1 Kings 21:29
Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me?
&c.] Which yet was but an external humiliation, to be seen only with bodily eyes, as were all his actions and postures, before observed. Some Jewish writers
F9 think his repentance was true and perfect, and his conversion thorough and real: they tell us F11, that he was in fasting and prayer morning and evening before the Lord, and was studying in the law all his days, and returned not to his evil works any more, and his repentance was accepted: but the contrary appears manifest; we never read that he reproved Jezebel for the murder of Naboth, nor restored the vineyard to his family, which he would have done had he been a true penitent; nor did he leave his idols; we quickly hear of his consulting with the four hundred prophets of the groves, and expressing his hatred of a true prophet of the Lord, ( 1 Kings 22:6 1 Kings 22:8 ) , his humiliation arose from dread of punishment, and not from the true fear of God; however, it was such as was never seen in any of his wicked predecessors, and is taken notice of by the Lord. Luther F12 from these words concluded, and was persuaded, that he was saved:
because he humbled 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;
this was not a pardon, only a reprieve; the sentence pronounced on him and his family was not taken off, nor countermanded, only the execution of it prolonged; it is promised that the destruction of his family should not be in his lifetime, but after his death, in his son's days, otherwise he himself died a violent death, and the dogs licked his blood, as were foretold; however, this may be an encouragement to those who are truly humbled for their sins, and really repent of them, that they shall receive forgiveness at the hand of God, since he showed so much regard to an outward humiliation and repentance.
F9 Bereshit Rabba in Abarbinel in loc.
F11 Pirke Eliezer, c. 43.
F12 Mensal. Colloqu. c. 32. p. 360.