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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

1 Kings 22

Verses 1-40


Ahab and Jehoshaphat (22:1-40)

Three years after making his peace agreement with King Ben-hadad of Syria, Ahab broke it. He saw the chance to retake the border town of Ramoth-gilead, and persuaded Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, to help him (22:1-4). (Jehoshaphat had previously made an alliance with Ahab by having his son Jehoram marry Ahab’s daughter Athaliah; 2 Kings 8:16-18,2 Kings 8:25-26; 2 Chronicles 18:1; 2 Chronicles 18:1.) The professional prophets in Ahab’s court were more concerned with pleasing Ahab than with telling him God’s will. Jehoshaphat was not impressed with them and asked Ahab to send for another prophet, Micaiah (5-12).

Micaiah, having been warned by the messenger to agree with the court prophets, simply repeated their words. But even Ahab saw that he was not speaking what he believed (13-16). Micaiah then announced God’s truth plainly: the prophets were lying and Israel would be defeated (17-23). When one of the court prophets objected to this statement, Micaiah suggested he spend time alone seeking God’s will instead of merely trying to impress the king. The king responded to this rebuke by throwing Micaiah into jail (24-28).
Foolishly ignoring Micaiah’s prophecy, Ahab went to war with Syria. He tried to escape death by disguising himself as an ordinary soldier, but his efforts were in vain. He was wounded early in the battle, but with much courage remained at the battle scene all day to encourage his men. He died that evening (29-36). Elijah’s prophecies were starting to come true (37-40; cf. 21:19).


The good work of Jehoshaphat (22:41-53)

In spite of the reformations by Asa and Jehoshaphat, the people of Judah did not remove all the Baal shrines from the local high places. But this did not weaken Jehoshaphat’s determination to reform his country. He gathered a number of selected priests, Levites and administrators, and sent them to teach God’s law throughout Judah (41-43; 2 Chronicles 17:1-9). He also strengthened Judah’s army, so that other nations thought it wise to encourage his friendship (2 Chronicles 17:10-19). Other notable achievements of his reign were his reform of the judicial system and his remarkable defeat of a huge enemy army through faith in God (see notes on 2 Chronicles 19:4-30).

Jehoshaphat’s foolishness in going with Ahab to battle spoiled an otherwise good reign (44-46; 2 Chronicles 19:1-3). In accordance with his policy of cooperation with Israel, he decided to join Ahab’s son Ahaziah in operating a shipping line. When the ships were wrecked, Jehoshaphat realized, as a prophet had previously pointed out, that God did not want him to continue this close association with the wicked Ahaziah (47-53; 2 Chronicles 20:35-37).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 1 Kings 22". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/1-kings-22.html. 2005.