1During the next two years, there was peace between Israel and Aram. 2Then, during the third year, King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to visit King Ahab of Israel. 3At this same time, Ahab asked his officials, “Remember that the king of Aram took Ramoth in Gilead from us? Why have we done nothing to get Ramoth back? It should be our town.” 4So Ahab asked King Jehoshaphat, “Will you join with us and fight against the army of Aram at Ramoth?” Jehoshaphat answered, “Yes, I will join you. My soldiers and my horses are ready to join with your army. 5But first we should ask the Lord for advice.” 6So Ahab called a meeting of the prophets. There were about 400 prophets at that time. Ahab asked the prophets, “Should I go and fight against the army of Aram at Ramoth? Or should I wait for another time?” The prophets answered, “You should go and fight now. The Lord will allow you to win.” 7But Jehoshaphat said, “Are there any other of the Lord’s prophets here? If there are, we should ask them what God says.” 8King Ahab answered, “There is one other prophet. His name is Micaiah son of Imlah. But I hate him. When he speaks for the Lord, he never says anything good for me. He always says things that I don’t like.” Jehoshaphat said, “King Ahab, you should not say those things!” 9So King Ahab told one of his officers to go and find Micaiah. 10At that time, the two kings were wearing their royal robes. They were sitting on the thrones. This was at the judging place near the gate of Samaria. All the prophets were standing before them. The prophets were prophesying. 11One of the prophets was named Zedekiah. He was the son of Kenaanah. Zedekiah made some iron horns. Then he said to Ahab, “The Lord says, 'You will use these iron horns to fight against the army of Aram. You will defeat them and destroy them.’” 12All the other prophets agreed with what Zedekiah said. The prophet said, “Your army should march now. They should fight against the army of Aram at Ramoth. You will win the fight. The Lord will allow you to win.” 13While this was happening, the officer went to find Micaiah. The officer found Micaiah and said to him, “All the other prophets have said that the king will succeed. So I tell you that the safest thing that you can do is to say the same thing.” 14But Micaiah answered, “No! I promised that by the power of the Lord I will say the things that the Lord tells me to say!” 15Then Micaiah stood before King Ahab. The king asked him, “Micaiah, should King Jehoshaphat and I join armies? And should we go now to fight against the army of Aram at Ramoth?” Micaiah answered, “Yes! You should go and fight them now. The Lord will let you win.” 16But Ahab answered, “You are not speaking by the power of the Lord. You are saying your own words. So tell me the truth! How many times do I have to tell you? Tell me what the Lord says!” 17So Micaiah answered, “I can see what will happen. The army of Israel will be scattered over the hills. They will be like sheep without anyone to lead them. This is what the Lord says, 'These men have no leader. They should go home and not fight.’” 18Then Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “See! I told you! This prophet never says anything good about me. He always says things that I don’t want to hear.” 19But Micaiah continued to speak for the Lord. Micaiah said, “Listen! These are the words that the Lord says! I saw the Lord sitting on his throne in heaven. His angels were standing near him. 20The Lord said, 'Will any of you trick King Ahab? I want him to go and fight against the army of Aram at Ramoth. Then he will be killed.’ The angels did not agree about what they should do. 21Then one angel went to the Lord and said, 'I will trick him!’ 22The Lord answered, 'How will you trick King Ahab?’ The angel answered, 'I will confuse all of Ahab’s prophets. I will tell the prophets to speak lies to King Ahab. The messages from the prophets will be lies.’ So the Lord said, 'Good! Go and trick King Ahab. You will succeed.’” 23Micaiah finished his story. Then he said, “So this is what has happened here. The Lord has caused your prophets to lie to you. The Lord himself has decided that great trouble should come to you.” 24Then the prophet Zedekiah went to Micaiah. Zedekiah hit Micaiah on the face. Zedekiah said, “Do you really believe that the Lord’s power has left me and is now speaking through you?” 25Micaiah answered, “Soon trouble will come. At that time, you will go and hide in a small room. And you will know that I am speaking the truth!” 26Then King Ahab ordered one of his officers to arrest Micaiah. King Ahab said, “Arrest him and take him to Amon the governor of the city and prince Joash. 27Tell them to put Micaiah in prison. Give him only bread and water to eat. Keep him there until I come home from the fight.” 28Micaiah said loudly, “All you people listen to what I say! King Ahab, if you come home alive from that fight, then the Lord has not spoken through me.” 29Then King Ahab and King Jehoshaphat went to fight against the army of Aram at Ramoth. This was in the area called Gilead. 30Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “We will prepare for the fight. I will wear clothes that make me look like I am not the king. But you wear your special clothes that show you are a king.” So the king of Israel began the battle dressed like a person that was not a king. 31The king of Aram had 32 chariot commanders. That king ordered these 32 chariot commanders to find the king of Israel. The king of Aram told the commanders that they must kill the king. 32So during the battle, these commanders saw King Jehoshaphat. The commanders thought that he was the king of Israel. So they went to kill him. Jehoshaphat began shouting. 33The commanders saw that he was not King Ahab, so they did not kill him. 34But a soldier shot an arrow into the air—he was not aiming at any special person. But his arrow hit ˻Ahab,˼ the king of Israel. The arrow hit the king in a small place where his armor did not cover his body. So King Ahab said to his chariot driver, “An arrow has hit me! Drive the chariot out of this area. We must go away from the fighting.” 35The armies continued to fight. King Ahab stayed in his chariot. He was leaning against the sides of the chariot. He was looking at the army of Aram. His blood flowed down and covered the bottom of the chariot. Later in the evening, the king died. 36Near sunset, all men in the army of Israel were commanded to go back to their own city and land. 37So that is the way King Ahab died. Some men carried his body to Samaria. They buried him there. 38The men cleaned Ahab’s chariot at the pool of water in Samaria. The dogs licked King Ahab’s blood from the chariot. And the prostitutes used the water to wash themselves. These things happened the way the Lord said they would happen. 39All the things that King Ahab did during the time he ruled are written in the book The History of the Kings of Israel. And that book also tells about the ivory that the king used to make his palace more beautiful. And the book tells about the city that the king built. 40Ahab died and was buried with his ancestors. His son, Ahaziah, became the next king after him. 41During the fourth year that Ahab was king of Israel, Jehoshaphat became king of Judah. Jehoshaphat was the son of Asa. 42Jehoshaphat was 35 years old when he became king. Jehoshaphat ruled in Jerusalem for 25 years. Jehoshaphat’s mother was named Azubah. Azubah was the daughter of Shilhi. 43Jehoshaphat was good. He did like his father before him. He obeyed all the things that the Lord wanted. But Jehoshaphat did not destroy the high places. The people continued offering sacrifices and burning incense at those places. 44Jehoshaphat made a peace agreement with the king of Israel. 45Jehoshaphat was very brave and fought many wars. All the things he did are written in the book The History of the Kings of Judah. 46Jehoshaphat forced all the men and women that sold their bodies for sex to leave the places of worship. Those people had served in those places of worship during the time his father Asa was king. 47During this time, the land of Edom had no king. The land was ruled by a governor. The governor was chosen by the king of Judah. 48King Jehoshaphat built some cargo ships. He wanted the ships to sail to Ophir to get gold from that place. But the ships never went there—they were destroyed in their home port at Ezion Geber. 49King Ahaziah of Israel offered to help Jehoshaphat. Ahaziah offered to put some of his own sailors with Jehoshaphat’s men on those ships. But Jehoshaphat refused to accept Ahaziah’s men. 50Jehoshaphat died and was buried with his ancestors. He was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. Then his son, Jehoram became king. 51Ahaziah was the son of Ahab. He became king of Israel during the 17th year that King Jehoshaphat ruled Judah. Ahaziah ruled in Samaria for two years. 52Ahaziah sinned against the Lord. He did the same things as his father, Ahab, his mother Jezebel, and Jeroboam, son of Nebat had done. All these rulers led the people of Israel into more sin. 53Ahaziah worshiped and served the false god Baal, like his father did before him. So Ahaziah caused the Lord God of Israel to be very angry. The Lord was angry at Ahaziah like he had been angry at his father before him.
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