the story of Mr. Bandage is from Obadiah’s POV.
Maybe these other details belong elsewhere?
- Elijah and Milcah been married four years.
- They have two children. Boys? Girls? Or both?
- Elijah is 26
- Nathan is 27. He married Huldah in Zarephath.
- Who gets which of these lines?
32 Kings and 32 Captains.
- 1 kg 20.16 … 32 kings
- Put captains in their places. 1 kg 22.24
- In 1 Kings 22:31, there are 32 captains.
Elijah and Nathan settled a wineskin on its low bench behind the grocer’s counter. Nathan pushed past a small knot of customers and returned to the donkeys, but Elijah stopped to listen.
“King Ahab told him, ‘A warrior strapping on armor shouldn’t brag like one taking it off.’”
“But what most people don’t know is how that guy barged in on the king and told him the Lord was going to lay that whole big Syrian army in his hand.”
“And then our king attacked with our junior officers and caught the Syrians drinking in their tents.”
Elijah poked his head into their circle. “And did you hear the Syrian strategy?”
The grocer nodded. “Loved it. The old ‘terrain gods’ thing.” He cleared his throat and gave a sweeping bow. He pasted on a frown and pulled up a deep voice. “It was the hill gods, Your Excellency. The gods of Israel own those hills. But our gods are used to fighting out in the open. We’ll meet them on the plains and thrash ‘em good!”
Elijah slapped him on the back. “You do that pretty well. Think the king of Syria has a spot for you on his Board of Counselors?”
Elijah’s father came over. “And the Lord did not enjoy being called a ‘hill god.’”
The grocer nodded. “That’s right. Ahab took Ben-hadad prisoner. Had him all tied him up. Then just let him go. ”
“That’s the way they were telling it in Jezreel last week.”
“You were in Jezreel?”
“Checking on my son. He was in that battle, you know. Doesn’t like soldiering, but he’s glad to be alive. Anyway, he said Ben-hadad gave Ahab back the cities his father took and agreed to us having market in Damascus. So Ahab kissed him good-bye and let him down out of the chariot a free man.”
Elijah bobbed his head up. “Well, our king sure knows how to lead troops. But it looks to this country boy like he could have kept Ben-hadad and still had his cities and his market. So, what’s this we’ve been hearing about ‘a life for a life.’?
“I was there. You shoulda seen Mr. Bandage.”
“The guy with the bandage? You were there? You saw that?”
“The whole thing. Right from the start. Nobody knows his real name anymore. Everybody’s calling him Mr. Bandage. I couldn’t believe it. He walks up and puts his face right in this other guy’s face. ‘God wants you to strike me with your weapon. Wound me.’”
“Well, this poor guy, he couldn’t bring himself to hurt a friend, so Mr. Bandage says, ‘Because you will not obey the Lord, when you leave here a lion will kill you.’”
“I mean, we all just — a lion? — because the guy wouldn’t wound him? — And he must have wanted out of there because he started hiking down the road. But a lion killed him. We all saw it.”
“You saw the lion?”
“Right in the road. Knocked him down. Tore his throat out!”
“And before I could catch my breath, Mr. Bandage – he goes up to this other guy, and he says, ‘Strike me.’ So this one, he doesn’t waste a second, right? Whips out this big old blade and gives Mr. Bandage a gash. Right on the head.”
“Then Mr. Bandage drags out this white scarf. Can you believe? He had the thing waiting in his bag. He knots it around his bloody head and pulls it down and over his eyes and goes out to the road. So then the king comes by, and Mr. Bandage starts calling to him.”
“I couldn’t catch the words. His back was to us. But a guy who was out there by the king came back and told us. It was like… ‘Someone assigned me a prisoner. “Guard him. If you lose him, it’s your life for his life.” But I was fighting off attackers, and pretty soon I noticed the prisoner had disappeared.’”
“But we could sure hear the king’s answer — facing right at us. ‘Why bother me with this? You said it — “A life for a life.”’ And right then this fellow pushes the bandage up, and the king knows who he is.”
“And Mr. Bandage stood right up there straight as can be—right in the king’s face. ‘The Lord says, you let Ben-hadad go free, so it’s your life for his life, your people for his people.’”
Elijah’s eyes grew big. “So, what did King Ahab do?”
“He drooped. Really. Not a word. He just turned away and slumped along. Looking sad.”
When they rejoined Nathan, Elijah stood with his hand on a donkey’s saddle. “Do you ever get the idea our king would really like to be a good guy but he just can’t seem to make it happen?”
Elijah’s father led the way to the next customer. “Thanks for helping me today. The boys I hire from Tishbe do a fine job. It’s just that all the troops on the roads make me wish for an older crew. Besides, it’s been years since we heard anyone asking about Mr. Goatskin.”
1 Kings 20:43 – Sullen and angry, the king of Israel went to his palace in Samaria.
 Sullen and angry, the king of Israel went to his palace in Samaria.
 Obscure reference!