Campaign against Ramoth-gilead. 1Three years passed without war between Aram and Israel. a 2 Chr 18, 1 . 2In the third year, however, King Jehoshaphat of Judah came down to the king of Israel, 3who said to his servants, “Do you not know that Ramoth-gilead is ours and we are doing nothing to take it from the king of Aram?” 4He asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you come with me to fight against Ramoth-gilead?” Jehoshaphat answered the king of Israel, “You and I are as one, and your people and my people, your horses and my horses as well.” 5Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “Seek the word of the LORD at once.”

6The king of Israel gathered together the prophets, about four hundred of them, and asked, “Shall I go to attack Ramoth-gilead or shall I refrain?” “Go up,” they answered. “The LORD will deliver it over to the king.” 7But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there no other prophet of the LORD here whom we may consult?” 8The king of Israel answered, “There is one other through whom we might consult the LORD, Micaiah, son of Imlah; but I hate him because he prophesies not good but evil about me.” Jehoshaphat said, “Let not your majesty speak of evil against you.”

9So the king of Israel called an official and said to him, “Get Micaiah, son of Imlah, at once.” 10The king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah were seated, each on his throne, clothed in their robes of state on a threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria, and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 11Zedekiah, son of Chenaanah, made himself horns of iron and said, “The LORD says, ‘With these you shall gore Aram until you have destroyed them.’ ” 12The other prophets prophesied in a similar vein, saying: “Go up to Ramoth-gilead; you shall succeed. The LORD will deliver it over to the king.”

13The messenger who had gone to call Micaiah said to him, “Look now, the prophets are unanimously predicting good for the king. Let your word be the same as any of theirs; predict good.” 14“As the LORD lives,” Micaiah answered, “I shall say whatever the LORD tells me.”

15When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to fight against Ramoth-gilead, or shall we refrain?” “Go up,” he answered, “you shall succeed! The LORD will deliver it over to the king.” 16But the king answered him, “How many times must I adjure you to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?” 17So Micaiah said:

“I see all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep without a shepherd, and the LORD saying, ‘These have no master! Let each of them go back home in peace.’ ”

18The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you he prophesies not good but evil about me?” 19 * Micaiah continued: “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD seated on his throne, with the whole host of heaven standing by to his right and to his left. 20The LORD asked, ‘Who will deceive Ahab, so that he will go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this, another that, 21until one of the spirits came forth and presented himself to the LORD, saying, ‘I will deceive him.’ The LORD asked, ‘How?’ 22He answered, ‘I will go forth and become a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.’ The LORD replied, ‘You shall succeed in deceiving him. Go forth and do this.’ 23So now, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours, but the LORD himself has decreed evil against you.”

24Thereupon Zedekiah, son of Chenaanah, came up and slapped Micaiah on the cheek, saying, “Has the spirit of the LORD, then, left me to speak with you?” 25“You shall find out,” Micaiah replied, “on that day when you retreat into an inside room to hide.” 26The king of Israel then said, “Seize Micaiah and take him back to Amon, prefect of the city, and to Joash, the king's son, 27and say, ‘This is the kingvs order: Put this man in prison and feed him scanty rations of bread and water until I return in safety.’ ” 28But Micaiah said, “If ever you return in safety, the LORD has not spoken through me.”*

29The king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead, 30and the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you put on your own clothes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and entered the fray. 31In the meantime the king of Aram had given his thirty-two chariot commanders the order, “Do not fight with anyone at all except the king of Israel.” 32When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they cried out, “That must be the king of Israel!” and shifted to fight him. But Jehoshaphat shouted his battle cry, 33and the chariot commanders, aware that he was not the king of Israel, gave up pursuit of him. 34Someone, however, drew his bow at random, and hit the king of Israel between the joints of his breastplate. He ordered his charioteer, “Rein about and take me out of the ranks, for I am disabled.” 35The battle grew fierce during the day, and the king, who was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans, died in the evening. The blood from his wound flowed to the bottom of the chariot. b 1 Kgs 20, 42 . 36At sunset a cry went through the army, “Every man to his city, every man to his land, 37for the king is dead!” So they went to Samaria, where they buried the king. 38When the chariot was washed at the pool of Samaria, the dogs licked up his blood and harlots bathed there, as the LORD had prophesied. c 1 Kgs 21, 19 .

39The rest of the acts of Ahab, with all that he did, including the ivory palace and all the cities he built, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. 40Ahab rested with his ancestors, and his son Ahaziah succeeded him as king.

Reign of Jehoshaphat. 41Jehoshaphat, son of Asa, began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab, king of Israel. 42Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Azubah, daughter of Shilhi. 43He followed all the ways of his father Asa unswervingly, doing what was right in the LORD's sight. 44Nevertheless, the high places did not disappear, and the people continued to sacrifice and to burn incense on the high places. 45Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel. 46The rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, with his prowess, what he did and how he fought, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah.

47He removed from the land the rest of the cult prostitutes who had remained in the reign of his father Asa. 48There was no king in Edom, but an appointed regent. 49Jehoshaphat made Tarshish ships to go to Ophir for gold; but in fact the ships did not go, because they were wrecked at Ezion-geber. 50Then Ahaziah, son of Ahab, said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my servants accompany your servants in the ships.” But Jehoshaphat would not agree. 51Jehoshaphat rested with his ancestors; he was buried in his forefathers’ City of David. His son Jehoram succeeded him as king.

Reign of Ahaziah. 52Ahaziah, son of Ahab, began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year* of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah; he reigned two years over Israel. 53He did evil in the sight of the LORD, behaving like his father, his mother, and Jeroboam, son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin. 54He served and worshiped Baal, thus provoking the LORD, the God of Israel, just as his father had done.

Notes:

a: 2 Chr 18, 1 .

b: 1 Kgs 20, 42 .

c: 1 Kgs 21, 19 .