And the man of God was wroth with him
Because he ceased smiting, and smote no oftener; for it was revealed to the prophet, by an impulse upon his mind, that by the number of times he smote on the ground, it would be known how often he should get the victory over his enemies; but this was to be left to the king's own will, how often he would smite, and thereby the prophet would know also with what spirit he would pursue his victories, and the advantages he would gain:
and said, thou shouldest have smitten five or six times,
thou smitten Syria until thou hadst consumed it;
as a nation, as well as routed their several armies:
whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice;
beat them only three times in battle, according to the number of his smitings on the ground.