1 Kings 14:22-22:53 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
22 And Judah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they committed, more than all that their fathers had done. 23 For they also built for themselves high places, and pillars, and Ashe′rim on every high hill and under every green tree; 24 and there were also male cult prostitutes in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.
25 In the fifth year of King Rehobo′am, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem; 26 he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house; he took away everything. He also took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made; 27 and King Rehobo′am made in their stead shields of bronze, and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king’s house. 28 And as often as the king went into the house of the Lord, the guard bore them and brought them back to the guardroom.
29 Now the rest of the acts of Rehobo′am, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 30 And there was war between Rehobo′am and Jerobo′am continually. 31 And Rehobo′am slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. His mother’s name was Na′amah the Ammonitess. And Abi′jam his son reigned in his stead.
Abijam Reigns over Judah: Idolatry and War
15 Now in the eighteenth year of King Jerobo′am the son of Nebat, Abi′jam began to reign over Judah. 2 He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Ma′acah the daughter of Abish′alom. 3 And he walked in all the sins which his father did before him; and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father. 4 Nevertheless for David’s sake the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, setting up his son after him, and establishing Jerusalem; 5 because David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uri′ah the Hittite. 6 Now there was war between Rehobo′am and Jerobo′am all the days of his life. 7 The rest of the acts of Abi′jam, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And there was war between Abi′jam and Jerobo′am. 8 And Abi′jam slept with his fathers; and they buried him in the city of David. And Asa his son reigned in his stead.
Asa Reigns over Judah
9 In the twentieth year of Jerobo′am king of Israel, Asa began to reign over Judah, 10 and he reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Ma′acah the daughter of Abish′alom. 11 And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as David his father had done. 12 He put away the male cult prostitutes out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. 13 He also removed Ma′acah his mother from being queen mother because she had an abominable image made for Ashe′rah; and Asa cut down her image and burned it at the brook Kidron. 14 But the high places were not taken away. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was wholly true to the Lord all his days. 15 And he brought into the house of the Lord the votive gifts of his father and his own votive gifts, silver, and gold, and vessels.
Alliance with Aram against Israel
16 And there was war between Asa and Ba′asha king of Israel all their days. 17 Ba′asha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 18 Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house, and gave them into the hands of his servants; and King Asa sent them to Ben-ha′dad the son of Tabrim′mon, the son of Hezi′on, king of Syria, who dwelt in Damascus, saying, 19 “Let there be a league between me and you, as between my father and your father: behold, I am sending to you a present of silver and gold; go, break your league with Ba′asha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me.” 20 And Ben-ha′dad hearkened to King Asa, and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and conquered Ijon, Dan, A′bel-beth-ma′acah, and all Chin′neroth, with all the land of Naph′tali. 21 And when Ba′asha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah, and he dwelt in Tirzah. 22 Then King Asa made a proclamation to all Judah, none was exempt, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber, with which Ba′asha had been building; and with them King Asa built Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah. 23 Now the rest of all the acts of Asa, all his might, and all that he did, and the cities which he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? But in his old age he was diseased in his feet. 24 And Asa slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father; and Jehosh′aphat his son reigned in his stead.
Nadab Reigns over Israel
25 Nadab the son of Jerobo′am began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah; and he reigned over Israel two years. 26 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin which he made Israel to sin.
27 Ba′asha the son of Ahi′jah, of the house of Is′sachar, conspired against him; and Ba′asha struck him down at Gib′bethon, which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel were laying siege to Gib′bethon. 28 So Ba′asha killed him in the third year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his stead. 29 And as soon as he was king, he killed all the house of Jerobo′am; he left to the house of Jerobo′am not one that breathed, until he had destroyed it, according to the word of the Lord which he spoke by his servant Ahi′jah the Shi′lonite; 30 it was for the sins of Jerobo′am which he sinned and which he made Israel to sin, and because of the anger to which he provoked the Lord, the God of Israel.
31 Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 32 And there was war between Asa and Ba′asha king of Israel all their days.
Second Dynasty: Baasha Reigns over Israel
33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Ba′asha the son of Ahi′jah began to reign over all Israel at Tirzah, and he reigned twenty-four years. 34 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of Jerobo′am and in his sin which he made Israel to sin.
16 And the word of the Lord came to Jehu the son of Hana′ni against Ba′asha, saying, 2 “Since I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over my people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jerobo′am, and have made my people Israel to sin, provoking me to anger with their sins, 3 behold, I will utterly sweep away Ba′asha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jerobo′am the son of Nebat. 4 Any one belonging to Ba′asha who dies in the city the dogs shall eat; and any one of his who dies in the field the birds of the air shall eat.”
5 Now the rest of the acts of Ba′asha, and what he did, and his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 6 And Ba′asha slept with his fathers, and was buried at Tirzah; and Elah his son reigned in his stead. 7 Moreover the word of the Lord came by the prophet Jehu the son of Hana′ni against Ba′asha and his house, both because of all the evil that he did in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jerobo′am, and also because he destroyed it.
Elah Reigns over Israel
8 In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Ba′asha began to reign over Israel in Tirzah, and he reigned two years. 9 But his servant Zimri, commander of half his chariots, conspired against him. When he was at Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, who was over the household in Tirzah, 10 Zimri came in and struck him down and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his stead.
11 When he began to reign, as soon as he had seated himself on his throne, he killed all the house of Ba′asha; he did not leave him a single male of his kinsmen or his friends. 12 Thus Zimri destroyed all the house of Ba′asha, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke against Ba′asha by Jehu the prophet, 13 for all the sins of Ba′asha and the sins of Elah his son which they sinned, and which they made Israel to sin, provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their idols. 14 Now the rest of the acts of Elah, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
Third Dynasty: Zimri Reigns over Israel
15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned seven days in Tirzah. Now the troops were encamped against Gib′bethon, which belonged to the Philistines, 16 and the troops who were encamped heard it said, “Zimri has conspired, and he has killed the king”; therefore all Israel made Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that day in the camp. 17 So Omri went up from Gib′bethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah. 18 And when Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the king’s house, and burned the king’s house over him with fire, and died, 19 because of his sins which he committed, doing evil in the sight of the Lord, walking in the way of Jerobo′am, and for his sin which he committed, making Israel to sin. 20 Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and the conspiracy which he made, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
Fourth Dynasty: Omri Reigns over Israel
21 Then the people of Israel were divided into two parts; half of the people followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him king, and half followed Omri. 22 But the people who followed Omri overcame the people who followed Tibni the son of Ginath; so Tibni died, and Omri became king. 23 In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri began to reign over Israel and he reigned for twelve years; six years he reigned in Tirzah. 24 He bought the hill of Samar′ia from Shemer for two talents of silver; and he fortified the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, Samar′ia, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill.
25 Omri did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did more evil than all who were before him. 26 For he walked in all the way of Jerobo′am the son of Nebat, and in the sins which he made Israel to sin, provoking the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger by their idols. 27 Now the rest of the acts of Omri which he did, and the might that he showed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 28 And Omri slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samar′ia; and Ahab his son reigned in his stead.
Ahab Reigns over Israel
29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samar′ia twenty-two years. 30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all that were before him. 31 And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jerobo′am the son of Nebat, he took for wife Jez′ebel the daughter of Ethba′al king of the Sido′nians, and went and served Ba′al, and worshiped him. 32 He erected an altar for Ba′al in the house of Ba′al, which he built in Samar′ia. 33 And Ahab made an Ashe′rah. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. 34 In his days Hi′el of Bethel built Jericho; he laid its foundation at the cost of Abi′ram his first-born, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.
Elijah Predicts a Drought
17 Now Eli′jah the Tishbite, of Tishbe[a] in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” 2 And the word of the Lord came to him, 3 “Depart from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, that is east of the Jordan. 4 You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 5 So he went and did according to the word of the Lord; he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. 7 And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.
The Widow of Zarephath
8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, 9 “Arise, go to Zar′ephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zar′ephath; and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 And she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a cruse; and now, I am gathering a couple of sticks, that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 13 And Eli′jah said to her, “Fear not; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord the God of Israel, ‘The jar of meal shall not be spent, and the cruse of oil shall not fail, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’” 15 And she went and did as Eli′jah said; and she, and he, and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of meal was not spent, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord which he spoke by Eli′jah.
Elijah Revives the Widow’s Son
17 After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill; and his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Eli′jah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to cause the death of my son!” 19 And he said to her, “Give me your son.” And he took him from her bosom, and carried him up into the upper chamber, where he lodged, and laid him upon his own bed. 20 And he cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, hast thou brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?” 21 Then he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, let this child’s soul come into him again.” 22 And the Lord hearkened to the voice of Eli′jah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 And Eli′jah took the child, and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house, and delivered him to his mother; and Eli′jah said, “See, your son lives.” 24 And the woman said to Eli′jah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.”
Elijah’s Message to Ahab
18 After many days the word of the Lord came to Eli′jah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.” 2 So Eli′jah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samar′ia. 3 And Ahab called Obadi′ah, who was over the household. (Now Obadi′ah revered the Lord greatly; 4 and when Jez′ebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, Obadi′ah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.) 5 And Ahab said to Obadi′ah, “Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the valleys; perhaps we may find grass and save the horses and mules alive, and not lose some of the animals.” 6 So they divided the land between them to pass through it; Ahab went in one direction by himself, and Obadi′ah went in another direction by himself.
7 And as Obadi′ah was on the way, behold, Eli′jah met him; and Obadi′ah recognized him, and fell on his face, and said, “Is it you, my lord Eli′jah?” 8 And he answered him, “It is I. Go, tell your lord, ‘Behold, Eli′jah is here.’” 9 And he said, “Wherein have I sinned, that you would give your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me? 10 As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom whither my lord has not sent to seek you; and when they would say, ‘He is not here,’ he would take an oath of the kingdom or nation, that they had not found you. 11 And now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Behold, Eli′jah is here.”’ 12 And as soon as I have gone from you, the Spirit of the Lord will carry you whither I know not; and so, when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will kill me, although I your servant have revered the Lord from my youth. 13 Has it not been told my lord what I did when Jez′ebel killed the prophets of the Lord, how I hid a hundred men of the Lord’s prophets by fifties in a cave, and fed them with bread and water? 14 And now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Behold, Eli′jah is here”’; and he will kill me.” 15 And Eli′jah said, “As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.” 16 So Obadi′ah went to meet Ahab, and told him; and Ahab went to meet Eli′jah.
17 When Ahab saw Eli′jah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel; but you have, and your father’s house, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and followed the Ba′als. 19 Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the four hundred and fifty prophets of Ba′al and the four hundred prophets of Ashe′rah, who eat at Jez′ebel’s table.”
Elijah’s Triumph over the Priests of Baal
20 So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel, and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 And Eli′jah came near to all the people, and said, “How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Ba′al, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. 22 Then Eli′jah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord; but Ba′al’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23 Let two bulls be given to us; and let them choose one bull for themselves, and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it; and I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood, and put no fire to it. 24 And you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” 25 Then Eli′jah said to the prophets of Ba′al, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” 26 And they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Ba′al from morning until noon, saying, “O Ba′al, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped about the altar which they had made. 27 And at noon Eli′jah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is musing, or he has gone aside, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice; no one answered, no one heeded.
30 Then Eli′jah said to all the people, “Come near to me”; and all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down; 31 Eli′jah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, “Israel shall be your name”; 32 and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the burnt offering, and on the wood.” 34 And he said, “Do it a second time”; and they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time”; and they did it a third time. 35 And the water ran round about the altar, and filled the trench also with water.
36 And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Eli′jah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. 37 Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that thou, O Lord, art God, and that thou hast turned their hearts back.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” 40 And Eli′jah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Ba′al; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them; and Eli′jah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and killed them there.
The Drought Ends
41 And Eli′jah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Eli′jah went up to the top of Carmel; and he bowed himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees. 43 And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again seven times.” 44 And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising out of the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” 45 And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. 46 And the hand of the Lord was on Eli′jah; and he girded up his loins and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
Elijah Flees from Jezebel
19 Ahab told Jez′ebel all that Eli′jah had done, and how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jez′ebel sent a messenger to Eli′jah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” 3 Then he was afraid, and he arose and went for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.
4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree; and he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am no better than my fathers.” 5 And he lay down and slept under a broom tree; and behold, an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6 And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank, and lay down again. 7 And the angel of the Lord came again a second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, else the journey will be too great for you.” 8 And he arose, and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.
Elijah Meets God at Horeb
9 And there he came to a cave, and lodged there; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Eli′jah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And when Eli′jah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Eli′jah?” 14 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, you shall anoint Haz′ael to be king over Syria; 16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel; and Eli′sha the son of Shaphat of A′bel-meho′lah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And him who escapes from the sword of Haz′ael shall Jehu slay; and him who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Eli′sha slay. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Ba′al, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
Elisha Becomes Elijah’s Disciple
19 So he departed from there, and found Eli′sha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing, with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Eli′jah passed by him and cast his mantle upon him. 20 And he left the oxen, and ran after Eli′jah, and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again; for what have I done to you?” 21 And he returned from following him, and took the yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Eli′jah, and ministered to him.
Ahab’s Wars with the Arameans
20 Ben-ha′dad the king of Syria gathered all his army together; thirty-two kings were with him, and horses and chariots; and he went up and besieged Samar′ia, and fought against it. 2 And he sent messengers into the city to Ahab king of Israel, and said to him, “Thus says Ben-ha′dad: 3 ‘Your silver and your gold are mine; your fairest wives and children also are mine.’” 4 And the king of Israel answered, “As you say, my lord, O king, I am yours, and all that I have.” 5 The messengers came again, and said, “Thus says Ben-ha′dad: ‘I sent to you, saying, “Deliver to me your silver and your gold, your wives and your children”; 6 nevertheless I will send my servants to you tomorrow about this time, and they shall search your house and the houses of your servants, and lay hands on whatever pleases them,[b] and take it away.’”
7 Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, “Mark, now, and see how this man is seeking trouble; for he sent to me for my wives and my children, and for my silver and my gold, and I did not refuse him.” 8 And all the elders and all the people said to him, “Do not heed or consent.” 9 So he said to the messengers of Ben-ha′dad, “Tell my lord the king, ‘All that you first demanded of your servant I will do; but this thing I cannot do.’” And the messengers departed and brought him word again. 10 Ben-ha′dad sent to him and said, “The gods do so to me and more also, if the dust of Samar′ia shall suffice for handfuls for all the people who follow me.” 11 And the king of Israel answered, “Tell him, ‘Let not him that girds on his armor boast himself as he that puts it off.’” 12 When Ben-ha′dad heard this message as he was drinking with the kings in the booths, he said to his men, “Take your positions.” And they took their positions against the city.
Prophetic Opposition to Ahab
13 And behold, a prophet came near to Ahab king of Israel and said, “Thus says the Lord, Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will give it into your hand this day; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” 14 And Ahab said, “By whom?” He said, “Thus says the Lord, By the servants of the governors of the districts.” Then he said, “Who shall begin the battle?” He answered, “You.” 15 Then he mustered the servants of the governors of the districts, and they were two hundred and thirty-two; and after them he mustered all the people of Israel, seven thousand.
16 And they went out at noon, while Ben-ha′dad was drinking himself drunk in the booths, he and the thirty-two kings who helped him. 17 The servants of the governors of the districts went out first. And Ben-ha′dad sent out scouts, and they reported to him, “Men are coming out from Samar′ia.” 18 He said, “If they have come out for peace, take them alive; or if they have come out for war, take them alive.”
19 So these went out of the city, the servants of the governors of the districts, and the army which followed them. 20 And each killed his man; the Syrians fled and Israel pursued them, but Ben-ha′dad king of Syria escaped on a horse with horsemen. 21 And the king of Israel went out, and captured[c] the horses and chariots, and killed the Syrians with a great slaughter.
22 Then the prophet came near to the king of Israel, and said to him, “Come, strengthen yourself, and consider well what you have to do; for in the spring the king of Syria will come up against you.”
The Arameans Are Defeated
23 And the servants of the king of Syria said to him, “Their gods are gods of the hills, and so they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. 24 And do this: remove the kings, each from his post, and put commanders in their places; 25 and muster an army like the army that you have lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot; then we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.” And he hearkened to their voice, and did so.
26 In the spring Ben-ha′dad mustered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel. 27 And the people of Israel were mustered, and were provisioned, and went against them; the people of Israel encamped before them like two little flocks of goats, but the Syrians filled the country. 28 And a man of God came near and said to the king of Israel, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because the Syrians have said, “The Lord is a god of the hills but he is not a god of the valleys,” therefore I will give all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’” 29 And they encamped opposite one another seven days. Then on the seventh day the battle was joined; and the people of Israel smote of the Syrians a hundred thousand foot soldiers in one day. 30 And the rest fled into the city of Aphek; and the wall fell upon twenty-seven thousand men that were left.
Ben-ha′dad also fled, and entered an inner chamber in the city. 31 And his servants said to him, “Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings; let us put sackcloth on our loins and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel; perhaps he will spare your life.” 32 So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads, and went to the king of Israel and said, “Your servant Ben-ha′dad says, ‘Pray, let me live.’” And he said, “Does he still live? He is my brother.” 33 Now the men were watching for an omen, and they quickly took it up from him and said, “Yes, your brother Ben-ha′dad.” Then he said, “Go and bring him.” Then Ben-ha′dad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot. 34 And Ben-ha′dad said to him, “The cities which my father took from your father I will restore; and you may establish bazaars for yourself in Damascus, as my father did in Samar′ia.” And Ahab said, “I will let you go on these terms.” So he made a covenant with him and let him go.
A Prophet Condemns Ahab
35 And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his fellow at the command of the Lord, “Strike me, I pray.” But the man refused to strike him. 36 Then he said to him, “Because you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, behold, as soon as you have gone from me, a lion shall kill you.” And as soon as he had departed from him, a lion met him and killed him. 37 Then he found another man, and said, “Strike me, I pray.” And the man struck him, smiting and wounding him. 38 So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, disguising himself with a bandage over his eyes. 39 And as the king passed, he cried to the king and said, “Your servant went out into the midst of the battle; and behold, a soldier turned and brought a man to me, and said, ‘Keep this man; if by any means he be missing, your life shall be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver.’ 40 And as your servant was busy here and there, he was gone.” The king of Israel said to him, “So shall your judgment be; you yourself have decided it.” 41 Then he made haste to take the bandage away from his eyes; and the king of Israel recognized him as one of the prophets. 42 And he said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have let go out of your hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people.’” 43 And the king of Israel went to his house resentful and sullen, and came to Samar′ia.
21 Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samar′ia. 2 And after this Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house; and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.” 3 But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” 4 And Ahab went into his house vexed and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him; for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no food.
5 But Jez′ebel his wife came to him, and said to him, “Why is your spirit so vexed that you eat no food?” 6 And he said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it please you, I will give you another vineyard for it’; and he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’” 7 And Jez′ebel his wife said to him, “Do you now govern Israel? Arise, and eat bread, and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”
8 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and she sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who dwelt with Naboth in his city. 9 And she wrote in the letters, “Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people; 10 and set two base fellows opposite him, and let them bring a charge against him, saying, ‘You have cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out, and stone him to death.” 11 And the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who dwelt in his city, did as Jez′ebel had sent word to them. As it was written in the letters which she had sent to them, 12 they proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. 13 And the two base fellows came in and sat opposite him; and the base fellows brought a charge against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city, and stoned him to death with stones. 14 Then they sent to Jez′ebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned; he is dead.”
15 As soon as Jez′ebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jez′ebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” 16 And as soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
Elijah Pronounces God’s Sentence
17 Then the word of the Lord came to Eli′jah the Tishbite, saying, 18 “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samar′ia; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession. 19 And you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Have you killed, and also taken possession?”’ And you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your own blood.”’”
20 Ahab said to Eli′jah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” He answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the Lord. 21 Behold, I will bring evil upon you; I will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel; 22 and I will make your house like the house of Jerobo′am the son of Nebat, and like the house of Ba′asha the son of Ahi′jah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you have made Israel to sin. 23 And of Jez′ebel the Lord also said, ‘The dogs shall eat Jez′ebel within the bounds of Jezreel.’ 24 Any one belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs shall eat; and any one of his who dies in the open country the birds of the air shall eat.”
25 (There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab, whom Jez′ebel his wife incited. 26 He did very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the Lord cast out before the people of Israel.)
27 And when Ahab heard those words, he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about dejectedly. 28 And the word of the Lord came to Eli′jah the Tishbite, saying, 29 “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days; but in his son’s days I will bring the evil upon his house.”
Joint Campaign with Judah against Aram
22 For three years Syria and Israel continued without war. 2 But in the third year Jehosh′aphat 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 Jehosh′aphat, “Will you go with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead?” And Jehosh′aphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”
5 And Jehosh′aphat 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 forbear?” And they said, “Go up; for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” 7 But Jehosh′aphat said, “Is there not here another prophet of the Lord of whom we may inquire?” 8 And the king of Israel said to Jehosh′aphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, Micai′ah the son of Imlah; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil.” And Jehosh′aphat said, “Let not the king say so.” 9 Then the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micai′ah the son of Imlah.” 10 Now the king of Israel and Jehosh′aphat the king of Judah were sitting on their thrones, arrayed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samar′ia; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 11 And Zedeki′ah the son of Chena′anah 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.”
Micaiah Predicts Failure
13 And the messenger who went to summon Micai′ah 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 Micai′ah 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, “Micai′ah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we forbear?” 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 adjure you that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” 17 And he said, “I saw all Israel scattered upon 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 Jehosh′aphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?” 19 And Micai′ah 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 forth, 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 forth 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 spoken evil concerning you.”
24 Then Zedeki′ah the son of Chena′anah came near and struck Micai′ah on the cheek, and said, “How did the Spirit of the Lord go from me to speak to you?” 25 And Micai′ah 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 Micai′ah, and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and to Jo′ash the king’s son; 27 and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this fellow in prison, and feed him with scant fare of bread and water, until I come in peace.”’” 28 And Micai′ah said, “If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Hear, all you peoples!”
Defeat and Death of Ahab
29 So the king of Israel and Jehosh′aphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 30 And the king of Israel said to Jehosh′aphat, “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 Jehosh′aphat, they said, “It is surely the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him; and Jehosh′aphat 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 a venture, and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate; therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn about, and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.” 35 And the battle grew hot 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 Samar′ia; and they buried the king in Samar′ia. 38 And they washed the chariot by the pool of Samar′ia, and the dogs licked up his blood, and the harlots washed themselves in it, according to the word of the Lord which he had spoken. 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, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 40 So Ahab slept with his fathers; and Ahazi′ah his son reigned in his stead.
Jehoshaphat Reigns over Judah
41 Jehosh′aphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42 Jehosh′aphat was thirty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azu′bah the daughter of Shilhi. 43 He walked in all the way of Asa his father; he did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the Lord; yet the high places were not taken away, and the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. 44 Jehosh′aphat also made peace with the king of Israel.
45 Now the rest of the acts of Jehosh′aphat, and his might that he showed, and how he warred, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 46 And the remnant of the male cult prostitutes who remained in the days of his father Asa, he exterminated from the land.
47 There was no king in Edom; a deputy was king. 48 Jehosh′aphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold; but they did not go, for the ships were wrecked at E′zion-ge′ber. 49 Then Ahazi′ah the son of Ahab said to Jehosh′aphat, “Let my servants go with your servants in the ships,” but Jehosh′aphat was not willing. 50 And Jehosh′aphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father; and Jeho′ram his son reigned in his stead.
Ahaziah Reigns over Israel
51 Ahazi′ah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samar′ia in the seventeenth year of Jehosh′aphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel. 52 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jerobo′am the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. 53 He served Ba′al and worshiped him, and provoked the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger in every way that his father had done.