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1 Kings 22:11-20

Context
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. 1  Your words must agree with theirs; you must predict success.” 2  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.” 3  22:16 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you solemnly promise in 4  the name of the Lord to tell me only the truth?” 22:17 Micaiah 5  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 6  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 7  there?’ One said this and another that.

1 tn Heb “the words of the prophets are [with] one mouth good for the king.”

2 tn Heb “let your words be like the word of each of them and speak good.”

3 sn “Attack! You will succeed; the Lord will hand it over to the king.” One does not expect Micaiah, having just vowed to speak only what the Lord tells him, to agree with the other prophets and give the king an inaccurate prophecy. Micaiah’s actions became understandable later, when it is revealed that the Lord desires to deceive the king and lead him to his demise. The Lord even dispatches a lying spirit to deceive Ahab’s prophets. Micaiah can lie to the king because he realizes this lie is from the Lord. It is important to note that in v. 14 Micaiah only vows to speak the word of the Lord; he does not necessarily say he will tell the truth. In this case the Lord’s word itself is deceptive. Only when the king adjures him to tell the truth (v. 16), does Micaiah do so.

4 tn Or “swear an oath by.”

5 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Micaiah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Micaiah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Heb “and fall.”



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