1 Kings 22:5
And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, Inquire, I pray you, at the word of the LORD to day.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Kings 22:5. Jehoshaphat said, Inquire, I pray thee, &c. — By some prophet; that we may know the mind of God in this matter, and what success we may expect. A good man, wherever he goes, will take God along with him, will acknowledge him in all his ways, and look to him for success: and, wherever he goes, he ought to take his religion along with him; and not be ashamed to own it, even among those who have no kindness for it.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.Jehoshaphat, with characteristic piety 1 Kings 22:43 takes advantage of his position as Ahab's friend and ally, to suggest inquiry of the Lord (Yahweh) before the expedition is undertaken. Lest Ahab should consent in word and put off the inquiry in act, he asks to have the prophets called in at once: "today." 3-8. Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours—a Levitical and free town on the north border of Gad (De 4:43; Jos 21:38), on the site of the present Salt Lake, in the province of Belka. It lay within the territories of the Israelitish monarch, and was unjustly alienated; but whether it was one of the cities usurped by the first Ben-hadad, which his son had promised to restore, or was retained for some other reasons, the sacred historian has not mentioned. In the expedition which Ahab meditated for the recovery of this town, the aid of Jehoshaphat was asked and promised (see 2Ch 18:3). Previous to declaring hostilities, it was customary to consult the prophets (see on [325]1Sa 28:8); and Jehoshaphat having expressed a strong desire to know the Lord's will concerning this war, Ahab assembled four hundred of his prophets. These could not be either the prophets of Baal or of Ashteroth (1Ki 18:19), but seem (1Ki 22:12) to have been false prophets, who conformed to the symbolic calf-worship of Jehovah. Being the creatures of Ahab, they unanimously predicted a prosperous issue to the war. But dissatisfied with them, Jehoshaphat inquired if there was any true prophet of the Lord. Ahab agreed, with great reluctance, to allow Micaiah to be summoned. He was the only true prophet then to be found residing in Samaria, and he had to be brought out of prison (1Ki 22:26), into which, according to Josephus, he had been cast on account of his rebuke to Ahab for sparing the king of Syria. By some prophet; that we may know the mind of God in it, and what success we may expect. This was the practice of the godly. See Judges 1:1 20:28 1 Samuel 23:2. And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, inquire, I pray thee, at the word of the Lord today. Being a pious and religious prince, he did not choose to go into a war at once, without consulting the Lord by his prophets, whether it was his will and pleasure they should engage in it, and should prosper; and he was desirous of having this done immediately, before they proceeded any further. And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, {e} Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day.

(e) He seemed that he would not go to war unless God approved it, yet when Michaiah advised the opposite he would not obey.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. Inquire, I pray thee, at the word of the Lord] The persuasion has gained from him a promise, but Jehoshaphat would still find out whether the proposed expedition has the sanction of Jehovah. It is clear from his request that he expected to find a true prophet of Jehovah at hand in Israel. The national apostasy cannot therefore have been complete, even in the dark days of Ahab.

to day] The Hebrew word is the same which is found in Genesis 25:31; Genesis 25:33, where on the margin of R.V. the alternative rendering, ‘first of all,’ is given. This sense is very appropriate both there and here, and will often explain what ‘to day’ in O. Test. diction signifies. Cf. above, 1 Kings 1:51.Verse 5. - And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Inquire, I pray thee, at [This word is redundant] the word of the Lord today. [כַּיום hardly conveys that "he asks to have the prophets called in at once," "lest Ahab should consent in word and put off the inquiry in act" (Rawlinson); but rather means, "at this crisis," "under these circumstances." This request agrees well with what we learn elsewhere as to Jehoshaphat's piety (2 Chronicles 17:4-9; 2 Chronicles 19:5-7, etc.) And, remembering how Ahab's late victories had been foretold by a prophet, and had been won by the help of Jehovah, Jehoshaphat might well suppose that his new ally would be eager to know the word of the Lord.] This terrible threat made such an impression upon Ahab, that he felt deep remorse, and for a time at least was sincerely penitent. Rending the clothes, putting on the mourning garment of hair (שׂק), and fasting, are frequently mentioned as external signs of humiliation before God or of deep mourning on account of sin. יהלּך אט, he walked about lightly (slowly), like one in deep trouble. This repentance was neither hypocritical, nor purely external; but it was sincere even if it was not lasting and produced no real conversion. For the Lord Himself acknowledge it to be humiliation before Him (1 Kings 21:29), and said to Elijah, that because of it He would not bring the threatened calamity upon Ahab's house in his own lifetime, but only in the days of his son. אבי for אביא, as in 1 Kings 21:21.
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