1 Kings 22:35
And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the middle of the chariot.
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(35) The king was stayed up . . .—Ahab’s repentance, imperfect as it was, has at least availed to secure him a warrior’s death, before “the evil came” on his house and on Israel. Evidently he conceals the deadliness of his hurt, though it disables him from action, and bravely sustains the battle, till his strength fails. Then the news spreads, and the army disperses; but the subsequent history seems to show that no fatal defeat was incurred. This union of desperate physical bravery with moral feebleness and cowardice is common enough in history, and (as Shakespeare has delighted to show in his Macbeth) most true to nature.

1 Kings 22:35-36. The battle increased that day — There was a sharp fight after this; insomuch that the king, for fear his soldiers should give way, would return into the field, notwithstanding his wounds, and be supported in his chariot, to encourage his army. And died at even — Finding, too late, the truth of Micaiah’s words; and Zedekiah’s horns of iron pushing, not the Syrians, but himself into destruction. And there went a proclamation throughout the host — Probably by Jehoshaphat’s order, with the consent of the chief captains of Israel. Saying, Every man to his city, &c. — It is to no purpose to attempt any thing more: the king is dead, and the battle ended; and therefore every man has liberty to return to his own city and habitation. The Syrians also, it is likely, were content to be gone, having slain their capital enemy. By this proclamation the prediction of Micaiah was exactly fulfilled, according to his vision, 1 Kings 22:17.22:29-40 Ahab basely intended to betray Johoshaphat to danger, that he might secure himself. See what they get that join with wicked men. How can it be expected that he should be true to his friend, who has been false to his God! He had said in compliment to Ahab, I am as thou art, and now he was indeed taken for him. Those that associate with evil-doers, are in danger of sharing in their plagues. By Jehoshaphat's deliverance, God let him know, that though he was displeased with him, yet he had not deserted him. God is a friend that will not fail us when other friends do. Let no man think to hide himself from God's judgment. God directed the arrow to hit Ahab; those cannot escape with life, whom God has doomed to death. Ahab lived long enough to see part of Micaiah's prophecy accomplished. He had time to feel himself die; with what horror must he have thought upon the wickedness he had committed!The battle increased - See the margin; i. e. the tide of battle rose higher. Compare Isaiah 8:7-8.

The king was stayed up in his chariot - The king's wound made it impossible for him to remain standing without help; he therefore had himself supported in his chariot by attendants, in order that his soldiers might not lose heart, as they would be sure to do, if they knew of his peril. Ahab must not be denied the credit of right princely fortitude on this occasion.

The midst of the chariot - literally, as in the margin. The "bosom" of the chariot is the rounded front, with the portion of the standing board that adjoined it. Here the blood would naturally collect, forming a pool, in which the king and his charioteer must have stood.

29-38. went up to Ramoth-gilead—The king of Israel, bent on this expedition, marched, accompanied by his ally, with all his forces to the siege; but on approaching the scene of action, his courage failed, and, hoping to evade the force of Micaiah's prophecy by a secret stratagem, he assumed the uniform of a subaltern, while he advised Jehoshaphat to fight in his royal attire. The Syrian king, with a view either to put the speediest end to the war, or perhaps to wipe out the stain of his own humiliation (1Ki 20:31), had given special instructions to his generals to single out Ahab, and to take or kill him, as the author of the war. The officers at first directed their assault on Jehoshaphat, but, becoming aware of their mistake, desisted. Ahab was wounded by a random arrow, which, being probably poisoned, and the state of the weather increasing the virulence of the poison, he died at sunset. The corpse was conveyed to Samaria; and, as the chariot which brought it was being washed, in a pool near the city, from the blood that had profusely oozed from the wound, the dogs, in conformity with Elijah's prophecy, came and licked it [1Ki 21:19]. Ahab was succeeded by his son Ahaziah [1Ki 22:40]. The battle increased, i.e. grew hot and violent.

Was stayed up; was supported by cordials, or by his servants, that by his presence he might encourage his soldiers to fight more courageously, and that he might see the event of the battle. And the battle increased that day,.... It went on, and did not stop upon Ahab's going out of the host, but was very hot, and both sides fought furiously:

and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians: the Targum is,

"he strengthened himself, and stood;''

he exerted himself to the uttermost, and stood as long as he could, or could be supported, fighting against the Syrians, to animate his army, and that the Syrians might not have any notion of his being wounded:

and died at even: in his chariot:

and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot; or "bosom" (t) of it, the hollow part of it.

(t) "ad sinum", Montanus; "in sinum", Vatablus.

And the battle increased that day: and the {y} king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot.

(y) That is, Ahab, king of Israel.

35. the king was stayed up in his chariot] Some attempt was doubtless made to stop the bleeding, and it was thought best that though not in the fight, Ahab should not withdraw from the field. The LXX. says ‘from morning till evening,’ thus giving the impression that the king was wounded at the very beginning of the fight. The Chronicler says ‘he stayed himself up … until the even.’ This would be inferred from our verse. There is nothing to warrant the expression of the LXX.

into the midst [R.V. bottom] of the chariot] As will be seen from the margin of A.V. the literal meaning is ‘bosom.’ The knowledge of how to stop the bleeding of a wound was not great in those days, and Ahab’s wound must have been fatal whatever had been done. At this point we are left by the Chronicler who closes his notice of these events with the death of Ahab. Israel’s history was no subject of concern for him, except where it touched on that of Judah.Verse 35. - And the battle increased [Heb. went up. Marg. ascended. The tide of warfare rose higher and higher. Both Keil and Bahr think that the image is taken from a swelling river and cite Isaiah 8:7. The object of this verse is to explain how it was that the king's request was not complied with] that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot [Heb. made to stand. LXX. ἠν ἐστηκώς. He was supported in his chariot by some of his servants, and maintained in an erect posture. Chariots were destitute of seats. According to Thenius and Keil, he maintained himself erect, by his own strength. But the word is passive] against the Syrians [Heb. in the face of the Syrians. נֹכַח coram. His back was not turned to them, as he had desired. The idea that he was in any way fighting against the Syrians is altogether foreign to the text. It is at first sight somewhat difficult to reconcile this statement with the direction given to the charioteer in the preceding verse, and some have been led, though without sufficient warrant, to conclude that Ahab left the field, had he wound bound up, and then returned to take his part in the battle. But the explanation is very simple. As the battle increased, it became impossible to comply with the king's desire. So thick was the fight that retreat was impossible. Hence the wounded king, who would otherwise have sunk down to the bottom of the chariot, had to be "stayed up in the presence of the Syrians." This circumstance may also account for the fact that he died at even. Had it been possible to remove him and staunch his wounds, he might have lingered for some time. As it was, he bled to death. It is not clear, therefore, that "his death was kingly" (Kitto), or that we must concede to Ahab "the credit of right princely fortitude on this occasion" (Rawlinson). He would have left the host could he have done so. It was his set-rants propped up the dying man in his chariot, to encourage the army. What a picture for an artist - the king with the pallor of death spreading over his face, the anxious faces of the attendants, the pool of blood, the sun sinking to the horizon, etc.], and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound [Heb. the blood of the wound poured] into the midst [Heb. bosom; LXX. κόλπον, the hollow part, or "well." The same word is used of the concave part of the altar] of the chariot. The issue of the war, and death of Ahab. - 1 Kings 22:29. Ahab, disregarding Micah's prophecy, went on with the expedition, and was even joined by Jehoshaphat, of whom we should have thought that, after what had occurred, he at any rate would have drawn back. He was probably deterred by false shame, however, from retracting the unconditional promise of help which he had given to Ahab, merely in consequence of a prophetic utterance, which Ahab had brought against his own person from Micah's subjective dislike. But Jehoshaphat narrowly escaped paying the penalty for it with his life (v. 32), and on his fortunate return to Jerusalem had to listen to a severe reproof from the prophet Jehu in consequence (2 Chronicles 19:2).
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