For three years there wasn't any war between Aram and Israel.
In the third year Jehoshaphat went down to see Ahab, the king of Israel. Jehoshaphat was king of Judah.
The king of Israel had spoken to his officials. He had said, "Don't you know that Ramoth Gilead belongs to us? And we aren't even doing anything to take it back from the king of Aram."
So Ahab asked Jehoshaphat, "Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?" Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, "Yes. I'll go with you. My men will go with you. My horses will also go with you."
Jehoshaphat continued, "First ask the LORD for advice."
So the king of Israel brought about 400 prophets together. He asked them, "Should I go to war against Ramoth Gilead? Or should I stay here?" "Go," they answered. "The Lord will hand it over to you."
But Jehoshaphat asked, "Isn't there a prophet of the LORD here? If there is, ask him what we should do."
The 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.
So the king of Israel called for one of his officials. He told him, "Bring Micaiah, the son of Imlah, at once."
The 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.
Zedekiah 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.' "
All 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."
A 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."
But 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 the LORD tells me to say."
When 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 LORD will hand Ramoth Gilead over to you."
The 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."
Then 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.' "
The 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."
Micaiah 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. So all of them were standing around him.
The LORD said, 'Who will try to get Ahab to attack Ramoth Gilead? I want him to die there.' "One angel suggested one thing. Another suggested something else.
Finally, 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. "The spirit said, 'I'll go out 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.'
"So the LORD has put lies in the mouths of all of your prophets. He has said that great harm will come to you."
Then 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?"
Micaiah replied, "You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inside room to save your life."
Then 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.
Tell him, 'The king says, "Put this fellow in prison. Don't give him anything but bread and water until I return safely." ' "
Micaiah 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!"
So the king of Israel went up to Ramoth Gilead. Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, went there too.
The 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.
The king of Aram had given an order to his 32 chariot commanders. He had said, "Fight only against the king of Israel. Don't fight against anyone else."
The chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat. They thought, "That has to be the king of Israel." So they turned to attack him. But Jehoshaphat cried out.
Then the commanders saw he wasn't the king of Israel after all. So they stopped chasing him.
But someone shot an arrow without taking aim. The arrow hit the king of Israel between the parts of his armor. The king told his chariot driver, "Turn the chariot around. Get me out of this battle. I've been wounded."
All day long the battle continued. The king kept himself standing up by leaning against the inside of his chariot. He kept his face toward the men of Aram. The blood from his wound ran down onto the floor of the chariot. That evening he died.
As the sun was setting, a cry spread through the army. "Every man must go to his own town!" they said. "Everyone must go to his own land!"
So the king died. He was brought to Samaria. They buried his body there.
They washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria. It was where the prostitutes took baths. The dogs licked up Ahab's blood. It happened exactly as the LORD had said it would.
The other events of Ahab's rule are written down. Everything he did is written down. That includes the palace he built and decorated with ivory. It also includes the cities he built up and put high walls around. All of those things are written in the official records of the kings of Israel.
Ahab joined the members of his family who had already died. His son Ahaziah became the next king after him.
Jehoshaphat began to rule over Judah. It was in the fourth year that Ahab was king of Israel. Jehoshaphat was the son of Asa.
Jehoshaphat was 35 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 25 years. His mother's name was Azubah. She was the daughter of Shilhi.
Jehoshaphat followed all of the ways of his father Asa. He didn't wander away from them. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. But the high places weren't removed. The people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense at them.
Jehoshaphat was also at peace with the king of Israel.
The other events of Jehoshaphat's rule are written down. The brave things he did in battle and everything else he accomplished are written down. All of those things are written in the official records of the kings of Judah.
Jehoshaphat got rid of the rest of the male prostitutes who were at the temples. They had remained in the land even after the rule of his father Asa.
At that time Edom didn't have a king. An appointed official was in charge.
Jehoshaphat built many ships that he used to carry goods to be traded. The ships were supposed to go to Ophir for gold. But they never had a chance to sail. They were wrecked at Ezion Geber.
At that time Ahaziah, the son of Ahab, spoke to Jehoshaphat. He said, "Let my men sail with yours." But Jehoshaphat refused.
Jehoshaphat joined the members of his family who had already died. His body was buried in the family tomb in the city of King David. His son Jehoram became the next king after him.
Ahaziah became king of Israel in Samaria. It was in the 17th year that Jehoshaphat was king of Judah. Ahaziah ruled over Israel for two years. He was the son of Ahab.
Ahaziah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He lived the way his father and mother had lived. He lived the way Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, had lived. Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit sin.
Ahaziah served and worshiped the god Baal. He made the Lord, the God of Israel, very angry. That's exactly what his father had done.