1 Kings 20:23–22:9; 2 Chronicles 18:1–8

23 And the servants of the king of Syria said to him, Their gods are gods of the hills, and so they were stronger than we. But let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. 24 And do this: remove the kings, each from his post, and put commanders in their places, 25 and muster an army like the army that you have lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot. Then we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. And he listened to their voice and did so.

Ahab Defeats Ben-hadad Again

26 bIn the spring, Ben-hadad mustered the Syrians and went up to cAphek to fight against Israel. 27 And the people of Israel were mustered and were provisioned and went against them. The people of Israel encamped before them like two little flocks of goats, but the Syrians filled the country. 28 And a dman of God came near and said to the king of Israel, Thus says the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, eThe Lord is a god of the hills but he is not a god of the valleys, therefore fI will give all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord. 29 And they encamped opposite one another seven days. Then on the seventh day the battle was joined. And the people of Israel struck down of the Syrians 100,000 foot soldiers in one day. 30 And the rest fled into the city of cAphek, and the wall fell upon 27,000 men who were left.

Ben-hadad also fled and entered gan inner chamber in the city. 31 And his servants said to him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings. Let us hput sackcloth around our waists and ropes on our heads and go out to the king of Israel. Perhaps he will spare your life. 32 So they htied sackcloth around their waists and put ropes on their heads and went to the king of Israel and said, Your servant Ben-hadad says, Please, let me live. And he said, Does he still live? He is my brother. 33 Now the men were watching for a sign, and they quickly took it up from him and said, Yes, your brother Ben-hadad. Then he said, Go and bring him. Then Ben-hadad came out to him, and he caused him to come up into the chariot. 34 And Ben-hadad said to him, iThe cities that my father took from your father I will restore, and you may establish bazaars for yourself in jDamascus, as my father did in Samaria. And Ahab said, I will let you go on these terms. So he made a covenant with him and let him go.

A Prophet Condemns Ben-hadad's Release

35 And a certain man of kthe sons of the prophets said to his fellow lat the command of the Lord, Strike me, please. But the man refused to strike him. 36 Then he said to him, Because you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, behold, as soon as you have gone from me, a lion shall strike you down. And as soon as he had departed from him, ma lion met him and struck him down. 37 Then he found another man and said, Strike me, please. And the man struck himstruck him and wounded him. 38 So the prophet departed and waited for the king by the way, ndisguising himself with a bandage over his eyes. 39 And as the king passed, he cried to the king and said, Your servant went out into the midst of the battle, and behold, a soldier turned and brought a man to me and said, Guard this man; if by any means he is missing, oyour life shall be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent1 of silver. 40 And as your servant was busy here and there, he was gone. The king of Israel said to him, So shall your judgment be; you yourself have decided it. 41 Then he hurried to take the bandage away from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him as one of the prophets. 42 And he said to him, Thus says the Lord, Because you have let go out of your hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction,2 therefore oyour life shall be for his life, and your people for his people. 43 And the king of Israel pwent to his house vexed and sullen and came to Samaria.

Naboth's Vineyard

21 Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in qJezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And after this Ahab said to Naboth, rGive me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money. But Naboth said to Ahab, The Lord forbid sthat I should give you the inheritance of my fathers. And Ahab twent into his house vexed and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him, for he had said, I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers. And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and would eat no food.

But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, Why is your spirit so vexed that you eat no food? And he said to her, Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, Give me your vineyard for money, or else, if it please you, I will give you another vineyard for it. And he answered, I will not give you my vineyard. And Jezebel his wife said to him, Do you now govern Israel? Arise and eat bread and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

uSo she wrote letters in Ahab's name and sealed them with his seal, and she sent the letters to vthe elders and the leaders who lived with Naboth in his city. And she wrote in the letters, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth at the head of the people. 10 And set two wworthless men opposite him, and let them bring a charge against him, saying, xYou have cursed3 God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death. 11 And the men of his city, vthe elders and the leaders who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them. As it was written in the letters that she had sent to them, 12 ythey proclaimed a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people. 13 And the two worthless men came in and sat opposite him. And the worthless men brought a charge against Naboth in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth cursed God and the king. So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones. 14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth has been stoned; he is dead.

15 As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money, for Naboth is not alive, but dead. 16 And as soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

The Lord Condemns Ahab

17 zThen the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 18 Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in aSamaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession. 19 And you shall say to him, Thus says the Lord, Have you killed and also taken possession? And you shall say to him, Thus says the Lord: bIn the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your own blood.

20 Ahab said to Elijah, cHave you found me, O my enemy? He answered, I have found you, because dyou have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the Lord. 21 Behold, I will bring disaster upon you. I will utterly burn you up, and ewill cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel. 22 And I will make your house like fthe house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like gthe house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you hhave made Israel to sin. 23 And of Jezebel the Lord also said, iThe dogs shall eat Jezebel within jthe walls of Jezreel. 24 kAnyone belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat.

Ahab's Repentance

25 (lThere was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited. 26 He acted very abominably in going after midols, as nthe Amorites had done, whom the Lord cast out before the people of Israel.)

27 And when Ahab heard those words, he otore his clothes and pput sackcloth on his flesh and qfasted and lay in sackcloth and went about dejectedly. 28 And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29 Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; rbut in his son's days I will bring the disaster upon his house.

Ahab and the False Prophets

22 For three years Syria and Israel continued without war. sBut in the third year tJehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel. And the king of Israel said to his servants, Do you know that uRamoth-gilead belongs to us, and we keep quiet and do not take it out of the hand of the king of Syria? And he said to Jehoshaphat, Will you go with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, vI am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.

And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, Inquire first for the word of the Lord. Then the king of Israel wgathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, Shall I go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I refrain? And they said, Go up, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king. But xJehoshaphat said, Is there not here another prophet of the Lord of whom we may inquire? And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, Micaiah the son of Imlah, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so. Then the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, Bring quickly Micaiah the son of Imlah.


Jehoshaphat Allies with Ahab

18 Now Jehoshaphat ahad great riches and honor, band he made a marriage alliance with Ahab. cAfter some years he went down to Ahab in Samaria. And Ahab killed an abundance of sheep and oxen for him and for the people who were with him, and induced him to go up against Ramoth-gilead. Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead? He answered him, I am as you are, my people as your people. We will be with you in the war.

And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, Inquire first for the word of the Lord. Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, Shall we go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I refrain? And they said, Go up, for God will give it into the hand of the king. But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here another prophet of the Lord of whom we may inquire? And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, Micaiah the son of Imlah; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so. Then the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, Bring quickly Micaiah the son of Imlah.