1 Kings 22
Micaiah Warns Ahab about Disaster
22 For the next three years there was peace between Israel and Syria. 2 During the third year King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to visit King Ahab of Israel.
3 Ahab asked his officials, “Why haven’t we tried to get Ramoth in Gilead back from the Syrians? It belongs to us.” 4 Then he asked Jehoshaphat, “Would you go to Ramoth with me and attack the Syrians?”
“Just tell me what to do,” Jehoshaphat answered. “My army and horses are at your command. 5 But first, let’s ask the Lord.”
6 Ahab sent for about four hundred prophets and asked, “Should I attack the Syrians at Ramoth?”
“Yes!” the prophets answered. “The Lord will help you defeat them.”
7 But Jehoshaphat said, “Just to make sure, is there another of the Lord’s prophets we can ask?”
8 “We could ask Micaiah son of Imlah,” Ahab said. “But I hate Micaiah. He always has bad news for me.”
“Don’t say that!” Jehoshaphat replied. 9 Then Ahab sent someone to bring Micaiah as soon as possible.
10 All this time, Ahab and Jehoshaphat were dressed in their royal robes and were seated on their thrones at the threshing place near the gate of Samaria. They were listening to the prophets tell them what the Lord had said.
11 Zedekiah son of Chenaanah was one of the prophets. He had made some horns out of iron and shouted, “Ahab, the Lord says you will attack the Syrians like a bull with iron horns and wipe them out!”
12 All the prophets agreed that Ahab should attack the Syrians at Ramoth, and they promised that the Lord would help him defeat them.
13 Meanwhile, the messenger who went to get Micaiah whispered, “Micaiah, all the prophets have good news for Ahab. Now go and say the same thing.”
14 “I’ll say whatever the living Lord tells me to say,” Micaiah replied.
15 Then Micaiah went to Ahab, and Ahab asked, “Micaiah, should I attack the Syrians at Ramoth?”
“Yes!” Micaiah answered. “The Lord will help you defeat them.”
16 “Micaiah, I’ve told you over and over to tell me the truth!” Ahab shouted. “What does the Lord really say?”
17 He answered, “In a vision[a] I saw Israelite soldiers walking around in the hills like sheep without a shepherd to guide them. The Lord said, ‘This army has no leader. They should go home and not fight.’”
18 Ahab turned to Jehoshaphat and said, “I told you he would bring bad news!”
19 Micaiah replied:
Listen to this! I also saw the Lord seated on his throne with every creature in heaven gathered around him. 20 The Lord asked, “Who can trick Ahab and make him go to Ramoth where he will be killed?”
They talked about it for a while, 21 then finally a spirit came forward and said to the Lord, “I can trick Ahab.”
“How?” the Lord asked.
22 “I’ll make Ahab’s prophets lie to him.”
“Good!” the Lord replied. “Now go and do it.”
23 This is exactly what has happened, Ahab. The Lord made all your prophets lie to you, and he knows you will soon be destroyed.
24 Zedekiah walked up to Micaiah and slapped him on the face. Then he asked, “Do you really think the Lord would speak to you and not to me?”
25 Micaiah answered, “You’ll find out on the day you have to hide in the back room of some house.”
26 Ahab shouted, “Arrest Micaiah! Take him to Prince Joash and Governor Amon of Samaria. 27 Tell them to put him in prison and to give him nothing but bread and water until I come back safely.”
28 Micaiah said, “If you do come back, I was wrong about what the Lord wanted me to say.” Then he told the crowd, “Don’t forget what I said!”
Ahab Dies at Ramoth
29 Ahab and Jehoshaphat led their armies to Ramoth in Gilead. 30 Before they went into battle, Ahab said, “Jehoshaphat, I’ll disguise myself, but you wear your royal robe.” Then Ahab disguised himself and went into battle.
31 The king of Syria had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders to attack only Ahab. 32 So when they saw Jehoshaphat in his robe, they thought he was Ahab and started to attack him. But when Jehoshaphat shouted out to them, 33 they realized he wasn’t Ahab, and they left him alone.
34 However, during the fighting a soldier shot an arrow without even aiming, and it hit Ahab where two pieces of his armor joined. He shouted to his chariot driver, “I’ve been hit! Get me out of here!”
35 The fighting lasted all day, with Ahab propped up in his chariot so he could see the Syrian troops. He bled so much that the bottom of the chariot was covered with blood, and by evening he was dead.
36 As the sun was going down, someone in Israel’s army shouted to the others, “Retreat! Go back home!”
37 Ahab’s body was taken to Samaria and buried there. 38 Some workers washed his chariot near a spring in Samaria, and prostitutes washed themselves in his blood.[b] Dogs licked Ahab’s blood off the ground, just as the Lord had warned.
39 Everything else Ahab did while he was king, including the towns he strengthened and the palace he built and furnished with ivory, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 40 Ahab died, and his son Ahaziah became king.
King Jehoshaphat of Judah
41 Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king of Judah in Ahab’s fourth year as king of Israel. 42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he ruled from Jerusalem for twenty-five years. His mother was Azubah daughter of Shilhi.
43-46 Jehoshaphat obeyed the Lord, just as his father Asa had done, and during his rule he was at peace with the king of Israel.
He got rid of the rest of the prostitutes[c] from the local shrines, but he did not destroy the shrines, and they were still used as places for offering sacrifices.
Everything else Jehoshaphat did while he was king, including his brave deeds and military victories, is written in The History of the Kings of Judah.
47 The country of Edom had no king at the time, so a lower official ruled the land.
48 Jehoshaphat had seagoing ships[d] built to sail to Ophir for gold. But they were wrecked at Ezion-Geber and never sailed. 49 Ahaziah son of Ahab offered to let his sailors go with Jehoshaphat’s sailors, but Jehoshaphat refused.
50 Jehoshaphat died and was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem,[e] and his son Jehoram became king.
King Ahaziah of Israel
51 Ahaziah son of Ahab became king of Israel in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat’s rule in Judah, and he ruled two years from Samaria.
52 Ahaziah disobeyed the Lord, just as his father, his mother, and Jeroboam had done. They all led Israel to sin. 53 Ahaziah worshiped Baal and made the Lord God of Israel very angry, just as his father had done.
- 22.17 vision: In ancient times, prophets often told about future events from what they had seen in visions or dreams.
- 22.38 prostitutes. . . blood: Or “they cleaned his weapons.”
- 22.43-46 prostitutes: See the note at 14.24.
- 22.48 seagoing ships: See the note at 10.22.
- 22.50 Jerusalem: Hebrew “the city of his ancestor David.”
16 Paul got up. He motioned with his hand and said:
People of Israel, and everyone else who worships God, listen! 17 The God of Israel chose our ancestors, and he let our people prosper while they were living in Egypt. Then with his mighty power he led them out, 18 and for about forty years he took care of[a] them in the desert. 19 He destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan and gave their land to our people. 20 All this happened in about 450 years.
Then God gave our people judges until the time of the prophet Samuel, 21 but the people demanded a king. So for forty years God gave them King Saul, the son of Kish from the tribe of Benjamin. 22 Later, God removed Saul and let David rule in his place. God said about him, “David the son of Jesse is the kind of person who pleases me most! He does everything I want him to do.”
23 God promised that someone from David’s family would come to save the people of Israel, and that one is Jesus. 24 But before Jesus came, John was telling everyone in Israel to turn back to God and be baptized. 25 Then, when John’s work was almost done, he said, “Who do you people think I am? Do you think I am the Promised One? He will come later, and I am not good enough to untie his sandals.”
26 Now listen, you descendants of Abraham! Pay attention, all of you Gentiles who are here to worship God! Listen to this message about how to be saved, because it is for everyone. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their leaders didn’t realize who Jesus was. And they didn’t understand the words of the prophets that they read each Sabbath. So they condemned Jesus just as the prophets had said.
28-29 They did exactly what the Scriptures said they would. Even though they couldn’t find any reason to put Jesus to death, they still asked Pilate to have him killed.
After Jesus had been put to death, he was taken down from the cross[b] and placed in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from death! 31 Then for many days Jesus appeared to his followers who had gone with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. Now they are telling our people about him.
32 God made a promise to our ancestors. And we are here to tell you the good news 33 that he has kept this promise to us. It is just as the second Psalm says about Jesus,
“You are my son because today
I have become your Father.”
34 God raised Jesus from death and will never let his body decay. It is just as God said,
“I will make to you
the same holy promise
that I made to David.”
35 And in another psalm it says, “God will never let the body of his Holy One decay.”
36 When David was alive, he obeyed God. Then after he died, he was buried in the family grave, and his body decayed. 37 But God raised Jesus from death, and his body did not decay.
38 My friends, the message is that Jesus can forgive your sins! The Law of Moses could not set you free from all your sins. 39 But everyone who has faith in Jesus is set free. 40 Make sure that what the prophets have said doesn’t happen to you. They said,
41 “Look, you people
who make fun of God!
I will do something today
that you won’t believe,
even if someone
tells you about it!”
Praise the Lord with All Your Heart
138 With all my heart
I praise you, Lord.
In the presence of angels[a]
I sing your praises.
2 I worship at your holy temple
and praise you for your love
and your faithfulness.
You were true to your word
and made yourself more famous
than ever before.[b]
3 When I asked for your help,
you answered my prayer
and gave me courage.[c]
4 All kings on this earth
have heard your promises, Lord,
and they will praise you.
5 You are so famous
that they will sing
about the things you have done.
6 Though you are above us all,
you care for humble people,
and you keep a close watch
on everyone who is proud.
7 I am surrounded by trouble,
but you protect me
against my angry enemies.
With your own powerful arm
you keep me safe.
8 You, Lord, will always
treat me with kindness.
Your love never fails.
You have made us what we are.
Don’t give up on us now![d]
- 138.1 angels: Or “gods” or “supernatural beings” who worship and serve God in heaven or “rulers” or “leaders.”
- 138.2 You were. . . before: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 138.3 and gave me courage: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 138.8 You have. . . now: Or “Please don’t desert your people.”
17 A friend is always a friend,
and relatives are born
to share our troubles.
18 It’s stupid to guarantee
someone else’s loan.