What on earth is the divine council? Well, for starters, it’s not on earth! T...
1For three years Syria and Israel continued without war. 2But in the third year Jehoshʹaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel. 3And the king of Israel said to his servants, “Do you know that Ramoth-gilead belongs to us, and we keep quiet and do not take it out of the hand of the king of Syria?” 4And he said to Jehoshʹaphat, “Will you go with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead?” And Jehoshʹaphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”
5And Jehoshʹaphat said to the king of Israel, “Inquire first for the word of the Lord.” 6Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall I go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I forbear?” And they said, “Go up; for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” 7But Jehoshʹaphat said, “Is there not here another prophet of the Lord of whom we may inquire?” 8And the king of Israel said to Jehoshʹaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, Micaiʹah the son of Imlah; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil.” And Jehoshʹaphat said, “Let not the king say so.” 9Then the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiʹah the son of Imlah.” 10Now the king of Israel and Jehoshʹaphat the king of Judah were sitting on their thrones, arrayed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samarʹia; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 11And Zedekiʹah the son of Chenaʹanah made for himself horns of iron, and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘With these you shall push the Syrians until they are destroyed.’ ” 12And all the prophets prophesied so, and said, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and triumph; the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.”
13And the messenger who went to summon Micaiʹah said to him, “Behold, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king; let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.” 14But Micaiʹah said, “As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I will speak.” 15And when he had come to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiʹah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we forbear?” And he answered him, “Go up and triumph; the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” 16But the king said to him, “How many times shall I adjure you that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” 17And he said, “I saw all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd; and the Lord said, ‘These have no master; let each return to his home in peace.’ ” 18And the king of Israel said to Jehoshʹaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?” 19And Micaiʹah said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left; 20and the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another. 21Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ 22And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go forth, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go forth and do so.’ 23Now therefore behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the Lord has spoken evil concerning you.”
24Then Zedekiʹah the son of Chenaʹanah came near and struck Micaiʹah on the cheek, and said, “How did the Spirit of the Lord go from me to speak to you?” 25And Micaiʹah said, “Behold, you shall see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself.” 26And the king of Israel said, “Seize Micaiʹah, and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and to Joʹash the king’s son; 27and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this fellow in prison, and feed him with scant fare of bread and water, until I come in peace.” ’ ” 28And Micaiʹah said, “If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Hear, all you peoples!”
29So the king of Israel and Jehoshʹaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 30And the king of Israel said to Jehoshʹaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes.” And the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle. 31Now the king of Syria had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, “Fight with neither small nor great, but only with the king of Israel.” 32And when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshʹaphat, they said, “It is surely the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him; and Jehoshʹaphat cried out. 33And when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 34But a certain man drew his bow at a venture, and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate; therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn about, and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.” 35And the battle grew hot that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians, until at evening he died; and the blood of the wound flowed into the bottom of the chariot. 36And about sunset a cry went through the army, “Every man to his city, and every man to his country!”
37So the king died, and was brought to Samarʹia; and they buried the king in Samarʹia. 38And they washed the chariot by the pool of Samarʹia, and the dogs licked up his blood, and the harlots washed themselves in it, according to the word of the Lord which he had spoken. 39Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house which he built, and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 40So Ahab slept with his fathers; and Ahaziʹah his son reigned in his stead.
41Jehoshʹaphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42Jehoshʹaphat was thirty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azuʹbah the daughter of Shilhi. 43He walked in all the way of Asa his father; he did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the Lord; yet the high places were not taken away, and the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. 44Jehoshʹaphat also made peace with the king of Israel.
45Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshʹaphat, and his might that he showed, and how he warred, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 46And the remnant of the male cult prostitutes who remained in the days of his father Asa, he exterminated from the land.
47There was no king in Edom; a deputy was king. 48Jehoshʹaphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold; but they did not go, for the ships were wrecked at Eʹzion-geʹber. 49Then Ahaziʹah the son of Ahab said to Jehoshʹaphat, “Let my servants go with your servants in the ships,” but Jehoshʹaphat was not willing. 50And Jehoshʹaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father; and Jehoʹram his son reigned in his stead.
51Ahaziʹah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samarʹia in the seventeenth year of Jehoshʹaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel. 52He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jeroboʹam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. 53He served Baʹal and worshiped him, and provoked the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger in every way that his father had done.
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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