1 Kings 22:20
And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Kings 22:20-22. The Lord said, Who shall persuade Ahab, &c. — This is not to be understood grossly, as if God were at a loss to find out an expedient to accomplish his own designs; nor is it to be supposed that there was really any such consultation, before the Divine Majesty, as who should be employed to persuade Ahab to undo himself. But this is a symbolical representation, to signify that the Lord resolved to suffer Ahab to be deceived and perish at Ramoth-Gilead rather than in any other place; in order that he, who sinfully suffered Ben-hadad to escape, might be punished by Ben-hadad. And there came forth a spirit — An evil one; and stood before the Lord — This is not to be taken literally. There are, however, evil spirits who are very forward to entice men to their own destruction, and have power so to do, if the Lord do not hinder them. He said, I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets — I will suggest to them that which will deceive them. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also — I will give them up into thy hands, and leave them to their own ignorance and wickedness. Go forth, and do so — This is not a command, but only a permission. If we suppose this to be any thing more than a symbolical vision, we must say God permitted this evil spirit to follow his own inclinations, which he knew would have success, and prevail with Ahab to believe he should prosper in this war, wherein God intended he should perish. Ahab’s prophets had observed how prosperous he had been in former wars with the king of Syria, and that made them forward to promise him the same success in this also. And Ahab was as forward to believe as they were to promise.22:15-28 The greatest kindness we can do to one that is going in a dangerous way, is, to tell him of his danger. To leave the hardened criminal without excuse, and to give a useful lesson to others, Micaiah related his vision. This matter is represented after the manner of men: we are not to imagine that God is ever put upon new counsels; or that he needs to consult with angels, or any creature, about the methods he should take; or that he is the author of sin, or the cause of any man's telling or believing a lie. Micaiah returned not the blow of Zedekiah, yet, since he boasted of the Spirit, as those commonly do that know least of the Holy Spirit's operations, the true prophet left him to be convinced of his error by the event. Those that will not have their mistakes set right in time, by the word of God, will be undeceived, when it is too late, by the judgments of God. We should be ashamed of what we call trials, were we to consider what the servants of God have endured. Yet it will be well, if freedom from trouble prove not more hurtful to us; we are more easily allured and bribed into unfaithfulness and conformity to the world, than driven to them.David's Psalms had familiarised the Israelites with Yahweh sitting upon a throne in the heavens (Psalm 9:7; Psalm 11:4; Psalm 45:6; Psalm 103:19, etc.); but to be allowed to see in vision the ineffable glory of the Almighty thus seated, was a rare favor. It was granted to Isaiah, to Daniel (marginal references), to Ezekiel EZechariah 1:26, and in Christian times to Stephen Acts 7:56, and John Rev 4:2.18-23. Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?—Since Ahab was disposed to trace this unwelcome truth to personal enmity, Micaiah proceeded fearlessly to tell the incensed monarch in full detail what had been revealed to him. The Hebrew prophets, borrowing their symbolic pictures from earthly scenes, described God in heaven as a king in His kingdom. And as earthly princes do nothing of importance without asking the advice of their counsellors, God is represented as consulting about the fate of Ahab. This prophetic language must not be interpreted literally, and the command must be viewed as only a permission to the lying spirit (Ro 11:34) [Calmet]. This is not to be grossly understood, as if God did ask and take counsel from his creatures, or were at a loss to find out an expedient to accomplish his own will; did consider several ways, and then close with that which upon debate appeared to be best; all which it is ridiculous to imagine concerning a God of perfect and infinite knowledge; but only to bring down Divine things to our shallow capacities, and to express the various means which God hath to execute his own designs. And the Lord said, who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead?.... Not that it can be supposed that the Lord entered into a consultation with the angels upon this subject; only that it was the decree of God that he should go thither, and fall by the hand of the man whom he had let go, as a just punishment of him:

and one said on this manner, and another said on that manner; not that there was such an altercation among them; it only signifies, that there are various ways and means, by which the purposes and decrees of God may be and are brought about.

And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. Who shall persuade [R.V. entice] Ahab] The same change also is made in the two following verses. ‘Entice’ is the rendering in 2 Chronicles, and it represents much better the sense of the verb in the original, which implies flattery and deception; and this it was which was to lead Ahab to his ruin.Verse 20. - And the Lord said, Who shall persuade [Same word in Exodus 22:16, Hebrews; Judges 14:15; Judges 16:5; Proverbs 1:10, etc.; in all of which instances it is translated "entice." Compare with this question that of Isaiah 6:8.] Ahab, that he may go up and fan at Ramoth-Gilead? [The meaning is that Ahab's death in battle had been decreed in the counsels of God, and that the Divine Wisdom had devised means for accomplishing His purpose.] And one said on this manner, and another said [Heb. saying] on that manner. [Bahr again quotes from Peter Martyr: "Innuit varies providentiae Dei modos, quibus decreta sua ad exitum perducit, and adds that in this vision "inner and spiritual processes are regarded as real phenomena, nay, even as persons."] The messenger who fetched Micah tried on the way to persuade him to prophesy success to the king as the other prophets had done; but Micah replied with a solemn oath, that he would only speak what Jehovah said to him.
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