For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel.
But in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to see the king of Israel.
The king of Israel had said to his officials, "Don't you know that Ramoth Gilead1 belongs to us and yet we are doing nothing to retake it from the king of Aram?"
So he asked Jehoshaphat, "Will you go with me to fight2 against Ramoth Gilead?" Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, "I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses."
But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, "First seek the counsel3 of the LORD."
So the king of Israel brought together the prophets--about four hundred men--and asked them, "Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?" "Go,"4 they answered, "for the Lord will give it into the king's hand."57
But Jehoshaphat asked, "Is there not a prophet6 of the LORD here whom we can inquire7 of ?"
The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, "There is still one man through whom we can inquire of the LORD, but I hate8 him because he never prophesies anything good9 about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah." "The king should not say that," Jehoshaphat replied.
So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, "Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once."
Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor10 by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them.
Now Zedekiah11 son of Kenaanah had made iron horns12 and he declared, "This is what the LORD says: 'With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.' "
All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. "Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious," they said, "for the LORD will give it into the king's hand."
The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, "Look, as one man the other prophets are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably."1314
But Micaiah said, "As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what the LORD tells me."1415
When he arrived, the king asked him, "Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?" "Attack and be victorious," he answered, "for the LORD will give it into the king's hand."
The king said to him, "How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?"
Then Micaiah answered, "I saw all Israel scattered15 on the hills like sheep without a shepherd,16 and the LORD said, 'These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.' "
The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "Didn't I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?"
Micaiah continued, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne17 with all the host18 of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left.
And the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?' "One suggested this, and another that.
Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, 'I will entice him.'
" 'By what means?' the LORD asked. " 'I will go out and be a lying19 spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,' he said. " 'You will succeed in enticing him,' said the LORD. 'Go and do it.'
"So now the LORD has put a lying20 spirit in the mouths of all these prophets21 of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster22 for you."
Then Zedekiah23 son of Kenaanah went up and slapped24 Micaiah in the face. "Which way did the spirit froma the LORD go when he went from me to speak25 to you?" he asked.
Micaiah replied, "You will find out on the day you go to hide26 in an inner room."
The king of Israel then ordered, "Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king's son
and say, 'This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison27 and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.' "
Micaiah declared, "If you ever return safely, the LORD has not spoken28 through me." Then he added, "Mark my words, all you people!"
So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead.
The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "I will enter the battle in disguise,29 but you wear your royal robes." So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.
Now the king of Aram30 had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, "Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king31 of Israel."
When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought, "Surely this is the king of Israel." So they turned to attack him, but when Jehoshaphat cried out,
the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel and stopped pursuing him.
But someone drew his bow32 at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor. The king told his chariot driver, "Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I've been wounded."
All day long the battle raged, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran onto the floor of the chariot, and that evening he died.
As the sun was setting, a cry spread through the army: "Every man to his town; everyone to his land!"33