Micaiah Prophesies Against Ahab
1Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor. He joined forces with Ahab by getting married to Ahab's daughter. 2Some years later he went down to visit Ahab in Samaria. Ahab killed a lot of sheep and cattle for him and the people who were with him. Ahab tried to get Jehoshaphat to attack Ramoth Gilead. 3Ahab was the king of Israel. He spoke to Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah. He asked, "Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?"
Jehoshaphat replied, "Yes. I'll go with you. My men will also go with you. We'll join you in the war." 4He continued, "First ask the Lord for advice."
5So the king of Israel brought 400 prophets together. He asked them, "Should we go to war against Ramoth Gilead? Or should I stay here?"
"Go," they answered. "God will hand it over to you."
6But Jehoshaphat asked, "Isn't there a prophet of the Lord here? If there is, ask him what we should do."
7The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat. He said, "There is still one other man we can go to. We can ask the Lord for advice through him. But I hate him. He never prophesies anything good about me. He only prophesies bad things. His name is Micaiah. He's the son of Imlah."
"You shouldn't say bad things about him," Jehoshaphat replied.
8So the king of Israel called for one of his officials. He told him, "Bring Micaiah, the son of Imlah, at once."
9The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, were wearing their royal robes. They were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor. It was near the entrance of the gate of Samaria. All of the prophets were prophesying in front of them.
10Zedekiah was the son of Kenaanah. Zedekiah had made horns out of iron. They looked like animal horns. He announced, "The Lord says, 'With these horns you will drive back the men of Aram until they are destroyed.' "
11All of the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. "Attack Ramoth Gilead," they said. "Win the battle over it. The Lord will hand it over to you."
12A messenger went to get Micaiah. He said to him, "Look. The other prophets agree. All of them are saying the king will have success. So agree with them. Say the same thing they do."
13But Micaiah said, "You can be sure that the Lord lives. And you can be just as sure that I can only tell the king what my God says."
14When Micaiah arrived, the king spoke to him. He asked, "Should we go to war against Ramoth Gilead? Or should I stay here?"
"Attack," he answered. "You will win. The people of Ramoth Gilead will be handed over to you."
15The king said to him, "I've made you promise to tell the truth many times before. So don't tell me anything but the truth in the name of the Lord."
16Then Micaiah answered, "I saw all of the people of Israel scattered on the hills. They were like sheep that didn't have a shepherd. The Lord said, 'These people do not have a master. Let each of them go home in peace.' "
17The king of Israel spoke to Jehoshaphat. He said, "Didn't I tell you he never prophesies anything good about me? He only prophesies bad things."
18Micaiah continued, "Listen to the Lord's message. I saw the Lord sitting on his throne. Some of the angels of heaven were standing at his right side. The others were standing at his left side. 19The Lord said, 'Who will try to get Ahab, the king of Israel, to attack Ramoth Gilead? I want him to die there.'
"One angel suggested one thing. Another suggested something else. 20Finally, a spirit came forward and stood in front of the Lord. The spirit said, 'I'll try to get Ahab to do it.'
" 'How?' the Lord asked.
21"The spirit said, 'I'll go and put lies in the mouths of all of his prophets.'
" 'You will have success in getting Ahab to attack Ramoth Gilead,' said the Lord. 'Go and do it.'
22"So the Lord has put lies in the mouths of your prophets. He has said that great harm will come to you."
23Then Zedekiah, the son of Kenaanah, went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. "So you think the spirit that was sent by the Lord went away from me to speak to you, do you?" he asked. "Which way did he go?"
24Micaiah replied, "You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inside room to save your life."
25Then the king of Israel gave an order. He said, "Take Micaiah away. Send him back to Amon. Amon is the ruler of the city of Samaria. And send him back to Joash. Joash is a member of the royal court. 26Tell them, 'The king says, "Put this fellow in prison. Don't give him anything but bread and water until I return safely." ' "
27Micaiah announced, "Do you really think you will return safely? If you do, the Lord hasn't spoken through me." He continued, "All of you people, remember what I've said!"
Ahab Is Killed at Ramoth Gilead
28So the king of Israel went up to Ramoth Gilead. Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, went there too.
29The king of Israel spoke to Jehoshaphat. He said, "I'll go into battle wearing different clothes. Then people won't recognize me. But you wear your royal robes." So the king of Israel put on different clothes. Then he went into battle.
30The king of Aram had given an order to his chariot commanders. He had said, "Fight only against the king of Israel. Don't fight against anyone else."
31The chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat. They thought, "That's the king of Israel." So they turned to attack him. But Jehoshaphat cried out. And the Lord helped him. God drew the commanders away from him. 32They saw he wasn't the king of Israel after all. So they stopped chasing him.
33But someone shot an arrow without taking aim. The arrow hit the king of Israel between the parts of his armor. The king told the chariot driver, "Turn the chariot around. Get me out of this battle. I've been wounded."
34All day long the battle continued. The king of Israel kept himself standing up by leaning against the inside of his chariot. He kept his face toward the men of Aram until evening. At sunset he died.