2 Chronicles 18 Good News Translation (GNT)
The Prophet Micaiah Warns Ahab
18 When King Jehoshaphat of Judah became rich and famous, he arranged a marriage between a member of his family and the family of King Ahab of Israel. 2 A number of years later Jehoshaphat went to the city of Samaria to visit Ahab. To honor Jehoshaphat and those with him, Ahab had a large number of sheep and cattle slaughtered for a feast. He tried to persuade Jehoshaphat to join him in attacking the city of Ramoth in Gilead. 3 He asked, “Will you go with me to attack Ramoth?”
Jehoshaphat replied, “I am ready when you are, and so is my army. We will join you.” 4 Then he added, “But first let's consult the Lord.”
5 So Ahab called in the prophets, about four hundred of them, and asked them, “Should I go and attack Ramoth, or not?”
“Attack it,” they answered. “God will give you victory.”
6 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Isn't there another prophet through whom we can consult the Lord?”
7 Ahab answered, “There is one more, Micaiah son of Imlah. But I hate him because he never prophesies anything good for me; it's always something bad.”
“You shouldn't say that!” Jehoshaphat replied.
8 So King Ahab called in a court official and told him to go and get Micaiah at once.
9 The two kings, dressed in their royal robes, were sitting on their thrones at the threshing place just outside the gate of Samaria, and all the prophets were prophesying in front of them. 10 One of them, Zedekiah son of Chenaanah, made iron horns and said to Ahab, “This is what the Lord says, ‘With these you will fight the Syrians and totally defeat them.’” 11 All the other prophets said the same thing. “March against Ramoth and you will win,” they said. “The Lord will give you victory.”
12 Meanwhile, the official who had gone to get Micaiah said to him, “All the other prophets have prophesied success for the king, and you had better do the same.”
13 But Micaiah answered, “By the living Lord I will say what my God tells me to!”
14 When he appeared before King Ahab, the king asked him, “Micaiah, should King Jehoshaphat and I go and attack Ramoth, or not?”
“Attack!” Micaiah answered. “Of course you'll win. The Lord will give you victory.”
15 But Ahab replied, “When you speak to me in the name of the Lord, tell the truth! How many times do I have to tell you that?”
16 Micaiah answered, “I can see the army of Israel scattered over the hills like sheep without a shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These men have no leader; let them go home in peace.’”
17 Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “I told you that he never prophesies anything good for me; it's always something bad!”
18 Micaiah went on: “Now listen to what the Lord says! I saw the Lord sitting on his throne in heaven, with all his angels standing beside him. 19 The Lord asked, ‘Who will deceive Ahab so that he will go and get killed at Ramoth?’ Some of the angels said one thing, and others said something else, 20 until a spirit stepped forward, approached the Lord, and said, ‘I will deceive him.’ ‘How?’ the Lord asked. 21 The spirit replied, ‘I will go and make all of Ahab's prophets tell lies.’ The Lord said, ‘Go and deceive him. You will succeed.’”
22 And Micaiah concluded: “This is what has happened. The Lord has made these prophets of yours lie to you. But he himself has decreed that you will meet with disaster!”
23 Then the prophet Zedekiah went up to Micaiah, slapped his face, and asked, “Since when did the Lord's spirit leave me and speak to you?”
24 “You will find out when you go into some back room to hide,” Micaiah replied.
25 Then King Ahab ordered one of his officers, “Arrest Micaiah and take him to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Prince Joash. 26 Tell them to throw him in prison and to put him on bread and water until I return safely.”
27 “If you return safely,” Micaiah exclaimed, “then the Lord has not spoken through me!” And he added, “Listen, everyone, to what I have said!”
The Death of Ahab
28 Then King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to attack the city of Ramoth in Gilead. 29 Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “As we go into battle, I will disguise myself, but you wear your royal garments.” So the king of Israel went into battle in disguise.
30 The king of Syria had ordered his chariot commanders to attack no one else except the king of Israel. 31 So when they saw King Jehoshaphat, they all thought that he was the king of Israel, and they turned to attack him. But Jehoshaphat gave a shout, and the Lord God rescued him and turned the attack away from him. 32 The chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel, so they stopped pursuing him. 33 By chance, however, a Syrian soldier shot an arrow which struck King Ahab between the joints of his armor. “I'm wounded!” he cried out to his chariot driver. “Turn around and pull out of the battle!” 34 While the battle raged on, King Ahab remained propped up in his chariot, facing the Syrians. At sunset he died.
2 Chronicles 18 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Micaiah Predicts Failure
18 Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor; and he made a marriage alliance with Ahab. 2 After some years he went down to Ahab in Samaria. Ahab slaughtered an abundance of sheep and oxen for him and for the people who were with him, and induced him to go up against Ramoth-gilead. 3 King Ahab of Israel said to King Jehoshaphat of Judah, “Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead?” He answered him, “I am with you, my people are your people. We will be with you in the war.”
4 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “Inquire first for the word of the Lord.” 5 Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred of them, and said to them, “Shall we go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I refrain?” They said, “Go up; for God will give it into the hand of the king.” 6 But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there no other prophet of the Lord here of whom we may inquire?” 7 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one other by whom we may inquire of the Lord, Micaiah son of Imlah; but I hate him, for he never prophesies anything favorable about me, but only disaster.” Jehoshaphat said, “Let the king not say such a thing.” 8 Then the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah son of Imlah.” 9 Now the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah were sitting on their thrones, arrayed in their robes; and 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 son of Chenaanah made for himself horns of iron, and he said, “Thus says the Lord: With these you shall gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.” 11 All the prophets were prophesying the same and saying, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and triumph; the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.”
12 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, 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.” 13 But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, whatever my God says, that I will speak.”
14 When he had come to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?” He answered, “Go up and triumph; they will be given into your hand.” 15 But 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[a] said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep without a shepherd; and the Lord said, ‘These have no master; let each one go home in peace.’” 17 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy anything favorable about me, but only disaster?”
18 Then Micaiah[b] said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, with all the host of heaven standing to the right and to the left of him. 19 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice King Ahab of Israel, so that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ Then one said one thing, and another said another, 20 until a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ The Lord asked him, ‘How?’ 21 He replied, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then the Lord[c] said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do it.’ 22 So you see, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these your prophets; the Lord has decreed disaster for you.”
23 Then Zedekiah son of Chenaanah came up to Micaiah, slapped him on the cheek, and said, “Which way did the spirit of the Lord pass from me to speak to you?” 24 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on that day when you go in to hide in an inner chamber.” 25 The king of Israel then ordered, “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 fellow in prison, and feed him on reduced rations of bread and water until I return in peace.’” 27 Micaiah said, “If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Hear, you peoples, all of you!”
Defeat and Death of Ahab
28 So the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle. 30 Now the king of Aram had commanded the captains of his chariots, “Fight with no one small or great, but only with the king of Israel.” 31 When the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him; and Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him. God drew them away from him, 32 for when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 33 But a certain man drew his bow and unknowingly struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate; so he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around, and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.” 34 The battle grew hot that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot facing the Arameans until evening; then at sunset he died.
2 Chronicles 18 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
18 Y’hoshafat had wealth and honor in abundance, and by marriage he allied himself with Ach’av. 2 After some years he went down to Ach’av in Shomron. Ach’av slaughtered sheep and oxen in abundance for him and the people with him, and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramot-Gil‘ad. 3 Ach’av king of Isra’el said to Y’hoshafat king of Y’hudah, “Will you go with me to Ramot-Gil‘ad?” He answered him, “I’m with you all the way; think of my troops as yours; we will join you in this war.” 4 But Y’hoshafat said to the king of Isra’el, “First, we should seek the word of Adonai.”
5 So the king of Isra’el assembled the prophets, 400 men. “Should we attack Ramot-Gil‘ad?” he asked them, “Or should I hold off?” They said, “Attack. God will hand it over to the king.” 6 But Y’hoshafat said, “Besides these, isn’t there a prophet of Adonai here that we can consult?” 7 The king of Isra’el said to Y’hoshafat, “Yes, there is still one man through whom we can consult Adonai; but I hate him, because he never prophesies anything good for me, only bad! It’s Mikhay’hu the son of Yimlah.” Y’hoshafat replied, “The king shouldn’t say such a thing.”
8 Then the king called an officer and said, “Quickly! Bring Mikhay’hu the son of Yimlah.” 9 Now the king of Isra’el and Y’hoshafat the king of Y’hudah were each sitting on his throne, dressed in their royal robes; they were sitting in a threshing-floor at the entrance to the gate of Shomron; and all the prophets were there, prophesying in their presence. 10 Tzidkiyah the son of Kena‘anah had made himself some horns out of iron and said, “This is what Adonai says: ‘With these you will gore Aram until they are destroyed.’” 11 All the prophets prophesied the same thing: “Go up and attack Ramot-Gil‘ad. You will succeed, because Adonai will hand it over to the king.”
12 The messenger who had gone to call Mikhay’hu said to him, “Here, now, the prophets are unanimously predicting success for the king. Please let your word be like one of theirs — say something good.” 13 But Mikhay’hu answered, “As Adonai lives, whatever my God says is what I will say.”
14 When he reached the king, the king asked him, “Mikhay’hu, should we go up and attack Ramot-Gil‘ad, or should we hold off?” He answered, “Go up, you will succeed, they will be handed over to you.” 15 The king said to him, “How many times do I have to warn you to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of Adonai?” 16 Then he said, “I saw all Isra’el scattered over the hills like sheep without a shepherd; and Adonai said, ‘These men have no leader; let everyone go home in peace.’” 17 The king of Isra’el said to Y’hoshafat, “Didn’t I tell you that he wouldn’t prophesy good things about me, but bad?”
18 Mikhay’hu continued: “Therefore, hear the word of Adonai. I saw Adonai sitting on his throne with the whole army of heaven standing on his right and on his left. 19 Adonai asked, ‘Who will entice Ach’av king of Isra’el to go up to his death at Ramot-Gil‘ad?’ One of them said, ‘Do it this way,’ and another, ‘Do it that way.’ 20 Then a spirit stepped up, stood in front of Adonai and said, ‘I will entice him.’ Adonai asked, ‘How?’ 21 He answered, ‘I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.’ Adonai said, ‘You will succeed in enticing him. Go, and do it.’ 22 So now Adonai has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours; meanwhile, Adonai has ordained disaster for you.”
23 Then Tzidkiyah the son of Kena‘anah came up, slapped Mikhay’hu in the face and said, “And how did the Spirit of Adonai leave me to speak to you?” 24 Mikhay’hu said, “You’ll find out the day you go into an inside room, trying to hide.”
25 The king of Isra’el said, “Seize Mikhay’hu, and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and Yo’ash the king’s son. 26 Say, ‘The king says to put this man in prison; and feed him only bread and water, and not much of that, until I come back in peace.’” 27 Mikhay’hu said, “If you return in peace at all, Adonai has not spoken through me!” Then he added, “Did you hear me, you peoples, all of you?”
28 So the king of Isra’el and Y’hoshafat the king of Y’hudah went up to Ramot-Gil‘ad. 29 The king of Isra’el said to Y’hoshafat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle; but you, put on your robes.” So the king of Isra’el disguised himself and went into battle. 30 Now the king of Aram had ordered his chariot commanders, “Don’t attack anyone of either high or low rank, only the king of Isra’el.” 31 So when the chariot commanders saw Y’hoshafat they said, “This is the king of Isra’el,” and turned to attack him. But Y’hoshafat called out, and Adonai came to his aid — God moved them to leave him alone, 32 so that when the chariot commanders saw that he wasn’t the king of Isra’el, they stopped pursuing him. 33 However, one soldier shot an arrow at random and struck the king of Isra’el between his lower armor and the breastplate. The king said to his chariot-driver, “Turn the reins and take me out of the fighting; I’m collapsing from my wounds.” 34 But the fighting grew fiercer that day; and although the king of Isra’el propped himself upright in his chariot facing Aram until evening, around sunset he died.
2 Chronicles 18 The Message (MSG)
18 1-3 But even though Jehoshaphat was very rich and much honored, he made a marriage alliance with Ahab of Israel. Some time later he paid a visit to Ahab at Samaria. Ahab celebrated his visit with a feast—a huge barbecue with all the lamb and beef you could eat. But Ahab had a hidden agenda; he wanted Jehoshaphat’s support in attacking Ramoth Gilead. Then Ahab brought it into the open: “Will you join me in attacking Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat said, “You bet. I’m with you all the way; you can count on me and my troops.”
4 Then Jehoshaphat said, “But before you do anything, ask God for guidance.”
5 The king of Israel got the prophets together—all four hundred of them—and put the question to them: “Should I attack Ramoth Gilead or should I hold back?”
“Go for it,” they said. “God will hand it over to the king.”
6 But Jehoshaphat dragged his feet, “Is there another prophet of God around here we can consult? Let’s get a second opinion.”
7 The king of Israel told Jehoshaphat, “As a matter of fact, there is another. But I hate him. He never preaches anything good to me, only doom, doom, doom—Micaiah son of Imlah.”
“The king shouldn’t talk about a prophet like that!” said Jehoshaphat.
8 So the king of Israel ordered one of his men, “Quickly, get Micaiah son of Imlah.”
9-11 Meanwhile, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat were seated on their thrones, dressed in their royal robes, resplendent in front of the Samaria city gates. All the prophets were staging a prophecy-performance for their benefit. Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had even made a set of iron horns, and brandishing them, called out, “God’s word! With these horns you’ll gore Aram until there’s nothing left of them!” All the prophets chimed in, “Yes! Go for Ramoth Gilead! An easy victory! God’s gift to the king!”
12 The messenger who went to get Micaiah told him, “The prophets have all said Yes to the king. Make it unanimous—vote Yes!”
13 But Micaiah said, “As sure as God lives, what God says, I’ll say.”
14 With Micaiah before him, the king asked him, “So, Micaiah—do we attack Ramoth Gilead? Or do we hold back?”
“Go ahead,” he said, “an easy victory! God’s gift to the king.”
15 “Not so fast,” said the king. “How many times have I made you promise under oath to tell me the truth and nothing but the truth?”
16 “All right,” said Micaiah, “since you insist . . .
I saw all of Israel scattered over the hills,
17 The king of Israel turned to Jehoshaphat, “See! What did I tell you? He never has a good word for me from God, only doom.”
18-21 Micaiah kept on, “I’m not done yet; listen to God’s word:
I saw God enthroned,
22 “And that’s what has happened. God filled the mouths of your puppet prophets with seductive lies. God has pronounced your doom.”
23 Just then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah came up and slapped Micaiah in the face, saying, “Since when did the Spirit of God leave me and take up with you?”
24 Micaiah said, “You’ll know soon enough; you’ll know it when you’re frantically and futilely looking for a place to hide.”
25-26 The king of Israel had heard enough: “Get Micaiah out of here! Turn him over to Amon the city magistrate and to Joash the king’s son with this message: ‘King’s orders! Lock him up in jail; keep him on bread and water until I’m back in one piece.’”
27 Micaiah said,
If you ever get back in one piece,
When it happens, O people,
28-29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went ahead and attacked Ramoth Gilead. The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Wear my kingly robe; I’m going into battle disguised.” So the king of Israel entered the battle in disguise.
30 Meanwhile, the king of Aram had ordered his chariot commanders (there were thirty-two of them), “Don’t bother with anyone whether small or great; go after the king of Israel and him only.”
31-32 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “There he is! The king of Israel!” and took after him. Jehoshaphat yelled out, and the chariot commanders realized they had the wrong man—it wasn’t the king of Israel after all. God intervened and they let him go.
33 Just then someone, without aiming, shot an arrow into the crowd and hit the king of Israel in the chink of his armor. The king told his charioteer, “Turn back! Get me out of here—I’m wounded.”
34 All day the fighting continued, hot and heavy. Propped up in his chariot, the king watched from the sidelines. He died that evening.