1 Kings 22:1
And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel.
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(1) Three years without war.—The period is clearly reckoned from the rash peace made by Ahab with Ben-hadad in 1Kings 20:34. Evidently the king of Syria has recovered his independence, if not superiority; he has not restored Ramoth-gilead according to his promise; and his revived power is sufficient to cope with the united forces of Israel and Judah. The sagacity of the prophetic rebuke of 1Kings 20:42 has been amply justified.

1 Kings 22:1. They continued three years — That is, three years were spent; without war between Syria and Israel — Computed from the last war and league wherewith it was concluded. Both Ahab and Ben-hadad were so weakened and broken by the late wars, that they needed and desired peace to recruit themselves, and repair their former losses.22:1-14 The same easiness of temper, which betrays some godly persons into friendship with the declared enemies of religion, renders it very dangerous to them. They will be drawn to wink at and countenance such conduct and conversation as they ought to protest against with abhorrence. Whithersoever a good man goes, he ought to take his religion with him, and not be ashamed to own it when he is with those who have no regard for it. Jehoshaphat had not left behind him, at Jerusalem, his affection and reverence for the word of the Lord, but avowed it, and endeavoured to bring it into Ahab's court. And Ahab's prophets, to please Jehoshaphat, made use of the name of Jehovah: to please Ahab, they said, Go up. But the false prophets cannot so mimic the true, but that he who has spiritual senses exercised, can discern the fallacy. One faithful prophet of the Lord was worth them all. Wordly men have in all ages been alike absurd in their views of religion. They would have the preacher fit his doctrine to the fashion of the times, and the taste of the hearers, and yet to add. Thus saith the Lord, to words that men would put into their mouths. They are ready to cry out against a man as rude and foolish, who scruples thus to try to secure his own interests, and to deceive others.Three years - These must be counted from the close of the second campaign of Ben-hadad 1 Kings 20:34. They were not full years, as is evident from the next verse. Probably the first year is that of Ben-hadad's dismissal after his defeat; the second is a year of actual peace; while the third is that in which Jehoshaphat paid his visit, and the Ramoth-Gilead expedition took place. The pause, here noticed, in the war between Israel and Syria was perhaps the result of a common danger. It was probably in the year following Ben-hadad's dismissal by Ahab, that the first great Assyrian expedition took place into these parts. Shalmaneser II relates that on his first invasion of southern Syria, he was met by the combined forces of Ben-hadad, Ahab, the king of Hamath, the kings of the Hittites, and others, who gave him battle, but suffered a defeat. CHAPTER 22

1Ki 22:1-36. Ahab Slain at Ramoth-gilead.

1. continued three years without war between Syria and Israel—The disastrous defeat of Ben-hadad had so destroyed his army and exhausted the resources of his country, that, however eager, he was unable to recommence active hostilities against Israel. But that his hereditary enmity remained unsubdued, was manifest by his breach of faith concerning the treaty by which he had engaged to restore all the cities which his father had seized (1Ki 20:34).Ahab, intending war against the Syrians, is advised by Jehoshaphat first to ask counsel of God: Ahab’s prophets advise him to it, especially Zedekiah, 1 Kings 22:1-12, Micaiah, a prophet of the Lord, dissuadeth him from it; and is put in prison by Ahab, 1 Kings 22:13-28. Ahab goeth to the battle; is slain; the dogs lick his blood; and Ahaziah succeedeth him, 1 Kings 22:29-40. Jehoshaphat’s good reign over Judah: his acts and death: Jehoram succeedeth him, 1 Kings 22:41-50. Ahaziah’ s evil reign, 1 Kings 22:51-53.

They continued; the Syrians and Israelites, designed in the following words. Three years; computed from the last war and league wherewith it was concluded; because both Ahab and Benhadad were so weakened and broken by the late wars, that they needed and desired peace to recruit themselves, and repair their former losses.

And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel. From the time that Benhadad made a covenant with Ahab; not three full years, but part of them: it was threatened by Elijah from the Lord, that Ahab's life should go for Benhadad's, because he had let him, go, 1 Kings 22:42, but because of his humiliation, as is thought by Ben Gersom and others, it was respited for those three years; and now an opportunity and occasion would be given for the fulfilment of what was threatened. And they continued {a} three years without war between Syria and Israel.

(a) Ben-hadad the king of Syria, and Ahab made a peace which endured three years.

Ch. 1 Kings 22:1-12. Ahab resolves to recover Ramoth-gilead. Jehoshaphat joins him. Ahab’s prophets promise him victory (2 Chronicles 18:1-11)

1. they continued three years without war] This probably means after the defeat of Benhadad described in chapter 20. It must have been during this interval of peace that Naboth was put to death.Verse 1. - And they continued [rather, zested. Heb. sate, dwelt. Cf. Judges 5:17. The LXX. has ἐκάθισε, sing.] three years without war [The Hebrew explains the "rested" - there was not war, etc. See Ewald, 286 g. The three years (not full years, as the next verse shows) are to be counted from the second defeat of Ben-hadad; the history, that is to say, is resumed from 1 Kings 20:34-43. Rawlinson conjectures that it was during this period that the Assyrian invasion, under Shalmaneser II., took place. The Black Obelisk tells us that Ahab of Jezreel joined a league of kings, of whom Ben-hadad was one, against the Assyrians, furnishing a force of 10,000 footmen and 2000 chariots; see "Hist. Illust." pp. 113, 114. The common danger might well compel a cessation of hostilities] between Syria and Israel. Ahab answered, "Hast thou found me (met with me), O mine enemy?" (not, hast thou ever found me thine enemy? - Vulg., Luth.) i.e., dost thou come to meet me again, mine enemy? He calls Elijah his enemy, to take the sting from the prophet's threat as an utterance caused by personal enmity. But Elijah fearlessly replied, "I have found (thee), because thou sellest thyself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord." He then announced to him, in 1 Kings 21:21, 1 Kings 21:22, the extermination of his house, and to Jezebel, as the principal sinner, the most ignominious end (1 Kings 21:23). הרע לעשׂות חתמכּר to sell one's self to do evil, i.e., to give one's self to evil so as to have no will of one's own, to make one's self the slave of evil (cf. 1 Kings 21:25, 2 Kings 17:17). The consequence of this is πεπρᾶσθαι ὑπὸ τὴν ἁμαρτίαν (Romans 7:14), sin exercising unlimited power over the man who gives himself up to it as a slave. For 1 Kings 21:21, 1 Kings 21:22, see 1 Kings 14:10-11; 1 Kings 15:29-30; 1 Kings 16:3, 1 Kings 16:12-13. The threat concerning Jezebel (1 Kings 21:23) was literally fulfilled, according to 2 Kings 9:30. חל, written defectively for חיל, as in 2 Samuel 20:15, is properly the open space by the town-wall, pomoerium. Instead of בּחל we have בּחלק in the repetition of this threat in 2 Kings 9:10, 2 Kings 9:36-37, and consequently Thenius and others propose to alter the חל here. But there is no necessity for this, as בּחלק, on the portion, i.e., the town-land, of Jezreel (not, in the field at Jezreel), is only a more general epithet denoting the locality, and חל is proved to be the original word by the lxx.
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