Verse 27. "He rent his clothes" - He was penetrated with sorrow, and that evidently unfeigned.
"Put sackcloth upon his flesh" - He humbled himself before God and man.
"And fasted" - He afflicted his body for his soul's benefit.
"Lay in sackcloth" - Gave the fullest proof that his repentance was real.
"And went softly." - Walked barefooted; so the Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic.
The Vulgate has demisso capite, "with his head hanging down." Houbigant translates went groaning. Jarchi says that the word fa at, used here, signifies to be unshod. This is its most likely sense. All these things prove that Ahab's repentance was genuine; and God's approbation of it puts it out of doubt. The slow and measured pace which always accompanies deep and reflective sorrow is also alluded to by AEschylus, where the Chorus are thus shortly addressed on the defeat of Xerxes. - AESCH. Pers. 1073.
goasqÆ abrobatai "With light and noiseless step lament."
Verse 29. "Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself" - He did abase himself; he did truly repent him of his sins, and it was such a repentance as was genuine in the sight of God: He humbleth himself BEFORE ME.
The penitent heart ever meets the merciful eye of God; repentance is highly esteemed by the Father of compassion, even where it is comparatively shallow and short-lived. Any measure of godly sorrow has a proportionate measure of God's regard; where it is deep and lasting, the heart of God is set upon it. He that mourns shall be comforted; thus hath God spoken, and though repentance for our past sins can purchase no favour, yet without it God will not grant us his salvation.