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2 Chronicles 18 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Jehoshaphat’s Alliance with Ahab

18 Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance, and he made an alliance with Ahab through marriage.[a] Then after some years, he went down to visit Ahab in Samaria. Ahab sacrificed many sheep and cattle for him and for the people who were with him. Then he persuaded him to march up to Ramoth-gilead, for Israel’s King Ahab asked Judah’s King Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead?”

He replied to him, “I am as you are, my people as your people; we will be with you in the battle.” 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, 400 men, and asked them, “Should we go to Ramoth-gilead for war or should I refrain?”

They replied, “March up, and God 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!”

Now the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah, clothed in royal attire, were each sitting on his own throne. They were sitting on the threshing floor at the entrance to Samaria’s gate, and all the prophets were prophesying in front of them. 10 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.’” 11 And all the prophets were prophesying the same, saying, “March up to Ramoth-gilead and succeed, for the Lord will hand it over to the king.”

Micaiah’s Message of Defeat

12 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.”

13 But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, I will say whatever my God says.”[b]

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

Micaiah said, “March up and succeed, for they will be handed over to you.”

15 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?”

16 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 each return home in peace.”

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

18 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 at His right hand and at His left hand. 19 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel to march up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ So one was saying this and another was saying that.

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

“The Lord asked him, ‘How?’

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

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

22 “Now, you see, the Lord has put a lying spirit into the mouth of[d] these prophets of yours, and the Lord has pronounced disaster against you.”

23 Then Zedekiah son of Chenaanah came up, hit Micaiah in the face, and demanded, “Which way did the spirit from the Lord leave me to speak to you?”

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

25 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, 26 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this guy in prison and feed him only bread and water[e] until I come back safely.’”

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

Ahab’s Death

28 Then the king of Israel and Judah’s King Jehoshaphat went up to Ramoth-gilead. 29 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 they went into battle.

30 Now the king of Aram had ordered his chariot commanders, “Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel.”

31 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they shouted, “He must be the king of Israel!” So they turned to attack him, but Jehoshaphat cried out and the Lord helped him. God drew them away from him. 32 When the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.

33 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 the charioteer, “Turn around and take me out of the battle,[f] for I am badly wounded!” 34 The battle raged throughout that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot facing the Arameans until evening. Then he died at sunset.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 18:1 Lit made himself a son-in-law to Ahab; 1Kg 3:1; Ezr 9:14
  2. 2 Chronicles 18:13 LXX, Vg add to me; 1Kg 22:14
  3. 2 Chronicles 18:14 LXX reads we; 1Kg 22:15
  4. 2 Chronicles 18:22 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Vg add all; 1Kg 22:23
  5. 2 Chronicles 18:26 Lit him on bread of oppression and water of oppression
  6. 2 Chronicles 18:33 LXX, Vg; MT reads camp

2 Chronicles 18 New International Version (NIV)

Micaiah Prophesies Against Ahab

18 Now Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor, and he allied himself with Ahab by marriage. Some years later he went down to see Ahab in Samaria. Ahab slaughtered many sheep and cattle for him and the people with him and urged him to attack Ramoth Gilead. Ahab king of Israel asked Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me against Ramoth Gilead?”

Jehoshaphat replied, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will join you in the war.” 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—four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I not?”

“Go,” they answered, “for God 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.”

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. 10 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.’”

11 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.”

12 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.”

13 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what my God says.”

14 When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I not?”

“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for they will be given into your hand.”

15 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?”

16 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.’”

17 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”

18 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing on his right and on his left. 19 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’

“One suggested this, and another that. 20 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’

“‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.

21 “‘I will go 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.’

22 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.”

23 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.

24 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.”

25 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, 26 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.’”

27 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

28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead. 29 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.

30 Now the king of Aram had ordered his chariot commanders, “Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel.” 31 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought, “This is the king of Israel.” So they turned to attack him, but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him. God drew them away from him, 32 for when the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel, they stopped pursuing him.

33 But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the breastplate and the scale armor. The king told the chariot driver, “Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I’ve been wounded.” 34 All day long the battle raged, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot facing the Arameans until evening. Then at sunset he died.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 18:23 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.

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