22:1 And they continued a three years without war between Syria and Israel.
(a) Ben-hadad the king of Syria, and Ahab made a peace which endured three years. 22:2 And it came to pass in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah b came down to the king of Israel.
(b) To see and visit him. 22:3 And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that c Ramoth in Gilead [is] ours, and we [be] still, [and] take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria?
(c) The kings of Syria kept Ramoth before this league was made by Benhadad: therefore he did not think he was bound by it to restore it. 22:4 And he said unto Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramothgilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, d I [am] as thou [art], my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses.
(d) I am ready to join and go with you , and all of mine is at your command. 22:5 And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, e Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day.
(e) He seemed that he would not go to war unless God approved it, yet when Michaiah advised the opposite he would not obey. 22:6 Then the king of Israel gathered the f prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver [it] into the hand of the king.
(f) Meaning the false prophets, who were liars and served for money whom Jezebel had assembled and kept after the death of those whom Elijah slew. 22:7 And Jehoshaphat said, [Is there] not here a prophet of the g LORD besides, that we might enquire of him?
(g) Jehoshaphat did not acknowledge the false prophets to be Gods ministers, but contemned them. 22:8 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, [There is] yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but h I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.
(h) By which we see that the wicked cannot abide to hear the truth, but hate the prophets of God and molest them. 22:9 Then the king of Israel called an i officer, and said, Hasten [hither] Micaiah the son of Imlah.
(i) Read ( Genesis 37:36 ). 22:10 And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their k robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.
(k) In their kingly apparel. 22:11 And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him i horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith the LORD, With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them.
(i) The true prophets of God were accustomed to use signs for the confirmation of their doctrine, ( Isaiah 20:2 ; Jeremiah 7:2 ) in which the false prophets imitated them, thinking by it to make their doctrine more believable. 22:13 And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets [declare] good unto the king with m one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak [that which is] good.
(m) This is the common argument of the wicked, who think that no one should speak against anything if the majority approves of it, be they ever so ungodly. 22:15 So he came to the king. And the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall we forbear? And he answered him, n Go, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver [it] into the hand of the king.
(n) He speaks this in derision, because the king attributed so much to the false prophets, meaning that by experience he should discern that they were liars. 22:17 And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, o These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.
(o) It is better for them to return home than to be punished and scattered because they go to war without Gods counsel and approval. 22:19 And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the p host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.
(p) Meaning, his angels. 22:21 And there came forth a spirit, and q stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.
(q) Here we see that though the devil is always ready to bring us to destruction, yet he has no more power than God gives him. 22:22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a r lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade [him], and prevail also: go forth, and do so.
(r) I will cause all his prophets to tell lies. 22:24 But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, s Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee?
(s) Thus the wicked would that none were in the favour of God but they, and that God has given his graces to none so much as to them. 22:27 And say, Thus saith the king, Put this [fellow] in the prison, and feed him with t bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace.
(t) Let him waste away with hunger and be fed with a small portion of bread and water. 22:28 And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the LORD hath not spoken by me. And he said, v Hearken, O people, every one of you.
(v) That when you see these things come to pass you may give God the glory, and know that I am his true prophet. 22:32 And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, Surely it [is] the king of Israel. And they turned aside to fight against him: and Jehoshaphat x cried out.
(x) That is, to the Lord for help. 22:35 And the battle increased that day: and the y king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot.
(y) That is, Ahab, king of Israel. 22:36 And there went a proclamation throughout the z host about the going down of the sun, saying, Every man to his city, and every man to his own country.
(z) Of the Israelites. 22:43 And he walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing [that which was] right in the eyes of the LORD: nevertheless a the high places were not taken away; [for] the people offered and burnt incense yet in the high places.
(a) Meaning, that he was led with an error, thinking that they might still sacrifice to the Lord in those places, as they did before the temple was built. 22:47 [There was] then no king in Edom: a b deputy [was] king.
(b) In the time of this king, Idumea was subject to Judah, and was governed by whom they of Judah appointed. 22:48 Jehoshaphat made ships of c Tharshish to go to d Ophir for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Eziongeber.
(c) By Tharshish the scripture means Cilicia and all the Mediterranean Sea.
(d) Josephus writes that Ophir is in India, where the Egyptians and Arabians traffic for gold.