1 Kings 22:30
And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle.
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(30) I will disguise myself.—The precaution of Ahab is almost ludicrously characteristic of his temper of half-belief and half-unbelief. In itself it is, of course, plainly absurd to believe that God’s judgment has in all probability been pronounced, and yet to suppose that it can be averted by so puerile a precaution. But, as experience shows, it is not the less on that account true to human nature, especially such a nature as his, always “halting between two opinions.”

1 Kings 22:30. The king of Israel said, I will disguise myself — Put off my imperial habit, and appear as a private man, that the Syrians may not know me, and direct their main force against me. This he judged they would do, as knowing him to be the principal author of this war, and that it was likely to die with him. But put thou on thy robes — Thy royal robes, which thou mayest do without danger, because thou art not the object of the rage of the Syrians, nor of this false prophecy. Thus, while he pretended to do honour to Jehoshaphat, and compliment him with the sole command of the army in this action, he hoped to elude the danger, and so defeat the threatening, as if by disguising himself he could escape the divine cognizance, and the judgments that pursued him.

22:29-40 Ahab basely intended to betray Johoshaphat to danger, that he might secure himself. See what they get that join with wicked men. How can it be expected that he should be true to his friend, who has been false to his God! He had said in compliment to Ahab, I am as thou art, and now he was indeed taken for him. Those that associate with evil-doers, are in danger of sharing in their plagues. By Jehoshaphat's deliverance, God let him know, that though he was displeased with him, yet he had not deserted him. God is a friend that will not fail us when other friends do. Let no man think to hide himself from God's judgment. God directed the arrow to hit Ahab; those cannot escape with life, whom God has doomed to death. Ahab lived long enough to see part of Micaiah's prophecy accomplished. He had time to feel himself die; with what horror must he have thought upon the wickedness he had committed!I will disguise myself - Ahab had probably heard of Ben-hadad's order to his captains 1 Kings 22:31. 29-38. went up to Ramoth-gilead—The king of Israel, bent on this expedition, marched, accompanied by his ally, with all his forces to the siege; but on approaching the scene of action, his courage failed, and, hoping to evade the force of Micaiah's prophecy by a secret stratagem, he assumed the uniform of a subaltern, while he advised Jehoshaphat to fight in his royal attire. The Syrian king, with a view either to put the speediest end to the war, or perhaps to wipe out the stain of his own humiliation (1Ki 20:31), had given special instructions to his generals to single out Ahab, and to take or kill him, as the author of the war. The officers at first directed their assault on Jehoshaphat, but, becoming aware of their mistake, desisted. Ahab was wounded by a random arrow, which, being probably poisoned, and the state of the weather increasing the virulence of the poison, he died at sunset. The corpse was conveyed to Samaria; and, as the chariot which brought it was being washed, in a pool near the city, from the blood that had profusely oozed from the wound, the dogs, in conformity with Elijah's prophecy, came and licked it [1Ki 21:19]. Ahab was succeeded by his son Ahaziah [1Ki 22:40]. I will disguise myself, i.e. put off my imperial habit, that the Syrians may not know me, and direct their main force against me; which they will assuredly endeavour, as knowing that this war proceedeth from me, and is likely to die with me; and then thou shalt see that this man is a false prophet, and I shall have the success which I desire and expect, notwithstanding all his presages.

Thy robes; thy royal robes; which thou mayest do without any danger, because thou art not the object either of the Syrians’ rage, or of this false prophecy.

And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle,.... Change his clothes, his royal robes, and put on others, perhaps the habit of a common soldier; having, it may be, been informed by some deserters or spies, of the design of Benhadad against him. Abarbinel thinks the meaning is, that he would clothe himself with a coat of mail, and take to him the each of the instruments of war, and so go into the battle secure; this seems probable from 1 Kings 22:34 and this he might do to elude the prophecy of Micaiah:

but put thou on thy robes; his royal robes, or rather keep them on, that he might appear to be the chief commander of the army. There seems to be a good deal of insincerity and treachery in this conduct of Ahab's, whatever honour he might pretend to Jehoshaphat, or safety he might promise him in such a situation; his view seems to be to save himself at the hazard of the life of Jehoshaphat, especially if the Septuagint version could be established, "and put on my clothes"; which is natural enough, but would have been too barefaced:

and the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle; as if he had been a common soldier.

And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle.
29–40. Battle of Ramoth-gilead. Defeat and death of Ahab (2 Chronicles 18:28-34)

30. I will disguise myself, and enter [R.V. go] into the battle] Another tense of the same verb is translated ‘went’ in this verse, and ‘go’ is the rendering in 2 Chronicles 18:29.

There must have been some mark by which the king of Judah could be distinguished from the king of Israel; something answering to modern blazonry or a coat of arms, or else the action of Ahab would have been one designed to put his brother-king into the greatest possible peril. This we can hardly think he would have wished to do, nor would Jehoshaphat alone have gone to the post of greatest danger. Ahab seems to have been alarmed lest after all there should be some truth in Micaiah’s words. He will therefore clothe himself like an ordinary soldier and let the king of Judah alone appear in kingly robes, for against him the attack would not be particularly directed.

put thou on thy robes] The LXX. has ‘my’ (τὸν ἱματισμὸν μοῦ). But this would have been to expose Jehoshaphat to all the peril which he himself desired to avoid. Josephus says, Ahab meant to falsify (κατασοφίζεσθαι) the predictions of Micaiah.

Verse 30. - And the king of Israel said unto Jehoahaphat [At Ramoth-Gilead, on the eve of the battle], I will disguise himself." [same word 1 Kings 20:38] and enter [The margin," when he was to disguise himself," etc., is quite mistaken. The Hebrew has two infinitives; lit., to disguise oneself and enter; a construction which is frequently employed to indicate an absolute command. Cf. Genesis 17:10; Exodus 20:8; Isaiah 14:31; and see Ewald, 828 c. "The infinitive absolute is the plainest and simplest form of the voluntative for exclamations" (Bahr). It agrees well with the excitement under which Ahab was doubtless labouring] into the battle. [It is not necessary to suppose with Ewald, Rawlinson, el., that he had heard of Ben-hadad's command to his captain, (ver. 81). It is hardly likely that such intelligence could be brought by spies, and there would be no deserters from the Syrian army to that of the Jews. It is enough to remember that Micaiah's words, "these have no master," could not fail to awaken come alarm in his bosom, especially when connected with the prophecy of 1 Kings 20:42. He will not betray his fear by keeping out of the fray - which, indeed, he could not do without abdicating one of the principal functions of the king (1 Samuel 8:20), and without exposing himself to the charge of cowardice; but under the circumstances he thinks it imprudent to take the lead of the army, as kings were wont to do (2 Samuel 1:10), in his royal robes. He hopes by his disguise to escape all clanger]: but put thou on thy robes [LXX. τὸν ἱματισμόν μου. "My robed" "We can neither imagine Ahab's asking nor Jehoshaphat's consenting to such a procedure. Jehoshaphat had his own royal robes with him, as appears from ver. 10" (Rawlinson). If this LXX. interpretation could be maintained it would lend some colour to the supposition, otherwise destitute of basis, that Ahab by this arrangement was plotting the death of Jehoshaphat in order that he might incorporate Judah into his own kingdom. It is clear, however, that Ahab then had other work on his hands, and it is doubtful whether even he was capable of such a pitch of villainy. What he means is, either

(1) that the Syrians have a personal enmity against himself (ver. 81), whereas they could have none against the king of Judah; or

(2) that Jehoshaphat's life had not been threatened as his own had. "These words וְאַתָּה לְּבשׁ are not to be taken as a command, but simply in this sense: Thou canst put on thy royal dress, since there is no necessity for thee to take any such precautions as I have to take" (Keil). Do they not rather mean that Jehoshaphat should be the recognized leader of the army in which Ahab would serve in a more private capacity?] And the king of Israel disguised himself and went into the battle. 1 Kings 22:30And even Ahab could not throw off a certain fear of the fulfilment of Micah's prophecy. He therefore resolved to go to the battle in disguise, that he might not be recognised by the enemy. ובא התהפּשׂ ("disguise myself and go into the battle," i.e., I will go into the battle in disguise): an infin. absol., - a broken but strong form of expression, which is frequently used for the imperative, but very rarely for the first person of the voluntative (cf. Ewald, 328, c.), and which is probably employed here to express the anxiety that impelled Ahab to take so much trouble to ensure his own safety. (Luther has missed the meaning in his version; in the Chronicles, on the contrary, it is correctly given.) לבשׁ ואתּה, "but do thou put on thy clothes." These words are not to be taken as a command, but simply in this sense: "thou mayest (canst) put on thy (royal) dress, since there is no necessity for thee to take any such precautions as I have to take." There is no ground for detecting any cunning, vafrities, on the part of Ahab in these words, as some of the older commentators have done, as though he wished thereby to divert the predicted evil from himself to Jehoshaphat. but we may see very clearly that Ahab had good reason to be anxious about his life, from the command of the Syrian king to the captains of his war-chariots (1 Kings 22:31) to fight chiefly against the king of Israel. We cannot infer from this, however, that Ahab was aware of the command. The measure adopted by him may be sufficiently accounted for from his fear of the fulfilment of Micah's evil prophecy, to which there may possibly have been added some personal offence that had been given on his part to the Syrian king in connection with the negotiations concerning the surrender of Ramoth, which had no doubt preceded the war. The thirty-two commanders of the war-chariots and cavalry are, no doubt, the commanders who had taken the place of the thirty-two kings (1 Kings 21:24). "Fight not against small and great, but against the king of Israel only," i.e., endeavour above all others to fight against the king of Israel and to slay him.
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