1 Kings 20 Ahab, a real dork!


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1 Kings 20:35 By the word of the Lord one of the company of the prophets said to his companion, “Strike me with your weapon,” but he refused.

36 So the prophet said, “Because you have not obeyed the Lord, as soon as you leave me a lion will kill you.” And after the man went away, a lion found him and killed him.

37 The prophet found another man and said, “Strike me, please.” So the man struck him and wounded him. 38 Then the prophet went and stood by the road waiting for the king. He disguised himself with his headband down over his eyes. 39 As the king passed by, the prophet called out to him, “Your servant went into the thick of the battle, and someone came to me with a captive and said, ‘Guard this man. If he is missing, it will be your life for his life, or you must pay a talent(b) of silver.’ 40 While your servant was busy here and there, the man disappeared.”

“That is your sentence,” the king of Israel said. “You have pronounced it yourself.”

41 Then the prophet quickly removed the headband from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him as one of the prophets. 42 He said to the king, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have set free a man I had determined should die.[c] Therefore it is your life for his life, your people for his people.’” 43 Sullen and angry, the king of Israel went to his palace in Samaria.​

b. 1 Kings 20:39 That is, about 75 pounds or about 34 kilograms
c. 1 Kings 20:42 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.

This is from Bible.org.

In those days, there was “a school of the prophets” (see also 2 Kings 2:3-7, 15; 4:1, 38; 5:22; 6:1; 9:1), or as the NET Bible renders it, a “prophetic guild” (verse 35). One of the prophets, under inspiration, ordered a fellow-prophet to wound him. What a difficult thing to ask. What a terrible thing to have to do! No doubt it was out of compassion that the prophet refused to injure his colleague. But that compassion was disobedience to a command from God, and thus the first prophet rebuked the one which showed compassion, indicating that a lion would meet him in the road and kill him for his disobedience (verse 36). As prophesied, the prophet was met by a lion and killed. The next fellow commanded to injure the prophet took his orders seriously, and so he wounded him “severely” (verse 37).

The injured prophet must have been an ugly sight. He covered his head with a bandage so that his face would not be recognized, and then he stood along the road where king Ahab would pass. When the king passed by, the prophet called out to the king, seeking compassion. He told the king he was a soldier who had been given a prisoner to guard. The one who handed the prisoner over to the soldier made it very clear that the prisoner must not be allowed to escape, and that if he did, there would be serious consequences—he would pay with his life, or he must pay a steep fine. The soldier was obviously not paying close attention to his duties (he was “doing this and that”), and his prisoner escaped. Now, the one who had allowed him to escape was asking for mercy from the king. Ahab had no mercy on this fellow. He knew his duty, and he knew the consequences if he failed. Now, he must pay his dues.

The king was right, of course. This soldier had disobeyed orders. He allowed an enemy to escape, and now he must take his place and receive his punishment. When Ahab pronounced judgment on this “soldier,” the prophet removed his disguise, and the king realized he was a prophet. This prophet then applied the same judgment to the king which he had himself pronounced. Ahab had let a man go whom God had determined must die. Now that Ahab had let Ben Hadad go, he must pay for this sin with his own life. And not only this, the nation Israel would suffer in place of the Syrians. The king was guilty, condemned by his own actions and also by his own judgment. He left for Samaria bitter and angry. There was no joy in this “victory” because it was not really a victory any longer.

Even Shmoop has reported on these verses..... I feel like I should get my surfboard man....

*A prophet disguises himself as a wounded soldier (he even gets someone to actually wound him, after some persuasion involving a killer lion) and covers his face with a bandage over his eyes.
*When Ahab comes, he tells him, "King, I was fighting in the battle, but then someone told me to guard a prisoner, and that if he got away, I'd have to pay a talent of silver or die. But I got distracted during the battle, and he got away. Can you help me out here?"
*But Ahab's like, "No way. You have to pay the price."
*And the prophet's like, "Ah-hah!" He takes the bandage off his eyes, and Ahab recognizes him. "You let Ben-hadad get away instead of taking care of him like the Lord wanted. Now the Lord will take your life in place of his."
*Ahab feels like a real dork, and goes home.​

Yesterday I said it.... I said "Why did he let that guy go?!" That's what I said... and now... look at that... he has to pay for it himself. On top of that... it appears I'm going to be reading a lot more about this "school of prophets". That seems like a seminary... right?

Well it looks like there's a lot more to be done by these prophets. Meanwhile.... The king of Aram [Syria] got loose and the king of Israel [the nation was split in two... Israel and Judah] now has to pay because God didn't want that king who would believe that God is only functional in the hills or somewhere other than where they were fighting to be king. God wanted to show God can fight anywhere and anyway He so chooses. If God wanted a 12 year old shepherd to knock down a giant with a relatively tiny pebble.... then the 12 year old shepherd would do just that. I don't think either king, Ahab or Ben-Hadad made God particularly happy that day. Both had their comeupins due, IMHO.

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