1 Kings 22

Listen to 1 Kings 22

Ahab and the False Prophets

1 For three years Syria and Israel continued without war.
2 1But in the third year 2Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel.
3 And the king of Israel said to his servants, "Do you know that 3Ramoth-gilead belongs to us, and we keep quiet and do not take it out of the hand of the king of Syria?"
4 And he said to Jehoshaphat, "Will you go with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead?" And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, 4"I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses."
5 And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, "Inquire first for the word of the LORD."
6 Then the king of Israel 5gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, "Shall I go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I refrain?" And they said, "Go up, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king."
7 But 6Jehoshaphat said, "Is there not here another prophet of the LORD of whom we may inquire?"
8 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, Micaiah the son of Imlah, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil." And Jehoshaphat said, "Let not the king say so."
9 Then the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, "Bring quickly Micaiah the son of Imlah."
10 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting on their thrones, arrayed in their robes, at the threshing floor 7at the entrance of the gate of Samaria, and all the prophets were prophesying before them.
11 And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made for himself 8horns of iron and said, "Thus says the LORD, 'With these 9you shall push the Syrians until they are destroyed.'"
12 And all the prophets prophesied so and said, "Go up to Ramoth-gilead and triumph; the LORD will give it into the hand of the king."

Micaiah Prophesies Against Ahab

13 And the messenger who went to summon Micaiah said to him, "Behold, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king. Let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably."
14 But Micaiah said, 10"As the LORD lives, 11what the LORD says to me, that I will speak."
15 And when he had come to the king, the king said to him, "Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?" And he answered him, "Go up and triumph; the LORD will give it into the hand of the king."
16 But the king said to him, "How many times shall I make you swear that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?"
17 And he said, "I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, 12as sheep that have no shepherd. And the LORD said, 'These have no master; let each return to his home in peace.'"
18 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, 13"Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?"
19 And Micaiah said, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: 14I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, 15and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left;
20 and the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?' And one said one thing, and another said another.
21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, 'I will entice him.'
22 And the LORD said to him, 'By what means?' And he said, 'I will go out, and will be 16a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' And he said, 'You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.'
23 Now therefore behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the LORD has declared disaster for you."
24 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near 17and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, "How did the Spirit of the LORD go from me to speak to you?"
25 And Micaiah said, "Behold, you shall see on that day when you go 18into an inner chamber to hide yourself."
26 And the king of Israel said, "Seize Micaiah, and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king's son,
27 and say, 'Thus says the king, 19"Put this fellow in prison and feed him meager rations of bread and water, 20until I come in peace."'"
28 And Micaiah said, "If you return in peace, 21the LORD has not spoken by me." And he said, 22"Hear, all you peoples!"

Ahab Killed in Battle

29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead.
30 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, 23"I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes." And the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.
31 Now the king of Syria had commanded 24the thirty-two captains of his chariots, "Fight with neither small nor great, but only with the king of Israel."
32 And when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, "It is surely the king of Israel." So they turned to fight against him. And Jehoshaphat cried out.
33 And when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.
34 But a certain man drew his bow at random[a] and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, "Turn around and carry me out of the battle, 25for I am wounded."
35 And the battle continued that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians, until at evening he died. And the blood of the wound flowed into the bottom of the chariot.
36 And about sunset a cry went through the army, "Every man to his city, and every man to his country!"
37 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria. And they buried the king in Samaria.
38 And they washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood, and the prostitutes washed themselves in it, 26according to the word of the LORD that he had spoken.
39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab and all that he did, and 27the ivory house that he built and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
40 So Ahab slept with his fathers, and Ahaziah his son reigned in his place.

Jehoshaphat Reigns in Judah

41 28Jehoshaphat the son of 29Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel.
42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.
43 30He walked in all the way of Asa his father. He did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the LORD. Yet 31the high places were not taken away, and the people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places.
44 32Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel.
45 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might that he showed, and how he warred, are they not written 33in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?
46 And from the land he exterminated the remnant 34of the male cult prostitutes who remained in the days of his father Asa.
47 35There was no king in Edom; a deputy was king.
48 Jehoshaphat made 36ships of Tarshish to go to 37Ophir for gold, but they did not go, for the ships were wrecked at 38Ezion-geber.
49 Then Ahaziah the son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, "Let my servants go with your servants in the ships," but Jehoshaphat was not willing.
50 39And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father, and Jehoram his son reigned in his place.

Ahaziah Reigns in Israel

51 Ahaziah the son of Ahab 40began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel.
52 He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD 41and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
53 42He served Baal and worshiped him and provoked the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger 43in every way that 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.

Cross References 43

  • 1. For ver. 1-35, see 2 Chronicles 18:2-34
  • 2. 1 Kings 15:24
  • 3. Deuteronomy 4:43; Joshua 21:38; 2 Kings 8:28; 2 Kings 9:1, 14; 2 Chronicles 22:5
  • 4. 2 Kings 3:7
  • 5. 1 Kings 18:19
  • 6. 2 Kings 3:11
  • 7. See Ruth 4:1
  • 8. [Zechariah 1:18, 19]
  • 9. [Deuteronomy 33:17]
  • 10. See 1 Kings 17:1
  • 11. Numbers 22:18; Numbers 24:13
  • 12. Numbers 27:17; Matthew 9:36
  • 13. ver. 8
  • 14. Isaiah 6:1; Daniel 7:9; Revelation 4:2
  • 15. [Deuteronomy 33:2; Job 1:6; Job 2:1; Psalms 103:21; Daniel 7:10; Hebrews 12:22]
  • 16. [Judges 9:23; Ezekiel 14:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:11]
  • 17. [Lamentations 3:30; Micah 5:1; Matthew 5:39; Acts 23:2]
  • 18. 1 Kings 20:30
  • 19. [2 Chronicles 16:10]
  • 20. [Judges 8:9]
  • 21. [Numbers 16:29; Deuteronomy 18:22]
  • 22. Micah 1:2
  • 23. 2 Chronicles 35:22
  • 24. [1 Kings 20:1, 16, 24]
  • 25. [2 Chronicles 35:23]
  • 26. 1 Kings 21:19
  • 27. [Amos 3:15]
  • 28. For ver. 41-43, see 2 Chronicles 20:31-33
  • 29. ver. 51
  • 30. [2 Chronicles 17:3]
  • 31. [1 Kings 15:14; 2 Kings 12:3]
  • 32. [2 Chronicles 18:1; 2 Chronicles 20:35, 36]
  • 33. [2 Chronicles 20:34]
  • 34. 1 Kings 14:24; 1 Kings 15:12
  • 35. [2 Samuel 8:14; 2 Kings 3:9; 2 Kings 8:20]
  • 36. See 1 Kings 10:22
  • 37. See 1 Kings 9:28
  • 38. See 1 Kings 9:26
  • 39. 2 Chronicles 21:1
  • 40. ver. 40
  • 41. [1 Kings 15:26]
  • 42. 1 Kings 16:30
  • 43. [1 Kings 16:31, 32]

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew in his innocence

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.