And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spoke saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And one spake, saying.—Literally, and one said (i.e., it was spoken), this one saying thus, and that one saying thus. The text is certainly right.
After this manner.—Kāhhāh. Kings, bĕkhōh. Kings has, and this one said in this wise, and that one was saying in that wise.1 Kings 22:51, not less than 8 years after the marriage (marginal reference note). 1 Kings 22:2,
he went down to Ahab to Samaria; to pay him a visit upon the alliance, civil and matrimonial, contracted between them:
and Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that he had with him; entertained him and his retinue in a very grand and liberal manner:
and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramothgilead; from hence, to the end of the chapter, it is the same with 1 Kings 22:4.And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)19. Who shall entice Ahab] So 1 Kin. (R.V.). The same Heb. word is used in Jeremiah 20:7, “thou hast deceived (mg. ‘enticed’) me,” where Jeremiah complains that he has been called to the fruitless labour of a hated prophet. For the underlying thought that delusion is sometimes a preliminary part of Divine punishment cp. 2 Thessalonians 2:11 (cp. 2 Thessalonians 2:9). It should be noted however that the “lying spirit” in the month of the 400 prophets played only a subordinate part in Ahab’s fall, and indeed could have played no part at all, but for the fact that the king was more than willing to be enticed. Ahab had already made up his mind; he consulted the 400 only as an afterthought to satisfy Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 18:4), he excluded the plain-speaking Micaiah until Jehoshaphat insisted on his presence (2 Chronicles 18:6-7), and he scorned the true prophet’s warning of the falseness of the 400 (2 Chronicles 18:26). Delusion as a Divine punishment comes only upon the man who is willing to be deluded.Verse 19. - Who shall entice, etc.? Hebrew piel future פָתָח. This and the following three verses must have told, manifestly did tell, with fearful force of faithful preaching, upon the unreal prophets and the wicked king. How it was that their contents did not avail with Jehoshaphat to throw full energy again into his conscience, and to enable him to break at once with Ahab and his expedition, is inexplicable (and the more as it was his own pressing suggestion that the true prophet should be summoned), except as another illustration of the fearful difficulty that lies so often to human weakness, in the way of retracing a false step. Both these visions (vers. 16, 18-22) well illustrate how God revealed his truth, will and specific messages to his true prophets in vision. The vision of the throne, grand in all the majesty of its simplicity, of the psalmists (9, 11, 45, 103.), of Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-5), of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:26), of Daniel (Daniel 7:9), of Stephen (Acts 7:56), of St. John (Revelation 4:2), is part of heaven's own stamp of authentication of the Bible. 1 Kings 22:1-3 it is remarked, in connection with the preceding wars of Ahab with the Syrians, that after there had been no war for three years between Aram and Israel, in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah came up to the king of Israel; and the latter, when he and his servants had determined to snatch away from the Syrians the city Ramoth in Gilead, which belonged to Israel, called upon Jehoshaphat to march with him to the war against Ramoth. In the Chronicle the more exact statement, "in the third year," which is intelligible only in connection with the earlier history of Ahab, is exchanged for the indefinite שׁנים לקץ, "at the end of years;" and mention is made of the festal entertainment which Ahab bestowed upon his guest and his train (עמּו אשׁר העם), to show the pains which Ahab took to induce King Jehoshaphat to take part in the proposed campaign. He killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, ויסיתהוּ ,ecnadn, and enticed, seduced him to go up with him to Ramoth. הסית, to incite, entice to anything (Judges 1:14), frequently to evil; cf. Deuteronomy 13:7, etc. עלה, to advance upon a land or a city in a warlike sense. The account which follows of the preparations for the campaign by inquiring of prophets, and of the war itself, vv. 4-34, is in almost verbal agreement with 1 Kings 22:5-35. Referring to 1 Kings or the commentary on the substance of the narrative, we will here only group together briefly the divergences. Instead of 400 men who were prophets, 2 Chronicles 18:5, in 1 Kings 22:5 we have about 400 men. It is a statement in round numbers, founded not upon exact enumeration, but upon an approximate estimate. Instead of אהדּל אם...הנלך, 2 Chronicles 18:5, in Kings, 1 Kings 22:6, we have אהדּל אם...האלך, both verbs being in the same number; and so too in 2 Chronicles 18:14, where in Kings. 1 Kings 22:15, both verbs stand in the plural, notwithstanding that the answer which follows, והצלח עלה, is addressed to Ahab alone, not to both the kings, while in the Chronicle the answer is given in the plural to both the kings, והצליחוּ עלוּ. in 2 Chronicles 18:7, "he prophesies me nothing good, but all his days (i.e., so long as he has been a prophet) evil," the meaning is intensified by the כּל־ימיו, which is not found in 1 Kings 22:8. In 2 Chronicles 18:9, the ויושׁבים, which is introduced before the בּגרן, "and sitting upon the threshing-floor," is due to difference of style, for it is quite superfluous for the signification. In 2 Chronicles 18:15, the ambiguous words of Micah,' and Jahve will give into the hand of the king" (1 Kings 22:15), are given in a more definite form: "and they (the enemy) shall be given into your hand." In 2 Chronicles 18:19, in the first כּכה אמר זה, the אמר after the preceding ויּאמר is not only superfluous, but improper, and has probably come into the text by a copyist's error. We should therefore read only בּכה זה, corresponding to the כּכה זה of 1 Kings 22:20 : "Then spake one after this manner, and the other spake after another manner." In 2 Chronicles 18:23, the indefinite אי־זה of 1 Kings 22:24, is elucidated by הדּרך זה אי, "is that the manner" (cf. 1 Kings 13:12; 2 Kings 3:8)., and the verb. עבר follows without the relative pronoun, as in the passages cited. In 2 Chronicles 18:30, only הרכב שׂרי of the king are mentioned, without any statement of the number, which is given in 1 Kings 22:31, with a backward reference to the former war (1 Kings 20:24). In 2 Chronicles 18:31, after the words, "and Jehoshaphat cried out," the higher cause of Jehoshaphat's rescue is pointed out in the words, "and Jahve helped him, and God drove them from him," which are not found in 1 Kings 22:32; but by this religious reflection the actual course of the event is in no way altered. Bertheau's remark, therefore, that "the words disturb the clear connection of the events," is quite unwarrantable. Finally, in 2 Chronicles 18:34, מעמיד היה, he was holding his position, i.e., he held himself standing upright, the Hiph. is more expressive than the Hoph. מעמד (1 Kings 22:35), since it expresses more definitely the fact that he held himself upright by his own strength. With Ahab's death, which took place in the evening at the time of the going down of the sun, the author of the Chronicle concludes his account of this war, and proceeds in 2 Chronicles 19:1-11 to narrate the further course of Jehoshaphat's reign. In 1 Kings 22:36-39, the return of the defeated army, and the details as to Ahab's death and burial, are recorded; but these did not fit into the plan of the Chronicle.
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