1 Kings 22

1 For three years there was peace between Israel and Aram.
2 During the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went to visit Ahab king of Israel.
3 At that time Ahab asked his officers, "Do you remember that the king of Aram took Ramoth in Gilead from us? Why have we done nothing to get it back?"
4 So Ahab asked King Jehoshaphat, "Will you go with me to fight at Ramoth in Gilead?" "I will go with you," Jehoshaphat answered. "My soldiers are yours, and my horses are yours."
5 Jehoshaphat also said to Ahab, "But first we should ask if this is the Lord's will."
6 Ahab called about four hundred prophets together and asked them, "Should I go to war against Ramoth in Gilead or not?" They answered, "Go, because the Lord will hand them over to you."
7 But Jehoshaphat asked, "Isn't there a prophet of the Lord here? Let's ask him what we should do."
8 Then King Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, "There is one other prophet. We could ask the Lord through him, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything good about me, but something bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah." Jehoshaphat said, "King Ahab, you shouldn't say that!"
9 So Ahab king of Israel told one of his officers to bring Micaiah to him at once.
10 Ahab king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah had on their royal robes and were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor, near the entrance to the gate of Samaria. All the prophets were standing before them, speaking their messages.
11 Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made some iron horns. He said to Ahab, "This is what the Lord says, 'You will use these horns to fight the Arameans until they are destroyed.'"
12 All the other prophets said the same thing. "Attack Ramoth in Gilead and win, because the Lord will hand the Arameans over to you."
13 The messenger who had gone to get Micaiah said to him, "All the other prophets are saying King Ahab will succeed. You should agree with them and give the king a good answer."
14 But Micaiah answered, "As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me."
15 When Micaiah came to Ahab, the king asked him, "Micaiah, should we attack Ramoth in Gilead or not?" Micaiah answered, "Attack and win! The Lord will hand them over to you."
16 But Ahab said to Micaiah, "How many times do I have to tell you to speak only the truth to me in the name of the Lord?"
17 So Micaiah answered, "I saw the army of Israel scattered over the hills like sheep without a shepherd. The Lord said, 'They have no leaders. They should go home and not fight.'"
18 Then Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "I told you! He never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad."
19 But Micaiah said, "Hear the message from the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with his heavenly army standing near him on his right and on his left.
20 The Lord said, 'Who will trick Ahab into attacking Ramoth in Gilead where he will be killed?' "Some said one thing; some said another.
21 Then one spirit came and stood before the Lord and said, 'I will trick him.'
22 "The Lord asked, 'How will you do it?' "The spirit answered, 'I will go to Ahab's prophets and make them tell lies.' "So the Lord said, 'You will succeed in tricking him. Go and do it.'"
23 Micaiah said, "Ahab, the Lord has made your prophets lie to you, and the Lord has decided that disaster should come to you."
24 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up to Micaiah and slapped him in the face. Zedekiah said, "Has the Lord's spirit left me to speak through you?"
25 Micaiah answered, "You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inside room."
26 Then Ahab king of Israel ordered, "Take Micaiah and send him to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Joash, the king's son.
27 Tell them I said to put this man in prison and give him only bread and water until I return safely from the battle."
28 Micaiah said, "Ahab, if you come back safely from battle, the Lord has not spoken through me. Remember my words, all you people!"
29 So Ahab king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went to Ramoth in Gilead.
30 King Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, "I will go into battle, but I will wear other clothes so no one will recognize me. But you wear your royal clothes." So Ahab wore other clothes and went into battle.
31 The king of Aram had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, "Don't fight with anyone -- important or unimportant -- except the king of Israel."
32 When these commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought he was certainly the king of Israel, so they turned to attack him. But Jehoshaphat began shouting.
33 When they saw he was not King Ahab, they stopped chasing him.
34 By chance, a soldier shot an arrow, but he hit Ahab king of Israel between the pieces of his armor. King Ahab said to his chariot driver, "Turn around and get me out of the battle, because I am hurt!"
35 The battle continued all day. King Ahab was held up in his chariot and faced the Arameans. His blood flowed down to the bottom of the chariot. That evening he died.
36 Near sunset a cry went out through the army of Israel: "Each man go back to his own city and land."
37 In that way King Ahab died. His body was carried to Samaria and buried there.
38 The men cleaned Ahab's chariot at a pool in Samaria where prostitutes bathed, and the dogs licked his blood from the chariot. These things happened as the Lord had said they would.
39 Everything else Ahab did is written in the book of the history of the kings of Israel. It tells about the palace Ahab built and decorated with ivory and the cities he built.
40 So Ahab died, and his son Ahaziah became king in his place.
41 Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king of Judah during Ahab's fourth year as king of Israel.
42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he ruled in Jerusalem for twenty-five years. His mother's name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi.
43 Jehoshaphat was good, like his father Asa, and he did what the Lord said was right. But Jehoshaphat did not destroy the places where gods were worshiped, so the people continued offering sacrifices and burning incense there.
44 Jehoshaphat was at peace with the king of Israel.
45 Jehoshaphat fought many wars, and these wars and his successes are written in the book of the history of the kings of Judah.
46 There were male prostitutes still in the places of worship from the days of his father, Asa. So Jehoshaphat forced them to leave.
47 During this time the land of Edom had no king; it was ruled by a governor.
48 King Jehoshaphat built trading ships to sail to Ophir for gold. But the ships were wrecked at Ezion Geber, so they never set sail.
49 Ahaziah son of Ahab went to help Jehoshaphat, offering to give Jehoshaphat some men to sail with his men, but Jehoshaphat refused.
50 Jehoshaphat died and was buried with his ancestors in Jerusalem, the city of David, his ancestor. Then his son Jehoram became king in his place.
51 Ahaziah son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria during Jehoshaphat's seventeenth year as king over Judah. Ahaziah ruled Israel for two years,
52 and he did what the Lord said was wrong. He did the same evil his father Ahab, his mother Jezebel, and Jeroboam son of Nebat had done. All these rulers led the people of Israel into more sin.
53 Ahaziah worshiped and served the god Baal, and this made the Lord, the God of Israel, very angry. In these ways Ahaziah did what 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.

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

Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.