1 Kings
Introduction 1-4 Ahab Wants Jehoshaphat to Join Him 5-8 Jehoshaphat Wants to Consult the Lord 9-14 Micaiah Is Called 15-28 The Message of Micaiah 29-33 Ahab and Jehoshaphat Go to War 34-40 The Death of Ahab 41-50 Jehoshaphat King over Judah 51-53 Ahaziah King over Israel
Introduction

This chapter concludes the history of Ahab. He was a rich and prosperous king (verse 3939Now the rest of the acts of Ahab and all that he did and the ivory house which he built and all the cities which he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?), who also brought prosperity to his people. However, that is not the way God describes history. God writes history about the heart. The world describes the great deeds of a man she honored; God describes the evil deeds of people who do not take Him into account.


Ahab Wants Jehoshaphat to Join Him

1Three years passed without war between Aram and Israel. 2In the third year Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel. 3Now the king of Israel said to his servants, “Do you know that Ramoth-gilead belongs to us, and we are still doing nothing to take it out of the hand of the king of Aram?” 4And he said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead?” And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”

By the grace of God there is no war for three years. It is a grace that follows the grace at Carmel and the showing of grace to Ahab for his repentance, which gives him respite of judgment.

What we read from verse 22In the third year Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel. onwards is a history that is almost verbatim repeated in 2 Chronicles 18, because this history is also about Jehoshaphat, a king of the two tribes. Here the histories of the ten and two tribes come together.

The reason is not beautiful. There are friendly relations between the faithful and good king Jehoshaphat and the wicked Ahab. Jehoshaphat makes three covenants. He makes a covenant with Ahab, with the son of Ahab, Ahaziah – that is a business covenant - and with another son of Ahab, Joram or Jehoram. He should never have had those friendship-like relationships with a bad king like Ahab, because by doing so he has fellowship with evil.

Jehoshaphat goes to Ahab. That means a literal descent from Jerusalem to Samaria, because Jerusalem is high, on a mountain. It is also and especially a spiritual descent. Jehoshaphat has related himself with Ahab with marriage ties (2Chr 18:11Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor; and he allied himself by marriage with Ahab.). Jehoshaphat’s son, Jehoram, marries Ahab’s daughter, the corrupt Athaliah. So Jehoshaphat and Ahab become friends. Jehoshaphat goes to Ahab, without invitations, on his own initiative. On that occasion Achab organizes a party (2Chr 18:22Some years later he went down to [visit] Ahab at Samaria. And Ahab slaughtered many sheep and oxen for him and the people who were with him, and induced him to go up against Ramoth-gilead.). That will be a trap.

Jehoshaphat is there, but very cunningly Ahab talks to his servants – and not directly to Jehoshaphat – about an attack on the king of Aram or Syria. When the proposal is incidentally launched, Ahab asks Jehoshaphat if he wants to join him. Without thinking, Jehoshaphat makes an unconditional promise that he will certainly go along. He promises his cooperation in the strongest possible way and fully commits himself to this evil king. He takes on an unequal yoke (2Cor 6:14-1514Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?15Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?).


Jehoshaphat Wants to Consult the Lord

5Moreover, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please 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 against Ramoth-gilead to battle or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for the Lord will give [it] into the hand of the king.” 7But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here that we may inquire of him?” 8The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. [He is] Micaiah son of Imlah.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.”

It seems that Jehoshaphat suddenly thinks of the LORD. He wants to hear a word from the LORD. He should have done this first. But how are we? Have we not often made decisions, and have we taken a certain path, and only then asked the Lord to go with us? How important it is to be led through the eye of the Lord and not to be like a horse that needs to be corrected because we always want to go the wrong way (Psa 32:8-98I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
9Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,
[Otherwise] they will not come near to you.
). We follow a zigzag route. We must first ask the Lord for His guidance and only then go that way.

Jehoshaphat did not have to ask if the proposed road is the right one, because the road is evil. We should ask if we do not know whether the road is a good one. If it is perfectly clear that we are going the wrong way, we should not pray. The Lord does not listen to such a prayer and says that we should not pray, but listen to the Scriptures. Praying for something against the Scriptures is asking the Lord to bless a way of disobedience.

In order to comply with Jehoshaphat’s request, Ahab has no fewer than four hundred prophets to show up. However, they are not prophets of the LORD, but prophets who moderate themselves to speak in the name of the LORD. The prophets are not just people who mean well, but who see it wrong, no, they are people who speak through demons. They are not false prophets because they speak the wrong word, but because they are controlled by evil spirits.

These people are not interested in the will of the LORD, but in the advantage of the king. It may be that these are the four hundred priests of Astarte who have escaped judgment and who have now adopted a different name. The LORD is for them a new idol. Ahab chooses teachers who speak what he wants to hear (2Tim 4:3-43For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but [wanting] to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,4and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.). We must be careful not to listen only to the speakers we like to hear because they say things we like to hear.

We may ask the Lord to keep us from any compromise with people who profess to belong to God’s people, but only for their own benefit. We too must learn to listen, not to a message that sounds good, but to God’s Word. As for our speaking, it is necessary to ask the Lord’s help to speak only God’s Word and not what one likes to hear.

It is clear that the church is not going in the right direction. We see that a gospel is being preached with a message that things will be better and more beautiful. It is all presented more gloriously: ‘There will be a revival’, this will happen and that will happen. They propose: ‘Go into battle, enter into discussion with the world, start governing, join in.’ There are some ‘doomsayers’ who go against this. Of them is told that they preach nothing but doom and disappointments and that the world will be worse off. Whosoever preaches the Word of God in a warning manner will be seen as such.

Ahab is also interested in hearing what he should do. He has a very primitive idea of God. If he only gets a favorable message, then, he thinks, the gods are forced to give him the victory. The prophets prophesy under the influence of demons. This is evident from what Micaiah says later in this chapter. They are wizards or witches who open themselves up to demonic powers that use them to respond to people’s superstition.

The greatest witch is Jezebel. She is a woman who not only believes in idols made of wood and stone, but she is a charmer of evil spirits who could bring this evil to God’s people. Every witch had to be eradicated inexorably, because they can cause so much evil from the realm of darkness. Dark powers are controlling the land. That tidal wave has also come over the Netherlands. They are not fairy tales, but what was once Christian is increasingly falling prey to pagan superstition.

However, Jehoshaphat is not satisfied. Deep inside him is still the awareness that the true God is also there and that He must be asked. Therefore he asks for “a prophet of the LORD”, emphasizing “of the LORD” because the other prophets are not. This means that Ahab will again have to deal with a prophet of the LORD. Not only Elijah is sent by God on his way, and not only Elijah is his enemy, but also every other true prophet of the LORD. The man who speaks the truth is an enemy of Ahab.

Ahab’s enmity also concerns Micaiah. He sees in Micaiah someone who brings evil upon him. In his folly and short-sightedness he attributes the evil that Micaiah professes to Micaiah himself. This is the superstition or blinding work of Satan who excludes God. It does not come to mind in Ahab that evil is in himself and is the reason for the truth that the prophet speaks.


Micaiah Is Called

9Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah son of Imlah.” 10Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in [their] robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 11Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are consumed.’” 12All the prophets were prophesying thus, saying, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and prosper, for the LORD will give [it] into the hand of the king.” 13Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, “Behold now, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king. Please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.” 14But Micaiah said, “As the LORD lives, what the LORD says to me, that I shall speak.”

While Micaiah is picked up, the false prophets prophesy. That will have happened, just like at the Carmel, with the necessary rituals. False prophets not only speak, they also want to impress through all kinds of spiritual manifestations, injuring themselves and getting out of mind. That is what happens in all pagan peoples. In the same way, all kinds of elements of idolatry have entered the Christian worship service. People are brought into a trance by sensational manifestations, which they falsely claim to be manifestations of the Spirit. Also deafening music is used that causes a narrowing of consciousness, causing actions to be performed that will not be remembered later on.

One of the false prophets, Zedekiah, dramatically foretells the victory of Ahab. The horns and words he uses are reminiscent of what Moses says about Joseph in his blessing, which he pronounces about the twelve tribes (Deu 33:17a17“As the firstborn of his ox, majesty is his,
And his horns are the horns of the wild ox;
With them he will push the peoples,
All at once, [to] the ends of the earth.
And those are the ten thousands of Ephraim,
And those are the thousands of Manasseh.”
). He imitates Moses. In that way pious statements are often made, but they serve as a varnish to make the lie acceptable. This sounds like music to people’s ears. It’s like the Christmas carols echoing through the shops. The words are about the Child in the manger, but the music is meant to put the people to sleep and encourage them to buy.

The man who has to pick up Micaiah, tries to persuade him not to have an aberrant opinion of what the false prophets have said. Micaiah must not become a killjoy. Today’s prosperity preachers are also the people who speak pleasant words. The question is not whether God speaks, but what people like to hear. God is not King, the customer is king.

But Micaiah is not influenced by the opinions of the many. He knows doubtless that he goes to the lion’s den and that the whole atmosphere is filled with demons. However, he goes in full confidence that the LORD is with him. However great the threat of the enemy may be, the power of the LORD is infinitely greater. Micaiah does not yet know what to say, but he trusts that the LORD will let him know what to say (cf. Lk 21:14-1514So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves;15for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.).

Do we dare to apply that to ourselves or do we go with the big crowd that with beautiful words gives us the feeling that we are somebody? If the latter is the case, grace cannot work because with such an attitude we pass by God. The prophets in the Old Testament did not bring a good message at all. Jeremiah’s message, for example, that the people will be deported, is not accepted either. Although it is not experienced in this way, it is a great grace from God that He always gives someone who speaks words in which His heart and thoughts clearly emerge.


The Message of Micaiah

15When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?” And he answered him, “Go up and succeed, and the LORD will give [it] into the hand of the king.” 16Then the king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?” 17So he said,
“I saw all Israel
Scattered on the mountains,
Like sheep which have no shepherd.
And the LORD said,
‘These have no master.
Let each of them return to his house in peace.’”
18Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?” 19Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left. 20The LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this while another said that. 21Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’ 22The LORD said to him, ‘How?’ And he said, ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then He said, ‘You are to entice [him] and also prevail. Go and do so.’ 23Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and the LORD has proclaimed disaster against you.” 24Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “How did the Spirit of the LORD pass from me to speak to you?” 25Micaiah said, “Behold, you shall see on that day when you enter an inner room to hide yourself.” 26Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’s son; 27and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this man in prison and feed him sparingly with bread and water until I return safely.”‘“ 28Micaiah said, “If you indeed return safely the LORD has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Listen, all you people.”

There Micaiah stands opposite four hundred prophets, representatives of the religious class and opposite the highest rulers, the representatives of the whole people. Because the rulers rule over God’s people, they are also religious leaders. The sight alone must make a great impression on Micaiah. The grim, hostile atmosphere will have struck him. The loner opposite the mass. The messenger who has picked him up has already tried to influence him to speak as the others and not to speak as a loner opposite all.

By the power of faith and trust in the LORD, Micaiah does not succumb to the pressure. On the contrary, he mocks the whole company. This is clear from his first answer. In this answer he seems to say the same as the other prophets have said and thus seems to join them. But there is a heavy sarcastic undertone in what he says. He imitates the four hundred and pretends to be one of them. Achab feels that too. He realizes that what Micaiah says is meant to be sarcastic. He is therefore not satisfied with this answer. He wants to know what the real message of Micaiah is.

Micaiah answers with what he has seen and heard in a vision. He describes that the intended mission will result in a scattering of the people. The reason for this is that the people have no leader who trusts in God. A leader who lets the people trust in God keeps God’s people together (Num 27:16-1716“May the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation,17who will go out and come in before them, and who will lead them out and bring them in, so that the congregation of the LORD will not be like sheep which have no shepherd.”). A leader who does not take God into account, forsakes the people and the sheep become the wolf’s prey (Jn 10:1212He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters [them].). With the Lord Jesus is concern for sheep that have no shepherd (Mt 9:3636Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.) and to His disciples He speaks of the striking down of the shepherd and the scattering of the sheep (Mt 26:3131Then Jesus *said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP OF THE FLOCK SHALL BE SCATTERED.’).

After this prophecy, Ahab addresses Jehoshaphat and points out that he is right with what he said about Micaiah. Do you see that Micaiah is a prophet of doom? But Ahab looks no further, blinded eyes by the prince of darkness as he has.

But Micaiah is not finished yet. He has another message. From that message it appears that there is an invisible world that lets these four hundred prophets say what Ahab likes to hear. But Micaiah may stand before Ahab as a prisoner, the word of the LORD cannot be bound. Ahab served the idols and with them the demons. Baal does not exist as a dead idol; Baal however does exist because of the demons behind it. In the invisible world, demons are working together to mislead people with death as the end result.

We can make an application for today. In the great Christianity it is no longer about what God’s Word says, but about what one likes to hear and what connects to the experience. The charismatic movement is particularly responsible for this. In many cases we have to conclude that there are spiritual powers behind this that leads people away from Christ and from the Word of God because it is purely about the feeling of man.

It is becoming increasingly clear how wrong certain influences are, especially by songs that are sung. Several songs contain statements about, for example, the atonement, which remove aspects of the atonement of the Lord Jesus or highlight them in a way that is not in accordance with the Word. We must clearly warn against this, because it leads people away from obedience to the Word and from the uniqueness of Christ and His work. Therefore we must also be clear to ourselves by asking about the will of God in every situation, which comes down to asking: What does the Word of God say?

Micaiah says from a new vision that the demons are ultimately under the authority of God. What Micaiah sees in the vision, is presented to us humanly, so we can understand it. We are witnessing a discussion that is starting. One says this, the other that, all very human. Then a spirit comes and says: “I will entice him.” After a question from the LORD and an answer from the spirit, the LORD says: ““You are to entice [him] and also prevail. Go and do so.” We clearly see that the LORD is in charge in this whole event. He finally determines the deployment of evil spirits and the success in wat they undertake. The evil spirits also serve His purpose, against their will.

We see the calamity that God has decided about Ahab. That calamity is certain (verse 2323Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and the LORD has proclaimed disaster against you.”), there is no change to be made. It is also certain how that calamity will occur: “The LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’” (verse 2020The LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this while another said that.)?

Through this message, the uprising in the heart of Zedekia becomes public. Zedekiah claims that what he said is by the Spirit and that it cannot be by Micaiah. His pretentious words are accompanied by violence. He strikes Micaiah on the cheek. People of the world cannot assume that the four hundred are wrong and that one is right. Micaiah would be the only one who has the Spirit of the LORD? There is a unanimous testimony of the masses. Are only those few faithful Christians right?

Micaiah does not protest against the mistreatment. He only says that it will become clear that his words are truth. Zedekiah will notice this when he flees and is anxious to find a place where he can be safe from judgment, a place he will seek in vain.

The ‘reward’ Achab has for Micaiah for speaking the truth is being locked up in prison. The words spoken by Ahab with the order for confinement give Micaiah another reason to testify. There is no fear to be noticed with this man of God. Violence and prison do not lead him to a change in his message. He does not compromise, but preaches the pure Word of God. Every abuse leads him to pronounce a confirmation of what he has said.

In all of this there is no moderation or self-exaltation. He points out that he has spoken God’s words and that their truth will be proven in the fulfillment of what he has announced. He even dares to add that he will prove to be a liar when Ahab returns in peace, so when his words will not come true (cf. Deu 13:1-41“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,2and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’3you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.4You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.; 18:20-2220But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’21You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’22When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.).

In his closing words he no longer addresses Ahab, but all peoples. He makes his words a testimony to all peoples. Later another prophet, Micah, will speak the same words (Mic 1:22Hear, O peoples, all of you;
Listen, O earth and all it contains,
And let the Lord GOD be a witness against you,
The Lord from His holy temple.
). It is a word that relates to the Lord Jesus and the time when He will be famous among the peoples.


Ahab and Jehoshaphat Go to War

29So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up against Ramoth-gilead. 30The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into the battle, but you put on your robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into the battle. 31Now the king of Aram had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, saying, “Do not fight with small or great, but with the king of Israel alone.” 32So when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “Surely it is the king of Israel,” and they turned aside to fight against him, and Jehoshaphat cried out. 33When the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.

Jehoshaphat, too, does not seem to have been really impressed by Micaiah’s speech. He lets himself not be warned, we do not hear a word from him that he will not go. In any case, he does abort the undertaking, but goes to war with Ahab. He probably has to go along out of himself, because he has committed himself to go along. Jehoshaphat knows everything that awaits him, what is going to happen, but he can’t go back.

Jehoshaphat seems to be completely at the mercy of Ahab. Ahab determines the tactics and Jehoshaphat follows slavishly. Ahab will disguise himself, but he tells Jehoshaphat to keep his royal clothes on. Ahab thinks that by disguising himself he can escape the judgment that has been announced. This is primitive superstition. He also behaves cowardly, because by letting Jehoshaphat keep his royal clothes on, he knows that the enemy will focus mainly on Jehoshaphat, who can be recognized as king.

God’s Spirit tells us that the king of Aram or Syria has commanded his men to focus only on the king of Israel. Ahab and Jehoshaphat know nothing about this order. The enemy will search until he finds the king. It’s only about him. When the battle burns loose, it is not surprising that the enemy’s arrows are on Jehoshaphat. After all, he is recognizable as king. For the enemy he is the king of Israel. That’s the result of his going along with Ahab. The world sees no difference between those who fear God and those who fear Him. What a warning for us.

When Jehoshaphat notices that the enemy is aiming for him, he cries out for help (verse 3232So when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “Surely it is the king of Israel,” and they turned aside to fight against him, and Jehoshaphat cried out.). In the description of this history in 2 Chronicles 18 it then follows: “And the LORD helped him, and God diverted them from him” (2Chr 18:3131So when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is the king of Israel,” and they turned aside to fight against him. But Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him, and God diverted them from him.). What a grace from God. Whosoever calls unto Him in his need shall be helped by Him. It is a miracle of the LORD that they discover that he is not the king of Israel and turn away from him.


The Death of Ahab

34Now a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel in a joint of the armor. So he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and take me out of the fight; for I am severely wounded.” 35The battle raged that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot in front of the Arameans, and died at evening, and the blood from the wound ran into the bottom of the chariot. 36Then a cry passed throughout the army close to sunset, saying, “Every man to his city and every man to his country.” 37So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried the king in Samaria. 38They washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood (now the harlots bathed themselves [there]), according to the word of the LORD which He spoke. 39Now the rest of the acts of Ahab and all that he did and the ivory house which he built and all the cities which he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 40So Ahab slept with his fathers, and Ahaziah his son became king in his place.

Just as Jehoshaphat is spared by a miracle of the LORD, so Ahab is killed by a miracle of the LORD. Without the soldier, who at random draws the bow and shoots the arrow away, knowing who he strikes, he strikes Ahab deadly. Ahab is not killed by a stray arrow. No soldier shoots in the wild. It is an arrow controlled by the LORD to strike Ahab deadly.

Ahab is not instantly dead. He instructs the driver of his chariot to drive away from the battle. The wound appears to result in death. Ahab loses more and more blood, life flows away from him. He remains in the turmoil of battle, without opportunity to dress the wound. Finally, he dies because the blood continues to flow from the wound.

It shows how accurately the LORD fulfils His word. When Ahab has died, he is taken to Samaria and buried there. The car with the blood of Ahab is washed “by the pool of Samaria”. The pool is given a further indication: it is the place where “the harlots bathed themselves”, these are the temple harlots, women who serve as temple prostitutes in the Baal’s service. By this we are reminded at the death and funeral of this wicked king of this horrible religion and its deep depravity. In this way Ahab disappears from the stage and so he remains in the memory.


Jehoshaphat King over Judah

41Now Jehoshaphat the son of Asa became king over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 43He walked in all the way of Asa his father; he did not turn aside from it, doing right in the sight of the LORD. However, the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burnt incense on the high places. 44Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel. 45Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might which he showed and how he warred, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 46The remnant of the sodomites who remained in the days of his father Asa, he expelled from the land. 47Now there was no king in Edom; a deputy was king. 48Jehoshaphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold, but they did not go for the ships were broken at Ezion-geber. 49Then Ahaziah the son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my servants go with your servants in the ships.” But Jehoshaphat was not willing. 50And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of his father David, and Jehoram his son became king in his place.

In a few verses the government of Jehoshaphat is described. In 2 Chronicles this is much more extensive. In the books 1 Kings and 2 Kings the emphasis is on the history of the kings of Israel. Jehoshaphat is a God-fearing king, but one who has unfortunately several times connected himself with godless Israel and its king. For example, he has allied himself with Ahaziah to build ships (2Chr 20:3636So he allied himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion-geber.). But even before the ships have, so to speak, left the port where they were built, God lets the fleet perish. Jehoshaphat seems to have learned from that. If Ahaziah the son of Ahab wants to do anything together with him, he refuses (verse 4949Then Ahaziah the son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my servants go with your servants in the ships.” But Jehoshaphat was not willing.).

After his death he is succeeded by his son Jehoram. Unfortunately, this son does not walk in the footsteps of his father’s faith (2Chr 21:5-65Jehoram [was] thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.6He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab did (for Ahab’s daughter was his wife), and he did evil in the sight of the LORD.), which despite the various mistakes Jehoshaphat made, was clearly present with him.


Ahaziah King over Israel

51Ahaziah the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel. 52He did 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 Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin. 53So he served Baal and worshiped him and provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger, according to all that his father had done.

When Ahab has died, he is succeeded by his son Ahaziah. He is no exception to all the kings of Israel. He also does what is “evil in the sight of the LORD”. His bad way has three aspects: walks “in the way of his father”, “in the way of his mother” and “in the way of Jeroboam”. He unites all the evils of His predecessors within himself. Thus evil increases. In such a way you can only do what is evil in the sight of the LORD and provoke Him to anger.