Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel.CHAPTER 22 The Death of Ahab
1. Jehoshaphat and Ahab (1Kings 22:1-12)
2. The prophet Micaiah (1Kings 22:13-28)
3. The battle and Ahab’s death (1Kings 22:29-40)
4. Jehoshaphat of Judah (1Kings 22:41-50; 2 Chron. 19-20)
5. Ahaziah, King of Israel (1Kings 22:51-53)
Three years passed without war between Syria and Israel. In the third year Jehoshaphat of Judah came down to Ahab. Jehoshaphat’s son and heir-apparent had married Athaliah the daughter of Ahab. An unholy alliance had therefore been formed between the royal families. Jehoshaphat, who knew better, was in this very unfaithful, and though the Lord did not forsake him chastisements came upon him and his house. The prophet Jehu, son of Hanani, met him after he came back from the battle of Ramoth-Gilead and said to him: “Shouldst thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? Therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD” (2Chronicles 19:2). Ahab, under the predicted judgment of God, asked Jehoshaphat: “Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramoth-Gilead?” And gladly the good King of Judah answers: “I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses.” And Ahab in all his wicked apostasy had prophets, four hundred of them. Jehoshaphat was, no doubt, troubled in his conscience, and demanded that Ahab inquire of the LORD. The prophets he had, used no longer the name of Baal, but the name of Jehovah. And they all prophesied success. Jehoshaphat, however, was suspicious and asked for a prophet of the LORD. From this we may gather that there was something about them by which the King of Judah knew that they were not Jehovah’s prophets. Ahab then sent for Micaiah the son of Imlah. Both kings occupied thrones and were clad in their robes in the entrance of the gate of Samaria. All the false prophets prophesied and one Zedekiah made horns of iron to produce a vivid impression of the coming victory. Then Micaiah appeared. The faithful prophet tells the kings what he had seen. It is a revelation he had. Jehovah permitted a lying spirit to possess Ahab’s false prophets and they were prophesying lies. And Micaiah predicted the defeat of Israel. The words of Micaiah are of much importance. What happened in Ahab’s day, when the Lord permitted a lying spirit to deceive and lead the wicked into ruin, will happen again at the close of this present age. God will send a strong delusion that they should believe a lie (2 Thess. 2). Unclean spirits will then be on the earth, even as they begin already and by lying words, lying miracles and signs, lead the Christ-rejecting masses into judgment.
Then the battle. Ahab disguised himself and Jehoshaphat wore his robes. It was more than cowardice in Ahab; he feared the judgment which was hovering over him and tried to avert the coming fatal stroke. Jehoshaphat was almost miraculously saved, but Ahab was miraculously killed. A soldier drew a bow at venture. That arrow was guided by a higher hand. It found the disguised King of Israel. It found the small opening in the King’s harness. A little while later the dogs were licking his blood as they washed his blood stained chariot. Thus the word of the Lord was fulfilled. Jehoshaphat’s full record we shall consider in Chronicles and Azariah’s in the beginning of the second book of the Kings.