Micaiah warns King Ahab of Israel
(1 Kings 22.1-28)
1Jehoshaphat was now very rich and famous. He signed a treaty with King Ahab of Israel by arranging the marriage of his son and Ahab's daughter.
2One day, Jehoshaphat went to visit Ahab in his capital city of Samaria. Ahab slaughtered sheep and cattle and prepared a big feast to honour Jehoshaphat and the officials with him. Ahab talked about attacking the city of Ramoth in Gilead,18.2 attacking the city of Ramoth in Gilead: The Syrians had taken control of Ramoth (see 1 Kings 22.3,4). 3and finally asked, “Jehoshaphat, would you go with me to attack Ramoth?”
“Yes,” Jehoshaphat answered. “My army is at your command. 4But first let's ask the LORD what to do.”
5Ahab sent for four hundred prophets and asked, “Should I attack the city of Ramoth?”
“Yes!” the prophets answered. “God will help you capture the city.”
6But Jehoshaphat said, “Just to make sure, is there another of the LORD's prophets we can ask?”
7“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. 8Then Ahab sent someone to bring Micaiah as soon as possible.
9All 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, listening to the prophets tell them what the LORD had said.
10Zedekiah 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!”
11All the prophets agreed that Ahab should attack the Syrians at Ramoth and promised that the LORD would help him defeat them.
12Meanwhile, the messenger who went to get Micaiah whispered, “Micaiah, all the prophets have good news for Ahab. Now go and say the same thing.”
13“I'll say whatever the living LORD my God tells me to say,” Micaiah replied.
14Then Micaiah went up to Ahab, who asked, “Micaiah, should we attack Ramoth?”
“Yes!” Micaiah answered. “The LORD will help you capture the city.”
15Ahab shouted, “Micaiah, I've told you over and over again to tell me the truth! What does the LORD really say?”
16Micaiah answered, “In a vision18.16 vision: In ancient times, prophets often told about future events from what they had seen in visions or dreams. I saw Israelite soldiers wandering around, lost in the hills like sheep without a shepherd. The LORD said, ‘These troops have no leader. They should go home and not fight.’ ”18.16: Nu 27.17; Ez 34.5; Mt 9.36; Mk 6.34.
17Ahab turned to Jehoshaphat and said, “I told you he would bring me bad news!”
I then saw the LORD seated on his throne with every creature in heaven gathered around him. 19The LORD asked, “Who can trick Ahab and make him go to Ramoth where he will be killed?”
They talked about it for a while, 20then finally a spirit came forward and said to the LORD, “I can trick Ahab.”
“How?” the LORD asked.
21“I'll make Ahab's prophets lie to him.”
“Good!” the LORD replied. “Now go and do it. You will be successful.”
22Ahab, this is exactly what has happened. The LORD made all your prophets lie to you, and he knows you will soon be destroyed.
23Zedekiah walked over and slapped Micaiah on the face. Then he asked, “Do you really think the LORD would speak to you and not to me?”
24Micaiah answered, “You'll find out on the day you have to hide in the back room of some house.”
25Ahab shouted, “Arrest Micaiah! Take him to Prince Joash and Governor Amon of Samaria. 26Tell them to put him in prison and to give him nothing but bread and water until I come back safely.”
27Micaiah 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
(1 Kings 22.29-35)
28Ahab and Jehoshaphat led their armies to Ramoth in Gilead. 29Before they went into battle, Ahab said, “Jehoshaphat, I'll disguise myself, but you wear your royal robe.” Ahab disguised himself and went into battle.
30The king of Syria had ordered his chariot commanders to attack only Ahab. 31So when they saw Jehoshaphat in his robe, they thought he was Ahab and started to attack him. But Jehoshaphat prayed, and the LORD made the Syrian soldiers stop. 32And when they realized he wasn't Ahab, they left him alone.
33However, during the fighting a soldier shot an arrow without even aiming, and it hit Ahab between two pieces of his armour. He shouted to his chariot driver, “I've been hit! Get me out of here!”
34The fighting lasted all day, with Ahab propped up in his chariot so he could see the Syrian troops. He stayed there until evening, and by sundown he was dead.
Contemporary English Version (CEV) is copyright © American Bible Society. Psalms and Proverbs © 1991, 1992; New Testament © 1991, 1992, 1995; Old Testament © 1995; translation notes, subject headings for text © 1995; Anglicisations © The British and Foreign Bible Society 1997, 2012.