1 Kings Chapter 22 |
1There was a lull of three years, with no war between Aram and Israel. 2In the third year, King Jehoshaphat of Judah came to visit the king of Israel. 3The king of Israel said to his courtiers, “You know that Ramoth-gilead belongs to us, and yet we do nothing to recover it from the hands of the king of Aram.” 4And he said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you come with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead?” Jehoshaphat answered the king of Israel, “I will do what you do; my troops shall be your troops, my horses shall be your horses.” 5But Jehoshaphat said further to the king of Israel, “Please, first inquire of the Lord.”
6So the king of Israel gathered the prophets, about four hundred men, and asked them, “Shall I march upon Ramoth-gilead for battle, or shall I not?” “March,” they said, “and the Lord will deliver [it] into Your Majesty’s hands.” 7Then Jehoshaphat asked, “Isn’t there another prophet of the Lord here through whom we can inquire?” 8And the king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is one more man through whom we can inquire of the Lord; but I hate him, because he never prophesies anything good for me, but only misfortune—Micaiah son of Imlah.” But King Jehoshaphat said, “Don’t say that, Your Majesty.” 9So the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”
10The king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah were seated on their thrones, arrayed in their robes, on the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 11Zedekiah son of Chenaanah had provided himself with iron horns; and he said, “Thus said the Lord: With these you shall gore the Arameans till you make an end of them.” 12And all the other prophets were prophesying similarly, “March upon Ramoth-gilead and triumph! The Lord will deliver it into Your Majesty’s hands.”
13The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him: “Look, the words of the prophets are with one accord favorable to the king. Let your word be like that of the rest of them; speak a favorable word.” 14“As the Lord lives,” Micaiah answered, “I will speak only what the Lord tells me.” 15When he came before the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we march upon Ramoth-gilead for battle, or shall we not?” He answered him, “March and triumph! The Lord will deliver [it] into Your Majesty’s hands.” 16The king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” 17Then he said, “I saw all Israel scattered over the hills like sheep without a shepherd; and the Lord said, ‘These have no master; let everyone return to his home in safety.’” 18“Didn’t I tell you,” said the king of Israel to Jehoshaphat, “that he would not prophesy good fortune for me, but only misfortune?” 19But [Micaiah] said, “I call upon you to hear the word of the Lord! I saw the Lord seated upon His throne, with all the host of heaven standing in attendance to the right and to the left of Him. 20The Lord asked, ‘Who will entice Ahab so that he will march and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ Then one said thus and another said thus, 21until a certain spirit came forward and stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ ‘How?’ the Lord asked him. 22And he replied, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then He said, ‘You will entice and you will prevail. Go out and do it.’ 23So the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours; for the Lord has decreed disaster upon you.”
24Thereupon Zedekiah son of Chenaanah stepped up and struck Micaiah on the cheek, and demanded, “Which way did the spirit of the Lord pass from me to speak with you?” 25And Micaiah replied, “You’ll find out on the day when you try to hide in the innermost room.” 26Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and turn him over to Amon, the city’s governor, and to Prince Joash, 27and say, ‘The king’s orders are: Put this fellow in prison, and let his fare be scant bread and scant water until I come home safe.’” 28To which Micaiah retorted, “If you ever come home safe, the Lord has not spoken through me.” He said further, “Listen, all you peoples!”
29So the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah marched upon Ramoth-gilead. 30The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Disguise yourself and go into the battle; but you, wear your robes.” So the king of Israel went into the battle disguised. 31Now the king of Aram had instructed his thirty-two chariot officers: “Don’t attack anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel.” 32So when the chariot officers saw Jehoshaphat, whom they took for the king of Israel, they turned upon him to attack him, and Jehoshaphat cried out. 33And when the chariot officers became aware that he was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 34Then a man drew his bow at random and he hit the king of Israel between the plates of the armor; and he said to his charioteer, “Turn the horses around and get me behind the lines; I’m wounded.” 35The battle raged all day long, and the king remained propped up in the chariot facing Aram; the blood from the wound ran down into the hollow of the chariot, and at dusk he died. 36As the sun was going down, a shout went through the army: “Every man to his own town! Every man to his own district.”
37So the king died and was brought to Samaria. They buried the king in Samaria, 38and they flushed out the chariot at the pool of Samaria. Thus the dogs lapped up his blood and the whores bathed [in it], in accordance with the word that the Lord had spoken.
39The other events of Ahab’s reign, and all his actions—the ivory palace that he built and all the towns that he fortified—are all recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 40Ahab slept with his fathers, and his son Ahaziah succeeded him as king.
41Jehoshaphat son of Asa had become king of Judah in the fourth year of King Ahab of Israel. 42Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for twenty-five years. His mother’s name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi. 43He followed closely the course of his father Asa and did not deviate from it, doing what was pleasing to the Lord. 44However, the shrines did not cease to function; the people still sacrificed and offered at the shrines. 45And further, Jehoshaphat submitted to the king of Israel. 46As for the other events of Jehoshaphat’s reign and the valor he displayed in battle, they are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Judah. ( 47He also stamped out the remaining male prostitutes who had survived in the land from the time of his father Asa.)
48There was no king in Edom; a viceroy acted as king. 49Jehosha- phat constructed Tarshish ships to sail to Ophir for gold. But he did not sail because the ships were wrecked at Ezion-geber. 50Then Ahaziah son of Ahab proposed to Jehoshaphat, “Let my servants sail on the ships with your servants”; but Jehoshaphat would not agree. 51Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of his father David, and his son Jehoram succeeded him as king.
52[Meanwhile,] Ahaziah son of Ahab had become king of Israel, in Samaria, in the seventeenth year of King Jehoshaphat of Judah; he reigned over Israel two years. 53He did what was displeasing to the Lord, following in the footsteps of his father and his mother, and in those of Jeroboam son of Nebat who had caused Israel to sin. 54He worshiped Baal and bowed down to him; he vexed the Lord, the God of Israel, just as his father had done.