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Discover the Arts! Each day a different image from the Literary, Performing, or Visual Arts representing a portion of Scripture
plus an explanation with links

2014 October 31

Asa - Jehoshaphat - Joram (1511-1512)
Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)
High Renaissance Style
Cappella Sistina, Vatican, Vatican City, Rome, Italy
Image Source: Web Gallery of Art

     Explanation: 2 Chronicles 18 describes the battle that Jehoshaphat and Ahab had with the king of Syria in Ramothgilead. The illustration above depicts Jehoshaphat (on the left), the main person in the narrative below. [Traditional Patriarchal Timeline. Judges Period Chronology. Kings of Judah and Israel #1. Kings of Judah and Israel #2]. [Chronologically and Thematically Related Scriptures: 1 Kings 18:3-4; 1 Kings 17:17-24; 1 Kings 18:1-3, 5-46; 1 Kings 19; 1 Kings 20; 1 Kings 21; 1 Kings 22].
     Jehoshaphat (870-848 B.C.) made an alliance with Ahab by arranging a marriage (c. 862 B. C.) between his son Jehoram and Ahab's (874-853 B.C.) daughter Athaliah (2 Kings 8:18). About nine years after the marriage, Jehoshaphat visited Ahab; and Ahab entertained him with elaborate feasting. On this occasion Ahab persuaded Jehoshaphat to join him in battle against the King of Syria who had not returned all of the cities he promised to give back to Israel (1-3). Jehoshaphat asked Ahab to inquire of the LORD about their venture. So Ahab gathered 400 prophets, all of whom told him to go to battle and prosper. However, Jehoshaphat asked if there was another prophet -- a prophet of the LORD -- whom they could consult. Ahab mentioned Micaiah the son of Imla, but said that he hated him because he always prophesied evil against him. Jehoram said, "Let not the king say so;" and he sent for Micaiah. While a servant went to fetch Micaiah, Zedekiah, son of Chenaanah, made horns of iron and prophesied that Ahab would push Syria with them until he consumed them. All the other prophets agreed (4-11). The messenger who called Micaiah told him to make his words good like those of the other prophets. But Micaiah said that he would say what the LORD told him to say. Upon arrival, Micaiah told the king to go and prosper. But Ahab must have detected sarcasm or insincerity in Micaiah's words, because he demanded that Micaiah tell him the truth. Micaiah then said that he saw all Israel scattered like sheep on the mountains, having no shepherd. And he advised them to go home. Ahab then complained that the prophecy was evil, as he knew it would be. And Micaiah replied by describing a scene in heaven before the throne of God where an evil spirit offered to become a lying spirit in the mouth of all of Ahab's prophets and to persuade Ahab thereby to go to battle and be destroyed (12-22). Zedekiah then hit Micaiah on the cheek and asked which way the spirit went when he left Zedekiah and spoke to Michaiah, implying that it was Micaiah who was lying, not Zedekiah and the other prophets. Micaiah told him that he would find out in the day that he attempted to hide himself in an inner chamber. Ahab then had Micaiah arrested and told his servants to feed him with bread of affliction and water of affliction until he returned in peace. And Micaiah said that if Ahab returned in peace, the LORD had not spoken by him. And he called the people to witness (23-27). So Ahab went to battle disguised, but told Jehoshaphat to go undisguised, wearing his regal garments. However, when Jehoshaphat was surrounded, he cried out; and his pursuers realized he was not Ahab; so they turned aside. But Ahab was shot by a random arrow and withdrew from the battle. At sundown he died (28-34).
     Prior to this time, 1). Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal by calling down fire upon his sacrifice, 2). caused the rain to return, 3). fled from Jezebel, 4).had the LORD speak to him in a "still small voice, encouraging him and restoring him to service, 5). sent him to call Elishah, 6). condemned Ahab for releasing Ben-Hadad, and 7). condemned Ahab and Jezebel for murdering Naboth and stealing his vineyard". These incidents are described and illustrated more fully in the following DAWN pages: 1 Kings 18, 19, 20, and 21. The parallel passage to today's scripture is 1 Kings 22.

2 Chronicles 18

     1 Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab. 2 And after certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. And Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that he had with him, and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramothgilead. 3 And Ahab king ofIsrael said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramothgilead? And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war.
     4 And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day. 5 Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for God will deliver it into the king's hand. 6 But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him? 7 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he never prophesied good unto me, but always evil: the same is Micaiah the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so. 8 And the king of Israel called for one of his officers, and said, Fetch quickly Micaiah the son of Imla. 9 And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah sat either of them on his throne, clothed in their robes, and they sat in a void place at the entering in of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them. 10 And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made him horns of iron, and said, Thus saith the LORD, With these thou shalt push Syria until they be consumed. 11 And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king.
     12 And the messenger that went to call Micaiah spake to him, saying, Behold, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one assent; let thy word therefore, I pray thee, be like one of theirs, and speak thou good. 13 And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak. 14 And when he was come to the king, the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And he said, Go ye up, and prosper, and they shall be delivered into your hand. 15 And the king said to him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou say nothing but the truth to me in the name of the LORD? 16 Then he said, I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace. 17 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would not prophesy good unto me, but evil? 18 Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. 19 And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. 20 Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? 21 And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the LORD said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so. 22 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.
     23 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and smote Micaiah upon the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee? 24 And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see on that day when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself. 25 Then the king of Israel said, Take ye Micaiah, and carry him back to Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king's son; 26 And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I return in peace. 27 And Micaiah said, If thou certainly return in peace, then hath not the LORD spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, all ye people.
     28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead. 29 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and will go to the battle; but put thou on thy robes. So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went to the battle. 30 Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of the chariots that were with him, saying, Fight ye not with small or great, save only with the king of Israel. 31 And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them to depart from him. 32 For it came to pass, that, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back again from pursuing him. 33 And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: therefore he said to his chariot man, Turn thine hand, that thou mayest carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. 34 And the battle increased that day: howbeit the king of Israel stayed himself up in his chariot against the Syrians until the even: and about the time of the sun going down he died.

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