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. 2 However, in the third year, Jehoshaphat king of Judah went to visit the king of Israel. 3 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?” 4 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.” 5 But Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “First, please ask what the Lord’s will is.”
6 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.”
7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Isn’t there a prophet of Yahweh here anymore? Let’s ask him.”
8 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.
9 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
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]
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.