GOD'S WORD® Translation
1For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel. 2In the third year King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to visit the king of Israel. 3The king of Israel asked his staff, "Do you know that Ramoth in Gilead belongs to us, and we are doing nothing to take it back from the king of Aram?" 4Then he asked Jehoshaphat, "Will you go with me to fight at Ramoth in Gilead?" Jehoshaphat told the king of Israel, "I will do what you do. My troops will do what your troops do. My horses will do what your horses do."
5Then Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, "But first, find out what the word of the LORD is [in this matter]." 6So the king of Israel called 400 prophets together. He asked them, "Should I go to war against Ramoth in Gilead or not?" "Go," they said. "The Lord will hand over Ramoth to you." 7But Jehoshaphat asked, "Isn't there a prophet of the LORD whom we could ask?" 8The king of Israel told Jehoshaphat, "We can ask the LORD through Micaiah, son of Imlah, but I hate him. He doesn't prophesy anything good about me, only evil." Jehoshaphat answered, "The king must not say that." 9The king of Israel called for an officer and said, "Quick! [Get] Micaiah, son of Imlah!" 10The king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah were dressed in royal robes and seated on thrones. They were on the threshing floor at the entrance to the gate of Samaria. All the prophets were prophesying in front of them. 11Zedekiah, son of Chenaanah, made iron horns and said, "This is what the LORD says: With these horns you will push the Arameans to their destruction." 12All the other prophets made the same prophecy. They said, "Attack Ramoth in Gilead, and you will win. The LORD will hand it over to you."
13The messenger who went to call Micaiah told him, "The prophets have all told the king the same good message. Make your message agree with their message. Say something good." 14Micaiah answered, "I solemnly swear, as the LORD lives, I will tell him whatever the LORD tells me."
15When he came to the king, the king asked him, "Micaiah, should we go to war against Ramoth in Gilead or not?" Micaiah said to him, "Attack and you will win. The LORD will hand it over to you." 16The king asked him, "How many times must I make you take an oath in the LORD's name to tell me nothing but the truth?"
17So Micaiah said, "I saw Israel's troops scattered in the hills like sheep without a shepherd. The LORD said, 'These [sheep] have no master. Let each one go home in peace.'"
18The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "Didn't I tell you he wouldn't prophesy anything good about me, only evil?"
19Micaiah added, "Then hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and the entire army of heaven was standing near him on his right and his left. 20The LORD asked, 'Who will deceive Ahab so that he will attack and be killed at Ramoth in Gilead?' Some answered one way, while others said something else. 21"Then the Spirit stepped forward, stood in front of the LORD, and said, 'I will deceive him.' " 'How?' the LORD asked. 22"The Spirit answered, 'I will go out and be a spirit that tells lies through the mouths of all of Ahab's prophets.' "The LORD said, 'You will succeed in deceiving him. Go and do it.' 23"So, the LORD has put into the mouths of all these prophets of yours a spirit that makes them tell lies. The LORD has spoken evil about you."
24Then Zedekiah, son of Chenaanah, went to Micaiah and struck him on the cheek. "How did the LORD's Spirit leave me to talk to you?" he asked. 25Micaiah answered, "You will find out on the day you go into an inner room to hide." 26The king of Israel then said, "Send Micaiah back to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Joash, the prince. 27Say, 'This is what the king says: Put this man in prison, and feed him nothing but bread and water until I come home safely.'" 28Micaiah said, "If you really do come back safely, then the LORD wasn't speaking through me. Pay attention to this, everyone!"
29So the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to Ramoth in Gilead. 30The king of Israel told Jehoshaphat, "I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you should wear your royal robes." So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle. 31The king of Aram had given orders to the 32 chariot commanders. He said, "Don't fight anyone except the king of Israel." 32When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they said, "He must be the king of Israel." So they turned to fight him. But when Jehoshaphat cried out, 33the chariot commanders realized that he wasn't the king of Israel. They turned away from him.
34One man aimed his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between his scale armor and his breastplate. Ahab told his chariot driver, "Turn around, and get me away from these troops. I'm badly wounded." 35But the battle got worse that day, and the king was kept propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. He died that evening. The blood from the wound had flowed into the chariot. 36At sundown a cry went through the army, "Every man to his own city! Every man to his own property!"
37When the king was dead, he was brought to Samaria to be buried. 38His chariot was washed at the pool of Samaria, where the prostitutes bathed. The dogs licked up his blood, as the LORD had predicted. 39Isn't everything else about Ahab-everything he did, the ivory palace he built, and all the cities he fortified-written in the official records of the kings of Israel? 40Ahab lay down in death with his ancestors. His son Ahaziah succeeded him as king.
41Jehoshaphat, son of Asa, became king of Judah in Ahab's fourth year as king of Israel. 42Jehoshaphat was 35 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 25 years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Azubah, daughter of Shilhi. 43Jehoshaphat carefully followed the example his father Asa had set and did what the LORD considered right. 44But the illegal worship sites were not torn down. The people continued to sacrifice and burn incense at these worship sites. Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel.
45Isn't everything else about Jehoshaphat-the heroic acts he did and [the wars] he fought-written in the official records of the kings of Judah? 46He rid the land of the male temple prostitutes who were left there from the time of his father Asa.
47There was no king in Edom; instead, a deputy ruled. 48Jehoshaphat made Tarshish-style ships to go to Ophir for gold. But they didn't go because the ships were wrecked at Ezion Geber. 49Then Ahaziah, son of Ahab, said to Jehoshaphat, "Let my servants go with your servants in the ships." But Jehoshaphat refused. 50Jehoshaphat lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried with them in the city of his ancestor David. His son Jehoram succeeded him as king.
51Ahaziah, son of Ahab, became king of Israel in Samaria during Jehoshaphat's seventeenth year as king of Judah. Ahaziah ruled Israel for two years. 52He did what the LORD considered evil. He followed the example of his father and mother and of Jeroboam (Nebat's son) who led Israel to sin. 53Ahaziah served Baal, worshiped him, and made the LORD God of Israel furious, as his father had done.