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1 Kings 20:12 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And it came to pass, when [Ben-hadad] heard this message, as he was drinking, he and the kings, in the pavilions, that he said unto his servants, Set [yourselves in array]. And they set [themselves in array] against the city.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And it came to pass, when [Benhadad] heard this message, as he [was] drinking, he and the kings in the pavilions, that he said unto his servants, Set [yourselves in array]. And they set [themselves in array] against the city.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— When [Ben-hadad] heard this message, as he was drinking with the kings in the temporary shelters, he said to his servants, “Station [yourselves].” So they stationed [themselves] against the city.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And it came to pass, when [Ben-hadad] heard this message as he [was] drinking, he and the kings in the pavilions, that he said to his servants, Set [yourselves in array]. And they set [themselves in array] against the city.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And it came to pass when he heard this word, as he was drinking, he and the kings in the tents, that he said to his servants, Set yourselves. And they set themselves against the city.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And it came to pass, when he heard this message, as, he, was drinking, he and the kings in the pavilions, that he said unto his servants—Make ready! So they made ready, against the city.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And it cometh to pass at the hearing of this word—and he is drinking, he and the kings, in the booths—that he saith unto his servants, 'Set yourselves;' and they set themselves against the city.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And it came to pass, when Benadad heard this word, that he and the kings were drinking in pavilions, and he said to his servants: Beset the city. And they beset it.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And it came to passe, when [Benhadad] heard this message (as hee was drinking, he and the kings in the pauilions) that hee said vnto his seruants, Set [yourselues in aray]. And they set [themselues in aray] against the citie.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And it came to pass when he returned him this answer, he and all the kings with him were drinking in tents: and he said to his servants, Form a trench. And they made a trench against the city.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And it came to pass, when [Ben Hadad] heard this message, as he [was] drinking, he and the kings in the pavilions, that he said unto his servants, Set [yourselves in array]. And they set [themselves in array] against the city.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And it came to pass, x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
when [Ben Ha בֶּן־הֲדַד] heard 8085
{8085} Prime
שָׁמַע
shama`
{shaw-mah'}
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
z8800
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
x853
(0853) Complement
אֵת
'eth
{ayth}
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
this x2088
(2088) Complement
זֶה
zeh
{zeh}
A primitive word; the masculine demonstrative pronoun, this or that.
message, 1697
{1697} Prime
דָּבָר
dabar
{daw-baw'}
From H1696; a word; by implication a matter (as spoken of) or thing; adverbially a cause.
as he x1931
(1931) Complement
הוּא
huw'
{hoo}
The second form is the feminine beyond the Pentateuch; a primitive word, the third person pronoun singular, he (she or it); only expressed when emphatic or without a verb; also (intensively) self, or (especially with the article) the same; sometimes (as demonstrative) this or that; occasionally (instead of copula) as or are.
[was] drinking, 8354
{8354} Prime
שָׁתָה
shathah
{shaw-thaw'}
A primitive root; to imbibe (literally or figuratively).
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
he x1931
(1931) Complement
הוּא
huw'
{hoo}
The second form is the feminine beyond the Pentateuch; a primitive word, the third person pronoun singular, he (she or it); only expressed when emphatic or without a verb; also (intensively) self, or (especially with the article) the same; sometimes (as demonstrative) this or that; occasionally (instead of copula) as or are.
and the kings 4428
{4428} Prime
מֶּלֶךְ
melek
{meh'-lek}
From H4427; a king.
in the pavilions, 5521
{5521} Prime
סֻכָּה
cukkah
{sook-kaw'}
Feminine of H5520; a hut or lair.
that he said 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
his servants, 5650
{5650} Prime
עֶבֶד
`ebed
{eh'-bed}
From H5647; a servant.
Set 7760
{7760} Prime
שׂוּם
suwm
{soom}
A primitive root; to put (used in a great variety of applications, literally, figuratively, inferentially and elliptically).
z8798
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
[yourselves in array]. And they set 7760
{7760} Prime
שׂוּם
suwm
{soom}
A primitive root; to put (used in a great variety of applications, literally, figuratively, inferentially and elliptically).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
[themselves in array] against x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
the city. 5892
{5892} Prime
עִיר
`iyr
{eer}
From H5782 a city (a place guarded by waking or a watch) in the widest sense (even of a mere encampment or post).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

See commentary on 1 Kings 20:2-12.


1 Kings 20:12

_ _ as he was drinking, he and the kings in the pavilions — booths made of branches of trees and brushwood; which were reared for kings in the camp, as they still are for Turkish pashas or agas in their expeditions [Keil].

_ _ Set yourselves in array — Invest the city.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

1 Kings 20:12-21

_ _ The treaty between the besiegers and the besieged being broken off abruptly, we have here an account of the battle that ensued immediately.

_ _ I. The Syrians, the besiegers, had their directions from a drunken king, who gave orders over his cups, as he was drinking (1 Kings 20:12), drinking himself drunk (1 Kings 20:16) with the kings in the pavilions, and this at noon. Drunkenness is a sin which armies and their officers have of old been addicted to. Say not thou then that the former days were, in this respect, better than these, though these are bad enough. Had he not been very secure he would not have sat to drink; and, had he not bee intoxicated, he would not have been so very secure. Security and sensuality went together in the old world, and Sodom, Luke 17:26, etc. Ben-hadad's drunkenness was the forerunner of his fall, as Belshazzar's was, Dan. 5. How could he prosper that preferred his pleasure before his business, and kept his kings to drink with him when they should have been at their respective posts to fight for him? In his drink, 1. He orders the town to be invested, the engines fixed, and every thing got ready for the making of a general attack (1 Kings 20:12), but stirs not from his drunken club to see it done. Woe unto thee, O land! when thy king is such a child. 2. When the besieged made a sally (and, by that time, he was far gone) he gave orders to take them alive (1 Kings 20:18), not to kill them, which might have been done more easily and safely, but to seize them, which gave them an opportunity of killing the aggressors; so imprudent was he in the orders he gave, as well as unjust, in ordering them to be taken prisoners though they came for peace and to renew the treaty. Thus, as is usual, he drinks, and forgets the law, both the policies and the justice of war.

_ _ II. The Israelites, the besieged, had their directions from an inspired prophet, one of the prophets of the Lord, whom Ahab had hated and persecuted: And behold a prophet, even one, drew near to the king of Israel; so it may be read, 1 Kings 20:13.

_ _ 1. Behold, and wonder, that God should send a prophet with a kind and gracious message to so wicked a prince as Ahab was; but he did it, (1.) For his people Israel's sake, who, though wickedly degenerated, were the seed of Abraham his friend and Jacob his chosen, the children of the covenant, and not yet cast off. (2.) That he might magnify his mercy, in doing good to one so evil and unthankful, might either bring him to repentance or leave him the more inexcusable. (3.) That he might mortify the pride of Ben-hadad and check his insolence. Ahab's idolatry shall be punished hereafter, but Ben-hadad's haughtiness shall be chastised now; for God resists the proud, and is pleased to say that he fears the wrath of the enemy, Deuteronomy 32:26, Deuteronomy 32:27. There was but one prophet perhaps to be had in Samaria, and he drew near with this message, intimating that he had been forced to keep at a distance. Ahab, in his prosperity, would not have borne the sight of him, but now he bids him welcome, when none of the prophets of the groves can give him any assistance. He enquired not for a prophet of the Lord, but God sent one to him unasked, for he waits to be gracious.

_ _ 2. Two things the prophet does: — (1.) He animates Ahab with an assurance of victory, which was more than all the elders of Israel could give him (1 Kings 20:8), though they promised to stand by him. This prophet, who is not named (for he spoke in God's name), tells him from God that this very day the siege shall be raised, and the army of the Syrians routed, 1 Kings 20:13. When the prophet said, Thus saith the Lord, we may suppose Ahab began to tremble, expecting a message of wrath; but he is revived when it proves a gracious one. He is informed what use he ought to make of this blessed turn of affairs: “Thou shalt know that I am Jehovah, the sovereign Lord of all.” God's foretelling a thing that was so very unlikely proved that it was his own doing. (2.) He instructs him what to do for the gaining of this victory. [1.] He must not stay till the enemy attacked him, but must sally out upon them and surprise them in their trenches. [2.] The persons employed must be the young men of the princes of the provinces, the pages, the footmen, who were few in number, only 232, utterly unacquainted with war, and the unlikeliest men that could be thought of for such a bold attempt; yet these must do it, these weak and foolish things must be instruments of confounding the wise and strong, that, while Ben-hadad's boasting is punished, Ahab's may be prevented and precluded, and the excellency of the power may appear to be of God. [3.] Ahab must himself so far testify his confidence in the word of God as to command in person, though, in the eye of reason, he exposed himself to the utmost danger by it. But it is fit that those who have the benefit of God's promises should enter upon them. Yet, [4.] He is allowed to make use of what other forces he has at hand, to follow the blow, when these young men have broken the ice. All he had in Samaria, or within call, were but 7000 men, 1 Kings 20:15. It is observable that it is the same number with theirs that he not bowed the knee to Baal (1 Kings 19:18), though, it is likely, not the same men.

_ _ III. The issue was accordingly. The proud Syrians were beaten, and the poor despised Israelites were more than conquerors. The young men gave an alarm to the Syrians just at noon, at high dinner-time, supported by what little force they had, 1 Kings 20:16. Ben-hadad despised them at first (1 Kings 20:18), but when they had, with unparalleled bravery and dexterity, slain every one his man, and so put the army into disorder, that proud man durst not face them, but mounted immediately, drunk as he was, and made the best of his way, 1 Kings 20:20. See how God takes away the spirit of princes, and makes himself terrible to the kings of the earth. Now where are the silver and gold he demanded of Ahab? Where are the handfuls of Samaria's dust? Those that are most secure are commonly least courageous. Ahab failed not to improve this advantage, but slew the Syrians with a great slaughter, 1 Kings 20:21. Note, God oftentimes makes one wicked man a scourge to another.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

[[no comment]]

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

[[no comment]]

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
message:
Heb. word

drinking:

1 Kings 20:16 And they went out at noon. But Benhadad [was] drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him.
1 Kings 16:9 And his servant Zimri, captain of half [his] chariots, conspired against him, as he was in Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza steward of [his] house in Tirzah.
1 Samuel 25:36 And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart [was] merry within him, for he [was] very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.
2 Samuel 13:28 Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant.
Proverbs 31:4-5 [It is] not for kings, O Lemuel, [it is] not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: ... Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
Daniel 5:2 Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which [was] in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.
Daniel 5:30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares.
Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

pavilions:
or, tents, That persons of regal dignity regaled themselves in this manner, we may learn from Dr. Chandler, who, when he went to visit the Aga of Suki, after his return from hawking, found him vexed and tired; and "a couch was prepared from him beneath a shed made against a cottage, and covered with green boughs to keep off the sun. He entered as we were standing by, and fell down on it to sleep, without taking any notice of us."
Jeremiah 43:10 And say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them.

Set yourselves in array, And they set:
etc. or, Place the engines, And they placed engines
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1S 25:36. 2S 13:28. 1K 16:9; 20:16. Pv 31:4. Jr 43:10. Dn 5:2, 30. Lk 21:34. Ep 5:18.

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