1 Kings 22

1 They continued three years without war between Syria and Israel. 2 In the third year, Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel. 3 The king of Israel said to his servants, “You know that Ramoth Gilead is ours, and we do nothing, and don’t take it out of the hand of the king of Syria?” 4 He said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to battle to Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” 5 Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire first for the LORD’s word.” 6 Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Should I go against Ramoth Gilead to battle, or should I refrain?” They said, “Go up; for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king.” 7 But Jehoshaphat said, “Isn’t there here a prophet of the LORD, 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, Micaiah the son of Imlah; but I hate him, for he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.” Jehoshaphat said, “Don’t let the king say so.” 9 Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, “Quickly get Micaiah the son of Imlah.” 10 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, in an open place at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 11 Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made himself horns of iron, and said, “the LORD says, ‘With these you will push the Syrians, until they are consumed.’” 12 All the prophets prophesied so, saying, “Go up to Ramoth Gilead, and prosper; for the LORD will deliver it into the hand of the king.” 13 The messenger who went to call Micaiah spoke to him, saying, “See now, the prophets declare good to the king with one mouth. Please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak good.” 14 Micaiah said, “As the LORD lives, what the LORD says to me, that I will speak.” 15 When he had come to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth Gilead to battle, or shall we forbear?” He answered him, “Go up and prosper; and the LORD will deliver it into the hand of the king.” 16 The king said to him, “How many times do I have to adjure you that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the LORD’s name?” 17 He said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. The LORD said, ‘These have no master. Let them each return to his house in peace.’” 18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?” 19 Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the LORD’s word. I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the army of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. 20 The LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ One said one thing; and another said another. 21 A spirit came out and stood before the LORD, and said, ‘I will entice him.’ 22 The LORD said to him, ‘How?’ He said, ‘I will go out and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ He said, ‘You will entice him, and will also prevail. Go out and do so.’ 23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and the LORD has spoken evil concerning you.” 24 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and struck Micaiah on the cheek, and said, “Which way did the LORD’s Spirit go from me to speak to you?” 25 Micaiah said, “Behold, you will see on that day, when you go into an inner room to hide yourself.” 26 The king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah, and carry him back to Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son. 27 Say, ‘Thus says 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 Micaiah said, “If you return at all in peace, the LORD has not spoken by me.” He said, “Listen, all you people!” 29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead. 30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself, and go into the battle; but you put on your robes.” The king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle. 31 Now the king of Syria had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, saying, “Don’t fight with small nor great, except only with the king of Israel.” 32 When the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “Surely that is the king of Israel!” and they turned aside to fight against him. Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 When the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 34 A certain man drew his bow at random, and struck the king of Israel between the joints of the armor. Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn your hand, and carry me out of the battle; for I am severely wounded.” 35 The battle increased that day. The king was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians, and died at evening. The blood ran out of the wound into the bottom of the chariot. 36 A cry went throughout the army about the going down of the sun, 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 where the prostitutes washed themselves; according to the LORD’s word 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 that he built, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 40 So Ahab slept with his fathers; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his place. 41 Jehoshaphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 43 He walked in all the way of Asa his father. He didn’t turn aside from it, doing that which was right in the LORD’s eyes. However the high places were not taken away. The people still sacrificed and burnt incense on the high places. 44 Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel. 45 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might that he showed, and how he fought, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 46 The remnant of the sodomites, that remained in the days of his father Asa, he put away out of the land. 47 There was no king in Edom. A deputy ruled. 48 Jehoshaphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold, but they didn’t go; for the ships wrecked at Ezion Geber. 49 Then Ahaziah the son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my servants go with your servants in the ships.” But Jehoshaphat would not. 50 Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in his father David’s city. Jehoram his son reigned in his place. 51 Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel. 52 He did that which was evil in the LORD’s sight, and walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, in which he made Israel to sin. 53 He served Baal and worshiped him, and provoked the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger, in all the ways that his father had done so.

(Previous Chapter)

Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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.

Back to Top