1 Kings Chapter 22: The Prophet Micaiah, Death of Ahab

Mar 14th, 2010 | By | Category: 1 & 2 Kings, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

1 Kings Chapter 22: The Prophet Micaiah, Death of Ahab

1 Kings 22:1 And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel.

1 Kings 22:2 And it came to pass in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel.

Two wars with Syria had already taken place, and Israel was twice victorious. The antitypes of the two wars are World War I and World War II. Syria was the traditional enemy of Israel, that is, of the northern kingdom as well as the southern kingdom. Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, “came down” to the king of Israel. The expression “came down” is unusual because the ten-tribe kingdom was north of Judah, the two-tribe kingdom. However, Jerusalem is quite high in elevation—perhaps 2,300 feet above sea level—and a person traveling to northern Israel went north on the backbone of a spine. Then, to get into the Valley of Jezreel, he had to descend onto the plain. The words were probably written from that standpoint—Jehoshaphat went north and then had to descend from the mountain to meet the king on a much lower level.

1 Kings 22:3 And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria?

King Ahab of the northern kingdom said to his servants, “Ramoth in Gilead is ours, but we are not taking it from the king of Syria.” Located in northern Transjordan, Ramoth-gilead was on the east side of the Jordan River. Ramoth was the capital of Gilead, a large, fertile area.

1 Kings 22:4 And he said unto Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramothgilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses.

Ahab asked Jehoshaphat, the king of the two tribes, the southern kingdom, “Will you fight with me to recover Ramoth-gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied, “Yes. I, my people, and my horses are yours.” Thus the king of Judah agreed to join forces with the northern kingdom to fight a common enemy.

Why did Ahab feel that this territory belonged to Israel? At the end of the 40 years in the wilderness, when Moses brought the Israelites to Gilead before entering Israel proper, some of the people wanted to stay on that east side of the Jordan River (Numbers 32). Accordingly, an agreement was made with Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh that the men of those tribes would go and fight to subdue and conquer the Promised Land, but their families (the women and children) would remain behind in Gilead. The inheritance of the 2 1/2 tribes was across the Jordan River in Gilead in a large segment of what is called Jordan today. Thus, from a historical standpoint, Ahab felt that this land in Gilead had been deeded to Israel by God. The problem was that now much of this territory was occupied by an alien power, the king of Syria. King Ahab felt that if the northern and southern kingdoms joined forces, the cooperative effort would ensure the recapturing of Ramoth-gilead.

In many pictures, the northern kingdom represents Catholicism because it consisted of ten tribes, whereas the southern kingdom represents Protestantism because it had only two tribes. But in this account, Jezebel, a woman, was not involved, so the participants were just two kings and their forces fighting against the king of Syria. In the past, we suggested that Catholicism is involved in the antitype because that religion boasts of numbers and considers itself a universal church with millions of communicants. However, from a natural standpoint, the ten tribes of Israel represent Europe. Just as Papacy was involved with the Holy Roman Empire, which was basically Europe, so here the more populous ten-tribe northern kingdom represents Europe, which consists of Catholic-dominated countries. The two-tribe southern kingdom represents the United States and England, which are Protestant-dominated countries. In other words, America and England will join forces with Europe in connection with World War III.

Comment: Jehoshaphat said, “My horses [are] as thy horses,” and horses are a symbol of doctrines.

Reply: Yes, an ecumenical spirit is indicated here, and Syria represents the power occupying this other area styled Ramoth-gilead.

This battle for Ramoth-gilead with Israel and Judah fighting Syria, the common enemy, is representative of the end of the Gospel Age, and the battle will be repeated in the next generation (2 Kings 9:1–10:30). At one time, the Holy Roman Empire occupied a much larger area than the Europe we have been accustomed to in recent years. Then, in the last year or so, East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, etc., defected because they were tired of the yoke of communism, but this secession was brought about without warfare. These countries, which historically were Catholic, are now throwing in their lot with the Western powers and trying to make an economic union. What we are seeing today is not the picture shown here in 1 Kings 22 because war was involved in the type. Therefore, although these countries have joined forces, other European nations are not yet in this financial arrangement. For example, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania want their independence from Russia. They, too, are traditionally Catholic or Russian Orthodox. Hence some powers considered to be part of Christendom in the past are still under communist domination. [Note: This Bible study took place in 1990.]

The point is that in spite of current events, conditions can again change radically. What we see today is not indicative of the future. A backlash within these governments could make seemingly friendly countries very hostile. Whereas formerly Communist countries now look to America and would like to share the benefits and fruits of economic prosperity, some of them are finding they cannot easily switch to democracy. Their whole system, their economic infrastructure, is geared to a different type of thinking, so there is a disenchantment with some of the populace. As time goes on and conditions worsen and the hoped-for economic prosperity does not come, the people may reason, “We were better off under communism.” At any rate, the time will come when there is a union of the so-called Christian countries.

1 Kings 22:5 And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Inquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD today.

1 Kings 22:6 Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king.

1 Kings 22:7 And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might inquire of him?

Jehoshaphat wanted to have a religious backing for this proposed battle to recover Ramothgilead. Therefore, he wanted to inquire of the Lord to get this blessing. Those who prophesied were the 400 prophets of Jezebel, who were not slain when, following the contest, Elijah put to death the 450 prophets of Baal. Of course the 400 prophets were biased in favor of the northern kingdom of Israel. With unanimity, they declared, “Go and fight, for you will win this battle. You will have the Lord’s backing.” Realizing the bias, Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not an additional prophet of Jehovah in the northern kingdom of whom we might inquire?” The 400 prophets were not enough.

1 Kings 22:8 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.

Ahab replied, “There is yet one man in the northern kingdom, Micaiah the prophet, but I do not like him because he prophesies evil about me.” (Based on prior prophecies, Micaiah’s testimonies were not in the best interests of the king of Israel.) Jehoshaphat then said, “Let not the king say so.” At Jehoshaphat’s request, Ahab summoned Micaiah.

This situation was unique—with 400 prophets all testifying the same way, the voice of just one more prophet would be considered. Obviously, the setting was providential. The implication is that Micaiah represents the Lord’s people, who, at the end of the age, will somehow be representatively asked their opinion about the coming battle.

Comment: Because of the unstable, urgent conditions at that time, the so-called Christian governments will consult with occult sources.

Reply: Yes, Jezebel’s 400 prophets were of this spirit, and the Scriptures indicate that the civil powers will inquire of wizards, astrologers, etc. “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God?” (Isa. 8:19). In wanting to get as much support as possible for entering the confrontation, the governments will resort to occult methods.

1 Kings 22:9 Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, Hasten hither Micaiah the son of Imlah.

1 Kings 22:10 And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.

The king of Israel humored Jehoshaphat by agreeing to summon Micaiah. While an officer went to find Micaiah, the two kings dressed in their regal robes and went and sat on separate thrones “in a void place” at the entrance of the gate of Samaria. While they awaited the arrival of Micaiah, the 400 prophesied before them.

It is significant that the “void place” is a “threshing floor” in the RSV and KJV margin. The thrones being set on a threshing floor suggests the threshing of wheat and the latter part of the harvest, that is, the very end of the age. After the wheat is threshed, the tares will be burned (Matt. 13:40; Rev. 14:14-19).

1 Kings 22:11 And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith the LORD, With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them.

1 Kings 22:12 And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramoth-gilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the king’s hand.

There was a consensus of the 400 prophets earlier, but now, as the kings of Israel and Judah sat at the entrance to the gate of Samaria, either all of the prophets or just the more prominent ones wanted to show not only that they agreed but also that they were being moved by the spirit, or influence, of a miraculous power. Of course it was an unholy spirit, and evidently, they were in a frenzy.

Of the 400 prophets, one named Zedekiah made horns of iron to demonstrate dramatically and forcibly that the war would be a success. His words were, “Thus saith the LORD, With these [horns] shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them.” The two horns represented the two kings, the two powers.

All 400 prophets agreed that Ramoth-gilead would fall from Syrian control into the hands of Israel and Judah. In chorus fashion, they chanted, “Go up to battle at Ramoth-gilead and prosper, for God will give you the victory.” The 400 prophesied a false message in the name of Jehovah, for their direction was actually coming from Satan.

1 Kings 22:13 And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good.

1 Kings 22:14 And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak.

The messenger went to summon Micaiah, but before the prophet returned and had an audience with the kings and gave his advice, the messenger tried to persuade him to agree with the 400 prophets. The messenger said in effect, “All the others agree, and it is in your best interest to do the same and to speak that which is good.” The implication is that the feet members will be pressured to slant their testimony to agree with the church-state  confederacy.

But what does the Lord’s Word instruct? “Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread” (Isa. 8:12,13). Micaiah faithfully replied, “What the LORD said unto me, that will I speak.” But his actual answer to the king of Israel was startling, as we shall see.

1 Kings 22:15 So he came to the king. And the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we forbear? And he answered him, Go, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king.

1 Kings 22:16 And the king said unto him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the LORD?

The king of Israel asked Micaiah, “Should we go to battle to take Ramoth-gilead?” He got right to the point and did not use any flowery language. “Yes or no—what is your answer?” was his attitude. Micaiah responded, “Go, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver Ramoth-gilead into the hand of the king.” The prophet’s literal words seem to indicate that he agreed with the 400 false prophets, but the king’s reaction shows otherwise: “How many times shall I adjure you to tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the LORD?” Ahab understood by the way Micaiah spoke that he did not mean what he was saying. Despite the words, Micaiah could have indicated his real advice in a number of ways. For example, he could have parroted, or mimicked, the testimony of the other prophets. Also, hand gestures and facial expressions could have added to the effectiveness of his reply. The point is that he used SARCASM to indicate that the planned attack on Ramoth-gilead forebode defeat. The king’s reply suggests that Micaiah had used this technique in the past, that it was characteristic of him. Clearly, the king of Israel got the message—Micaiah’s reply was “no” in a “yes” form; it was sarcasm.

1 Kings 22:17 And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.

1 Kings 22:18 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?

Immediately Micaiah reported a vision or a dream: “I saw all Israel [the northern kingdom] scattered upon the hills, as sheep that do not have a shepherd.” Right away we can see the drift of the vision, for the king of Israel was the “shepherd,” and the “sheep” were his army. It is significant that the prophet singled out Israel, not Judah.

Micaiah continued, “And the LORD said, These [the sheep] have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.” In other words, there would be a defeat.

The king of Israel then said to Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, “Didn’t I tell you that Micaiah would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?” Ahab realized that the prophecy forebode ill for him.

1 Kings 22:19 And he said, Hear thou therefore 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 hand and on his left.

1 Kings 22:20 And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.

1 Kings 22:21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.

1 Kings 22:22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.

1 Kings 22:23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.

Verses 19-23 begin to tie this vision in with Revelation 16:13,14 about the three unclean froglike lying spirits of demons that will come out of the mouth of the beast, the dragon, and the false prophet to gather the nations to the battle of Armageddon. Thus the Micaiah picture pertains to the end of the age.

Micaiah used a hypothetical situation to foretell truth. (Similarly, Jesus used parables to teach true lessons.) Here God was in heaven seated on His throne with the host of heaven standing on both sides. He asked, “How can Ahab be persuaded to go to the battle at Ramoth-gilead and be defeated?” Of course God would not literally ask such a question, but hypothetical techniques were used on many occasions in the Old Testament, such as the allegory in the beginning of the Book of Job (Job 1:6-12). Here the technique was a form of sarcasm to show that Ahab and Jehoshaphat would not listen to the true advice. After several suggestions, a “spirit” came forth and said he would be “a lying spirit” in the mouth of all 400 false prophets; that is, he would influence their words. God said, “Go ahead, for you will be successful.”

Micaiah ended the prophetic vision bluntly and boldly: “The LORD has spoken evil concerning you, Ahab.”

1 Kings 22:24 But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee?

Zedekiah, the son of Chenaanah, dramatically smote Micaiah on the cheek. In assuming the leadership of the 400 false prophets on this occasion, he spoke boldly: “Which way went the spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto you?” The 400 were all supposed to be true prophets of God, and here was this upstart, Micaiah, who prophesied the opposite result: defeat. This same Zedekiah had made two horns of iron earlier (verse 11).

Q: What or whom does Zedekiah represent in the antitype?

A: A spokesman for Christendom will take the lead in opposing the feet members. In effect, Micaiah had said that the 400 prophets were all liars. Zedekiah could even be the pope, but his actual identity remains to be seen. The scenes that will take place at the end of the age will be in different countries—the United States, Canada, the nations of Europe, etc.— and the Lord’s people are in all these places. Therefore, the representative will be somebody with respect to the locale that is involved. If the setting of the Micaiah picture is in Europe, the mouthpiece for the 400 prophets will also be there, and of course the pope, being in Italy, is in Europe. No doubt there will be another spokesman in this country. The point is that in Catholic countries, the beast will have the most to say; in Protestant countries, the false prophet will be the most vociferous; and in non-Christian countries such as those in Africa, the dragon will speak. In some countries, two or three of these elements will act together. Indeed the effect of the unclean doctrines that emanate from these three symbols will be worldwide in drawing the people, or nations, to the battle of Armageddon.

Another point to be noted is that by boldly hitting Micaiah on the cheek, Zedekiah broke the spell and, in effect, shut off the prophet’s influence. Then Zedekiah said, “Which way did the spirit of the LORD leave me to speak through your mouth?” In other words, he was saying, “God speaks through my mouth, not yours.” This psychological interference stilled Micaiah’s influence, and Ahab and even Jehoshaphat disregarded his testimony and went to battle against the king of Syria in Ramoth-gilead. On the whole, Jehoshaphat was considered a good king, but he was inveigled into this battle, maybe more from a political standpoint. Also, there was intermarriage between one of Jehoshaphat’s children and a son or daughter of Ahab, so a certain degree of rapport existed between them.

1 Kings 22:25 And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself.

1 Kings 22:26 And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son;

1 Kings 22:27 And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace.

1 Kings 22:28 And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the LORD hath not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O people, every one of you.

1 Kings 22:29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead.

Micaiah predicted defeat and said the day would come when Zedekiah would go into an inner chamber to hide himself. Ahab then ordered Micaiah to be imprisoned and fed with the bread and water “of affliction” until he returned victorious. We are reminded of John the Baptist’s bold testimony, which led to his imprisonment. However, he did not remain very long in prison, before he was beheaded at the machinations of Herodias after her daughter Salome’s dancing before Herod. The Micaiah picture does not conflict with the type of John the Baptist.

The account simply says that Micaiah went to prison, and we hear no more about him after he said to Ahab, “If you return in peace, God has not spoken by me.” In other words, if Ahab returned victoriously from the battle, Micaiah was a false prophet. Then Micaiah swiftly introduced an exhortation to the people: “Hearken, O people, every one of you.” He wanted the two kings to note what he had just said in warning the people.

“So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead.” Ahab and Jehoshaphat ignored Micaiah’s advice and went to battle at Ramoth-gilead.

1 Kings 22:30 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle.

1 Kings 22:31 But the king of Syria commanded his thirty and two captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel.

1 Kings 22:32 And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, Surely it is the king of Israel. And they turned aside to fight against him: and Jehoshaphat cried out.

1 Kings 22:33 And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him.

Ahab disguised himself before entering the battle, but he told Jehoshaphat to wear his kingly raiment. We are reminded of the John the Baptist picture, in which Queen Herodias (Catholicism) put her daughter Salome (Protestantism) in the forefront (Matt. 14:3-11; Mark 6:17-28). When Salome danced and impressed King Herod (civil power), he rashly promised her, in front of his lords, whatever she wanted. Herodias stayed in the background and advised the daughter to ask immediately for the head (the life) of John the Baptist (the feet members) on a platter. To the observers, the daughter appeared to be wholly responsible for the request.

In the antitype, Salome will be one of the Protestant daughters of the Catholic mother. And there are other pictures, so depending on which part of the world one of the feet members lives in, a particular type might or might not pertain to that area. Generally speaking, people tend to think only from their own standpoint.

Since Micaiah had prophesied that the king of Israel would die, Ahab might have thought his disguise would enable him to survive; that is, he was trying to play it safe. Meanwhile, the king of Syria instructed his 32 captains to kill only the king of Israel. Therefore, when they saw Jehoshaphat in his regal robes and using a fancy chariot, they seized him, assuming he was King Ahab. When Jehoshaphat revealed his identity, the Syrians let him go.

1 Kings 22:34 And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.

1 Kings 22:35 And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot.

1 Kings 22:36 And there went a proclamation throughout the host about the going down of the sun, saying, Every man to his city, and every man to his own country.

Micaiah’s prediction came true. Ahab died, and the predicted proclamation went out, “Let every man return to his own house, city, and country in peace” (see 1 Kings 22:17). When Ahab was slain by “a certain man [who] drew a bow at a venture,” a pool of blood collected in the chariot.

Comment: For “at a venture,” the NIV has “at random.”

End-of-the-Age Antitype

Micaiah, who represents the Little Flock, was put in prison. A “certain man” shot an arrow of truth that smote Ahab, the king of Israel, and resulted in his eventual death. The suggestion is that an individual (or a class represented by the individual) will somehow broadcast a message that is very damaging to papal Europe.

The account in 2 Kings 9:1–10:28 regarding Jehu, who was at the battle in Ramoth-gilead, is a more complete picture. He was responsible for the death of Jezebel, and it might be said that he is the individual who shot the arrow. Elisha sent one of the sons of the prophets to tell Jehu that the God of Israel had determined he would be the successor of King Jehoram of Israel. In other words, the messenger precipitated the circumstances, and Jehu mortally wounded Jehoram. Thus there is a similarity in that both kings of Israel were slain: Ahab and Jehoram.

However, there are also a few significant differences in the accounts of Micaiah and Jehu. One difference is that in 1 Kings 22, Jehoshaphat returned from the battle at Ramoth-gilead, but the king of Israel died. The suggestion seems to be that Papacy will fall first. Since the beast represents Europe, the image of the beast would be the United States and possibly England. Hence the fall of the Protestant portion of Christendom will occur slightly later. Jehoshaphat, who represents Protestantism, was a good king overall, as was his father Asa, but peculiarly, from the time that Jehoshaphat returned to Judah, he seemed to go astray. Earlier he had removed the sodomites from the land and destroyed many images to false gods, but toward the end of his life, he turned back from closely hewing to the Lord.

Europe is basically Catholic. Generally speaking, the countries of Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, etc., are Catholic-oriented. Israel, the more populous ten-tribe kingdom, is a representation of Europe.

1 Kings 22:37 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria.

Ahab died in the battle and was brought back to the homeland, to Samaria, the capital of northern Israel. He was buried in that area.

1 Kings 22:38 And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the LORD which he spake.

Comment: Dogs licked up Ahab’s blood, as prophesied in 1 Kings 21:19. “And thou shalt speak unto him [Ahab], saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession?…In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.”

Reply: This prophecy was given because of Ahab’s treatment of Naboth. Dogs licked up Ahab’s blood in Jezreel, the very place where Naboth had been slain and near where Jezebel would later be slain. Dogs also licked up Jezebel’s blood. Thus all three died in Jezreel: innocent Naboth and guilty Ahab and Jezebel. Elijah also prophesied the death of Ahab’s posterity: “Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat” (1 Kings 21:24).

1 Kings 22:39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house which he made, and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

Ahab had a house that was garnished on the exterior with very expensive ivory. In addition, he built many cities.

1 Kings 22:40 So Ahab slept with his fathers; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead.

Ahab died, and his son Ahaziah reigned. There were two Ahaziahs and two Jehorams with some overlapping of their reigns.

1 Kings 22:41 And Jehoshaphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel.

1 Kings 22:42 Jehoshaphat was thirty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.

After King Asa died, his son Jehoshaphat began to reign in Judah at age 35. He reigned for 25 years, or until he was 60 years old.

1 Kings 22:43 And he walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the LORD: nevertheless the high places were not taken away; for the people offered and burnt incense yet in the high places.

1 Kings 22:44 And Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel.

Jehoshaphat “walked in all the [good] ways of Asa his father.” However, Jehoshaphat did not take away all the high places, and it was not right that he “made peace” with King Ahab. What started the peace was the intermarriage of their children, which caused the duplication of some names.

1 Kings 22:45 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might that he showed, and how he warred, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

In other words, the Book of Chronicles is written in the records of the kings of Judah, and the Book of Kings is written in the records of the kings of Israel. In many places, the writings are word for word, being a reiteration of what is recorded in the other book, although there are differences. Thus some events are recorded in both books.

1 Kings 22:46 And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land.

Jehoshaphat removed the rest of the sodomites from the land. Asa had tried to accomplish this cleansing but could not rid the land of all of them.

1 Kings 22:47 There was then no king in Edom: a deputy was king.

A deputy was the king in Edom.

1 Kings 22:48 Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Ezion-geber.

2 Chronicles 20:35-37 reads, “And after this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who did very wickedly: And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish: and they made the ships in Ezion-geber. Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the LORD hath broken thy works. And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish.” Because Jehoshaphat cooperated with the wicked King Ahaziah of Israel to make ships, God allowed the ships to be “broken” (shipwrecked) at Ezion-geber.

Divine Providence intervened because fraternization was a bad influence. The history of Israel during those days was quite corrupt, while Judah hewed to the line of righteousness, relatively speaking. The working agreement was an example of evil communications corrupting good conduct. Thus the joint venture was frustrated when the ships were destroyed.

1 Kings 22:49 Then said Ahaziah the son of Ahab unto Jehoshaphat, Let my servants go with thy servants in the ships. But Jehoshaphat would not.

Jehoshaphat realized the shipwrecked vessels were a lesson from the Lord. Hence he refused further cooperation with King Ahaziah.

1 Kings 22:50 And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Jehoram his son reigned in his stead.

Jehoshaphat died, and his son Jehoram reigned in Judah.

1 Kings 22:51 Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years over Israel.

1 Kings 22:52 And 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 made Israel to sin:

1 Kings 22:53 For he served Baal, and worshipped him, and provoked to anger the LORD God of Israel, according to all that his father had done.

Ahaziah had a short reign of only two years, and he did evil and served Baal like his father Ahab, his mother Jezebel, and Jeroboam, who not only caused the division of the nation of Israel into two kingdoms after Solomon’s death but also was the first king of the ten tribes.

(1989-1991 Study)

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