Micaiah the Prophet
1 Kings 22:1-40 1 Kings 22:1-40 1 Kings 22:1-40 1 Kings 22:1-40
1 Kings 22:1-40
22:1 For three years Syria and Israel continued without war. 2 But in the third year Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel. 3 And the king of Israel said to his servants, “Do you know that Ramoth-gilead belongs to us, and we keep quiet and do not take it out of the hand of the king of Syria?” 4 And he said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to battle at 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.”
5 And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “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 I go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” 7 But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not here another prophet of the Lord of whom we may inquire?” 8 And 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 never prophesies good concerning me, but evil.” And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.” 9 Then the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah the son of Imlah.” 10 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting on their thrones, arrayed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria, and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 11 And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made for himself horns of iron and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘With these you shall push the Syrians until they are destroyed.’” 12 And all the prophets prophesied so and said, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and triumph; the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.”
13 And the messenger who went to summon Micaiah said to him, “Behold, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king. Let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.” 14 But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I will speak.” 15 And when he had come to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?” And he answered him, “Go up and triumph; the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” 16 But the king said to him, “How many times shall I make you swear that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” 17 And he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These have no master; let each return to his home in peace.’” 18 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?” 19 And Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left; 20 and the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another. 21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ 22 And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’ 23 Now therefore behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the Lord has declared disaster for 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 go from me to speak to you?” 25 And Micaiah said, “Behold, you shall see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself.” 26 And the king of Israel said, “Seize Micaiah, and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king's son, 27 and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this fellow in prison and feed him meager rations of bread and water, until I come in peace.”’” 28 And Micaiah said, “If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Hear, all you peoples!”
29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 30 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes.” And the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle. 31 Now the king of Syria had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, “Fight with neither small nor great, but only with the king of Israel.” 32 And when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is surely the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him. And Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 And when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 34 But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.” 35 And the battle continued that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians, until at evening he died. And the blood of the wound flowed into the bottom of the chariot. 36 And about sunset a cry went through the army, “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 And they washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood, and the prostitutes washed themselves in it, according to the word of the Lord that he had spoken. 39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab and all that he did, and the ivory house that he built and all the cities that 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 reigned in his place.
Micaiah Warns Ahab about Disaster
(2 Chronicles 18.2-27)
1 For the next three years there was peace between Israel and Syria. 2 During the third year King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to visit King Ahab of Israel.
3 Ahab asked his officials, “Why haven't we tried to get Ramoth in Gilead back from the Syrians? It belongs to us.” 4 Then he asked Jehoshaphat, “Would you go to Ramoth with me and attack the Syrians?”
“Just tell me what to do,” Jehoshaphat answered. “My army and horses are at your command. 5 But first, let's ask the Lord.”
6 Ahab sent for about 400 prophets and asked, “Should I attack the Syrians at Ramoth?”
“Yes!” the prophets answered. “The Lord will help you defeat them.”
7 But Jehoshaphat said, “Just to make sure, is there another of the Lord's prophets we can ask?”
8 “We could ask Micaiah son of Imlah,” Ahab said. “But I hate Micaiah. He always has bad news for me.”
“Don't say that!” Jehoshaphat replied. 9 Then Ahab sent someone to bring Micaiah as soon as possible.
10 All this time, Ahab and Jehoshaphat were dressed in their royal robes and were seated on their thrones at the threshing place near the gate of Samaria. They were listening to the prophets tell them what the Lord had said.
11 Zedekiah son of Chenaanah was one of the prophets. He had made some horns out of iron and shouted, “Ahab, the Lord says you will attack the Syrians like a bull with iron horns and wipe them out!”
12 All the prophets agreed that Ahab should attack the Syrians at Ramoth, and they promised that the Lord would help him defeat them.
13 Meanwhile, the messenger who went to get Micaiah whispered, “Micaiah, all the prophets have good news for Ahab. Now go and say the same thing.”
14 “I'll say whatever the living Lord tells me to say,” Micaiah replied.
15 Then Micaiah went to Ahab, and Ahab asked, “Micaiah, should I attack the Syrians at Ramoth?”
“Yes!” Micaiah answered. “The Lord will help you defeat them.”
16 “Micaiah, I've told you over and over to tell me the truth!” Ahab shouted. “What does the Lord really say?”
17 He answered, “In a vision I saw Israelite soldiers walking around in the hills like sheep without a shepherd to guide them. The Lord said, ‘This army has no leader. They should go home and not fight.’ ”
18 Ahab turned to Jehoshaphat and said, “I told you he would bring bad news!”
19 Micaiah replied:
Listen to this! I also saw the Lord seated on his throne with every creature in heaven gathered around him. 20 The Lord asked, “Who can trick Ahab and make him go to Ramoth where he will be killed?”
They talked about it for a while, 21 then finally a spirit came forward and said to the Lord, “I can trick Ahab.”
“How?” the Lord asked.
22 “I'll make Ahab's prophets lie to him.”
“Good!” the Lord replied. “Now go and do it.”
23 This is exactly what has happened, Ahab. The Lord made all your prophets lie to you, and he knows you will soon be destroyed.
24 Zedekiah walked up to Micaiah and slapped him on the face. Then he asked, “Do you really think the Lord would speak to you and not to me?”
25 Micaiah answered, “You'll find out on the day you have to hide in the back room of some house.”
26 Ahab shouted, “Arrest Micaiah! Take him to Prince Joash and Governor Amon of Samaria. 27 Tell them to put him in prison and to give him nothing but bread and water until I come back safely.”
28 Micaiah said, “If you do come back, I was wrong about what the Lord wanted me to say.” Then he told the crowd, “Don't forget what I said!”
Ahab Dies at Ramoth
(2 Chronicles 18.28-34)
29 Ahab and Jehoshaphat led their armies to Ramoth in Gilead. 30 Before they went into battle, Ahab said, “Jehoshaphat, I'll disguise myself, but you wear your royal robe.” Then Ahab disguised himself and went into battle.
31 The king of Syria had ordered his 32 chariot commanders to attack only Ahab. 32 So when they saw Jehoshaphat in his robe, they thought he was Ahab and started to attack him. But when Jehoshaphat shouted out to them, 33 they realized he wasn't Ahab, and they left him alone.
34 However, during the fighting a soldier shot an arrow without even aiming, and it hit Ahab where two pieces of his armor joined. He shouted to his chariot driver, “I've been hit! Get me out of here!”
35 The fighting lasted all day, with Ahab propped up in his chariot so he could see the Syrian troops. He bled so much that the bottom of the chariot was covered with blood, and by evening he was dead.
36 As the sun was going down, someone in Israel's army shouted to the others, “Retreat! Go back home!”
37 Ahab's body was taken to Samaria and buried there. 38 Some workers washed his chariot near a spring in Samaria, and prostitutes washed themselves in his blood. Dogs licked Ahab's blood off the ground, just as the Lord had warned.
39 Everything else Ahab did while he was king, including the towns he strengthened and the palace he built and furnished with ivory, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 40 Ahab died, and his son Ahaziah became king.
The Prophet Micaiah Warns Ahab
1 There was peace between Israel and Syria for the next two years, 2 but in the third year King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to see King Ahab of Israel.
3 Ahab asked his officials, “Why is it that we have not done anything to get back Ramoth in Gilead from the king of Syria? It belongs to us!” 4 And Ahab asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to attack Ramoth?”
“I am ready when you are,” Jehoshaphat answered, “and so are my soldiers and my cavalry. 5 But first let's consult the Lord.”
6 So Ahab called in the prophets, about four hundred of them, and asked them, “Should I go and attack Ramoth, or not?”
“Attack it,” they answered. “The Lord will give you victory.”
7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Isn't there another prophet through whom we can consult the Lord?”
8 Ahab answered, “There is one more, Micaiah son of Imlah. But I hate him because he never prophesies anything good for me; it's always something bad.”
“You shouldn't say that!” Jehoshaphat replied.
9 Then Ahab called in a court official and told him to go and get Micaiah at once.
10 The two kings, dressed in their royal robes, were sitting on their thrones at the threshing place just outside the gate of Samaria, and all the prophets were prophesying in front of them. 11 One of them, Zedekiah son of Chenaanah, made iron horns and said to Ahab, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will fight the Syrians and totally defeat them.’” 12 All the other prophets said the same thing. “March against Ramoth and you will win,” they said. “The Lord will give you victory.”
13 Meanwhile, the official who had gone to get Micaiah said to him, “All the other prophets have prophesied success for the king, and you had better do the same.”
14 But Micaiah answered, “By the living Lord I promise that I will say what he tells me to!”
15 When he appeared before King Ahab, the king asked him, “Micaiah, should King Jehoshaphat and I go and attack Ramoth, or not?”
“Attack!” Micaiah answered. “Of course you'll win. The Lord will give you victory.”
16 But Ahab replied, “When you speak to me in the name of the Lord, tell the truth! How many times do I have to tell you that?”
17 Micaiah answered, “I can see the army of Israel scattered over the hills like sheep without a shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These men have no leader; let them go home in peace.’”
18 Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn't I tell you that he never prophesies anything good for me? It's always something bad!”
19 Micaiah went on: “Now listen to what the Lord says! I saw the Lord sitting on his throne in heaven, with all his angels standing beside him. 20 The Lord asked, ‘Who will deceive Ahab so that he will go and be killed at Ramoth?’ Some of the angels said one thing, and others said something else, 21 until a spirit stepped forward, approached the Lord, and said, ‘I will deceive him.’ 22 ‘How?’ the Lord asked. The spirit replied, ‘I will go and make all of Ahab's prophets tell lies.’ The Lord said, ‘Go and deceive him. You will succeed.’”
23 And Micaiah concluded: “This is what has happened. The Lord has made these prophets of yours lie to you. But he himself has decreed that you will meet with disaster!”
24 Then the prophet Zedekiah went up to Micaiah, slapped his face, and asked, “Since when did the Lord's spirit leave me and speak to you?”
25 “You will find out when you go into some back room to hide,” Micaiah replied.
26 Then King Ahab ordered one of his officers, “Arrest Micaiah and take him to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Prince Joash. 27 Tell them to throw him in prison and to put him on bread and water until I return safely.”
28 “If you return safely,” Micaiah exclaimed, “then the Lord has not spoken through me!” And he added, “Listen, everyone, to what I have said!”
The Death of Ahab
29 Then King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to attack the city of Ramoth in Gilead. 30 Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “As we go into battle, I will disguise myself, but you wear your royal garments.” So the king of Israel went into battle in disguise.
31 The king of Syria had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders to attack no one else except the king of Israel. 32 So when they saw King Jehoshaphat, they all thought that he was the king of Israel, and they turned to attack him. But when he cried out, 33 they realized that he was not the king of Israel, and they stopped their attack. 34 By chance, however, a Syrian soldier shot an arrow which struck King Ahab between the joints of his armor. “I'm wounded!” he cried out to his chariot driver. “Turn around and pull out of the battle!”
35 While the battle raged on, King Ahab remained propped up in his chariot, facing the Syrians. The blood from his wound ran down and covered the bottom of the chariot, and at evening he died. 36 Near sunset the order went out through the Israelite ranks: “Each of you go back to your own country and city!”
37 So died King Ahab. His body was taken to Samaria and buried. 38 His chariot was cleaned up at the pool of Samaria, where dogs licked up his blood and prostitutes washed themselves, as the Lord had said would happen.
39 Everything else that King Ahab did, including an account of his palace decorated with ivory and of all the cities he built, is recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel. 40 At his death his son Ahaziah succeeded him as king.
Ahab Dies in Battle
22:1 There was no war between Syria and Israel for three years. 2 In the third year King Jehoshaphat of Judah came down to visit the king of Israel. 3 The king of Israel said to his servants, “Surely you recognize that Ramoth Gilead belongs to us, though we are hesitant to reclaim it from the king of Syria.” 4 Then he said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to attack Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I will support you; my army and horses are at your disposal.” 5 Then Jehoshaphat added, “First seek an oracle from the
10 Now the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah were sitting on their respective thrones, dressed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria. All the prophets were prophesying before them. 11 Zedekiah son of Kenaanah made iron horns and said, “This is what the
15 When he came before the king, the king asked him, “Micaiah, should we attack Ramoth Gilead or not?” He answered him, “Attack! You will succeed; the
29 The king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah attacked Ramoth Gilead. 30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and then enter into the battle; but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and then entered into the battle. 31 Now the king of Syria had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, “Do not fight common soldiers or high-ranking officers; fight only the king of Israel.” 32 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “He must be the king of Israel.” So they turned and attacked him, but Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 When the chariot commanders realized he was not the king of Israel, they turned away from him. 34 Now an archer shot an arrow at random, and it struck the king of Israel between the plates of his armor. The king ordered his charioteer, “Turn around and take me from the battle line, because I’m wounded.” 35 While the battle raged throughout the day, the king stood propped up in his chariot opposite the Syrians. He died in the evening; the blood from the wound ran down into the bottom of the chariot. 36 As the sun was setting, a cry went through the camp, “Each one should return to his city and to his homeland.” 37 So the king died and was taken to Samaria, where they buried him. 38 They washed off the chariot at the pool of Samaria (this was where the prostitutes bathed); dogs licked his blood, just as the
39 The rest of the events of Ahab’s reign, including a record of his accomplishments and how he built a luxurious palace and various cities, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 40 Ahab passed away. His son Ahaziah replaced him as king.