2 Chronicles 18

1Jehoshaphat joined in affinity with Ahab is persuaded to go with him against Ramoth-gilead. 4Jehoshaphat proposeth to enquire of God; Ahab's false prophets assure him of success. 6At Jehoshaphat's request Micaiah is sent for: 15who foretelleth Ahab's death, and sheweth that his false prophets were possessed by a lying spirit. 23He is ill treated and sent to prison. 28Ahab goeth in disguise to the battle, where Jehoshaphat being mistaken for him narrowly escapeth being slain. 33Ahab is slain by an arrow shot at a venture.

1NOW Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and 1joined affinitya with Ahab.

1 Having permitted his son to marry Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, 2 Kings 8:18.

a relationship by marriage

2And afterbcertain 2years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. And Ahab 3killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that he had with him, and persuaded him to go up with him to 4Ramoth-gilead.5

b 1 Kings 22:2.

2 Also the word days, being put alone, is taken for certain days, Gen. 4:3. See the annotation there. It is perceived that this was about the 17th year of Jehoshaphat’s reign, as may be gathered from 1 Kings 22:52.

3 That is, honored him with a great feast. See Gen. 31 on verse 54.

4 A city of the tribe of Gad, given to the Levites, 1 Chron. 6:80. See of the same likewise 1 Kings 4:13, etc.

5 That is, situated in the land of Gilead, of which see Gen. 31 on verse 21; wherefore this city is also called Ramoth in Gilead, Deut. 4:43; 1 Chron. 6:80, to distinguish it from another Ramoth, situated in Issachar, 1 Chron. 6:73.

3And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramoth-gilead? And he answered him, 6Icam as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war.

6 See hereof the exposition 1 Kings 22 on verse 4, in which chapter this history is almost recorded word for word; therefore the greatest part of the exposition of this chapter is also to be found there.

c 1 Kings 22:4.

4¶And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire,d I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day.

d 1 Sam. 23:2; 2 Sam. 2:1.

5Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of 7prophets four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for God 8will deliver it into the king's hand.

7 They are called the prophets of Ahab, verse 21, who are contrasted to the prophets of the Lord, whom Jehoshaphat desired to hear in the next verse.

8 Namely, the Syrians, as verse 14, or the city, or both.

6But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him?

7And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he 9never prophesied good unto me, but 10always evil: the same is Micaiah the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.

9 Also 1 Kings 22:8. Hebr. not for good, but for evil. This is as much as if he had said: He prophecies nothing unto me that may tend to mine honor, pleasure or profit, but all that tends to my disgrace, displeasure and damage. As such does this idolater judge of everything that the prophet had here propounded to him unto the leaving off his false worship and sinful life.

10 Hebr. all his days, that is, as long, and as often, as he has prophesied anything unto me in all his lifetime.

8And the king of Israel called for one of his officers, and said, Fetch quickly Micaiah the son of Imla.

9And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah sat either of them on his throne, clothed in 11their robes, and they sat in a void place at the entering in of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied 12before them.

11 Which excelled their ordinary and usual apparel, and represented their royal majesty. See 1 Kings 22 on verse 10.

12 Hebr. before their faces.

10And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made him horns of iron, and said, Thus saith the LORD, 13With these thou shalt push Syria until they be consumed.

13 It is as much as if he had said: I declare and testify by these horns that thou shalt so push, smite and drive away the Syrians as the horned beasts are able to do those beasts that have no horns. He seeks to imitate the true prophets, who were wont to add some kind of signs to their words, as appears 1 Kings 11:30; 2 Kings 13:15, 16, etc.

11And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramoth-gilead, and 14prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king.

14 See 1 Kings 22 on verse 12.

12And the messenger that went to call Micaiah spake to him, saying, Behold, the words of the prophets declare 15good to the king with one assent; let thy word therefore, I pray thee, be like one of theirs, and speak thou good.

15 See 1 Kings 1 on verse 42, and above, verse 7.

13And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak.

14And when he was come to the king, the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And he said, 16Go ye up, and prosper, and 17they shall be 18delivered into your hand.

16 See 1 Kings 22 on verse 15.

17 Namely, the Syrians.

18 Namely, by the Lord, 1 Kings 22:15.

15And the king said to him, 19How many times shall I adjure thee that thou say nothing but the truth to me in the name of the LORD?

19 These are the words of an angry man, who thus breaks out into sudden anger, that he utters falsehood and untruth; for, he had not adjured Micaiah, but had barely asked him the question what he should do or not do in the war, which he intended to make against the Syrians, verse 14.

16Then he said, 20I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace.

20 See 1 Kings 22 on verse 17.

17And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would not prophesy good unto me, 21but evil?

21 Hebr. to or for evil. 1 Kings 22:18 the word evil is alone mentioned. See on verse 7.

18Again 22he said, Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left.

22 Namely, Micaiah.

19And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? 23And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner.

23 Namely, the Lord, Whose words are also those that go before in this verse. Other, And he said, namely, Micaiah; so that the following words of this verse should be translated thus: the one said thus and the other said so.

20Then there came out a 24spirit,e and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith?

24 Meaning, a wicked spirit, who in the next verse calls himself a lying spirit, as he is also called a liar, and the father of it, John 8:44.

e Job 1:6.

21And he said, I will go out, and be a 25lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the LORD said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and 26do even so.

25 Hebr. a spirit of falsehood or of lying, that is, which inspires falsehood or lying into a man. Thus it is called the spirit of whoredom, which tempts a man unto spiritual whoredom, that is, unto idolatry, Hosea 4:12; the spirit of uncleanness, which provokes unto spiritual uncleanness, Zech. 13:2; the spirit of error, which produces or brings forth error, 1 John 4:6.

26 See 1 Kings 22 on verse 22.

22Now therefore, behold,f the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth 27of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.

f Job 12:16, 20; Isa. 19:14; Ezek. 14:9.

27 Meaning, all; which word is expressed in 1 Kings 22:23.

23Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and smoteg Micaiah upon the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee?

g Jer. 20:2; Mark 14:65; Acts 23:2.

24And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see on that day when thou shalt go into an inner 28chamber to hide thyself.

28 Compare 1 Kings 20:30 and the annotation.

25Then the king of Israel said, Take ye Micaiah, and carry him back to Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king's son;

26And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, 29until I return in peace.

29 Hebr. until my returning in peace.

27And Micaiah said, If thou 30certainly return in peace, then hath not the LORD spoken by me. And he said, 31Hearken, all ye people.

30 Hebr. returning return.

31 He speaks no doubt to the bystanders, who were there met together out of many tribes, to call them as witnesses of that which he had spoken there immediately before.

28So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead.

29And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, 32I will disguise myself, and will go to the battle; but put thou on thy robes. So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went to the battle.

32 Other, When I have disguised myself, and enter into the battle; or, when he disguised himself or changed his apparel, and would enter into the battle. See the exposition of these words 1 Kings 22 on verse 30.

30Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains 33of the chariots that were with him, saying, Fight ye not with small or great, save only with the king of Israel.

33 Namely, thirty-two in number, 1 Kings 22:31.

31And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat 34cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them to depart from him.

34 Namely, unto the Lord, for aid, as may be gathered from the following words.

32For it came to pass, that, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back again from pursuing him.

33And a certain man drew a bow at a 35venture,h and 36smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: therefore 37he said to his chariot man, 38Turn thine hand, that thou mayest carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.

35 See 1 Kings 22 on verse 34.

h at random*

36 Or, shot. Hebr. smote. See Gen. 8 on verse 21.

37 Namely, king Ahab.

38 Compare 2 Kings 9:23.

34And the battle increased that day: howbeit the king of Israel stayed himself up in his chariot against the Syrians until the even: and 39about the time of the sun going down he died.

39 Thus it states in 1 Kings 22:35 that he died at even.