2 Chronicles 17-18

2 Chronicles 17-18

Chapter 17: The Book of the Law of God

Jehoshaphat reigned and strengthened himself against Israel. He fortified and placed troops in the cities of Judah, and Ephraim and walked in the ways of the Lord. Jehoshaphat continues in the ways of the Lord is greatly blessed for this; he takes down the high places and the images from Judah.

In the 3rd year of his reign he sends leaders; Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Michaiah to teach in the cities of Judah.  Accompanying the teachers were some Levites; Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tobadonijah. With the Levites were; Elishama, and Jehoram, who were priests. They went throughout the cities, teaching from the Book of the Law of God. The fear of the Lord spread throughout the land.

The Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents and silver as tribute, the Arabians brought him flocks, seven thousand seven hundred rams, and seven thousand seven hundred male goats. Jehoshaphat becoming increasingly more and more powerful by the day. Jehoshaphat continued to build his presence and fortified his cities. His army was comprised of valiant honorable men.

The captains and there men:

Adnah: 300,000 men.

Jehohanan: 280,000 men.

Benjamin: Eliada: 200,000 men.

Jehozabad: 180,000 men.

Among  these men, was; Amasiah the son of Zichri, who offered himself up to the Lord.

Chapter 18: Ahab’s False Prophets

Jehoshaphat had riches and honor, but by and through marriage he allied himself with Ahab. A few years go by and he goes to visit Ahab in Samaria, Ahab for his guest kills sheep and oxen in abundance, and persuaded Jehoshaphat to go up with him to Ramoth Gilead.  So Jehoshaphat and his people agree to go up with Ahab to fight against Ramoth Gilead.

The prophets and seers tell them both that the Lord will help them until the Syrians are gone. Michaiah, the prophet, tells the king that the Lord will help them prosper. He sees in a vision that all of Israel is scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. Micaiah prophesied evil against Ahab, and Ahab was not happy.

“… Therefore hear the word of the Lord; I saw the Lord sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. And the Lord said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-Gilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner.  Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will entice him. And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so. Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil against thee.” (2 Chronicles 18-22)

So, Ahab was deceived by the prophets. In reality going to Ramoth Gilead would mean his death. Micaiah is thrown in prison because Ahab was upset by his harsh, yet true words. The King of Israel and Jehoshaphat go up to Ramoth Gilead. Ahab goes into battle dressed as a soldier and not as a king, but Jehoshaphat agrees to go into battle as a king.

Well some time into the battle, they recognize that the king is there and go to attack. Upon surrounding Jehoshaphat they go to kill him, but because he turned to the Lord, they were thwarted and left his presence. But Ahab, was struck through the weak parts of his arm and is killed at the time the sun was setting, this was done at random as he was no special target. Micaiah was right.

 

2 Kings 9-10

2 Kings 9-10

Chapter 9: Jezebel Slain and Eaten by Dogs

Elisha calls one of the children of the prophets and tells him to take a box of oil and go to Ramoth-gilead, there he is commanded to take a man into an inner chamber and anoint him king.. So the man goes and meets Jehu and tells him that he has some business with him. The young prophet anoints Jehu and commands him to take over the house of his master Ahab, that they might avenge the death of all the prophets at the hand of Jezebel. For the house of Ahab shall be smitten and be like unto the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Jezebel shall be eaten by dogs and no one will bury her. After telling Jehu all of this the young prophet left. Jehu is then asked by his men if everything is ok. Jehu tells them what has happened and all the men blew trumpets announcing that Jehu was

Chapter 10: Ahab’s 70 Sons Are Slain

Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. Jehu wrote and sent letters to Samaria to the rulers of Jezreel and the elders. His later stated something to the effect of: “When this letter reaches you take your masters sons and their chariots and horses and your fortified city and place your most qualified of your sons to sit on his father’s thrown.” Jehu was trying to incite violence. Jehu then wrote another letter telling the leaders to kill the 70 sons of Ahab and cut their heads off. The leaders then sent Jehu the heads of the 70 sons in baskets.

Jehu then departed and headed towards Samaria. On his way there he stopped to meet the brothers of Ahaziah the king of Judah. Jehu then orders for their execution and kills 42 men, leaving none of them alive. Jehu then left to meet Jehonadab the son of Rechab asking him if his heart was right. Jehonadab responded that his heart was right and left with Jehu in his chariot to go to Samaria to kill all that remained of Ahab and his household.

Jehu gathered all the people together and told them that Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him more. So he called for all the prophets of Baal and his servants and priests to come to perform a huge sacrifice for Baal. So all the people from all over the land came to the temple of Baal to witness this great sacrifice. Once all the worshippers of Baal where in the temple he had 80 men waiting outside to kill all of them and not let one out. After the killing began, most of the worshippers gathered near the center of the temple… then Jehu caused that the building should collapse in on itself and be burned… thus ending the worship of Baal throughout all of Israel. Jehu, even after doing the will of the Lord was still sinning. Jehu reigns and his family until the fourth generation.

Because of the wickedness of parts of Israel, the Lord made other parts of Israel that were enemies to Israel successful that they started to gain victory over many pieces of land. Jehu dies and his buried in Samaria. Jehoahaz his son, reigned in his place and the period that Jehu reigned for over Israel was 28 years.

1 Kings 21-22

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.