This is not AHAB of Moby Dick of Herman Melville, but about Ahab, the king of Israel and husband to the wicked (?) Jezebel of THE BIBLE. Ahab comes out something like MACBETH, in a sense that he heavily depended on his spouse to egg him on to do the deed or get the deed done thru the efficiency of his spouse Jezebel. The history of AHAB and Jezebel could be found in I Kings.
Despite all his failings, AHAB uttered a line which reverberates in my mind very often and the verse is reproduced below:-
Let not him that girdeth on his armor boast himself as he that putteth it off. (I Kings 20:11)
There are people who boast before they have achieved the task on hand. Probably they need that boastful talk to work themselves to do the task, but they should not talk like those who have achieved certain things in their lives. Here the imagery is a contrast between an armed man who has successfully returned from the battlefield and the one who is preparing to go to the battlefield. Their LANGUAGE OUGHT TO BE DIFFERENT. The one who had returned ALIVE has reasons to boast, but the one preparing to go is yet to overcome and survive.
AHAB MAKES A BRILLIANT POINT THAT ONE DOESN’T KNOW THE OUTCOME OF A BATTLE AT THE PERSONAL LEVEL. If we read history, Sher Shah Suri won his last battle, but he died of the wounds received by him during the battle. THE BATTLE WAS WON BUT THE KING DIED. Another example is Admiral Nelson, who won the battle but waited for the victory and died immediately thereafter. So both Admiral Nelson and Sher Shah Suri did not have the TIME to GLOAT over their Victories.
It is that TIME in a person’s LIFE which AHAB talks of. One should NEVER EVER use the language of a SURVIVOR if one is embarking on a task which could make a demand on his LIFE!
With this one statement AHAB redeems himself, quite a bit in my opinion.