1 Kings 22:2
And it came to pass in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel.
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(2) Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down.—The fuller account of the Chronicles (2 Chronicles 17) notices that the early part of his reign had been marked by a continuance or increase of the prosperity of Asa; but (1Kings 18:1) adds, in significant connection, he “ had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab,” so that this prosperity was, at any rate in part, dependent on a change of policy from enmity to alliance, with apparently some measure of dependence, dangerous alike spiritually and politically, but probably thought to be a necessity. The visit of Jehoshaphat (2Chronicles 18:2) was one of festivity, of which Ahab took advantage.

1 Kings 22:2. The king of Judah came down to the king of Israel — Having now, as he supposed, made a firm peace with him, by the alliance contracted between Jehoram his son, and Athaliah, Ahab’s daughter, 2 Kings 8:18; 2 Chronicles 18:1. It is strange that so good a man would be so closely connected with a king revolted, from the worship of God! But he appears to have been of to easy a temper, which betrayed him to many inconveniences.

22:1-14 The same easiness of temper, which betrays some godly persons into friendship with the declared enemies of religion, renders it very dangerous to them. They will be drawn to wink at and countenance such conduct and conversation as they ought to protest against with abhorrence. Whithersoever a good man goes, he ought to take his religion with him, and not be ashamed to own it when he is with those who have no regard for it. Jehoshaphat had not left behind him, at Jerusalem, his affection and reverence for the word of the Lord, but avowed it, and endeavoured to bring it into Ahab's court. And Ahab's prophets, to please Jehoshaphat, made use of the name of Jehovah: to please Ahab, they said, Go up. But the false prophets cannot so mimic the true, but that he who has spiritual senses exercised, can discern the fallacy. One faithful prophet of the Lord was worth them all. Wordly men have in all ages been alike absurd in their views of religion. They would have the preacher fit his doctrine to the fashion of the times, and the taste of the hearers, and yet to add. Thus saith the Lord, to words that men would put into their mouths. They are ready to cry out against a man as rude and foolish, who scruples thus to try to secure his own interests, and to deceive others.This visit indicates an entire change in the relations which we have hitherto found subsisting between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The common danger to which the two kingdoms were exposed from the growing power of Syria had probably induced them to forget their differences. Jehoshaphat's eldest son, Jehoram, was married to Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab: but apparently the bond between the two families had not hitherto led to any very close intimacy, much less to any joint military expeditions. Jehoshaphat seems to have taken no part in the former Syrian wars of Ahab, nor did he join in the great league against the Assyrians (1 Kings 22:1 note). His visit now was probably one of mere friendliness, without any political object. Ahab, however, turned the visit to political advantage. From this time until the displacement of Ahab's dynasty by Jehu, very intimate relations subsisted between the two kingdoms (1 Kings 22:49; 2 Kings 3:7; 2 Kings 8:28-29; 2 Chronicles 20:36, etc.). 2. Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel—It was singular that a friendly league between the sovereigns of Israel and Judah should, for the first time, have been formed by princes of such opposite characters—the one pious, the other wicked. Neither this league nor the matrimonial alliance by which the union of the royal families was more closely cemented, met the Lord's approval (2Ch 19:2). It led, however, to a visit by Jehoshaphat, whose reception in Samaria was distinguished by the most lavish hospitality (2Ch 18:2). The opportunity of this visit was taken advantage of, to push an object on which Ahab's heart was much set. Having now, as he supposed, made a firm peace with Ahab by the alliance contracted between Jehoram his son, and Athaliah, Ahab’s daughter; of which see 2 Kings 8:18 2 Chronicles 18:1.

And it came to pass in the third year,.... Of the peace, before it was expired:

that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel; to Ahab, from Jerusalem to Samaria, reckoned thirty two miles (m); either to make peace with him, and put an end to the wars which subsisted between Israel and Judah since the division of the kingdom, 1 Kings 22:44 or to contract an affinity with him, by marrying his son to a daughter of Ahab, 2 Kings 8:18 or rather after peace was made, and that strengthened by the marriage; and so he went merely to pay a visit, as he judged he might then with great safety; and he and all his retinue were entertained by Ahab in a very sumptuous and liberal manner, 2 Chronicles 18:1.

(m) Bunting's Travels, &c. p. 178. near 40, Rainold. Praelect. 31. col. 266.

And it came to pass in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah {b} came down to the king of Israel.

(b) To see and visit him.

2. Jehoshaphat … came down to the king of Israel] The writer speaks as though Jerusalem was still regarded as the capital-city of the whole nation. To leave it and go elsewhere was ‘to go down.’

The Chronicler and Josephus connect this visit with the mention of Jehoshaphat’s ‘affinity with’ Ahab. Jehoram, Jehoshaphat’s son had married Ahab’s daughter, Athaliah. And after this event the king of Judah paid his visit to Samaria. The reception is described in Chronicles as a scene of great profusion, and Josephus speaks of troops (στρατὸς) which accompanied Jehoshaphat. Probably the subject of the war against Syria had been discussed before the meeting of the two kings. The Chronicler says ‘Ahab persuaded Jehoshaphat to go up with him to Ramoth-gilead.’

Verse 2. - And it came to pass in the third year [Of the peace; not after the death of Naboth, as Stanley], that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down [The journey to Jerusalem being invariably described as a "going up," one from Jerusalem to the provinces would naturally be spoken of as a "going down"] to the king of Israel. [For aught that appears, this was the first time that the monarchs of the sister kingdoms had met, except in battle, since the disruption, though the marriage of Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, with Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, had taken place some years before this date (2 Chronicles 18:1, 2). It is probable that it was the growing power of Syria had led to this affinity and alliance.] 1 Kings 22:2In the third year (not necessarily "towards the end of it," as Thenius supposes, for Jehoshaphat's visit preceded the renewal of the war) Jehoshaphat visited the king of Israel, with whom he had already formed a marriage alliance by marrying his son to Ahab's daughter (2 Chronicles 18:1; 2 Kings 8:18). Ahab then said to his servants that the king of Syria had kept the city of Ramoth in Gilead (probably situated on the site of the present Szalt: see at Deuteronomy 4:43), which he ought to have given up, according to the conditions of the peace in 1 Kings 20:34, and asked Jehoshaphat whether he would go with him to the war against Ramoth, which the latter promised to do. "I as thou, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses;" i.e., I am at thy service with the whole of my military power. In the place of the last words we have therefore in the Chronicles ועמך בּמּלחמה, "I am with thee in the war," i.e., I will assist thee in the war.
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