1 Kings 20-22 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
War with Aram
20 Now Ben-hadad king of Aram gathered all his army, and there were thirty-two kings with him, and horses and chariots. And he went up and besieged Samaria and fought against it. 2 Then he sent messengers to the city to Ahab king of Israel and said to him, “Thus says Ben-hadad, 3 ‘Your silver and your gold are mine; your most beautiful wives and children are also mine.’” 4 The king of Israel replied, “It is according to your word, my lord, O king; I am yours, and all that I have.” 5 Then the messengers returned and said, “Thus says [a]Ben-hadad, ‘Surely, I sent to you saying, “You shall give me your silver and your gold and your wives and your children,” 6 but about this time tomorrow I will send my servants to you, and they will search your house and the houses of your servants; and [b]whatever is desirable in your eyes, they will [c]take in their hand and carry away.’”
7 Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land and said, “Please observe and see how this man is looking for trouble; for he sent to me for my wives and my children and my silver and my gold, and I did not refuse him.” 8 All the elders and all the people said to him, “Do not listen or consent.” 9 So he said to the messengers of Ben-hadad, “Tell my lord the king, ‘All that you sent for to your servant at the first I will do, but this thing I cannot do.’” And the messengers departed and brought him word again. 10 Ben-hadad sent to him and said, “May the gods do so to me and more also, if the dust of Samaria will suffice for handfuls for all the people who [d]follow me.” 11 Then the king of Israel replied, “Tell him, ‘Let not him who girds on his armor boast like him who takes it off.’” 12 When Ben-hadad heard this message, as he was drinking [e]with the kings in the [f]temporary shelters, he said to his servants, “Station yourselves.” So they stationed themselves against the city.
13 Now behold, a prophet approached Ahab king of Israel and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will deliver them into your hand today, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’” 14 Ahab said, “By whom?” So he said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘By the young men of the rulers of the provinces.’” Then he said, “Who shall [g]begin the battle?” And he [h]answered, “You.” 15 Then he mustered the young men of the rulers of the provinces, and there were 232; and after them he mustered all the people, even all the sons of Israel, 7,000.
16 They went out at noon, while Ben-hadad was drinking himself drunk in the [i]temporary shelters [j]with the thirty-two kings who helped him. 17 The young men of the rulers of the provinces went out first; and Ben-hadad sent out and they told him, saying, “Men have come out from Samaria.” 18 Then 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 from the city, the young men of the rulers of the provinces, and the army which followed them. 20 They [k]killed each his man; and the Arameans fled and Israel pursued them, and Ben-hadad king of Aram escaped on a horse with horsemen. 21 The king of Israel went out and [l]struck the horses and chariots, and [m]killed the Arameans with a great slaughter.
22 Then the prophet came near to the king of Israel and said to him, “Go, strengthen yourself and observe and see what you have to do; for at the turn of the year the king of Aram will come up against you.”
23 Now the servants of the king of Aram said to him, “Their gods are gods of the mountains, therefore they were stronger than we; but rather let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we will be stronger than they. 24 Do this thing: remove the kings, each from his place, and put captains in their place, 25 and [n]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 will be stronger than they.” And he listened to their voice and did so.
Another Aramean War
26 At the turn of the year, Ben-hadad mustered the Arameans and went up to Aphek to fight against Israel. 27 The sons of Israel were mustered and were provisioned and went to meet them; and the sons of Israel camped before them like two little flocks of goats, but the Arameans filled the country. 28 Then a man of God came near and spoke to the king of Israel and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because the Arameans have said, “The Lord is a god of the mountains, 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 So they camped one over against the other seven days. And on the seventh day the battle was joined, and the sons of Israel [o]killed of the Arameans 100,000 foot soldiers in one day. 30 But the rest fled to Aphek into the city, and the wall fell on 27,000 men who were left. And Ben-hadad fled and came into the city into an inner chamber.
31 His servants said to him, “Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings, please let us put sackcloth on our loins and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel; perhaps he will save your [p]life.” 32 So they girded sackcloth on their loins and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel and said, “Your servant Ben-hadad says, ‘Please let me live.’” And he said, “Is he still alive? He is my brother.” 33 Now the men [q]took this as an omen, and quickly [r]catching his word said, “Your brother Ben-hadad.” Then he said, “Go, bring him.” Then Ben-hadad came out to him, and he [s]took him up into the chariot. 34 Ben-hadad said to him, “The cities which my father took from your father I will restore, and you shall make streets for yourself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria.” Ahab said, “And I will let you go with this covenant.” So he made a covenant with him and let him go.
35 Now a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to [t]another by the word of the Lord, “Please strike me.” But the man refused to strike him. 36 Then he said to him, “Because you have not listened to the voice of the Lord, behold, as soon as you have departed from me, a lion will [u]kill you.” And as soon as he had departed from him a lion found him and [v]killed him. 37 Then he found another man and said, “Please [w]strike me.” And the man [x]struck him, [y]wounding him. 38 So the prophet departed and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with a bandage over his eyes. 39 As the king passed by, he cried to the king and said, “Your servant went out into the midst of the battle; and behold, a man turned aside and brought a man to me and said, ‘Guard this man; if for any reason he is missing, then your life shall be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver.’ 40 While your servant was busy here and there, he was gone.” And the king of Israel said to him, “So shall your judgment be; you yourself have decided it.” 41 Then he hastily took the bandage away from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him that he was of the prophets. 42 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 [z]life shall go for his [aa]life, and your people for his people.’” 43 So the king of Israel went to his house sullen and vexed, and came to Samaria.
Ahab Covets Naboth’s Vineyard
21 Now it came about after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden because it is close beside my house, and I will give you a better vineyard than it in its place; if [ab]you like, I will give you the price of [ac]it in money.” 3 But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid me that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” 4 So Ahab came into his house sullen and vexed because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and ate no [ad]food.
5 But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, “How is it that your spirit is so sullen that you are not eating [ae]food?” 6 So 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 pleases you, I will give you a vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’” 7 Jezebel his wife said to him, “Do you now [af]reign over Israel? Arise, eat bread, and let your heart be joyful; 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 sent letters to the elders and to the nobles who were living with Naboth in his city. 9 Now she wrote in the letters, saying, “Proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people; 10 and seat two worthless men before him, and let them testify against him, saying, ‘You cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him [ag]to death.”
11 So the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them, just as it was written in the letters which she had sent them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the people. 13 Then the two worthless men came in and sat before him; and the worthless men testified against him, even against Naboth, before the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him [ah]to death with stones. 14 Then they sent word to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead.”
15 When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel 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 When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
17 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 18 “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth where he has gone down to take possession of it. 19 You shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Have you murdered and also taken possession?”’ And you shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth the dogs will lick up your blood, even yours.”’”
20 Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” And he [ai]answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the Lord. 21 Behold, I will bring evil upon you, and will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every male, both bond and free in Israel; 22 and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, because of the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger, and because you have made Israel sin. 23 Of Jezebel also has the Lord spoken, saying, ‘The dogs will eat Jezebel in the [aj]district of Jezreel.’ 24 The one belonging to Ahab, who dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and the one who dies in the field the birds of heaven will eat.”
25 Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the Lord, [ak]because Jezebel his wife incited him. 26 He acted very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom the Lord cast out before the sons of Israel.
27 It came about when Ahab heard these words, that he tore his clothes and put [al]on sackcloth and fasted, and he lay in sackcloth and went about [am]despondently. 28 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29 “Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days, but I will bring the evil upon his house in his son’s days.”
Ahab’s Third Campaign against Aram
22 Three [an]years passed without war between Aram and Israel. 2 In the third year Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel. 3 Now the king of Israel said to his servants, “Do you know that Ramoth-gilead belongs to us, and we [ao]are still doing nothing to take it out of the hand of the king of Aram?” 4 And he said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead?” And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”
5 Moreover, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire [ap]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 against Ramoth-gilead to battle or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” 7 But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not yet a prophet of the Lord here that we may inquire of him?” 8 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.” 9 Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, “[aq]Bring quickly Micaiah son of Imlah.” 10 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 11 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are consumed.’” 12 All the prophets were prophesying thus, saying, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and prosper, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.”
Micaiah Predicts Defeat
13 Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, “Behold now, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king. Please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.” 14 But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I shall speak.”
15 When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?” And he [ar]answered him, “Go up and succeed, and the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” 16 Then the king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” 17 So he said,
“I saw all Israel
18 Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”
19 [as]Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left. 20 The Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this while another said that. 21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ 22 The Lord said to him, ‘How?’ And he said, ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then He said, ‘You are to entice him and also prevail. Go and do so.’ 23 Now therefore, behold, the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and the Lord has proclaimed disaster against you.”
24 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “How did the Spirit of the Lord pass from me to speak to you?” 25 Micaiah said, “Behold, you shall see on that day when you enter an inner room to hide yourself.” 26 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; 27 and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this man in prison and feed him [at]sparingly with bread and water until I return safely.”’” 28 Micaiah said, “If you indeed return safely the Lord has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Listen, all you people.”
Defeat and Death of Ahab
29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up against Ramoth-gilead. 30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into the battle, but you put on your robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into the battle. 31 Now the king of Aram had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, saying, “Do not fight with small or great, but with the king of Israel alone.” 32 So when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “Surely it is the king of Israel,” and they turned aside to fight against him, and Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 When the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.
34 Now a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel [au]in a joint of the armor. So he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn [av]around and take me out of the [aw]fight; for I am severely wounded.” 35 The battle [ax]raged that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot in front of the Arameans, and died at evening, and the blood from the wound ran into the bottom of the chariot. 36 Then a cry passed throughout the army close to sunset, saying, “Every man to his city and every man to his [ay]country.”
37 So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried the king in Samaria. 38 They washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood (now the harlots bathed themselves there), according to the word of the Lord which He spoke. 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 which 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 Ahaziah his son became king in his place.
The New Rulers
41 Now Jehoshaphat the son of Asa became king over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 43 He walked in all the way of Asa his father; he did not turn aside from it, doing right in the sight of the Lord. However, the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burnt incense on the high places. 44 Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel.
45 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might which he showed and how he warred, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 46 The remnant of the sodomites who remained in the days of his father Asa, he [az]expelled from the land.
47 Now there was no king in Edom; a deputy was king. 48 Jehoshaphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold, but they did not go for the ships were broken at Ezion-geber. 49 Then Ahaziah the son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my servants go with your servants in the ships.” But Jehoshaphat was not willing. 50 And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of his father David, and Jehoram his son became king in his place.
51 Ahaziah the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel. 52 He did 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 Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin. 53 So he served Baal and worshiped him and provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger, according to all that his father had done.
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