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2 Chronicles 18Amplified Bible (AMP)

Jehoshaphat Allies with Ahab

18 Now Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor, and was allied by [a]marriage with Ahab. Some years later he went down to [visit] Ahab in Samaria. And Ahab slaughtered many sheep and oxen for him and the people who were with him, and induced him to go up against Ramoth-gilead. Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me to [fight against] Ramoth-gilead?” He answered, “I am as you are, and my people as your people [your hopes and concerns are ours]; we will be with you in the battle.”

Further, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire [b]first for the word of the Lord.” Then the king of Israel assembled the prophets, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for God will hand it over to the king.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there no prophet of the Lord still here by whom we may inquire?” The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, but I hate him, for he never prophesies [anything] good for me, but always evil. He is Micaiah the son of Imla” And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so [perhaps this time it will be different].”

Ahab’s False Prophets Assure Victory

Then the king of Israel called for an officer and said, “Bring Micaiah the son of Imla quickly.” Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting, each on his throne, arrayed in their robes; they were sitting at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 10 Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made horns of iron for himself; and said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘With these you shall gore the Arameans (Syrians) until they are destroyed.’” 11 All the prophets prophesied this, saying, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and succeed; the Lord will hand it over to the king.”

Micaiah Brings Word from God

12 The messenger who went to call Micaiah said to him, “Listen, the words of the prophets are of one accord, foretelling a favorable outcome for the king. So just let your word be like one of them and speak favorably.” 13 But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, I will [only] speak what my God says.”

14 When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?” And he said, “Go up and succeed, for they will be handed over to you.” 15 Then the king said to him, “How many times must I warn you (make you swear an oath) to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” 16 Then Micaiah said,

“I saw all [the people of] Israel
Scattered on the mountains,
As sheep that have no shepherd;
And the Lord said,
‘These have no master.
Let each one return to his house in peace.’”

17 Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good in regard to me, but [only] evil?”

18 So Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host (army) of heaven standing on His right and on His left. 19 Then the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel to go up and fall [defeated] at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this and another said that. 20 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ The Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ 21 He said, ‘I will go out and be a deceptive spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then the Lord said, ‘You are to entice him and also succeed. Go and do so.’ 22 Now, you see, the Lord put a deceptive spirit in the mouth of these prophets of yours; and the Lord has [actually] proclaimed disaster against you.”

23 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came up and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “Which way did the Spirit of the Lord go [when he departed] from me to speak to you?” 24 Micaiah said, “Behold, you will see on that day when you go into an inner room [desperately trying] to hide yourself.” 25 Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’s son, 26 and say, ‘Thus says the king: “Put this man in prison and feed him just enough bread and water to survive until I return in peace (safely).”’” 27 But Micaiah said, “If you actually return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me.” And he added, “Listen [to what I have said], you people, all of you.”

Ahab’s Defeat and Death

28 So [Ahab] the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up against Ramoth-gilead. 29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “[c]I will disguise myself and will go into battle, but you put on your [royal] robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into the battle. 30 Now the king of [d]Aram (Syria) had commanded the captains of his chariots, saying, “Do not fight with the small or the great, but only with the king of Israel.” 31 So when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat [of Judah], they said, “It is the king of Israel!” So they turned to fight against him, but Jehoshaphat called out [for God’s help], and the Lord helped him; and God diverted them away from him. 32 When the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 33 Then a certain man drew his bow at random and struck [Ahab] the king of Israel between the scales of his armor. So Ahab said to his chariot driver, “Turn around and take me out of the battle, because I am seriously wounded.” 34 The battle raged that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot in front of the Arameans (Syrians) until the evening, and at sunset he died.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 18:1 Jehoshaphat was married to Athaliah, Ahab’s daughter.
  2. 2 Chronicles 18:4 Lit as the day.
  3. 2 Chronicles 18:29 Jehoshaphat may have agreed to this because he thought it was a noble gesture on Ahab’s part; i.e. Ahab fighting incognito alongside his troops while Jehoshaphat would presumably stay aloof under the protection of his own bodyguard. More likely Ahab’s plan was simply to disguise himself and let Jehoshaphat be the target by unwittingly serving as Ahab’s double, and the plan very nearly succeeded.
  4. 2 Chronicles 18:30 The people of the kingdom of Aram were descendants of Aram, the son of Shem, son of Noah (Gen 10:22, 23). The territory of the Arameans also included areas later identified as Syria and Mesopotamia.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

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2 Chronicles 18New International Version (NIV)

Micaiah Prophesies Against Ahab

18 Now Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor, and he allied himself with Ahab by marriage. Some years later he went down to see Ahab in Samaria. Ahab slaughtered many sheep and cattle for him and the people with him and urged him to attack Ramoth Gilead. Ahab king of Israel asked Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me against Ramoth Gilead?”

Jehoshaphat replied, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will join you in the war.” But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”

So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I not?”

“Go,” they answered, “for God will give it into the king’s hand.”

But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?”

The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”

“The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied.

So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”

Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them. 10 Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns, and he declared, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’”

11 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”

12 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.”

13 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what my God says.”

14 When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I not?”

“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for they will be given into your hand.”

15 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”

16 Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’”

17 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”

18 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing on his right and on his left. 19 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’

“One suggested this, and another that. 20 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’

“‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.

21 “‘I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.

“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’

22 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.”

23 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from[a] the Lord go when he went from me to speak to you?” he asked.

24 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.”

25 The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son, 26 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.’”

27 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!”

Ahab Killed at Ramoth Gilead

28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead. 29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will enter the battle in disguise, but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.

30 Now the king of Aram had ordered his chariot commanders, “Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel.” 31 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought, “This is the king of Israel.” So they turned to attack him, but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him. God drew them away from him, 32 for when the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel, they stopped pursuing him.

33 But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the breastplate and the scale armor. The king told the chariot driver, “Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I’ve been wounded.” 34 All day long the battle raged, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot facing the Arameans until evening. Then at sunset he died.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 18:23 Or Spirit of
New International Version (NIV)

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