1 Kings 20:32 MEANING

1 Kings 20:32
Verse 32. - So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Thy servant Ben-hadad saith, I pray thee, let me live. [Compare with this abject petition for life the arrogant insolence of vers. 6, 10. The tables are indeed turned.] And he said, Is he yet alive? he is my brother.

20:31-43 This encouragement sinners have to repent and humble themselves before God; Have we not heard, that the God of Israel is a merciful God? Have we not found him so? That is gospel repentance, which flows from an apprehension of the mercy of God, in Christ; there is forgiveness with him. What a change is here! The most haughty in prosperity often are most abject in adversity; an evil spirit will thus affect a man in both these conditions. There are those on whom, like Ahab, success is ill bestowed; they know not how to serve either God or their generation, or even their own true interests with their prosperity: Let favour be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness. The prophet designed to reprove Ahab by a parable. If a good prophet were punished for sparing his friend and God's when God said, Smite, of much sorer punishment should a wicked king be thought worthy, who spared his enemy and God's, when God said, Smite. Ahab went to his house, heavy and displeased, not truly penitent, or seeking to undo what he had done amiss; every way out of humour, notwithstanding his victory. Alas! many that hear the glad tidings of Christ, are busy and there till the day of salvation is gone.So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads,.... Signifying they came to surrender themselves to him as his captives and prisoners, and he might do with them as seemed good to him, hang them up if he pleased, for which they brought ropes with them, as a token that they deserved it, see Isaiah 20:2,

and came to the king of Israel, and said, thy servant Benhadad saith, I pray thee let me live: he that a little while ago insolently demanded his wives, and children, and silver, and gold, as his property, now is his humble servant, and begs, not for his crown and kingdom, but for his life:

and he said, is he yet alive? he is my brother; which was intimating at once, that not only they might expect he would spare his life, who seemed to be so glad that he was alive, but that he would show him more favour, having a great affection for him as his brother; this was a very foolish expression from a king in his circumstances, with respect to one who had given him so much trouble and distress, and had behaved with so much haughtiness and contempt towards him.

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