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1 Kings 22:1-35 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Jehoshaphat’s Alliance with Ahab

22 There was a lull of three years without war between Aram and Israel. However, in the third year, Jehoshaphat king of Judah went to visit the king of Israel. The king of Israel had said to his servants, “Don’t you know that Ramoth-gilead is ours, but we have failed to take it from the hand of the king of Aram?” So he asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to fight Ramoth-gilead?”

Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” But Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “First, please ask what the Lord’s will is.”

So the king of Israel gathered the prophets, about 400 men, and asked them, “Should I go against Ramoth-gilead for war or should I refrain?”

They replied, “March up, and the Lord will hand it over to the king.”

But Jehoshaphat asked, “Isn’t there a prophet of Yahweh here anymore? Let’s ask him.”

The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man who can ask Yahweh, but I hate him because he never prophesies good about me, but only disaster. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”

“The king shouldn’t say that!” Jehoshaphat replied.

So the king of Israel called an officer and said, “Hurry and get Micaiah son of Imlah!”

10 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah, clothed in royal attire, were each sitting on his own throne. They were on the threshing floor at the entrance to Samaria’s gate, and all the prophets were prophesying in front of them. 11 Then Zedekiah son of Chenaanah made iron horns and said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You will gore the Arameans with these until they are finished off.’” 12 And all the prophets were prophesying the same: “March up to Ramoth-gilead and succeed, for the Lord will hand it over to the king.”

Micaiah’s Message of Defeat

13 The messenger who went to call Micaiah instructed him, “Look, the words of the prophets are unanimously favorable for the king. So let your words be like theirs, and speak favorably.”

14 But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, I will say whatever the Lord says to me.”

15 So he went to the king, and the king asked him, “Micaiah, should we go to Ramoth-gilead for war, or should we refrain?”

Micaiah told him, “March up and succeed. Yahweh will hand it over to the king.”

16 But the king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear not to tell me anything but the truth in the name of Yahweh?”

17 So Micaiah said:

I saw all Israel scattered on the hills
like sheep without a shepherd.
And the Lord said,
“They have no master;
let everyone return home in peace.”

18 So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you he never prophesies good about me, but only disaster?”

19 Then Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and the whole heavenly host was standing by Him at His right hand and at His left hand. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to march up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ So one was saying this and another was saying that.

21 “Then a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord, and said, ‘I will entice him.’

22 “The Lord asked him, ‘How?’

“He said, ‘I will go and become a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’

“Then He said, ‘You will certainly entice him and prevail. Go and do that.’

23 “You see, the Lord has put a lying spirit into the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the Lord has pronounced disaster against you.”

24 Then Zedekiah son of Chenaanah came up, hit Micaiah in the face, and demanded, “Did[a] the Spirit of the Lord leave me to speak to you?”

25 Micaiah replied, “You will soon see when you go to hide yourself in an inner chamber on that day.”

26 Then the king of Israel ordered, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Joash, the king’s son, 27 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this guy in prison and feed him only bread and water[b] until I come back safely.’”

28 But Micaiah said, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he said, “Listen, all you people!”[c]

Ahab’s Death

29 Then the king of Israel and Judah’s King Jehoshaphat went up to Ramoth-gilead. 30 But the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your royal attire.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.

31 Now the king of Aram had ordered his 32 chariot commanders, “Do not fight with anyone at all except the king of Israel.”

32 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they shouted, “He must be the king of Israel!” So they turned to fight against him, but Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 When the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.

34 But a man drew his bow without taking special aim and struck the king of Israel through the joints of his armor. So he said to his charioteer, “Turn around and take me out of the battle,[d] for I am badly wounded!” 35 The battle raged throughout that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. He died that evening, and blood from his wound flowed into the bottom of the chariot.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 22:24 Lit Which way did
  2. 1 Kings 22:27 Lit him on bread of oppression and water of oppression
  3. 1 Kings 22:28 LXX omits Then he said, “Listen, all you people!”
  4. 1 Kings 22:34 LXX; MT reads camp

1 Kings 22:1-35 New International Version (NIV)

Micaiah Prophesies Against Ahab

22 For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel. But in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to see the king of Israel. 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?”

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.” But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”

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.”

But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?”

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.

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.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 22:24 Or Spirit of
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

1 Kings 22:1-35 King James Version (KJV)

22 And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel.

And it came to pass in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel.

And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria?

And he said unto Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramothgilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses.

And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the Lord to day.

Then the king of Israel gathered the 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.

And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might enquire of him?

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 I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.

Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, Hasten hither Micaiah the son of Imlah.

10 And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.

11 And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith the Lord, With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them.

12 And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it into the king's hand.

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 one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good.

14 And Micaiah said, As the Lord liveth, what the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak.

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, Go, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king.

16 And the king said unto him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the Lord?

17 And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the Lord said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.

18 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?

19 And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.

20 And the Lord said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.

21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him.

22 And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.

23 Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee.

24 But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the Lord from me to speak unto thee?

25 And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself.

26 And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king's son;

27 And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace.

28 And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the Lord hath not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O people, every one of you.

29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead.

30 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle.

31 But the king of Syria commanded his thirty and two captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel.

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 cried out.

33 And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him.

34 And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.

35 And the battle increased that day: and the 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.

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