1 Kings 21-22
Chapter 21: Ahab Kills Naboth for His Vineyard
Ahab goes to Naboth and asks him for his vineyard. He wants his vineyard, because it is close to his house and he wants a garden of herbs close to his house. In trade he promises to give him a vineyard that is better or give him money for the piece of land. However Naboth tells him that he cannot do that, because it is his inheritance and he cannot simply give away his inheritance for something else. Ahab is upset by this and goes to his house and essentially from the text it sounds like he is crying on his bed. (see verse 4).
Jezebel comes into Ahab and asks him why is spirit is drained (I can imagine that his eyes are all puffed up from crying), and Ahab explains the situation. Jezebel then tells Ahab that he is over all of Israel and that this should not stop him from getting what he wants. So Jezebel tells him to eat, drink and be merry and that she would get him his land. So Jezebel writes letters in Ahab’s hand telling the Elders that Naboth had blasphemed God and the king and that he must be stoned to death.
The Elders take heed to the request and send two men, who were children of Belial and they witnessed against him and carried him out of the city to be stoned to death. Jezebel received word of the death and she told Ahab to arise and go take possession of the land that Naboth would not give to him for money or trade and he arose and went down to the vineyard to take possession of it.
The Lord goes to Elijah and tells him what Ahab has done and commands him to go down to the vineyard and meet Ahab, there is commanded to tell Ahab of the curse that will be put on him and his wife for working iniquity and evil before the Lord. Ahab and Jezebel will be killed and eaten by dogs in the same place that Naboth was stoned to death. When Ahab hears about this, he rents him clothes and humbles himself before the Lord. The Lord then tells Elijah that because Ahab humbled himself, that he will not cause anything to happen to him, but to happen to his house later on.
Chapter 22: Micaiah Foretells the Death of Ahab
Three years had passed without any war between Syria and Israel. In the third year the king of Judah, Jehoshaphat went down to visit the king of Israel. While there, the King of Israel tells Jehosophat that Ramoth in Gilead is theirs, but they are hesitant to take it out of the hands of the King of Syria, so he aks the king of Judah (Jehosophat) for his help. Jehosophat tells him that his people and horses are as his. Kind of like the “mi casa es tu casa” saying. Jehosophat is ok with helping Ahab, but he suggests that they first consult God in the matter. Ahab asks his men and they all tell him to go up to take Ramoth Gilead, because the Lord will deliver it in to his hands. It seems that Jehosophat is not comfortable with that, and asks if there is anyone else that they can ask to get a second opinion. Ahab tells him that there is someone, but he hates him… because the prophet named Micaiah always says evil things of him.
But Ahab calls his officer to brink Micaiah the son of Imlah in unto them. While waiting for him to come, both Ahab and Jehosophat are waiting in the entrance of the city and all around them they hear people telling them to go to Ramoth Gilead and fight!
Micaiah arrives… and is asked whether or not they should go to battle against and take Ramoth Gilead. Micaiah tells him the same thing as the rest of the prophets… to go to Ramoth Gilead, because the Lord will deliver it into his hands. But Ahab aks him if he is telling the truth…
So, Micaiah tells of the true prophecy; “…I saw all of Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep wthat have not a shepherd: and the Lord said, These have not master let them return every man to his house in peace.” (1 Kings 22:17).
This must of angered Ahab, because he turns to Jehosophat and says; (I am paraphrasing) “See, I told you he never will say anything good about me!” Micaiah explains that the other 400 prophets were decieved by a lying spirit who told them things, so that Ahab would go up to battle, fight and die.
Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah was upset and struck Micaiah on the cheek and Ahab commanded that he was to be put into prison. But as an ultimate call of warning, he tells them that they will understand his prophecy once they are backed up into an inner chamber (cave) to hide themselves.
Ahab goes to battle and disguises himself, but tells Jehosophat to put on his robes. Ahab must have thought that by being disquised he would not be a huge target as the king, thus thwarting the doom that was prophesied of him.
The King of Syria tells all his men to only fight with the king of Israel, once they see Jehosophat with the robes, they immediately pursue after him, but once he screamed and ran, they realized that he was not the king of Israel. However, out of chance a random arrow from a bow struck Ahab inbetween the joints of his armor, and he was propped up in the back of his chariot… dying a brave man to keep the spirits of his men high. When the battle was over, everyone found out that Ahab was dead.
Ahab was brought to Samaria and buried there. When they took the chariot back and washed the blood from it, the dogs licked up his blood.
Jehosophat became king when he was 35 years old. His mother was Azubah and his father was Asa. Jehosophat reigned over Judah with righteousness.
Here are a few of the accomplishments of Jehosophat;
- He sent teachers of God’s Word out to his entire kingdom (2 Chronicles 17:7-9).
- He established a permanent military garrison along the northern frontier (2 Chronicles 17:1-2, 12).
- He trained and equipping a sizeable army (2 Chronicles 17:14-19) that was able to quell a Transjordan invasion (2 Chronicles 20:1-30).
- He placed Edom under Judean control, controlling an important caravan route to the south (2 Kings 3:8-27; 2 Chronicles 20:36).
- God blessed his reign so much that the fear of the Lord came upon neighboring nations so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17:10).
- Jehoshaphat was also an able administrator, implementing judicial reforms (2 Chronicles 19:5-11) and religious reforms (2 Chronicles 17:3-9).
- Jehoshaphat was also the king connected to the famous incident when the army of Judah saw a great victory won as the Levites led the battle with praise (2 Chronicles 20:15-23).
Ahaziah the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria in the 17th years of the reign of Jehosophat in Judah. Ahaziah reigned for two years and did much evil in the sight of the Lord. He served Baal and worshiped him, provoking God to anger.