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1 Kings 21-22 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

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:[a] ‘I am about to bring disaster on you and will sweep away your descendants:

I will eliminate all of Ahab’s males,[b]
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[c] 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!”

10 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah, clothed in royal attire, were each sitting on his own throne. They were on the threshing floor at the entrance to Samaria’s gate, and all the prophets were prophesying in front of them. 11 Then Zedekiah son of Chenaanah made iron horns and said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You will gore the Arameans with these until they are finished off.’” 12 And all the prophets were prophesying the same: “March up to Ramoth-gilead and succeed, for the Lord will hand it over to the king.”

Micaiah’s Message of Defeat

13 The messenger who went to call Micaiah instructed him, “Look, the words of the prophets are unanimously favorable for the king. So let your words be like theirs, and speak favorably.”

14 But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, I will say whatever the Lord says to me.”

15 So he went to the king, and the king asked him, “Micaiah, should we go to Ramoth-gilead for war, or should we refrain?”

Micaiah told him, “March up and succeed. Yahweh will hand it over to the king.”

16 But the king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear not to tell me anything but the truth in the name of Yahweh?”

17 So Micaiah said:

I saw all Israel scattered on the hills
like sheep without a shepherd.
And the Lord said,
“They have no master;
let everyone return home in peace.”

18 So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you he never prophesies good about me, but only disaster?”

19 Then Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and the whole heavenly host was standing by Him at His right hand and at His left hand. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to march up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ So one was saying this and another was saying that.

21 “Then a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord, and said, ‘I will entice him.’

22 “The Lord asked him, ‘How?’

“He said, ‘I will go and become a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’

“Then He said, ‘You will certainly entice him and prevail. Go and do that.’

23 “You see, the Lord has put a lying spirit into the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the Lord has pronounced disaster against you.”

24 Then Zedekiah son of Chenaanah came up, hit Micaiah in the face, and demanded, “Did[d] the Spirit of the Lord leave me to speak to you?”

25 Micaiah replied, “You will soon see when you go to hide yourself in an inner chamber on that day.”

26 Then the king of Israel ordered, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Joash, the king’s son, 27 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this guy in prison and feed him only bread and water[e] until I come back safely.’”

28 But Micaiah said, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he said, “Listen, all you people!”[f]

Ahab’s Death

29 Then the king of Israel and Judah’s King Jehoshaphat went up to Ramoth-gilead. 30 But the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your royal attire.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.

31 Now the king of Aram had ordered his 32 chariot commanders, “Do not fight with anyone at all except the king of Israel.”

32 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they shouted, “He must be the king of Israel!” So they turned to fight against him, but Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 When the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.

34 But a man drew his bow without taking special aim and struck the king of Israel through the joints of his armor. So he said to his charioteer, “Turn around and take me out of the battle,[g] for I am badly wounded!” 35 The battle raged throughout that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. He died that evening, and blood from his wound flowed into the bottom of the chariot. 36 Then the cry rang out in the army as the sun set, declaring:

Each man to his own city,
and each man to his own land!

37 So the king died and was brought to Samaria. They buried the king in Samaria. 38 Then someone washed the chariot at the pool of Samaria. The dogs licked up his blood, and the prostitutes bathed in it, according to the word of the Lord that He had spoken.

39 The rest of the events of Ahab’s reign, along with all his accomplishments, including the ivory palace he built, and all the cities he built, are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings. 40 Ahab rested with his fathers, and his son Ahaziah became king in his place.

Judah’s King Jehoshaphat

41 Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king over Judah in the fourth year of Israel’s King Ahab. 42 Jehoshaphat was 35 years old when he became king; he reigned 25 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi. 43 He walked in all the ways of his father Asa; he did not turn away from them but did what was right in the Lord’s sight. However, the high places were not taken away;[h] the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. 44 Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel.

45 The rest of the events of Jehoshaphat’s reign, along with the might he exercised and how he waged war, are written in the Historical Record of Judah’s Kings. 46 He removed from the land the rest of the male cult prostitutes who were left from the days of his father Asa. 47 There was no king in Edom; a deputy served as king. 48 Jehoshaphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold, but they did not go because the ships were wrecked at Ezion-geber. 49 At that time, Ahaziah son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my servants go with your servants in the ships,” but Jehoshaphat was not willing. 50 Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers and was buried with them in the city of his ancestor David. His son Jehoram became king in his place.

Israel’s King Ahaziah

51 Ahaziah son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Judah’s King Jehoshaphat and reigned over Israel two years. 52 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He walked in the way of his father, in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had caused Israel to sin. 53 He served Baal and worshiped him. He provoked the Lord God of Israel just as his father had done.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 21:21 LXX; MT omits This is what the Lord says
  2. 1 Kings 21:21 Lit eliminate Ahab’s one who urinates against the wall
  3. 1 Kings 21:23 Some Hb mss, Syr, Tg, Vg, 2Kg 9:36; other Hb mss, LXX read the rampart
  4. 1 Kings 22:24 Lit Which way did
  5. 1 Kings 22:27 Lit him on bread of oppression and water of oppression
  6. 1 Kings 22:28 LXX omits Then he said, “Listen, all you people!”
  7. 1 Kings 22:34 LXX; MT reads camp
  8. 1 Kings 22:43 LXX, Syr, Vg read he did not remove the high places

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