1 Kings 22:19
And he said, Hear you therefore 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 hand and on his left.
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(19-22) The symbolic vision of Micaiah, which naturally recalls the well-known description in Job 1:6-12 of the intercourse of Satan with the Lord Himself, is to be taken as a symbol, and nothing more. (Josephus, characteristically enough, omits it altogether.) The one idea to be conveyed is the delusion of the false prophets by a spirit of evil, as a judgment of God on Ahab’s sin, and on their degradation of the prophetic office. The imagery is borrowed from the occasion. It is obviously drawn from the analogy of a royal court, where, as is the case before Micaiah’s eyes, the king seeks counsel against his enemies.

1 Kings 22:19. And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the Lord — Because thou givest credit to thy false prophets, and disbelievest my words, as if they were but the suggestions of my own fancy, and of hatred to thy person, I will give thee a distinct and true account of the whole matter in God’s name and presence. I saw the Lord sitting on his throne — Not with his bodily eyes certainly, for with them he could not see God, but with the eyes of his mind, or rather in a vision. For we must by no means look upon what follows as the relation of an affair really transacted, but merely as an account of a symbolical vision, like that of Peter, (Acts 10.,) when he saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him; whereby Micaiah was informed how it came to pass that so many prophets prophesied falsely, or contrary to what the event of things would prove; which was, that these prophets were influenced, not by the Spirit of God, which is the spirit of truth, but by an evil spirit, a spirit of error and falsehood, of flattery and dissimulation. For we should form most unjust ideas of the truth and holiness of God, if we supposed he would really send a spirit of lying into any of his prophets, which they could not distinguish from true inspiration; for this would be to confound false prophecy with true, and to make God the author of moral evil, which he can in no way or manner ever be. It would have been to overturn the whole authority of prophecy; for, if the true prophets had been once actuated by a false spirit, there would have been an end of placing any dependance on them for the future. The whole foundation of their authority would have been overthrown. 22:15-28 The greatest kindness we can do to one that is going in a dangerous way, is, to tell him of his danger. To leave the hardened criminal without excuse, and to give a useful lesson to others, Micaiah related his vision. This matter is represented after the manner of men: we are not to imagine that God is ever put upon new counsels; or that he needs to consult with angels, or any creature, about the methods he should take; or that he is the author of sin, or the cause of any man's telling or believing a lie. Micaiah returned not the blow of Zedekiah, yet, since he boasted of the Spirit, as those commonly do that know least of the Holy Spirit's operations, the true prophet left him to be convinced of his error by the event. Those that will not have their mistakes set right in time, by the word of God, will be undeceived, when it is too late, by the judgments of God. We should be ashamed of what we call trials, were we to consider what the servants of God have endured. Yet it will be well, if freedom from trouble prove not more hurtful to us; we are more easily allured and bribed into unfaithfulness and conformity to the world, than driven to them.David's Psalms had familiarised the Israelites with Yahweh sitting upon a throne in the heavens (Psalm 9:7; Psalm 11:4; Psalm 45:6; Psalm 103:19, etc.); but to be allowed to see in vision the ineffable glory of the Almighty thus seated, was a rare favor. It was granted to Isaiah, to Daniel (marginal references), to Ezekiel EZechariah 1:26, and in Christian times to Stephen Acts 7:56, and John Rev 4:2.18-23. Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?—Since Ahab was disposed to trace this unwelcome truth to personal enmity, Micaiah proceeded fearlessly to tell the incensed monarch in full detail what had been revealed to him. The Hebrew prophets, borrowing their symbolic pictures from earthly scenes, described God in heaven as a king in His kingdom. And as earthly princes do nothing of importance without asking the advice of their counsellors, God is represented as consulting about the fate of Ahab. This prophetic language must not be interpreted literally, and the command must be viewed as only a permission to the lying spirit (Ro 11:34) [Calmet]. Because thou givest credit to thy false prophets, and distrustest my words, as if they were but the suggestions of my own fancy, and hatred of thy person, I will give thee a distinct and true account of the whole matter, in God’s name and presence.

I saw the Lord, by the eyes of my mind; for he could not see the Lord with bodily eyes.

The host of heaven, i.e. the angels, who are oft called God’s host or hosts, because of their great number, excellent order, and constant readiness to attend upon God, and to execute his commands. See Genesis 2:1 Psalm 103:21 148:2. These angels were both good and bad; the one possibly on his right, the other on his left hand. Nor is it strange that the devils are called the host of heaven, if you consider, first, That their original seat was in heaven, and men in Scripture are oft called by the name of the place from whence they came. Secondly, That the name of heaven is oft given to all that part of the world which is above the earth, and among the rest to the air, as Genesis 1:20 7:11 8:2 27:28 Deu 4:11 11:11, where the devil’s residence and dominion lies, Ephesians 2:2; and that both Michael and his angels, and the dragon and his angels, are said to be and to wage war in heaven, Revelation 12:7, i.e. either the air, or the church. And this place is not to be understood as if Micaiah had seen with his bodily eyes the Lord and his angels sitting in the third heaven; but that he saw a representation of the Divine presence in the air, attended with good and bad angels.

Standing by him, in the posture of ministers, to receive and execute his commands. And he saith, hear thou therefore the word of the Lord,.... Since he had represented what he had said as proceeding from hatred to him, he would make it clear and plain that what he had said was the word of the Lord, and according to his mind; and that what the other prophets had said was owing to a lying spirit in them, which the Lord suffered for his ruin; all which are represented as in a vision, in which things are brought down to the capacities of men, and not as really transacted:

I saw the Lord sitting on his throne; so it was represented to his mind, as if he had seen with his bodily eyes the divine Being in a glorious form, as a king sitting on his throne, to do justice and judgment; as Ahab and Jehoshaphat were now sitting on their thrones, only as a far greater King, even the King of kings, and in a more splendid manner:

and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left the ministering angels ready to do his will.

And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the {p} host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.

(p) Meaning, his angels.

19. And he said] After these words the LXX. adds οὐχ οὕτως οὐκ ἐγώ, ‘Not so, I do not.’ Here we can discern how the insertion was made. The next word in the Hebrew text is לכן= Therefore. This the translators have taken for לא כן = not so, and have put in the οὐκ ἐγὼ to round off the sense. Apparently they must have seen or thought they saw the same reading in 1 Kings 22:17 above, for there they have made a similar insertion.

Hear thou therefore] R.V. Therefore hear thou. Conforming to the order of the Hebrew, and the order in 2 Chronicles.

I saw the Lord] A vision in which Micaiah had been shewn the heavenly council-chamber. Jehovah was sitting as ruler of the universe, and all ministers waiting around to speed at His bidding. These are the ministering spirits of Hebrews 1:14. But they also discharge other ministry, as when the angel of the Lord destroyed David’s people (2 Samuel 24:16) or the army of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:35).Verse 19. - And he said, Hear thou [in 2 Chronicles 18:18, Hear ye] therefore [The LXX. has οὐχ οὕτως, whence it would almost appear that they had the text לא כֵּן before them (Bahr). But לָכֵן is every way to be preferred. It is emphatic by position, and the meaning is, "Since you will have it that my words are prompted by malice, hear the message I have for you," etc.] the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord [It is not implied (Wordsworth) that he had any direct and objective vision of God, such as Moses (Exodus 34:5), Elijah, or St. Stephen. He here declares what he may have seen in dream or trance. (Cf. Revelation 1:10; Revelation 4:2; Isaiah 6:1; Ezekiel 1:1.) It was a real but inner vision (Keil). In its interpretation the caution of Peter Martyr is carefully to be borne in mind; Omnia haec dicuntur ἀνθρωποπαθῶς] sitting on his throne [It was natural for some of the commentators to see in these words a reference to the two kings then sitting in their royal apparel, each upon his throne. But it is very doubtful whether any such thought was present in the mind of the speaker, who, imply relates a vision of the past], and all the host of heaven [The celestial powers, cherubim, angels, archangels, who surround the Lord of glory. That there can be no reference to the sun, moon, and stars, notwithstanding that these are called "the host of heaven" in Deuteronomy 4:19; Deuteronomy 17:3, is clear from the next words. The expression is to be explained by Genesis 32:1, 2] standing by him [עָלָיו; for the meaning, see Genesis 18:8] on his right hand and on his left. [The resemblance of this vision to that of Isaiah (1 Kings 6:1-8) must not be overlooked.] The messenger who fetched Micah tried on the way to persuade him to prophesy success to the king as the other prophets had done; but Micah replied with a solemn oath, that he would only speak what Jehovah said to him.
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