Jehoshaphat Allies with Ahab in Ahab’s Third Campaign against Aram
1 Three years passed without war between Aram and Israel. 1 Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor; and he allied himself by marriage with Ahab. 2 Some years later, in the third year Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to visit Ahab at Samaria, to the king of Israel. And Ahab slaughtered many sheep and oxen for him and the people who were with him, and induced him to go up against Ramoth-gilead. 3 Now the king of Israel said to his servants, “Do you know that Ramoth-gilead belongs to us, and we are still doing nothing to take it out of the hand of the king of Aram?” 4 And Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me to battle against Ramoth-gilead?” And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses and we will be with you in the battle.” 5 Moreover, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire first for the word of the LORD.” 6 Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go against Ramoth-gilead to battle or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for the Lord God will give it into the hand of the king.” 7 But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here that we may inquire of him?” 8 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, but I hate him, because he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.”
Ahab’s False Prophets Assure Victory
8 Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah, Imla’s son.” 9 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, and they were sitting at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 10 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘With these you shall gore the Arameans until they are consumed.'” 11 All the prophets were prophesying thus, saying, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and prosper, for the LORD will give it into the hand of the king.”
Micaiah Brings Word from God, Predicts Defeat
13 Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, “Behold now, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king. Please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.” 14 But Micaiah said, “As the LORD lives, what my God the LORD says to me, that I will speak.” 15 When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?” And he answered him, “Go up and succeed, and the LORD will give it into the hand of the king.” 16 Then the king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?” 17 So he said, “I saw all Israel Scattered on the mountains, Like sheep which have no shepherd. And the LORD said, ‘These have no master. Let each of them return to his house in peace.'” 18 Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil ?” 19 Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear 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 and on His left. 20 “The LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this while another said that. 21 “Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’ 22 “The LORD said to him, ‘How?’ And he said, ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then He said, ‘You are to entice him and also prevail. Go and do so.’ 23 “Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; for the LORD has proclaimed disaster against you.” 24 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “How did the Spirit of the LORD pass from me to speak to you?” 25 Micaiah said, “Behold, you will see on that day when you enter an inner room to hide yourself.” 26 Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’s son ; 27 and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this man in prison and feed him sparingly with bread and water until I return safely.””‘ 28 Micaiah said, “If you indeed return safely the LORD has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Listen, all you people.”
Ahab’s Defeat and Death
28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up against Ramoth-gilead. 29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you put on your robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle. 30 Now the king of Aram had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, saying, “Do not fight with small or great, but with the king of Israel alone.” 31 So when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “Surely it is the king of Israel,” and they turned aside to fight against him. But Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him, and God diverted them from him. 32 When the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 33 A certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel in a joint of the armor. So he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and take me out of the fight, for I am severely wounded.” 34 The battle raged that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot in front of the Arameans until the evening; and at sunset he died, and the blood from the wound ran into the bottom of the chariot. 36 Then a cry passed throughout the army close to sunset, saying, “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 They washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood (now the harlots bathed themselves there), according to the word of the LORD which He spoke. 39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab and all that he did and the ivory house which he built and all the cities which 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 became king in his place.
Scripture taken or blended from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (R), Copyright (C) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.