And [Benhadad] said unto him
The word Benhadad is not in the original text, and some, as Osiander and others, have thought they are the words of Ahab last spoken of; which seems most likely, who not only took Benhadad into his chariot, but in his great and superabundant kindness, though the conqueror, said to him what follows:
the cities which my father took from thy father I will restore;
that is, those cities which Omri, the father of Ahab, had taken from the father of Benhadad; for as Omri was a prince of might and valour, ( 1 Kings 16:16-18 1 Kings 16:27 ) , it is more probable that he took cities from the king of Syria, than that the king of Syria should take any from him, and which Ahab in his circumstances weakly promises to restore:
and thou shall make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in
which confirms it that it is Ahab, and not Benhadad, that is speaking; for Benhadad's father never had any power nor residence in Samaria, whereas Omri, the father of Ahab, had, he built it, and made it his royal seat; and, in like manner, Ahab promises Benhadad that he should have his palace at Damascus, the metropolis of Syria, and exercise power there, and over all Syria; whereby Ahab renounced all right he had to the kingdom, and any of the cities of it: for by "streets" are not meant those literally so called, for the making of which there was no reason; nor markets to take a toll from, as some, supposing them to be the words of Benhadad; nor courts of judicature, to oblige them to pay it who refused it, as others; nor fortresses to keep them in awe; but a royal palace, as a learned critic F20 has observed, for Benhadad to reside in; this Ahab gave him power to erect, and added:
and I will send thee away with this covenant;
or promise now made:
so he made a covenant with him;
confirmed the above promises:
and sent him away;
free, to enjoy his crown and kingdom, for which folly and weakness Ahab is reproved by a prophet, ( 1 Kings 20:42 ) .
F20 Vallandi Dissert. ad 1. Reg. xx. 33, 34. Subsect. 2. sect. 4.