The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, "There is still one through whom we can inquire of the LORD, but I hate1 him because he never prophesies anything good2 about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah." "The king should not say such a thing," 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 floor3 by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them.
Now Zedekiah4 son of Kenaanah had made iron horns5 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, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably."614
But Micaiah said, "As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what the LORD tells me."715
When he arrived, the king asked him, "Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or not?" "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 scattered8 on the hills like sheep without a shepherd,9 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 throne10 with all the host11 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 lying12 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 lying13 spirit in the mouths of all these prophets14 of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster15 for you."
Then Zedekiah16 son of Kenaanah went up and slapped17 Micaiah in the face. "Which way did the spirit froma the LORD go when he went from me to speak18 to you?" he asked.
Micaiah replied, "You will find out on the day you go to hide19 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 prison20 and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.' "
Micaiah declared, "If you ever return safely, the LORD has not spoken21 through me." Then he added, "Mark my words, all you people!"