1 Kings 22

Jehoshaphat and Ahab

1 For three years there was no war between Aram and the Israelites.
2 In the third year, Judah's King Jehoshaphat visited Israel's king.
3 Israel's king said to his servants, "You know, don't you, that Ramoth-gilead is ours? But we aren't doing anything to take it back from the king of Aram."
4 He said to Jehoshaphat, "Will you go with me into battle at Ramoth-gilead?" Jehoshaphat said to Israel's king, "I am with you, and my troops and my horses are united with yours.
5 But," Jehoshapat said to Israel's king, "first let's see what the LORD has to say."
6 So Israel's king gathered about four hundred prophets, and he asked them, "Should I go to war with Ramoth-gilead or not?" "Attack!" the prophets answered. "The LORD will hand it over to the king."
7 But Jehoshaphat said, "Isn't there any other prophet of the Lord whom we could ask?"
8 "There is one other man who could ask the LORD for us," Israel's king told Jehoshaphat, "but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, only bad. His name is Micaiah, Imlah's son." "The king shouldn't speak like that!" Jehoshaphat said.
9 So Israel's king called an officer and ordered, "Bring Micaiah, Imlah's son, right away."
10 Now Israel's king and Judah's King Jehoshaphat were sitting on their thrones, dressed in their royal robes at the threshing floor beside the entrance to the gate of Samaria. All the prophets were prophesying in front of them.
11 Zedekiah, Chenaanah's son, made iron horns for himself and said, "This is what the LORD says: With these horns you will gore the Arameans until there's nothing left of them!"
12 All the other prophets agreed: "Attack Ramoth-gilead and win! The LORD will hand it over to the king!"
13 Meanwhile, the messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, "Listen, the prophets all agree that the king will succeed. You should say the same thing they say and prophesy success."
14 But Micaiah answered, "As surely as the LORD lives, I will say only what the LORD tells me to say."
15 When Micaiah arrived, the king asked him, "Micaiah, should we go to war with Ramoth-gilead or not?" "Attack and win!" Micaiah answered. "The LORD will hand it over to the king!"
16 But the king said, "How many times must I demand that you tell me the truth when you speak in the name of the LORD?"
17 Then Micaiah replied, "I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd! And then the LORD said: They have no master. Let them return safely to their own homes."
18 Then Israel's king said to Jehoshaphat, "Didn't I tell you? He never prophesies anything good about me, only bad."
19 Then Micaiah said, "Listen now to the LORD's word: I saw the LORD enthroned with all the heavenly forces stationed beside him, at his right and at his left.
20 The LORD said, ‘Who will persuade Ahab so that he attacks Ramoth-gilead and dies there?' There were many suggestions
21 until one particular spirit approached the LORD and said, ‘I'll persuade him.' ‘How?' the LORD asked.
22 ‘I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets,' he said. The LORD agreed, ‘You will succeed in persuading him! Go ahead!'
23 So now, since the LORD has placed a lying spirit in the mouths of every one of these prophets of yours, it is the LORD who has pronounced disaster against you!"
24 Zedekiah, Chenaanah's son, approached Micaiah and slapped him on the cheek. "Just how did the LORD's spirit leave me to speak to you?" he asked.
25 Micaiah answered, "You will find out on the day you try to hide in an inner room."
26 "Arrest him," ordered Israel's king, "and turn him over to Amon the city official and to Joash the king's son.
27 Tell them, ‘The king says: Put this man in prison and feed him minimum rations of bread and water until I return safely.'"
28 "If you ever return safely," Micaiah replied, "then the LORD wasn't speaking through me." Then he added, "Pay attention, every last one of you!"
29 So Israel's king and Judah's King Jehoshaphat attacked Ramoth-gilead.
30 Israel's king said to Jehoshaphat, "I will disguise myself when we go into battle, but you should wear your royal attire." When Israel's king had disguised himself, they entered the battle.
31 Meanwhile, Aram's king had commanded his thirty-two chariot officers, "Don't bother with anyone big or small. Fight only with Israel's king."
32 As soon as the chariot officers saw Jehoshaphat, they assumed that he must be Israel's king, so they turned to attack him. But Jehoshaphat cried out for help.
33 When the chariot officers realized that he wasn't Israel's king, they stopped chasing him.
34 But someone randomly shot an arrow that struck Israel's king between the joints in his armor. "Turn around and get me out of the battle," the king told his chariot driver. "I've been hit!"
35 While the battle raged all that day, the king stood propped up in the chariot facing the Arameans. But that evening he died after his blood had poured from his wound into the chariot.
36 When the sun set, a shout spread throughout the camp: "Retreat to your towns! Retreat to your land!"
37 Once the king had died, people came from Samaria and buried the king there.
38 They cleaned the chariot at the pool of Samaria. The dogs licked up the king's blood and the prostitutes bathed in it, just as the LORD had spoken.

Ahab’s last days

39 The rest of Ahab's deeds and all that he did—including the ivory palace he built and all the towns he constructed—aren't they written in the official records of Israel's kings?
40 Ahab lay down with his ancestors. His son Ahaziah succeeded him as king.

Jehoshaphat rules Judah

41 Jehoshaphat, Asa's son, became king over Judah in the fourth year of Israel's King Ahab.
42 Jehoshaphat was 35 years old when he became king, and he ruled for twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Azubah; she was Shilhi's daughter.
43 Jehoshapat walked in all the ways of his father Asa, not deviating from it. He did the right things in the LORD's eyes, with the exception that he didn't remove the shrines. The people continued to sacrifice and offer incense at them.
44 Jehoshaphat made peace with Israel's king.
45 The rest of Jehoshaphat's deeds, the great acts he did, and how he fought in battle, aren't they written in the official records of Judah's kings?
46 Additionally, Jehoshaphat purged the land of the consecrated workers who remained from the days of Asa.
47 Now Edom had no king; only a deputy was ruler.
48 Jehoshaphat built Tarshish-styled ships to go to Ophir for gold. But the fleet didn't go because it was wrecked at Ezion-geber.
49 Then Ahaziah, Ahab's son, said to Jehoshaphat, "Let my sailors go with your sailors on the ships." But Jehoshaphat didn't agree to this.
50 Jehoshaphat died and was buried with his ancestors in his ancestor David's City. His son Jehoram succeeded him as king.

Ahaziah rules Israel

51 In the seventeenth year of Judah's King Jehoshaphat, Ahaziah, Ahab's son, became king over Israel in Samaria. He ruled over Israel for two years.
52 He did evil in the LORD's eyes. He walked in his father's ways and his mother's ways—that is, in the ways of Jeroboam, Nebat's son, who had caused Israel to sin.
53 Ahaziah served Baal and worshipped him. He angered the LORD, Israel's God, by doing all the same things his father had done.

1 Kings 22 Commentary

Chapter 22

Jehoshaphat makes a league with Ahab. (1-14) Micaiah predicts the death of Ahab. (15-28) Death of Ahab. (29-40) Jehoshaphat's good reign over Judah. (41-50) Ahaziah's evil reign over Israel. (51-53)

Verses 1-14 The same easiness of temper, which betrays some godly persons into friendship with the declared enemies of religion, renders it very dangerous to them. They will be drawn to wink at and countenance such conduct and conversation as they ought to protest against with abhorrence. Whithersoever a good man goes, he ought to take his religion with him, and not be ashamed to own it when he is with those who have no regard for it. Jehoshaphat had not left behind him, at Jerusalem, his affection and reverence for the word of the Lord, but avowed it, and endeavoured to bring it into Ahab's court. And Ahab's prophets, to please Jehoshaphat, made use of the name of Jehovah: to please Ahab, they said, Go up. But the false prophets cannot so mimic the true, but that he who has spiritual senses exercised, can discern the fallacy. One faithful prophet of the Lord was worth them all. Wordly men have in all ages been alike absurd in their views of religion. They would have the preacher fit his doctrine to the fashion of the times, and the taste of the hearers, and yet to add. Thus saith the Lord, to words that men would put into their mouths. They are ready to cry out against a man as rude and foolish, who scruples thus to try to secure his own interests, and to deceive others.

Verses 15-28 The greatest kindness we can do to one that is going in a dangerous way, is, to tell him of his danger. To leave the hardened criminal without excuse, and to give a useful lesson to others, Micaiah related his vision. This matter is represented after the manner of men: we are not to imagine that God is ever put upon new counsels; or that he needs to consult with angels, or any creature, about the methods he should take; or that he is the author of sin, or the cause of any man's telling or believing a lie. Micaiah returned not the blow of Zedekiah, yet, since he boasted of the Spirit, as those commonly do that know least of the Holy Spirit's operations, the true prophet left him to be convinced of his error by the event. Those that will not have their mistakes set right in time, by the word of God, will be undeceived, when it is too late, by the judgments of God. We should be ashamed of what we call trials, were we to consider what the servants of God have endured. Yet it will be well, if freedom from trouble prove not more hurtful to us; we are more easily allured and bribed into unfaithfulness and conformity to the world, than driven to them.

Verses 29-40 Ahab basely intended to betray Johoshaphat to danger, that he might secure himself. See what they get that join with wicked men. How can it be expected that he should be true to his friend, who has been false to his God! He had said in compliment to Ahab, I am as thou art, and now he was indeed taken for him. Those that associate with evil-doers, are in danger of sharing in their plagues. By Jehoshaphat's deliverance, God let him know, that though he was displeased with him, yet he had not deserted him. God is a friend that will not fail us when other friends do. Let no man think to hide himself from God's judgment. God directed the arrow to hit Ahab; those cannot escape with life, whom God has doomed to death. Ahab lived long enough to see part of Micaiah's prophecy accomplished. He had time to feel himself die; with what horror must he have thought upon the wickedness he had committed!

Verses 41-50 Jehoshaphat's reign appears to have been one of the best, both as to piety and prosperity. He pleased God, and God blessed him.

Verses 51-53 Ahaziah's reign was very short, not two years; some sinners God makes quick work with. A very bad character is given of him; he listened not to instruction, took no warning, but followed the example of his wicked father, and the counsel of his more wicked mother, Jezebel, who was still living. Miserable are the children who not only derive a sinful nature from their parents, but are taught by them to increase it; and most unhappy parents are they, that help to damn their children's souls. Hardened sinners rush forward, unawed and unmoved, in the ways from which others before them have been driven into everlasting misery.

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. LXX, Tg; MT Disguise yourself and go
  • [b]. Heb uncertain
  • [c]. Traditionally cultic prostitutes

Chapter Summary


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 Commentaries

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