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1 Kings 20:34

34 “I will return the cities my father took from your father,” Ben-Hadad offered. “You may set up your own market areas in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria.” Ahab said, “On the basis of a treaty I will set you free.” So he made a treaty with him, and let him go.

Read 1 Kings 20:34 Using Other Translations

And Benhadad said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said Ahab, I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.
And Ben-hadad said to him, "The cities that my father took from your father I will restore, and you may establish bazaars for yourself in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria." And Ahab said, "I will let you go on these terms." So he made a covenant with him and let him go.
Ben-hadad told him, “I will give back the towns my father took from your father, and you may establish places of trade in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria.” Then Ahab said, “I will release you under these conditions.” So they made a new treaty, and Ben-hadad was set free.

What does 1 Kings 20:34 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
1 Kings 20:34

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
Samaria;
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 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F20 Vallandi Dissert. ad 1. Reg. xx. 33, 34. Subsect. 2. sect. 4.
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