Jehoshaphat’s Alliance with Ahab
1Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance, and he made an alliance with Ahab through marriage. 2Then after some years, he went down to visit Ahab in Samaria. Ahab slaughtered many sheep, goats, and cattle for him and for the people who were with him, and he persuaded him to attack Ramoth-gilead, 3for Israel’s King Ahab asked Judah’s King Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead?”
He replied to him, “I am as you are, my people as your people; we will be with you in the battle.” 4But Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “First, please ask what the Lord’s will is.”
5So the king of Israel gathered the prophets, four hundred men, and asked them, “Should we go to Ramoth-gilead for war or should I refrain?”
They replied, “March up, and God will hand it over to the king.”
6But Jehoshaphat asked, “Isn’t there a prophet of the Lord here anymore? Let’s ask him.”
7The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man who can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies good about me, but only disaster. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
“The king shouldn’t say that,” Jehoshaphat replied.
8So the king of Israel called an officer and said, “Hurry and get Micaiah son of Imlah!”
9Now the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah, clothed in royal attire, were each sitting on his own throne. They were sitting on the threshing floor at the entrance to Samaria’s gate, and all the prophets were prophesying in front of them. 10Then Zedekiah son of Chenaanah made iron horns and said, “This is what the Lord says: You will gore the Arameans with these until they are finished off.” 11And all the prophets were prophesying the same, saying, “March up to Ramoth-gilead and succeed, for the Lord will hand it over to the king.”
Micaiah’s Message of Defeat
12The messenger who went to call Micaiah instructed him, “Look, the words of the prophets are unanimously favorable for the king. So let your words be like theirs, and speak favorably.”
13But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, I will say whatever my God says.”
14So he went to the king, and the king asked him, “Micaiah, should we go to Ramoth-gilead for war, or should I refrain?”
Micaiah said, “March up and succeed, for they will be handed over to you.”
15But the king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear not to tell me anything but the truth in the name of the Lord?”
16So Micaiah said:
I saw all Israel scattered on the hills
like sheep without a shepherd.
And the Lord said,
“They have no master;
let each return home in peace.”
17So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you he never prophesies good about me, but only disaster?”
18Then Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and the whole heavenly army was standing at his right hand and at his left hand. 19And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice King Ahab of Israel to march up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? ’ So one was saying this and another was saying that.
20“Then a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord, and said, ‘I will entice him.’
“The Lord asked him, ‘How?’
21“So he said, ‘I will go and become a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’
“Then he said, ‘You will entice him and also prevail. Go and do that.’
22“Now, you see, the Lord has put a lying spirit into the mouth of these prophets of yours, and the Lord has pronounced disaster against you.”
23Then Zedekiah son of Chenaanah came up, hit Micaiah on the cheek, and demanded, “Which way did the spirit from the Lord leave me to speak to you?”
24Micaiah replied, “You will soon see when you go to hide in an inner chamber on that day.”
25Then the king of Israel ordered, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Joash, the king’s son, 26and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this guy in prison and feed him only a little bread and water until I come back safely.’”
27But Micaiah said, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he said, “Listen, all you people!”
28Then the king of Israel and Judah’s King Jehoshaphat went up to Ramoth-gilead. 29But the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your royal attire.” So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle.
30Now the king of Aram had ordered his chariot commanders, “Do not fight with anyone at all except the king of Israel.”
31When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they shouted, “He must be the king of Israel!” So they turned to attack him, but Jehoshaphat cried out and the Lord helped him. God drew them away from him. 32When the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.
33But a man drew his bow without taking special aim and struck the king of Israel through the joints of his armor. So he said to the charioteer, “Turn around and take me out of the battle, for I am badly wounded!” 34The battle raged throughout that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot facing the Arameans until evening. Then he died at sunset.