22:1 There was no war between Syria and Israel for three years. 1 22:2 In the third year King Jehoshaphat of Judah came down to visit 2 the king of Israel. 22:3 The king of Israel said to his servants, “Surely you recognize that Ramoth Gilead belongs to us, though we are hesitant to reclaim it from the king of Syria.” 3 22:4 Then he said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to attack Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I will support you; my army and horses are at your disposal.” 4 22:5 Then Jehoshaphat added, 5 “First seek an oracle from the Lord.” 6 22:6 So the king of Israel assembled about four hundred prophets and asked them, “Should I attack Ramoth Gilead or not?” 7 They said, “Attack! The sovereign one 8 will hand it over to the king.” 22:7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not a prophet of the Lord still here, that we may ask him?” 22:8 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man through whom we can seek the Lord’s will. 9 But I despise 10 him because he does not prophesy prosperity for me, but disaster. His name is Micaiah son of Imlah. 11 Jehoshaphat said, “The king should not say such things.” 22:9 The king of Israel summoned an official and said, “Quickly bring Micaiah son of Imlah.”
22:10 Now the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah were sitting on their respective thrones, 12 dressed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria. 13 All the prophets were prophesying before them. 22:11 Zedekiah son of Kenaanah made iron horns and said, “This is what the Lord says, ‘With these you will gore Syria until they are destroyed.’” 22:12 All the prophets were prophesying the same, saying, “Attack Ramoth Gilead! You will succeed; the Lord will hand it over to the king.” 22:13 Now the messenger who went to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the prophets are in complete agreement that the king will succeed. 14 Your words must agree with theirs; you must predict success.” 15 22:14 But Micaiah said, “As certainly as the Lord lives, I will say what the Lord tells me to say.”
22:15 When he came before the king, the king asked him, “Micaiah, should we attack Ramoth Gilead or not?” He answered him, “Attack! You will succeed; the Lord will hand it over to the king.” 16 22:16 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you solemnly promise in 17 the name of the Lord to tell me only the truth?” 22:17 Micaiah 18 said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep that have no shepherd. Then the Lord said, ‘They have no master. They should go home in peace.’” 22:18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you he does not prophesy prosperity for me, but disaster?” 22:19 Micaiah 19 said, “That being the case, hear the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, with all the heavenly assembly standing on his right and on his left. 22:20 The Lord said, ‘Who will deceive Ahab, so he will attack Ramoth Gilead and die 20 there?’ One said this and another that. 22:21 Then a spirit 21 stepped forward and stood before the Lord. He said, ‘I will deceive him.’ The Lord asked him, ‘How?’ 22:22 He replied, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.’ The Lord 22 said, ‘Deceive and overpower him. 23 Go out and do as you have proposed.’ 22:23 So now, look, the Lord has placed a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours; but the Lord has decreed disaster for you.” 22:24 Zedekiah son of Kenaanah approached, hit Micaiah on the jaw, and said, “Which way did the Lord’s spirit go when he went from me to speak to you?” 22:25 Micaiah replied, “Look, you will see in the day when you go into an inner room to hide.” 22:26 Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the city official and Joash the king’s son. 22:27 Say, ‘This is what the king says, “Put this man in prison. Give him only a little bread and water 24 until I safely return.”’” 25 22:28 Micaiah said, “If you really do safely return, then the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Take note, 26 all you people.”
22:29 The king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah attacked Ramoth Gilead. 22:30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and then enter 27 into the battle; but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and then entered into the battle. 22:31 Now the king of Syria had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, “Do not fight common soldiers or high-ranking officers; 28 fight only the king of Israel.” 22:32 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “He must be the king of Israel.” So they turned and attacked him, but Jehoshaphat cried out. 22:33 When the chariot commanders realized he was not the king of Israel, they turned away from him. 22:34 Now an archer shot an arrow at random, 29 and it struck the king of Israel between the plates of his armor. The king 30 ordered his charioteer, “Turn around and take me from the battle line, 31 because I’m wounded.” 22:35 While the battle raged throughout the day, the king stood propped up in his chariot opposite the Syrians. He died in the evening; the blood from the wound ran down into the bottom of the chariot. 22:36 As the sun was setting, a cry went through the camp, “Each one should return to his city and to his homeland.”
1 tn Heb “and they lived three years without war between Aram and Israel.”
2 tn The word “visit” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
3 tn Heb “Do you know that Ramoth Gilead belongs to us, and we hesitate to take it from the hand of the king of Aram?” The rhetorical question expects the answer, “Of course, you must know!”
4 tn Heb “Like me, like you; like my people, like your people; like my horses; like your horses.”
5 tn Heb “and Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel.”
6 tn Heb “the word of the
7 tn Heb “Should I go against Ramoth Gilead for war or should I refrain?”
8 tn Though Jehoshaphat requested an oracle from “the
9 tn Heb “to seek the
10 tn Or “hate.”
11 tn The words “his name is” are supplied for stylistic reasons.
12 tn Heb “were sitting, a man on his throne.”
13 map For location see Map2-B1; Map4-D3; Map5-E2; Map6-A4; Map7-C1.
14 tn Heb “the words of the prophets are [with] one mouth good for the king.”
15 tn Heb “let your words be like the word of each of them and speak good.”
16 sn “Attack! You will succeed; the
17 tn Or “swear an oath by.”
18 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Micaiah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
19 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Micaiah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
20 tn Heb “and fall.”
21 tn Heb “the spirit.” The significance of the article prefixed to רוּחַ (ruakh) is uncertain, but it could contain a clue as to this spirit’s identity, especially when interpreted in light of v. 24. It is certainly possible, and probably even likely, that the article is used in a generic or dramatic sense and should be translated, “a spirit.” In the latter case it would show that this spirit was vivid and definite in the mind of Micaiah the storyteller. However, if one insists that the article indicates a well-known or universally known spirit, the following context provides a likely referent. Verse 24 tells how Zedekiah slapped Micaiah in the face and then asked sarcastically, “Which way did the spirit from the
22 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the
23 tn The Hebrew text has two imperfects connected by וְגַם (vÿgam). These verbs could be translated as specific futures, “you will deceive and also you will prevail,” in which case the
24 tn Heb “the bread of affliction and the water of affliction.”
25 tn Heb “come in peace.” So also in v. 28.
26 tn Heb “Listen.”
27 tn The Hebrew verbal forms could be imperatives (“Disguise yourself and enter”), but this would make no sense in light of the immediately following context. The forms are better interpreted as infinitives absolute functioning as cohortatives. See IBHS 594 §35.5.2a. Some prefer to emend the forms to imperfects.
28 tn Heb “small or great.”
29 tn Heb “now a man drew a bow in his innocence” (i.e., with no specific target in mind, or at least without realizing his target was the king of Israel).
30 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
31 tn Heb “camp.”