1 Kings 22The Voice (VOICE)
22 Three years went by without Aram and Israel fighting at all. 2 During the third year, Jehoshaphat, Judah’s king, approached Israel’s king.
Ahab (to his servants): 3 Don’t you remember that Ramoth-gilead is ours? But we have done nothing to take it back from Aram’s king.
4 (to Jehoshaphat) I am going to wage war against Ramoth-gilead. Will you join me?
Jehoshaphat: I am with you. I will do what you do. My troops will be your troops; my horses will be your horses. 5 But first, ask the Eternal for His wisdom and guidance in this matter.
6 Israel’s king assembled the 400 prophets.
Ahab: Should I wage war against Ramoth-gilead or not?
Prophets: Yes, you should. The Lord will give the king victory in this matter.
Jehoshaphat: 7 I need counsel. Is there a prophet of the Eternal present whom we can ask for advice?
Ahab: 8 There is one prophet of the Eternal, but I despise him. He prophesies terrible things about me instead of good things. His name is Micaiah (Imlah’s son).
Jehoshaphat: The king shouldn’t speak as such; he is the Lord’s prophet.
9 Israel’s king summoned a commander and gave him instructions to find Micaiah (Imlah’s son) quickly.
10 At the threshing floor inside the gate of Samaria, Israel’s king and Jehoshaphat (Judah’s king) were both sitting on their own thrones wearing ornate royal robes holding court while all the prophets were spouting out prophesies in their presence. 11 Zedekiah (Chenaanah’s son) had crafted iron horns for himself and spoke.
Zedekiah: This is the Eternal’s message: “Take these horns to gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.”
Prophets: 12 Travel to Ramoth-gilead, and flourish. The Eternal One will hand it over to the king.
Commander (to Micaiah): 13 The prophets’ message is pleasing to the king. May your message be as pleasing as theirs.
Micaiah: 14 As certain as the Eternal, I will say only what He commands me to say—nothing more and nothing less.
Ahab (as Micaiah approached him): 15 Micaiah, should we or should we not wage war against Ramoth-gilead? We need your final say either way.
Micaiah: Do as you say, and be successful. The Eternal One will give it to the king.
Ahab: 16 How many times are you going to make me ask you to give me a true message from the Eternal?
Micaiah: 17 I saw a vision of Israel. In it, Israel was spread all throughout the mountains, wandering aimlessly. They were like lost sheep without a shepherd to guide them. In the vision, the Eternal said, “These sheep have no shepherd. May they all go back to their own homes and live in peace.”
Ahab (to Jehoshaphat): 18 Didn’t I warn you? Didn’t I say that he would give unfavorable prophecies toward me?
Micaiah: 19 You should heed the Eternal’s message. I saw a vision of the Eternal One sitting on His throne with the heavenly army surrounding Him on all sides. 20 In the vision, the Eternal said, “Who will be the one to entice Ahab into battle at Ramoth-gilead so he may die there?” Everyone had a different opinion about who should do the task.
21 Right then, a spirit revealed itself to the Eternal and said, “I will do it. I will draw Ahab into battle.”
22 The Eternal One asked, “How do you plan on doing this?”
The spirit answered, “I will become a spirit of deception within the words of his prophets.”
The Eternal spoke again, “I like this idea. You will succeed at drawing him into battle. Proceed quickly.” 23 Therefore, the Eternal has placed a spirit of deception in the mouths of all your prophets, and He has sent destruction upon you. You will lose.
24 Zedekiah (Chenaanah’s son) hit Micaiah on the cheek.
Zedekiah: That’s impossible. How is it that the Eternal’s Spirit communicated to you without me knowing about it?
Micaiah: 25 You will understand when the time comes for you to hide in a secret chamber.
Ahab: 26 In the meantime, take Micaiah back to Amon, the city’s governor, and to Joash, the king’s son. 27 Give them this message: “This is the command of Israel’s king: ‘Lock this man behind bars, and give him only crumbs of bread and drops of water until I come back safely from battle.’”
Micaiah: 28 All right. If you come back alive and in one piece, you will know that the Eternal did not communicate His message through me. All you people listen carefully.
29 Israel’s king and Jehoshaphat, Judah’s king, waged war against Ramoth-gilead.
Ahab (to Jehoshaphat): 30 Here’s what I am going to do. I am going to put on a disguise and enter into battle, but you are going to dress in your normal robes.
Fearing that Micaiah might be right, Israel’s king put on a disguise and entered battle.
31 Aram’s king commanded the 32 captains in charge of all the chariots.
King of Aram (to his captains): Don’t waste your time fighting with any important or unimportant person. Fight only with Israel’s king. He’s the one we want dead.
32 When the chariot captains laid eyes upon Jehoshaphat and saw the robes he was wearing, they said to themselves, “This must be Israel’s king. Only a king wears such robes.” They engaged in battle with him, and Jehoshaphat screamed for his life. 33 To Jehoshaphat’s immense relief, when the chariot captains realized that this was not Israel’s king, they left him alone. 34 In the meantime, one warrior shot a random arrow from his bow up into the air, and the arrow happened to strike inside a joint of Israel’s king’s armor.
Ahab (to his charioteer): Get me out of this battle quickly! I am hurt badly.
35 The fighting continued throughout that entire day. Meanwhile, the king was propped up inside his chariot before all the Arameans, so they would think he still led Israel, and he died that night. Blood dripped out from where the arrow had pierced him, and it stained the bottom of the chariot. 36 At sunset, word spread throughout the entire army: “Israel’s king is dead. Go back to where you came from. Return to your native cities and countries.”
37 Israel’s king died and was transported to Samaria where he was laid to rest. 38 They cleaned the blood out of his chariot at the Samaritan pool, where all the prostitutes and promiscuous women bathed in the bloodstained water and the dogs licked up his blood, just as the Eternal said they would.
39 Is not the rest of Ahab’s story—all his actions and the ivory house and cities he constructed—documented in the book of the chronicles of Israel’s kings? 40 Ahab left this world to sleep with his fathers; and his son, Ahaziah, then inherited the throne.
41 Jehoshaphat (Asa’s son) became Judah’s king during the 4th year of Ahab’s reign in Israel. 42 Jehoshaphat was 35 years old when he received the throne. His reign lasted 25 years in Jerusalem. His mother was Azubah (Shilhi’s daughter). 43 Jehoshaphat was devoted to the Eternal just as his father, Asa, was. He walked the good path and did what was good in the eyes of the Eternal One. But the high places were not torn down, and everyone still offered sacrifices and burned incense there. This wickedness still took place under Jehoshaphat’s reign, though he did not inspire it. 44 Jehoshaphat also made peace between himself and Israel’s king.
45 Is not the rest of Jehoshaphat’s story—his mighty actions and how he waged war—documented in the book of the chronicles of Judah’s kings? 46 He threw out of the country all the prostitutes who remained from his father Asa’s time.
47 At that time, there was no king sitting on the throne in Edom, only a deputy.
48 Jehoshaphat crafted ships modeled after those trading ships in Tarshish to travel to Ophir to gather gold, but the ships never made the trip because they wrecked at Ezion-geber. 49 Ahaziah (Ahab’s son) made a request to Jehoshaphat: “Allow my servants to accompany your servants on the ships.” Jehoshaphat refused this request.
50 Jeshoshaphat left this world to sleep with his fathers and was laid to rest with his ancestors in his father’s city, the city of David. Jehoshaphat’s son, Jehoram, then inherited the throne.
51 Ahaziah, Ahab’s son, took over the throne of Israel in Samaria during the 17th year of Jehoshaphat’s reign over Judah. Ahaziah’s reign over Israel lasted two years. 52 Ahaziah committed evil in the Eternal’s eyes. He walked the wicked path of his father and mother and Jeroboam (Nebat’s son) who caused the Israelites to live sinful lives. 53 He gave his heart and life to Baal and offered his services and worship to him. This caused the Eternal God of Israel’s wrath to be provoked just as it had at the wickedness of his father.
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