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1 Kings 20:23-22:9 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

23 Now the king of Aram’s servants said to him, “Their gods are gods of the hill country. That’s why they were stronger than we were. Instead, we should fight with them on the plain; then we will certainly be stronger than they will be. 24 Also do this: remove each king from his position and appoint captains in their place. 25 Raise another army for yourself like the army you lost—horse for horse, chariot for chariot—and let’s fight with them on the plain; and we will certainly be stronger than they will be.” The king listened to them and did so.

26 In the spring, Ben-hadad mobilized the Arameans and went up to Aphek to battle Israel. 27 The Israelites mobilized, gathered supplies, and went to fight them. The Israelites camped in front of them like two little flocks of goats, while the Arameans filled the landscape.

28 Then the man of God approached and said to the king of Israel, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because the Arameans have said: Yahweh is a god of the mountains and not a god of the valleys, I will hand over all this great army to you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

29 They camped opposite each other for seven days. On the seventh day, the battle took place, and the Israelites struck down the Arameans—100,000 foot soldiers in one day. 30 The ones who remained fled into the city of Aphek, and the wall fell on those 27,000 remaining men.

Ben-hadad also fled and went into an inner room in the city. 31 His servants said to him, “Consider this: we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings. So let’s put sackcloth around our waists and ropes around our heads, and let’s go out to the king of Israel. Perhaps he will spare your life.”

32 So they dressed with sackcloth around their waists and ropes around their heads, went to the king of Israel, and said, “Your servant Ben-hadad says, ‘Please spare my life.’”

So he said, “Is he still alive? He is my brother.”

33 Now the men were looking for a sign of hope, so they quickly picked up on this[a] and responded, “Yes, it is your brother Ben-hadad.”

Then he said, “Go and bring him.”

So Ben-hadad came out to him, and Ahab had him come up into the chariot. 34 Then Ben-hadad said to him, “I restore to you the cities that my father took from your father, and you may set up marketplaces for yourself in Damascus, like my father set up in Samaria.”

Ahab responded, “On the basis of this treaty, I release you.” So he made a treaty with him and released him.

Ahab Rebuked by the Lord

35 One of the sons of the prophets said to his fellow prophet by the word of the Lord, “Strike me!” But the man refused to strike him.

36 He told him, “Because you did not listen to the voice of the Lord, mark my words: When you leave me, a lion will kill you.” When he left him, a lion attacked and killed him.

37 The prophet found another man and said to him, “Strike me!” So the man struck him, inflicting a wound. 38 Then the prophet went and waited for the king on the road. He disguised himself with a bandage over his eyes. 39 As the king was passing by, he cried out to the king and said, “Your servant marched out into the middle of the battle. Suddenly, a man turned aside and brought someone to me and said, ‘Guard this man! If he is ever missing, it will be your life in place of his life, or you will weigh out 75 pounds[b] of silver.’ 40 But while your servant was busy here and there, he disappeared.”

The king of Israel said to him, “That will be your sentence; you yourself have decided it.”

41 He quickly removed the bandage from his eyes. The king of Israel recognized that he was one of the prophets. 42 The prophet said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because you released from your hand the man I had set apart for destruction, it will be your life in place of his life and your people in place of his people.’” 43 The king of Israel left for home resentful and angry, and he entered Samaria.

Ahab and Naboth’s Vineyard

21 Some time passed after these events. Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard; it was in Jezreel next to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. So Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard so I can have it for a vegetable garden, since it is right next to my palace. I will give you a better vineyard in its place, or if you prefer, I will give you its value in silver.”

But Naboth said to Ahab, “I will never give my fathers’ inheritance to you.”

So Ahab went to his palace resentful and angry because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had told him. He had said, “I will not give you my fathers’ inheritance.” He lay down on his bed, turned his face away, and didn’t eat any food.

Then his wife Jezebel came to him and said to him, “Why are you so upset that you refuse to eat?”

“Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite,” he replied. “I told him: Give me your vineyard for silver, or if you wish, I will give you a vineyard in its place. But he said, ‘I won’t give you my vineyard!’”

Then his wife Jezebel said to him, “Now, exercise your royal power over Israel. Get up, eat some food, and be happy. For I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal. She sent the letters to the elders and nobles who lived with Naboth in his city. In the letters, she wrote:

Proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people. 10 Then seat two wicked men opposite him and have them testify against him, saying, “You have cursed God and the king!” Then take him out and stone him to death.

11 The men of his city, the elders and nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had commanded them, as was written in the letters she had sent them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the people. 13 The two wicked men came in and sat opposite him. Then the wicked men testified against Naboth in the presence of the people, saying, “Naboth has cursed God and the king!” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones. 14 Then they sent word to Jezebel, “Naboth has been stoned to death.”

15 When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, “Get up and take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite who refused to give it to you for silver, since Naboth isn’t alive, but dead.” 16 When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite to take possession of it.

The Lord’s Judgment on Ahab

17 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 18 “Get up and go to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria. You’ll find him in Naboth’s vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it. 19 Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Have you murdered and also taken possession?’ Then tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: In the place where the dogs licked Naboth’s blood, the dogs will also lick your blood!’”

20 Ahab said to Elijah, “So, you have caught me, my enemy.”

He replied, “I have caught you because you devoted yourself to do what is evil in the Lord’s sight. 21 This is what the Lord says:[c] ‘I am about to bring disaster on you and will sweep away your descendants:

I will eliminate all of Ahab’s males,[d]
both slave and free, in Israel;

22 I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have provoked My anger and caused Israel to sin. 23 The Lord also speaks of Jezebel: The dogs will eat Jezebel in the plot of land[e] at Jezreel:

24 He who belongs to Ahab and dies in the city, the dogs will eat,
and he who dies in the field, the birds of the sky will eat.’”

25 Still, there was no one like Ahab, who devoted himself to do what was evil in the Lord’s sight, because his wife Jezebel incited him. 26 He committed the most detestable acts by going after idols as the Amorites had, whom the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites.

27 When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put sackcloth over his body, and fasted. He lay down in sackcloth and walked around subdued. 28 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 29 “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? I will not bring the disaster during his lifetime, because he has humbled himself before Me. I will bring the disaster on his house during his son’s lifetime.”

Jehoshaphat’s Alliance with Ahab

22 There was a lull of three years without war between Aram and Israel. However, in the third year, Jehoshaphat king of Judah went to visit the king of Israel. The king of Israel had said to his servants, “Don’t you know that Ramoth-gilead is ours, but we have failed to take it from the hand of the king of Aram?” So he asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to fight Ramoth-gilead?”

Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” 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, about 400 men, and asked them, “Should I go against Ramoth-gilead for war or should I refrain?”

They replied, “March up, and the Lord 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!”

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 20:33 Some Hb mss, alt Hb tradition, LXX; other Hb mss read they hastened and caught hold; “Is this it?”
  2. 1 Kings 20:39 Lit a talent
  3. 1 Kings 21:21 LXX; MT omits This is what the Lord says
  4. 1 Kings 21:21 Lit eliminate Ahab’s one who urinates against the wall
  5. 1 Kings 21:23 Some Hb mss, Syr, Tg, Vg, 2Kg 9:36; other Hb mss, LXX read the rampart

2 Chronicles 18:1-8 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!”

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 18:1 Lit made himself a son-in-law to Ahab; 1Kg 3:1; Ezr 9:14

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