1 Kings 20 Bible Commentary

John Darby’s Synopsis

(Read all of 1 Kings 20)
Ahab and Benhadad

According to the outward history of Israel, that which follows the revelations made to Elijah in Horeb looks like a time of restoration and blessing; and outwardly it was so. Benhadad is overcome and Israel delivered from his power; but Ahab has no knowledge at all of the mind of God, and he lets the man whom God had condemned escape. There are cases in which levity only proves that the honour of God and His thoughts have no influence over the heart. It was not for Ahab to be on brotherly terms with a king whose constant aim was the oppression of God's people. It was putting himself on a level with a Gentile king, forgetting the position both of Israel and of Israel's king, with respect to God. In such a case as this, severity of conduct is the suitable accompaniment of the sense of God's perfect grace towards His people. He who, from love to God's people, desired in Mount Horeb to be blotted out of the book of Jehovah, is also he who said, in the presence of evil, "Consecrate yourselves to-day unto Jehovah, every man upon his brother, his companion, and his neighbour"; but the weakness, which despisal of God produces in one who holds the place of God's servant, assumes the character of kindness towards men.