New International Version
The king said to him, "How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?"
King James Bible
And the king said unto him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the LORD?
Darby Bible Translation
And the king said to him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but truth in the name of Jehovah?
World English Bible
The king said to him, "How many times do I have to adjure you that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of Yahweh?"
Young's Literal Translation
And the king saith unto him, 'How many times am I adjuring thee that thou speak nothing unto me but truth in the name of Jehovah?'
1 Kings 22:16 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Go, and prosper - This was a strong irony; as if he had said, All your prophets have predicted success; you wish me to speak as they speak: Go, and prosper; for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king. These were the precise words of the false prophets, (see 1 Kings 22:6, 1 Kings 22:12), and were spoken by Micaiah in such a tone and manner as at once showed to Ahab that he did not believe them; hence the king adjures him, 1 Kings 22:16, that he would speak to him nothing but truth; and on this the prophet immediately relates to him the prophetic vision which pointed out the disasters which ensued.
It is worthy of remark that this prophecy of the king's prophets is couched in the same ambiguous terms by which the false prophets in the heathen world endeavored to maintain their credit, while they deluded their votaries. The reader will observe that the word it is not in the original: The Lord will deliver It into the hand of the king; and the words are so artfully constructed that they may be interpreted for or against; so that, be the event whatever it might, the juggling prophet could save his credit by saying he meant what had happened. Thus then the prophecy might have been understood: The Lord will deliver (Ramoth-gilead) into the king's (Ahab's) hand; or, The Lord will deliver (Israel) into the king's hand; i.e., into the hand of the king of Syria. And Micaiah repeats these words of uncertainty in order to ridicule them and expose their fallacy.
The following oracles among the heathens were of this same dubious nature, in order that the priests' credit might be saved, let the event turn out as it might. Thus the Delphic oracle spoke to Croesus words which are capable of a double meaning, and which he understood to his own destruction: -
Croesus, Halym penetrans, magnam subvertet opum vim,
Which says, in effect: -
"If you march against Cyrus, he will either overthrow you, or you will overthrow him."
He trusted in the latter, the former took place. He was deluded, and yet the oracle maintained its credit. So in the following: -
Aio te, Aeacida, Romanos vincere posse
Ibis redibis nunquam in bello peribis.
Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, understood by this that he should conquer the Romans, against whom he was then making war; but the oracle could be thus translated: "The Romans shall overcome thee." He trusted in the former, made unsuccessful war, and was overcome; and yet the juggling priest saved his credit. The latter line is capable of two opposite meanings: -
"Thou shalt go, thou shalt return, thou shalt never perish in war."
"Thou shalt go, thou shalt never return, thou shalt perish in war."
When prophecies and oracles were not delivered in this dubious way, they were generally couched in such intricate and dark terms that the assistance of the oracle was necessary to explain the oracle, and then it was ignotum per ignotius, a dark saying paraphrased by one yet more obscure.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
shall I adjure
that thou tell
'And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria?'--1 KINGS xxii. 3. This city of Ramoth in Gilead was an important fortified place on the eastern side of the Jordan, and had, many years before the date of our text, been captured by its northern neighbours in the kingdom of Syria. A treaty had subsequently been concluded and broken a war followed thereafter, in which Ben-hadad, King of Syria, …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
He Does Battle for the Faith; He Restores Peace among those who were at Variance; He Takes in Hand to Build a Stone Church.
Sovereignty of God in Administration
1 Kings 22:15
When he arrived, the king asked him, "Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or not?" "Attack and be victorious," he answered, "for the LORD will give it into the king's hand."
1 Kings 22:17
Then Micaiah answered, "I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the LORD said, 'These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.'"
Then King Zedekiah sent for him and had him brought to the palace, where he asked him privately, "Is there any word from the LORD?" "Yes," Jeremiah replied, "you will be delivered into the hands of the king of Babylon."
Then King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah the prophet and had him brought to the third entrance to the temple of the LORD. "I am going to ask you something," the king said to Jeremiah. "Do not hide anything from me."
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