Every man to his city - It appears that the Israelites and Jews maintained the fight the whole of the day; but when at evening the king died, and this was known, there was a proclamation made, probably with the consent of both Syrians and Israelites, that the war was over. Ahab being dead, his subjects did not choose to contend for Ramoth-gilead; so the Israelites went to their own cities, and the Syrians to their own country.
About the going down of the sun - i. e. as soon as Ahab was dead. The abandonment of the expedition and dispersion of the army on the death of the king is thoroughly Oriental.
The Septuagint version reads 1 Kings 22:36-37, “Every man to his city, and every man to his own country, for the king is dead: And they came to Samaria,” etc.
The words of the prophet should have been enough to show the kings that their project was not favored by Heaven, but neither ruler felt inclined to heed the warning. Ahab had marked out his course, and he was determined to follow it. Jehoshaphat had given his word of honor, “We will be with thee in the war;” and after making such a promise, he was reluctant to withdraw his forces. 2 Chronicles 18:3. “So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead.” 1 Kings 22:29. PK 196.1
During the battle that followed, Ahab was shot by an arrow, and at eventide he died. “About the going down of the sun,” “there went a proclamation throughout the host,” “Every man to his city, and every man to his own country.” Verse 36. Thus was fulfilled the word of the prophet. PK 196.2
From this disastrous battle Jehoshaphat returned to Jerusalem. As he approached the city, the prophet Jehu met him with the reproof: “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord. Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God.” 2 Chronicles 19:2, 3. PK 196.3Read in context »
And of Jezebel the Lord declared, “The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.” PK 207.1
When the king heard this fearful message, “he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. PK 207.2
“And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before Me? because he humbleth himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house.” PK 207.3Read in context »