1 Kings 22:22
And the LORD said to him, With which? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, You shall persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.
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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.The difficulties which attach to this passage are considerable. On the one hand, it is hard to suppose one of the holy Angels a "lying spirit;" on the other, hard to find Satan, or an evil spirit, included among "the host of heaven" 1 Kings 22:19 and acting as the minister of God. Still, Job 1:6; Job 2:1, lend countenance to the latter point, and 2 Thessalonians 2:11 to the former. But it may be doubted whether we ought to take literally, and seek to interpret exactly, each statement of the present narrative. Visions of the invisible world can only be a sort of parables; revelations, not of the truth as it actually is, but of so much of the truth as can be shown through such a medium. The details of a vision, therefore, cannot safely be pressed, anymore than the details of a parable. Portions of each must be accommodations to human modes of thought, and may very inadequately express the realities which they are employed to shadow forth to us. 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]. I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets; I will inspire a lie into the minds and mouths of his prophets.

Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: I will give them up into thy hands, and blind their minds, and leave them to their own ignorance and wickedness, which will certainly lead them into dreadful mistakes.

Go forth, and do so: this is not a command, but only a permission; which is oft expressed in the imperative mood; as 1 Samuel 16:10 Matthew 8:22 John 13:27. I will not hinder thee from tempting them, nor give them grace to withstand their temptation; whereby thou mayest be assured of success. And the Lord said unto him, wherewith?.... What way and method did he propose, to persuade Ahab to go up to Ramoth? the Lord is introduced in this visionary narrative as asking this question, not as ignorant of the scheme of the evil spirit, but in order to bring it out, and lead on to the following account:

and he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets; put them on encouraging Ahab to go up, and promising him success, as he had in former battles with the king of Syria, and which might both encourage them to give forth such a prediction, and him to believe it to be true; this proposal was quite agreeable to the character of the devil, as the father of lies:

and he said, thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also; not only make use of this artifice to persuade, but succeed also; the Lord knew that what he should suggest to the prophets, and they should deliver to Ahab, would be agreeable to his inclination, nor would he do anything in the course of his providence to hinder its taking effect:

go forth, and do so; which was giving leave to try his skill in the art of persuasion, in which he knew he would succeed, and bring on the righteous judgment of God upon Ahab; with this compare John 13:27.

And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a {r} lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.

(r) I will cause all his prophets to tell lies.

22. and I will be] The R.V. omits ‘I’ here, and later on inserts ‘shalt’ before ‘prevail,’ to accord with 2 Chronicles, the English being thus as exactly alike in the two passages as the Hebrew is.Verse 22. - And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? [Heb. By what?] And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit [Heb. a spirit of a lie. Cf. Zechariah 13:2; 1 John 4:6] in the mouth of all his prophets. [His prophets, not God's. Cf. 2 Kings 3:13.] And he said, Thou shalt persuade him. and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Micah's prophecy concerning the war, and his testimony against the lying prophets. - 1 Kings 22:15, 1 Kings 22:16. When Micah had come into the presence of the king, he replied to his question, "Shall we go against Ramoth?" etc., in just the same words as the pseudo-prophets, to show the king how he would speak if he were merely guided by personal considerations, as the others were. From the verbal agreement in his reply, and probably also from the tone in which he spoke, Ahab perceived that his words were ironical, and adjured him to speak only truth in the name of Jehovah. Micah then told him what he had seen in the spirit (1 Kings 22:17): "I saw all Israel scatter itself upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd;" and then added the word of the Lord: "These have no master; let them return every one to his house in peace." That is to say, Ahab would fall in the war against Ramoth in Gilead, and his army scatter itself without a leader upon the mountains of Gilead, and then every one would return home, without being pursued and slain by the enemy. Whilst Zedekiyah attempted to give greater emphasis to his prophecy by symbolically transferring to Ahab's enterprise the success predicted by Moses, Micah, on the other hand, showed to the king out of the law that would really take place in the intended war, namely, that very state of things which Moses before his departure sought to avert from Israel, by the prayer that the Lord would set a man over the congregation to lead them out and in, that the congregation might not become as sheep that have no shepherd (Numbers 27:16-17).
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