Ahab’s Third Campaign against Aram
1Aram (Syria) and Israel continued without war for three years. 2In the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah came down to the #The writer often refers to Ahab as “the king of Israel,” without using his name. This is probably because of Ahab’s reputation as a wicked king.king of Israel. 3Now the king of Israel said to his servants, “Do you know that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, yet we are still doing nothing to take it from the hand of the king of Aram?” 4And Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead?” Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”
5But Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire first for the word of the Lord.” 6Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall I go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or should I not?” And they said, “Go up, for the Lord has handed it over to the king.” 7But Jehoshaphat [doubted and] said, “Is there not another prophet of the Lord here whom we may ask?” 8The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is one more man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the Lord, but I hate him, because he never prophesies good news for me, but only evil.” But Jehoshaphat said, “May the king not say that [Micaiah only tells bad news].” 9Then the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah the son of Imlah.” 10Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were each sitting on his throne, dressed in their [royal] robes, [in an open place] at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 11Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made for himself horns of iron and said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans (Syrians) until they are destroyed.’ ” 12All the prophets were prophesying in the same way [to please Ahab], saying, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and be successful, for the Lord will hand it over to the king.”
Micaiah Predicts Defeat
13Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah said to him, “#Lit Behold now.Listen carefully, the words of the prophets are unanimously favorable to the king. Please let your words be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.” 14But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, I will speak what the Lord says to me.”
15So when he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go against Ramoth-gilead in battle, or shall we not?” And he answered him, “Go up and be successful, for the Lord will hand it over to the king.” 16But the king [doubted him and] said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” 17And he said,
“I saw all Israel
Scattered upon the mountains,
Like sheep that have no shepherd.
And the Lord said,
‘These have no master.
Let each of them return to his house in peace.’ ”
18Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”
19Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host (army) of heaven standing by Him on His right hand and on His left. 20The Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this, while another said that. 21Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ 22The Lord said to him, ‘How?’ And he said, ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then the Lord said, ‘You are to entice him and also succeed. Go and do so.’ 23Now then, behold, the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these prophets; and the Lord has proclaimed disaster against you.”
24But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah approached and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “How did the Spirit of the Lord pass from me to speak to you?” 25Micaiah said, “Behold, you shall see on that day [of the king’s defeat] when you enter an inner room [looking for a place] to hide yourself.” 26Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Joash, the king’s son, 27and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this man in prison, and feed him sparingly with the bread and water until I return safely.” ’ ” 28Micaiah said, “If you indeed return safely, the Lord has not spoken by me.” Then he said, “Listen, all you people.”
Defeat and Death of Ahab
29So [Ahab] the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 30The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and enter the battle, but you put on your [royal] clothing.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into the battle. 31Now the king of Aram (Syria) had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, saying, “Do not fight with [anyone, either] small or great, but with [Ahab] the king of Israel alone.” 32When the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “Surely it is the king of Israel.” They turned to fight against him, and Jehoshaphat shouted out [in fear]. 33When the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.
34But one man drew a bow at #Or innocently, i.e. not thinking that he would kill the king.random and struck the king of Israel in a joint of the armor. So he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and take me out of the fight, because I have been seriously wounded.” 35The battle raged that day, and [Ahab] the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans (Syrians). And in the evening he died, and the blood from his wound ran down into the bottom of the chariot. 36Then about sundown a resounding cry passed throughout the army, saying, “Every man to his city and every man to his own country!”
37So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried the king in Samaria. 38They washed the chariot by the pool [on the outskirts] of Samaria, where the prostitutes bathed, and the dogs licked up his blood, in accordance with the word of the Lord which He had spoken. 39Now the rest of Ahab’s acts, and everything that he did, the ivory palace which he built and all the cities which he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 40So Ahab slept with his fathers [in death], and Ahaziah his son became king in his place.
The New Rulers
41Now Jehoshaphat the son of Asa became king over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 43He walked in all the ways of Asa his father, without turning from them, doing right in the sight of the Lord. However, the high places were not removed; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. 44Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel.
45Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, his might which he displayed and how he made war, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 46And the remnant of the sodomites (male cult prostitutes) who remained in the days of his father Asa, Jehoshaphat expelled from the land.
47Now there was no king in Edom; a deputy (governor) was [serving as] king. 48Jehoshaphat had [large cargo] ships of Tarshish constructed to go to Ophir for gold, but they did not go, because the ships were wrecked at Ezion-geber. 49Then Ahaziah the son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my servants go with your servants in the ships,” But Jehoshaphat was unwilling and refused. 50Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers [in death] and was buried with his fathers in the city of his father David, and Jehoram his son became king in his place.
51Ahaziah the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel for two years. 52He did evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the [idolatrous] way of his father [Ahab] and of his mother [Jezebel], and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin. 53He served Baal and worshiped him, and he provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger, in accordance with everything that his father [Ahab] had done.