25 Sept. 1 Kings 22:1-40

25 Sept.  The death of King Ahab

“For three years there was peace between Israel and Aram. During the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went to visit Ahab king of Israel.”

“At that time Ahab asked his officers, ‘Do you remember that the king of Aram took Ramoth Gilead from us? Why have we done nothing to get it back?’ So Ahab asked King Jehoshaphat, ‘Will you go with me to fight at Ramoth in Gilead?’”

“’I will go with you,’ Jehoshaphat answered. ‘My soldiers are yours, and my horses are yours.’ Jehoshaphat also said to Ahab, ‘But first we should ask if this is the LORD’s will.’”

“Ahab called about 400 prophets together and asked them, ‘Should I go to war against Ramoth Gilead or not?’ They answered, ‘Go, because the Lord will hand them over to you.’”

“But Jehoshaphat asked, ‘Isn’t there a prophet of the LORD here? Let’s ask him what we should do.’ Then King Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, ‘There is one other prophet. We could ask the LORD through him, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything good about me, but something bad. He is Micaiah son of Imiah...’”

“So Ahab king of Israel told one of his officers to bring Micaiah to him at once… The messenger who had gone to get Micaiah said to him, ‘All the other prophets are saying King Ahab will succeed. You should agree with them and give the king a good answer.’ But Micaiah answered, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what the LORD tells me.’”

“When Micaiah came to Ahab, the king asked him, ‘Micaiah, should we attack Ramoth Gilead or not?’ Micaiah answered, ‘Attack and win! The LORD will hand them over to you.’ But Ahab said to Micaiah, ‘How many times do I have to tell you to speak only the truth to me in the name of the LORD?’ So Micaiah answered, ‘I saw the army of Israel scattered over the hills like sheep without a shepherd. The LORD said, “They have no leaders. They should go home and not fight.”… Micaiah said, ‘Ahab, the LORD has made your prophets lie to you, and the LORD has decided that disaster should come to you…’”

“So Ahab king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went to Ramoth in Gilead… By chance, a soldier shot an arrow, but he hit Ahab king of Israel between the pieces of his armour. King Ahab said to his chariot driver, ‘Turn round and get me out of the battle, because I am hurt!’”

“The battle continued all day. King Ahab was held up in his chariot and faced the Arameans. His blood flowed down to the bottom of the chariot. That evening he died. Near sunset a cry went out through the army of Israel: ‘Each man go back to his own city and land.’”

“In that way King Ahab died. His body was carried to Samaria and buried there. The men cleaned Ahab’s chariot at a pool in Samaria where prostitutes bathed, and the dogs licked his blood from the chariot. These things happened as the LORD had said they would… So Ahab died, and his son Ahaziah became king in his place.”

          (1 Kings 22:1-40)

 

 

For three years, there was no war between Israel and Aram (Damascus). Indeed, a round-topped stone stela, which can be seen in the British Museum in London, records that King Ahab of Israel and King Adad-idri (Ben-Hadad) of Aram took part as allies in a coalition venture against King Shalmaneser III of Assyria at the Battle of Karkar in 853BC.

This date, incidentally, is the earliest Old Testament date that can be corroborated from a non-Biblical source.

The following year, King Ahab of Israel proposed a joint offensive with King Jehoshaphat of Judah against his recent ally Ben-Hadad, the King of Aram (Damascus). Jehoshaphat agreed to this venture, but asked that they should first seek the LORD’s will.

Ahab summoned 400 prophets, who were unanimous that Ahab would succeed if he attempted to win back Ramoth Gilead. But one last prophet, Micaiah was summoned at Jehoshaphat’s request.

Micaiah first prophesied success for Israel. But when told by Ahab to tell the truth, he admitted that the LORD had said that King Ahab would be defeated if he attempted to win Ramoth Gilead (the ‘Heights of Gilead’) back from the Arameans.

Ahab and Jehoshaphat, nevertheless, set out to attack the Arameans, and in 852BC, Ahab was killed in the battle for Ramoth Gilead - in accordance with Micaiah’s prophesy.

Ahab was wounded by an arrow early in the battle, so his blood soon covered his chariot. He died in the evening and was buried at Samaria. And the dogs licked up his blood as the chariot was washed at the pool in Samaria – just as Elijah had prophesied (see 1 Kings 21:19).

The photo (by Bukvoed) shows remains of ancient Samaria.

You can read more about King Jehoshaphat of Judah @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/32-the-divided-kingdom-amp-journey-into-exile/king-ahab-seizes-naboths-vineyard/


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