1 Kings 20:7 MEANING

1 Kings 20:7
Verse 7. - Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land [Bahr remarks that this expression, compared with "the elders of the city" (1 Kings 21:8, etc.), suggests either that these nobles, as the highest officials, had their residences at the court, or upon the approach of Ben-hadad had betaken themselves thither with their treasures. Rawlinson builds on this slender basis the conclusion that the council of elders which, he says, belonged to the undivided kingdom, had been continued among the ten tribes, had an important place in the government, and held regular sittings at the capital] and said, Mark, I pray you, and see how this man [or fellow. The זֶה expresses either hatred or contempt. Cf. 1 Kings 22:27; Luke 23:2, 18, etc.] seeketh mischief [the purport of Ahab's address is not, "Ben-hadad is not satisfied with my treasures; he wants yours also" (Bahr), for there is no reference whatsoever to their property, but, "See how he is determined on our ruin. Nothing short of our destruction will suffice him. He is bent on provoking an encounter, that he may plunder the city at pleasure." The salient word is the רָעָה]: far he sent unto me for my wives, and for my children [LXX. περι τῶν υἱῶν μου. This shows clearly that "the most eminent young men "cannot be meant in ver. 3], and for my silver and for my gold: and I dented him not. [What these words mean depends on what ver. 4 (where see note) means. It is difficult to conceive that any monarch could gravely proclaim his own shame to his counsellors; could confess, that is, that he had consented to surrender his children and concubines without a struggle.]

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.Then the King of Israel called all the elders of the land,.... His poor sneaking spirit was a little aroused with the last message, and therefore called a council of the elders of the people upon it, which was a piece of wisdom in him:

and said, mark, I pray you, and see how this man seeketh mischief; nothing less than the entire ruin of the nation:

for he sent unto me for my wives, and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold, and I denied him not; in the sense he understood him, which was, that he was to be a vassal, and tributary to him, for the sake of holding these, which yet was very mean; but he wanted to have these in hand, and not them only, but the pillaging of all his subjects.

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