Study Guide

1 Kings Chapter 22

Chapter 22

Ahab Wants Yes-Men

  • Israel enjoys three brief years of peace before Jehosaphat, king of Judah, comes to visit Ahab.
  • While he's there, Ahab makes him a proposition: "Syria has conquered a city called Ramoth-gilead that rightly belongs to Israel. How about helping us take it back?"
  • Jehosaphat agrees, saying, "Mis horses are sus horses, amigo. But let's ask the Lord what he thinks first."
  • So Ahab gathers about 400 prophets together and asks, "Should we battle against Syria?"
  • They say, "For sure! The Lord will give you success."
  • But Jehosaphat's like, "Are these all of the prophets you've got?" Ahab admits that there's this one other guy, Micaiah, but Ahab hates him because he only ever prophesies bad stuff about him. But Jehosaphat's like, "Oh, come on. Let's see what he says," so Ahab sends a messenger to get him.
  • Meanwhile, all the other prophets are saying that Ahab and Jehosaphat are just going to pummel Syria at Ramoth-gilead.
  • The messenger arrives at Micaiah's house and tells him, "Look, all the other prophets are giving the green light, so it'd be great if you could just go along with things this time."
  • But Micaiah says he'll be saying whatever the Lord tells him to say, thankyouverymuch, no matter what.
  • Still, when Michaiah gets to the palace and Ahab asks for his opinion, he sarcastically says, "Hey, why not? Go for it. You've got it in the bag."
  • Ahab angrily demands that he give him a serious answer, and Micaiah says, "I saw a vision of your armies scattered like sheep with no shepherd."
  • But Ahab just says, "See, Jehosaphat? I told you he only ever prophesies bad stuff about me. Forget him."
  • Micaiah continues, "The Lord wants you to go to battle. He's put a lying spirit in all of those other prophets so they'd convince you."
  • But one of the prophets, Zedekiah, smacks Micaiah in the face and says, "You're the one with the lying spirit."
  • Ahab condemns Micaiah to prison until he returns victorious from battle.
  • Micaiah tells him, "If you come back from this battle, then I'm not a prophet." (Which was sort of a nifty way to prophesy, since no matter what happened, he was right.)
  • But Ahab and Jehosaphat don't listen, and they head off to battle in Ramoth-gilead.
  • Ahab decides to disguise himself as a normal soldier.
  • Unbeknownst to him, the king of Syria has commanded his thirty-two chariot captains not to waste their time with regular soldiers, and to only go against the king of Israel himself.
  • So they see Jehosaphat in his kingly armor and start to chase him, thinking he's Ahab. Luckily, they figure out that they're after the wrong guy and leave him alone.
  • But Ahab gets hit by an arrow as he's driving his chariot during the battle.
  • He tells his servant to carry him from the field, but the battle is too hectic, and he's not able to make it to safety.
  • He bleeds to death all over his chariot, and the campaign is called off.
  • He's brought back to Samaria, where dogs lick up his blood as they wash it from his chariot and his armor, and prostitutes wash in the same water.
  • So Ahab's son Ahaziah becomes king.
  • During Jehosaphat's reign in Judah, the people continue worshipping idols, though not as much as before. Despite this, Jehosaphat himself is a pretty good guy.
  • He makes peace with Israel and gets rid of the temple prostitutes, which is great.
  • He dies, and his son Jehoram takes his place.
  • Ahaziah is evil, like his parents, and worships Baal.

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