1 Kings 22:1-40

Micaiah Prophesies Against Ahab

1 For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel.
2 But in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to see the king of Israel.
3 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?”
4 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.”
5 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the LORD.”
6 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.”
7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?”
8 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet 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 such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied.
9 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”
10 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.
11 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.’ ”
12 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.”
13 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.”
14 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what the LORD tells me.”
15 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.”
16 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?”
17 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.’ ”
18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”
19 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left.
20 And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ “One suggested this, and another that.
21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’
22 “ ‘By what means?’ the LORD asked. “ ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. “ ‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.’
23 “So now the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you.”
24 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from[a] the LORD go when he went from me to speak to you?” he asked.
25 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.”
26 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
27 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.’ ”
28 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the LORD has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!”

Ahab Killed at Ramoth Gilead

29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead.
30 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.
31 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.”
32 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,
33 the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel and stopped pursuing him.
34 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.”
35 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.
36 As the sun was setting, a cry spread through the army: “Every man to his town. Every man to his land!”
37 So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried him there.
38 They washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria (where the prostitutes bathed),[b] and the dogs licked up his blood, as the word of the LORD had declared.
39 As for the other events of Ahab’s reign, including all he did, the palace he built and adorned with ivory, and the cities he fortified, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
40 Ahab rested with his ancestors. And Ahaziah his son succeeded him as king.

1 Kings 22:1-40 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 KINGS 22

This chapter relates, that after three years' peace with the king of Syria, Ahab was inclined to go to war with him, to take Ramothgilead out of his hands; and he drew in Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, to join him in it, 1Ki 22:1-4, but before they went into it, they took advice, Ahab of his four hundred prophets, which Jehoshaphat not being satisfied with, a true prophet of the Lord, Micahah, was sent for, 1Ki 22:5-14 who, when he came, jeered Ahab with what his prophets had said to him; intimated that he should be killed, and explained it to him how he came to be deceived by his prophets, 1Ki 22:15-23 upon which he was smitten on the cheek by Zedekiah, one of the false prophets, and imprisoned by the order of Ahab, 1Ki 22:24-28, after which the two kings went to the battle, and Jehoshaphat was in great danger of his life; but Ahab was wounded, and died, 1Ki 22:29-40, and the chapter is concluded with an account of the reign of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, 1Ki 22:41-50, and of Ahaziah king of Israel, 1Ki 22:51-53.

1 Kings 22:1-40 In-Context

1 For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel.
2 But in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to see the king of Israel.
3 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?”
4 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.”
5 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the LORD.”
6 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.”
7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?”
8 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet 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 such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied.
9 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”
10 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.
11 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.’ ”
12 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.”
13 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.”
14 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what the LORD tells me.”
15 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.”
16 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?”
17 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.’ ”
18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”
19 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left.
20 And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ “One suggested this, and another that.
21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’
22 “ ‘By what means?’ the LORD asked. “ ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. “ ‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.’
23 “So now the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you.”
24 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.
25 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.”
26 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
27 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.’ ”
28 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the LORD has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!”
29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead.
30 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.
31 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.”
32 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,
33 the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel and stopped pursuing him.
34 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.”
35 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.
36 As the sun was setting, a cry spread through the army: “Every man to his town. Every man to his land!”
37 So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried him there.
38 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.
39 As for the other events of Ahab’s reign, including all he did, the palace he built and adorned with ivory, and the cities he fortified, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
40 Ahab rested with his ancestors. And Ahaziah his son succeeded him as king.
41 Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king of Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel.
42 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.
43 In everything he followed 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.
44 Jehoshaphat was also at peace with the king of Israel.

Cross References 35

  • 1. S Deuteronomy 4:43; Joshua 21:38
  • 2. 2 Kings 3:7
  • 3. Exodus 33:7; 2 Kings 3:11; Job 38:2; Psalms 32:8; Psalms 73:24; Psalms 107:11
  • 4. S Judges 18:6; 1 Kings 18:19
  • 5. S 1 Kings 13:18
  • 6. Deuteronomy 18:15; 2 Kings 3:11; 2 Kings 5:8
  • 7. S Numbers 27:21; 2 Kings 3:11
  • 8. Amos 5:10
  • 9. ver 13; Isaiah 5:20; Isaiah 30:10; Jeremiah 23:17
  • 10. ver 6; S Judges 6:37
  • 11. ver 24
  • 12. Deuteronomy 33:17; Jeremiah 27:2; Jeremiah 28:10; Zechariah 1:18-21
  • 13. S ver 8
  • 14. S Numbers 22:18; Numbers 24:13; S 1 Samuel 3:17; 1 Kings 18:10,15
  • 15. S Genesis 11:4; Nahum 3:18
  • 16. ver 34-36; Numbers 27:17; Isaiah 13:14; S Matthew 9:36
  • 17. Psalms 47:8; Isaiah 6:1; Isaiah 63:15; Ezekiel 1:26; Daniel 7:9
  • 18. Job 1:6; Job 2:1; Job 15:8; Job 38:7; Psalms 103:20-21; Psalms 148:2; Jeremiah 23:18,22; Lk Job 2:13; Matthew 18:10; Hebrews 1:7,14
  • 19. S Judges 9:23; 1 Samuel 16:14; 1 Samuel 18:10; 1 Samuel 19:9; Ezekiel 14:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:11
  • 20. S Deuteronomy 13:3
  • 21. Ezekiel 14:9
  • 22. S Deuteronomy 31:29
  • 23. ver 11
  • 24. Acts 23:2
  • 25. Job 26:4
  • 26. 1 Kings 20:30
  • 27. 2 Chronicles 16:10; Jeremiah 20:2; Jeremiah 26:21; Jeremiah 37:15; Hebrews 11:36
  • 28. S Deuteronomy 18:22
  • 29. S 1 Samuel 28:8; 2Ch 35:32
  • 30. S Genesis 10:22; S 2 Samuel 10:19
  • 31. S 2 Samuel 17:2
  • 32. 2 Kings 9:24; 2 Chronicles 35:23
  • 33. 2 Kings 14:12
  • 34. S 1 Kings 21:19
  • 35. 2 Chronicles 9:17; Psalms 45:8; Amos 3:15

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "Spirit of"
  • [b]. Or "Samaria and cleaned the weapons"
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