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 Gilead 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 fight 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 counsel 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," they answered, "for the Lord will give it into the king's hand."
But Jehoshaphat asked, "Is there not a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of ?"
The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, "There is still one man through whom we can inquire of the LORD, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good 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 floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them.
Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns 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."
But Micaiah said, "As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what the LORD tells me."
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 scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, 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 throne with all the host 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 lying 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 lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you."
Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. "Which way did the spirit from the LORD go when he went from me to speak to you?" he asked.
Micaiah replied, "You will find out on the day you go to hide 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 prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.' "
Micaiah declared, "If you ever return safely, the LORD has not spoken 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, but you wear your royal robes." So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.
Now the king of Aram had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, "Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king 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 bow 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!"
So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried him there.
They washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria (where the prostitutes bathed), and the dogs licked up his blood, as the word of the LORD had declared.
As for the other events of Ahab's reign, including all he did, the palace he built and inlaid with ivory, and the cities he fortified, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
Ahab rested with his fathers. And Ahaziah his son succeeded him as king.
Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king of Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel.
Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother's name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi.
In everything he walked in the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD. The high places, however, were not removed, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.
Jehoshaphat was also at peace with the king of Israel.
As for the other events of Jehoshaphat's reign, the things he achieved and his military exploits, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?
He rid the land of the rest of the male shrine prostitutes who remained there even after the reign of his father Asa.
There was then no king in Edom; a deputy ruled.
Now Jehoshaphat built a fleet of trading ships to go to Ophir for gold, but they never set sail--they were wrecked at Ezion Geber.
At that time Ahaziah son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, "Let my men sail with your men," but Jehoshaphat refused.
Then Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers and was buried with them in the city of David his father. And Jehoram his son succeeded him.
Ahaziah son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years.
He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, because he walked in the ways of his father and mother and in the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin.
He served and worshiped Baal and provoked the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger, just as his father had done.
After Ahab's death, Moab rebelled against Israel.
Now Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, "Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury."
But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, "Go up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, 'Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?'
Therefore this is what the LORD says: 'You will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!' " So Elijah went.
When the messengers returned to the king, he asked them, "Why have you come back?"
"A man came to meet us," they replied. "And he said to us, 'Go back to the king who sent you and tell him, "This is what the LORD says: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending men to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!" ' "
The king asked them, "What kind of man was it who came to meet you and told you this?"
They replied, "He was a man with a garment of hair and with a leather belt around his waist." The king said, "That was Elijah the Tishbite."
Then he sent to Elijah a captain with his company of fifty men. The captain went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, "Man of God, the king says, 'Come down!' "
Elijah answered the captain, "If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!" Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.
At this the king sent to Elijah another captain with his fifty men. The captain said to him, "Man of God, this is what the king says, 'Come down at once!' "
"If I am a man of God," Elijah replied, "may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!" Then the fire of God fell from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men.
So the king sent a third captain with his fifty men. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. "Man of God," he begged, "please have respect for my life and the lives of these fifty men, your servants!
See, fire has fallen from heaven and consumed the first two captains and all their men. But now have respect for my life!"
The angel of the LORD said to Elijah, "Go down with him; do not be afraid of him." So Elijah got up and went down with him to the king.
He told the king, "This is what the LORD says: Is it because there is no God in Israel for you to consult that you have sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Because you have done this, you will never leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!"
So he died, according to the word of the LORD that Elijah had spoken. Because Ahaziah had no son, Joram succeeded him as king in the second year of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah.
As for all the other events of Ahaziah's reign, and what he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there.
Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath.
Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, "Stand up in front of everyone."4
Then Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they remained silent.
He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.
Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed.
When they heard all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon.
Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him.
For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him.
Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, "You are the Son of God."
But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was.
Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him.
He appointed twelve--designating them apostles--that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach
and to have authority to drive out demons.
These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter);
James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder);
Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot
and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.
When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."
And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebub ! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons."
So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: "How can Satan drive out Satan?24If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.25If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.26And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come.27In fact, no one can enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house.28I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them.29But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin."30
He said this because they were saying, "He has an evil spirit."
Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him.
A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, "Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you."
33"Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked.
Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers!35Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."