chronicles 7:10 that this, like Shelomith, was a man's name. The Benjamite there mentioned may be identical with the father (or ancestor) of Zedekiah] made him [Rawlinson would translate, had made him," He says that the horns must have "been made previously, in expectation of some such occasion as that now afforded him." But it is quite conceivable that during the prophesyings, which clearly lasted some time, the idea occurred to Zedekiah, and it would not take long to put it into execution] horns of Iron [Thenius understands that these were iron spikes held on the forehead. But the reference is clearly to the horns of a bullock, and the appropriateness of the prophetic act is only manifest when we remember that Ephraim is compared to a bullock (Deuteronomy 33:17), and more, that Moses spake beforehand of the strength of his horns, and predicted that with them he should "push the people together to the ends of the earth." Not only, that is to say, was the horn a familiar Oriental symbol of power (1 Samuel 2:1, 10; 2 Samuel 22:3; Psalm 89:24; Psalm 92:10; Daniel 7:21; Daniel 8:8, etc.), but it was identified in a peculiar manner with the powerful tribe of Ephraim; in ether words, with the kingdom of Israel This symbolical act was not necessarily an imitation of the action of Ahijah (1 Kings 11:30). Such acted parables were not uncommon among the prophets (2 Kings 13:15; Isaiah 20:2; Jeremiah 13:1; Jeremiah 19:10; Jeremiah 32:9 sqq.; Ezekiel 4:5; Acts 21:11)]: and he said, Thus saith the Lord [Heb. Jehovah. He now uses the sacred name; no doubt because of Jehoshaphat's demand, ver. 7], With these shalt thou push [the word of Deuteronomy 33:17] the Syrians, until thou have consumed then. But as Jehoshaphat wished also to inquire the word of the Lord concerning the war, Ahab gathered together about 400 prophets, who all predicted as out of one mouth a prosperous result to the campaign. These 400 prophets are neither the 400 prophets of Asherah who had not appeared upon Carmel when Elijah was there (1 Kings 18:19-20), nor prophets of Baal, as some of the earlier commentators supposed, since Ahab could not inquire of them את־דּבר יהוה. On the other hand, they were not "true prophets of Jehovah and disciples of the prophets" (Cler., Then.), but prophets of Jehovah worshipped under the image of an ox, who practised prophesying as a trade without any call from God, and even if they were not in the pay of the idolatrous kings of Israel, were at any rate in their service. For Jehoshaphat did not recognise them as genuine prophets of Jehovah, but inquired whether there was not such a prophet still in existence (1 Kings 22:7), that they might inquire the will of the Lord of him (מאותו).
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