2 KIngs 7

5So they arose at twilight and went to the camp of the Arameans. But when they came to the outskirts of the camp, there was not a man to be found. 6For the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots, horses, and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel must have hired the kings of the Hittites and Egyptians to attack us.”

7Thus the Arameans had arisen and fled at twilight, abandoning their tents and horses and donkeys. The camp was intact, and they had run for their lives.

Why had the Arameans not fled by riding on their horses?

2 Answers 2


Some probably did escape on horseback. However, there would have been many more horses and donkeys than men because some of the beast of burden would have been used to carry equipment.

Thus, I presume it was mostly these beasts of burden - equipment carrying animals that remained.

However, the fact that the mean fled in such panic means that some would have been on foot as well because, by definition, when a person is in panic, they become irrational and do not think clearly, thus some may have ran on foot even though they might have had a horse available.

Note the comments of Benson:

2 Kings 7:7. Wherefore they arose and fled — And that with incredible precipitation, as for their lives, leaving their camp as it was, and even their horses, which, if they had taken them, might have expedited their flight. None of them had so much sense as to send scouts to discover the supposed enemy, much less courage enough to face them. God can, when he pleases, dispirit the boldest, and make the stoutest hearts to tremble. They that will not fear God, he can make them fear at the shaking of a leaf. Perhaps Gehazi was one of these lepers, which might occasion his being taken notice of by the king, chap. 2 Kings 8:4.

Similarly, the Pulpit commentary:

And left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was. Partly, perhaps, in mere panic; partly to induce a belief on the part of the enemy that they had not quitted their camp. So Darius Hystaspis, when he began his retreat from Scythia (Herod., 4:135), left his camp standing, and the camp fires lighted, and the asses tethered (see ver. 10), that the Scythians, seeing the tents and hearing the noise of the animals, might be fully persuaded that his troops were still in the same place. Asses were the chief baggage-animals in many ancient armies. And fled for their life. Thinking that, if they waited till dawn, the Israelite allies, Hittites and Egyptians, would exterminate them. 2 Kings 7:7


Amos 2:

15he who handles the bow shall not stand, and he who is swift of foot shall not save himself, nor shall he who rides the horse save his life; 16and he who is stout of heart among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day,” declares the LORD.

2 KIngs 7:7 Why had the Arameans not fled with their horses?

In a time of panic, people do panicky things. Particularly in this case, the Lord had caused the panic among the Arameans.

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