1 Kings Chapter 22  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: 1 Kings 22
1Ki 22:1(top)
1Ki 22:2

“Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down.” The Bible does not give a reason that king Jehoshaphat of Judah would visit the wicked king Ahab. However, there is one very likely possibility. The annals of king Shalmaneser III of Assyria show that Ahab participated in a war that a coalition of 12 kings, including both Ahab of Israel and Ben-Hadad of Syria, fought against Assyria at Qarqar on the Orontes River. Although the Assyrian records claim the victory, that is almost certainly not the case since the Assyrians withdrew. The northern victory over Assyria would give Jehoshaphat a reason to visit Ahab because stopping Assyria would have been in his interest too. If Assyria took Israel, Judah would be attacked next, which is actually what happened, but later on in history (2 Kings 17-18).

“the king of Israel.” This is Ahab (cp. 1 Kings 22:20).

1Ki 22:3

“Ramoth Gilead is ours.” Ramoth Gilead was technically given back to Israel in the treaty of 1 Kings 20:34, but the Syrians never actually returned it. Now Ahab would have to fight for it, and was killed in the battle.

1Ki 22:4(top)
1Ki 22:5(top)
1Ki 22:6(top)
1Ki 22:7(top)
1Ki 22:8(top)
1Ki 22:9(top)
1Ki 22:10(top)
1Ki 22:11(top)
1Ki 22:12(top)
1Ki 22:13(top)
1Ki 22:14(top)
1Ki 22:15

“Go up and prosper.” This is irony. The prophet Micaiah is mocking the false prophets who had been saying that (1 Kings 22:6, 12). What he really knew from God is in 1 Kings 22:17, which was a prophecy that the king would be killed in the battle (to understand that clearly, we have to know that culturally the king was referred to as the “shepherd” of the people, so for the people to have no shepherd meant the king had been killed). Micaiah’s prophecy came true, and Ahab was killed by an archer (1 Kings 22:34-35).

Verses like 1 Kings 22:15 require careful reading and an understanding of the context and the culture. The context reveals the irony to us because we cannot hear Micaiah’s tone of voice when he spoke. However, Ahab and Jehoshaphat did hear his voice and perhaps other gestures as well and immediately knew he was mocking the false prophets (1 Kings 22:16). Culturally, prophets did occasionally use irony to make their point emphatic (cp. Amos 4:4).

1Ki 22:16(top)
1Ki 22:17(top)
1Ki 22:18(top)
1Ki 22:19

“all the army of heaven standing by him.” This scene in 1 Kings 22 depicts a large meeting of God’s spirit beings. The word “army” is translated from the Hebrew word tsaba’ (#06635 צָבָא) and it refers to an “army” or an “organized army.” Tsaba’ is used of an “army of angels” and also of other groups that are organized because an army is very organized, hence it is used to refer to the stars which are organized, and other large organized groups that are not necessarily a military army but are organized, and that is the case here—God’s assembly is an organized meeting.

In many cases, however, tsaba’, the “army,” does refer to, or emphasize, the military aspect of some group. In fact, God’s angelic “army” is, like the rest of His creation, in a war against evil. The world is a war zone. Ever since the fall of the Devil and his rebellion against God, Good and Evil have been at war. This verse in 1 Kings shows God in front of a huge assembly of spirit beings. God also has an intimate divine council with whom He works to govern His creation. [For more on God’s divine council, see commentary on Genesis 1:26. For more on the larger assemblies that God holds with His spirit beings, see commentary on Job 1:6].

1Ki 22:20(top)
1Ki 22:21(top)
1Ki 22:22(top)
1Ki 22:23(top)
1Ki 22:24(top)
1Ki 22:25(top)
1Ki 22:26(top)
1Ki 22:27(top)
1Ki 22:28(top)
1Ki 22:29(top)
1Ki 22:30(top)
1Ki 22:31(top)
1Ki 22:32(top)
1Ki 22:33(top)
1Ki 22:34(top)
1Ki 22:35(top)
1Ki 22:36(top)
1Ki 22:37(top)
1Ki 22:38(top)
1Ki 22:39(top)
1Ki 22:40(top)
1Ki 22:41(top)
1Ki 22:42(top)
1Ki 22:43(top)
1Ki 22:44(top)
1Ki 22:45(top)
1Ki 22:46(top)
1Ki 22:47(top)
1Ki 22:48(top)
1Ki 22:49(top)
1Ki 22:50(top)
1Ki 22:51

“he reigned two years over Israel.” The northern kingdom of Israel used a non-accession counting system for their kings in which any part of a year was counted as a year (in contrast to southern kingdom of Judah, which used an accession-year counting system, in which any part of the first year of a kings reign was not counted because it was counted as part of the final year of the previous king). Ahaziah reigned at least 6 months in his first year but likely only several months in his “second” year, making his total reign perhaps even less than 12 months, although it could have been a few more months than that.

1Ki 22:52(top)
1Ki 22:53(top)

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