1 Kings 20:20 MEANING

1 Kings 20:20
(20) And they slew . . .--The attack of this handful of men, supported by a sally of the whole garrison, is not unlike the slaughter of the Philistine garrison and host in the days of Saul (1 Samuel 14), or the still earlier rout of the army of Midian by the night attack of Gideon (Judges 7:16-23). Probably, as in these cases, the Israelites may have risen from various lurking-places to join in the pursuit and slaughter. It does not necessarily follow that the event was miraculous. Such dispersions of vast Oriental armies are not uncommon in history. The lesson is that drawn with noble simplicity by Jonathan: "There is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few" (1 Samuel 14:6).

Verse 20. - And they slew every one his man [The LXX., which differs here considerably from the Hebrew, inserts at this point καὶ ἐδευτέρωσεν ἕκαστος τὸν παρ αὐτοῦ. Ewald thinks the Hebrew text ought to be made to correspond, and would read ׃ך׃ך וַיּשְׁנוּ אישׁ אישׁו, each repeatedly killed his man, as in 1 Samuel 14:16]: and the Syrians fled [When a few had fallen, utter panic seized the rest. The separate kings, with their divided interests, thought only of their own safety. It was a sauve qui pout. "The hasty and disordered flight of a vast Oriental army before an enemy contemptible in numbers is no uncommon occurrence. Above 1,000,000 of Persians fled before 47,000 Greeks at Arbela" (Rawlinson). The very size of such hosts, especially where the command is divided and where the generals are drunk or incapable, contributes to their defeat]; and Israel pursued them: and Ben-hadad the king of Syria escaped on an horse [Thenius suggests that this was a chariot horse, the first that presented] with the horsemen. [Heb. and horsemen; sc., escaped with him Keil). He had an escort in some of his fugitive cavalry.]

20:12-21 The proud Syrians were beaten, and the despised Israelites were conquerors. The orders of the proud, drunken king disordered his troops, and prevented them from attacking the Israelites. Those that are most secure, are commonly least courageous. Ahab slew the Syrians with a great slaughter. God often makes one wicked man a scourge to another.And they slew everyone his man,.... The Syrian army, or at least a body of men detached from them, met them, opposed them, and fought them, and they slew of them 7232 men; as many as they themselves were:

and the Syrians fled; not expecting such a rebuff:

and Israel pursued them; to make some further advantage of their victory:

and Benhadad the king of Syria escaped on an horse, with the horsemen; with two couple of horsemen, as the Targum; with these to guard him he galloped away as fast as he could for his life.

Courtesy of Open Bible