96. HE ANSWERS, But this is what we learned. If the leader of the people is not worthy IN HIS DEEDS, the people is caught in his sin. Whence do we know - from the words, "And David spoke...Lo, I have sinned, and I have done perversely; but these sheep, what have they done?" (II Shmuel 24:17). So David sinned and Yisrael suffered. If the chief of the people is caught in his sin, then the people is spared, as Judgment no longer dwells upon them, as the passage says, "And Hashem said, 'These have no master,'" meaning there are no leaders for the people, BECAUSE AHAB WAS SLAIN. THEREFORE, "let them return therefore every man to his house in peace" from the path, AND EVEN THOUGH JUDGMENT HAS RIDDEN ON THEM IN THIS PATH, SINCE THEIR LEADER WAS SLAIN AND CAUGHT IN HIS SIN, THEY WILL RETURN IN PEACE. They are all saved if their leader is caught. It was decreed that, because he joined with Ahab, even Yehoshafat would have been punished, were it not for his crying, as it is written, "And Yehoshafat cried out" (I Melachim 22:32).