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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 22

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-12

First Kings - Chapter 22 AND Second Chronicles - Chapter 18

Commentary on 1 Kings 22:1-12 AND 2 Chronicles 18:1-11

Consulting False Prophets

While Jehoshaphat was enjoying the blessings of the Lord, being enriched by the nations around him, and greatly honored, he paid a visit to Ahab the king of Israel. The godly king of Judah had joined in alliance with the wicked king of Israel. In fact the meaning of the original Hebrew, from which "joined affinity" is translated, means that he made a marriage alliance, marrying his son Jehoram to Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab (see 2 Chronicles 21:6). The time was the third year after the Lord had given Ahab a spectacular victory over Ben-hadad, the king of Syria (1Ki, chap. 20). This victory had gotten Ahab three years of peace with Syria.

When Ahab had given Ben-hadad his freedom and allowed him to return to Syria unpunished the Lord had warned Ahab it would be at the price of his life (1 Kings 20:42). God’s reckoning day had arrived. The Syrians had captured the Gileadite city of Ramoth on the east of Jordan Now Ahab challenges his men to go to war to repossess it and invites Jehoshaphat to join him in the campaign. It is very surprising to see this godly king consorting with the wicked Ahab, but it appears that he had come to Samaria for the purpose. It has been suggested that he felt a common danger for Judah, along with Israel, from the Syrians.

When Ahab asked Jehoshaphat whether he would go with him to war against Syria to re-take Ramoth-gilead, Jehoshaphat answered, "I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses; we will be with you in the war." Jehoshaphat was offering his wholehearted effort to fight for this city of the northern kingdom. But Jehoshaphat was not as Ahab, for he feared the Lord while Ahab worshipped Baal; his people were not as the people of Israel, for they still had the temple and were closer to God. It seems altogether out of character for Jehoshaphat thus to join with Ahab in his war. God’s people should never join company with the world (Exodus 23:2).

Jehoshaphat at least showed a concern for the will of the Lord and asked Ahab to inquire of the Lord as to His will in the war preparations. So the kings set up court in the gate of the city of Samaria. The Authorized King James Version says it was "a void place," but language scholars have determined that the translation should be "threshing-floor". Here Ahab gathered four hundred prophets and asked them whether he should go up against the city of Ramoth-gilead or withdraw. To a man the host of prophets encouraged him to go, assuring him that the Lord would give him victory over the Syrians. Zedekiah, one of the more theatric, had iron horns on his head, a symbol, he claimed, of how Ahab would push the Syrians invincibly and consume them.

Perhaps the prophets felt justified in promising victory because of the great victories the Lord had given Ahab against vast odds three and four years previously. But the spirit they followed was not the spirit of the Lord. Jehoshaphat knew they were not true prophets and seems to have sensed something wrong in their unanimity of prophecy. So he inquired of some other prophet, who did not belong to this gang, who truly represented the Lord in his predictions. Ahab admitted there was another, Micaiah, but that he hated him because he never predicted anything good for the king. Jehoshaphat rebuked the king for such a thought. So Ahab called an officer and sent for Micaiah in haste. Meanwhile the false prophets continued to predict, "Go up to Ramoth ­gilead, and prosper; for the Lord will deliver it into your hand.

Verses 13-28

1 Kings 22:13-28 AND 2 Chronicles 18:12-27

Prophet of Truth,

Ahab’s messenger to Micaiah evidently thought he would do the prophet a favor by letting him know how to please the king. He was told that all the other prophets had agreed that Ahab should go against Ramoth-gilead and that he would certainly prevail. So if Micaiah wished to please the king and be more popular with him he should also advise an assault. but Micaiah did not preach for the pleasure of men, he sought to please the Lord. He therefore swore to the messenger that he would speak only what the Lord told him to speak (Acts 5:29).

So King Ahab put the question to Micaiah, "Shall we go against Ramoth-gilead or shall we forbear?" Immediately Micaiah responded, "Go, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king." There was mockery and insincerity in the prophet’s words, and it was no attempt to deceive the king. Rather it seems it was intended to show Ahab that his mind was set and that he was willing to hear only that which agreed with his own predetermined will in the matter. In fact, the statement of Micaiah could be interpreted, "If you go and prosper the Lord will deliver Ramoth-gilead into your hands." Micaiah knew Ahab would go and fall (Proverbs 12:20).

Ahab scolded Micaiah for his light answer and adjured him to ren­der a true answer. So Micaiah told how he had seen the armies of Israel scattered on the hills and mountains, like sheep without a shepherd, and the word went out that all should return to his house in peace. Hearing this Ahab was distraught, for he was the master of Israel, and it was a forecast of doom for him personally, as well as defeat for Israel. Turning to Jehoshaphat he reminded the king of Judah how he had protested that Micaiah never had anything good to predict about him.

Micaiah had not finished revealing his vision from the Lord. He had also been in the throne room of the Lord Himself and beheld what went on there with regard to Ahab’s projected campaign. He had seen God on His throne, surrounded by the hosts of heaven on either side, and the Lord had asked who would go to Ahab and persuade him to go against Ramoth-gilead and there fall. There had been various proposals, then a spirit came before the Lord and said that he would do the job. When the Lord inquired how he would do it, he had proposed to do so by being a lying spirit in the mouth of all Ahab’s prophets. The Lord had agreed that this would be the method and that it would succeed. Therefore, said Micaiah, the Lord had put a lying spirit in the mouth of all Ahab’s prophets.

Upon this, the false prophet Zedekiah assaulted Micaiah, striking him, and asking how it was the Spirit of the Lord had departed from him to go to Micaiah. Micaiah replied that Zedekiah would understand on that day, when he was caught up in the defeat of the armies he had encouraged to go up, contrary to the will of God, to their own disaster. Then Zedekiah would seek a hiding place for himself to save his own life. It is not inconceivable that Zedekiah really thought he had spoken by the Spirit of the Lord, for many false preachers have been so deceived and continue to be (Matthew 7:21-23).

Many have found it hard to explain the scene in heaven, described by Micaiah in his vision. That Satan and his spirits do come among the host of heaven is shown from Job 1:6; Job 2:1; Revelation ch. 12. Satan’s angels, or spirits, can as men allow them to do so in their lives, and then the Lord may prevent it, though He may also allow it by letting the person carry out his own will, as here in the case of Ahab Note such passages as 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Ephesians 4:14; 2 Timothy 3:13; 2 John 1:7; Rev. ch. 12; etc. In this case God allowed Ahab to be persuaded to do that he wished to do, according to his own callused heart, by which he had so many times rejected the Lord’s mercy.

Ahab thought to get even with Micaiah, by imprisoning him. He gave command to put him in prison and .give him only a meager ration. of bread and water until the kings returned in peace. He must have felt that he could compel the prophet to change his prediction to good in order to escape harsh judgment. But Micaiah knew his prediction was certain. If it should fail, then he said, it would be proof that the Lord had not spok­en by him. He called the people there in attendance as witness to his words, "Hearken, 0 people, every one of you." Thus when Micaiah’s pro­phecy came to pass, they should recall it. It is interesting to note the opening words of the prophet Micah (shortened from of the same name) centuries later to Judah, "Hear, all ye people; hearken, 0 earth, etc." He seems to reissue the warning and reminder of the earlier Micah, perhaps intentionally.

Verses 29-40

Death of Ahab, 1 Kings 22:29-40 AND 2 Chronicles 18:28-34

So the two kings went their own way to attack Ramoth-gilead. The paradox with reference to Jehoshaphat is more emphatic in this move. Here is the godly king of Judah, who had instituted reform and stirred revival in his kingdom. This is the member of the alliance who insisted on seeking the will of God for the venture, and who rejected the predictions of the four hundred false prophets, insisting on hearing Micaiah the true prophet. Yet when Micaiah has presented a very graphic portrayal of what has happened in the spiritual realm he proceeds to Ramoth-gilead nevertheless. He was either unduly influenced by his wicked ally, or overcome by his own selfish desire. Either one is very displeasing to the Lord (James 1:13-14).

Ahab displayed some anxiety with reference to Micaiah’s pro­phecy, but he felt he could frustrate it by going into the battle in disguise. If he was unrecognized, at least, he could not be singled out for death (he thought). He persuaded the naive Jehoshaphat to go to battle in his royal robes, while Ahab would put on his war harness and go out with the warriors as one of them and fight in the battle. And he did.

It was true that the king of Syria had instructed the captains of his chariots to find out the king of Israel, and to ignore the rest of the chariots, so as to slay the king. Therefore, when they saw Jehoshaphat in his royal apparel they assumed they had found the king of Israel. So they surrounded him to attack and slay him. Thus King Jehoshaphat found himself in mortal danger. The Chronicles account of the affair makes it clear that he was saved from death by his cry to God and the Lord’s intervention. The Syrian warriors discovered that they were attacking the wrong king. It is unusual indeed that they did not go on and slay the king of Judah anyway, since he was also an enemy. It must be only the interference of God that saved him. It would be interesting to know what Jehoshaphat said when he cried to the Lord. Did he repent of his foolishness in joining Ahab? Even when it had been clearly shown what would occur? One would like to think that he did, and it is not outside the realm of probability that he did (Psalms 72:12).

Where is Ahab during all this confusion? The Syrians did not know. Most of the Israelite soldiers probably did not know. But there was One who did know. God knew exactly where Ahab was. There was a nervous young Syrian bowman out there in the melee, excitedly setting arrow to bowstring, and letting fly aimlessly. It was one of these arrows, aimed at nothing specific, which found the only vulnerable spot in the armor of Ahab, between the joints of his harness, and embedded itself deep inside his body. The warrior never knew he had mortally wounded the king of Israel. Ahab, "be sure your sins will find you out" (Numbers 32:23).

Ahab knew his wound was severe, if not critical. But he was brave to the end. It seems, as death approached, he would have turned at last to the God he had defied and rejected against his own conscience many times, but he did not. Men hardened in their wilful way seldom change for the better (Proverbs 29:1). All the long day of battle Ahab’s blood slowly drained from his body and filled the bottom of his chariot. Yet he had his charioteer to brace him up in the chariot that his men might be bolstered in the belief that all was well. However he expired about sundown, and his subordinates in command sent out the order to give up the battle, and that every survivor should make his way to his own city and country. And so was fulfilled the vision and prediction of Micaiah. The scattered sheep had lost their master.

The body of Ahab was returned to Samaria for burial. True to His word by Elijah, the Lord did not bring the evil end of Omri’s dynasty with Ahab Nevertheless the repugnant decree concerning his blood came to pass. The chariot was carried to the pool of Samaria, where it was washed. The passage, "and they washed his armor," is rendered by translators in later versions, "(now the harlots washed themselves there;)". So the wicked king’s blood was flushed from the chariot with polluted water to be eaten by the dogs of the streets. What a despicable end to a life filled with opportunities to amend! (James 1:15).

Ahab had made his marls on Israel’s history by his wicked rule, but he also left some notable landmarks, though most of these were not listed in the inspired record. He had built an ivory palace in Samaria, bits of which are still coming to light under the archaeologist’s spade. He also strengthened many of his cities. He was succeeded by Azariah, the first of two sons who would follow him briefly on the throne of Israel. Jezebel still lived.

Verses 41-53

Jehoshaphat’s Ventures, 1 Kings 22:41-53

Following the incident of Ahab’s death in battle at Ramoth-gilead the Kings account of Jehoshaphat’s reign comes to a hurried conclusion. However, the Chronicles account will give events of major importance concerning this good king not recorded in Kings. A statistical account of Jehoshaphat’s reign is given first. He was the son of Asa and began his reign in the fourth year of Ahab’s reign over Israel. This means that he was contemporary with Ahab for about eighteen years, or about two-thirds of his own reign. His mother, Azubah, and maternal grandfather, Shilhi, are not further known in the Scriptures.

Jehoshaphat followed the godly ways of his father, Asa, all his life and sought to please the Lord in the things he did. It is stated here that he did not remove the high places in the land and that the people continued to burn incense there (cf. also 2 Chronicles 20:33). However, it is said in 2 Chronicles 17:6 that the high places were removed, It is difficult at this late date to reconcile the two passages. It seems that the references may apply to two different times of Jehoshaphat’s reign. Though he failed to eradicate the idolatrous shrines in his early reign, it seems probable that they were removed in his later reformatory years. Note that 2 Chronicles 20:33, which is the parallel to this passage states that they were not removed because " as yet the people had not prepared their hearts unto the God of their fathers." The sodomites he did remove from the land.

The strength of Jehoshaphat’s kingdom, with regard to Judah’s neighbors, is indicated by the statement that the tributary kingdom of Edom had no king, but was governed by a deputy, evidently appointed by Jehoshaphat

Jehoshaphat also undertook another venture, which may have been aimed at Solomonic greatness. He intended to build and equip a navy at Ezion-geber, on the Elanitic Gulf of the Red Sea, where Solomon had launched a navy with the aid of Hiram, king of Tyre. Ahaziah, king of Israel and son of Ahab, proposed to make it a joint venture, but Jehoshaphat refused. The disastrous outcome is recorded more fully at 2 Chronicles 20:35-37, and will be further considered in the study of the reign of Ahaziah. The ships were destroyed by an act of God.

At the death of Jehoshaphat, Jehoram his unworthy son, came to the throne of Judah. Meanwhile Ahaziah, the son of Ahab and Jezebel, reigned on Israel’s throne at Samaria. His reign extended for only two years, and at his death Jehoshaphat still lived having about six years remaining of his reign. He was an evil man like his parents. He copied their ways in his reign, besides also continuing the calf worship of Jeroboam, by which he started Israel on the downward road of absolute

apostasy from the Lord. He continued to worship Baal and provoked the Lord just as did his father before him.

This chapter, or lesson, contains many very good exemplary things. 1) Fleshly anxiety on the part of God’s children should not make them compromise with the world, out of a feeling of expediency; 2) it is always right to seek the Lord in matters, but then His will should be followed when known; 3) God’s ministers are to speak the truth of His word, though it may be unpopular with men; 4) there is no way a man, or group of men, can frustrate the stated will and purpose of Almighty God; 5) men make a fatal error in thinking that God is like themselves, in His knowledge and behavior; 6) God will hear His children who call on Him, even when they have gone aside from His will; 7) those who repeatedly reject the Lord in welfare are not likely to turn to Him in affliction.

2 Chronicles 19:1

Second Chronicles - Chapter 19

Author’s Note: The events recorded by Jehoshaphat’s reign ,in Judah as related here in Second Chronicles, chapter 10 and 20, are not found in the Kings account. They are discussed here [in the 1st edition Hardbound Commentary] in their chronologically consecutive position.

Jehoshaphat Rebuked - Verses 1-3

As Jehoshaphat was returning from his defeat in battle, along with Ahab, king of Israel, at Ramoth-gilead, God was sending His rebuke by His prophet. Several things may be concluded from the account: 1) Jehoshaphat was returning in peace, the Syrian king did not follow up his victory by an attack on Judah; 2) the Lord was displeased with Jehoshaphat’s participation in the affair; 3) Jehoshaphat seems to have demonstrated that David-like quality of repentance when he was shown to be in the wrong.

The prophet had evidently been around for a long time, bearing the Lord’s message. !t was Jehu who some twenty years earlier had denounced Baasha, the wicked successor of Jeroboam (1 Kings 16:1; 1 Kings 16:7). His message to Jehoshaphat began with a question calculated to make the king do some serious soul-searching. The moral question of Jehoshaphat’s involvement with Ahab has already been examined in this commentary. The Lord emphasized the impropriety of helping the ungodly and loving those who hate the Lord. For this the Lord was angry with Jehoshaphat. However, He would continue His blessing on the king of Judah because of his moral reformation in his kingdom, and because it was the intent of his heart to serve God.

2 Chronicles 19:4

Judges Instructed - Verses 4-11

Putting his mistake behind him Jehoshaphat now resumed his moral regeneration of the land. His program reached every part of the kingdom, from Beer-sheba in the far south to Mount Ephraim, north of Benjamin, the areas taken from the northern kingdom in the successful wars of Abijah and Asa. In every city of consequence he set judges, with the reminder that the judgment they passed was to be God’s judgment, not their own. They were to judge with the fear of God in their hearts, in which case He would be with them in their sentence. They were to show no respect of person in their judgment nor take any gift, or bribe, from those arraigned.

In the city of Jerusalem Jehoshaphat established what seems to have been a system of appellate courts. It was composed of judges from among the Levites, priests, and chief men of Israel. Theirs was a court of final appeal, the ultimate judgment of the Lord, in which they were to reach their decisions with a perfect heart. The cases they hear were to be of both criminal (blood) and civil (law and commandment, etc.) nature.

The judges were also to act as a forceful deterrent to crime and violation. Included in their duties was the sounding of warning to the people concerning the penalties which would fall upon them for disobedience to the law of the Lord. It was a grave responsibility, for the Lord would judge the guilty in any event and the judge also who failed in his duties. The chief judges, next to the king himself, were the chief priest Amariah and the prince of Judah, Zebadiah. In keeping with their official obligations from the time of Moses, all the Levites were to be teachers, and from among them the judges would select their officers to serve on their staff. They were promised, "Deal courageously, and the Lord shall be with the good."

Some lessons: 1) God’s rebuke awaits those who promiscuously act contrary to His known will; 2) the goodness of the Lord is evident toward all who repent of their wrong and seek Him again; 3) though one may fail the Lord once he should renew his efforts to please Him thereafter; 4) judges are for the good and welfare of a land, which is godly and right; therefore they are instruments for the Lord, performing a very serious obligation.

2 Chronicles 20:1

Second Chronicles - Chapter 20

Enemies Threaten - Verses 1-12

Though Jehoshaphat was blessed of the Lord in escaping an invasion of the Syrians, there were other enemies who seized the advantage to attack him. They raised a huge army and invaded from the southern, wilderness lands, and were well within the kingdom’s bounds before they were discovered. They represented peoples beyond the eastern and southeastern boundaries of Israel, extending northward to the land of Syria. Foremost among them were the people of Moab and Ammon, descendants of Lot. Verse 10 also notes that many came from Mount Seir, the land of Edom, or Esau’s descendants. When news of the invading forces reached Jehoshaphat they had already advanced to Hazazon-taMr This is the ancient name of En-gedi, used in the days of Abraham (see Genesis 14:7). En-gedi was about half the distance up the western coast of the Dead Sea.

Jehoshaphat was dismayed and fearful at the news. This massive force was already upon him, and he had no physical might to withstand them. The great armies he had raised and equipped (2 Chronicles 17:12-19) had evidently disintegrated through the unwise campaign of defeat with Ahab at Ramoth-gilead. The king knew that Judah’s only hope was in the Lord, whom he now sought diligently. He proclaimed a fast throughout Judah and called for a gathering of the people of the cities to come together and seek the Lord. They met in Jerusalem at the temple, and Jehoshaphat addressed them with an appeal by public prayer to the Lord.

King Jehoshaphat first glorified God as the God of their fathers,

God in heaven, Ruler in the kingdoms of the heathen (such as those’ threatening him). God was lauded as of such power and might that none was able to withstand Him. From this praise the king continued to accredit the Lord as He who delivered the land into the hands of Israel, the seed of Abraham, God’s friend (cf. Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23). As proof of god’s gift of the land to Israel Jehoshaphat cited the situation of the temple, God’s dwelling place, among them.

Jehoshaphat recalled the dedicatory prayer of Solomon wherein he had asked the Lord to hear the prayers, from this sanctuary, of His people in distress (2 Chronicles 6:12 ff) and God had confirmed it (2 Chronicles 7:1-3). They were now faced with just the circumstances for which Solomon had asked the Lord to intervene on behalf of His repentant people. These kindred nations of Moab, Ammon, and Edom bore a long­time enmity for Israel, but the Lord had given them lands and refused to allow Israel to molest them when they were coming out of Egypt (Numbers 20:14-21; De 2:4-5,9). So while the Lord was destroying all other nations before Israel, these were spared. Now they came to repay that goodness by driving Israel from the land the Lord had given them.

The king prayed humbly that the Lord would judge these enemies for Israel. He confessed that he had no physical power to resist them, and that all his hope was in God. He knew nothing more to do than turn to the Lord, but he relied wholly on the Lord, for, said he, "Our eyes are upon thee." This is a wonderful lesson to God’s people at all times. When men’s abilities fail, they may look to the Lord and wait on Him with confidence.

2 Chronicles 20:13

Prophetic Answer - Verses 13-19

There was an assemblage in Jerusalem in response to Jehoshaphat’s command, representative of all the people of the kingdom. People had come with their wives and their children to join in the fast to seek the mercy of God, to deliver them from the advancing hordes of the Moabites, Ammonites, and Edomites. It bespoke the sincerity of the people in repentance and desire to be in the Lord’s will. In such a case, God, by His merciful character, must respond favorably to them which He very promptly did.

The answer came through the mouth of Jahaziel, a member of the Asaphite musicians and singers of the temple. He had a notable lineage in the tribe of Levi, which is traced here. The Lord put His Spirit on Jahaziel, who revealed to the king and assembled people what God would do on their behalf with regard to the invaders. Jahaziel’s message was stated in words from their history. It opens reminiscent of God’s charge to Joshua when he assumed command of Israel following the death of Moses (Joshua 1:9). They are not to fear nor be dismayed. To be dismayed is to be agitated and distressed because there seems to be no solution to a problem.

This prompt answer of the Lord greatly humbled Jehoshaphat and the people. The king did not merely bow his head, but got right down on the ground with his face in the dust. The people followed him in thus worshipping and thanking the Lord for His promise of deliverance. This was a great feat to be accomplished, and required a great faith to accept it. The godliness of Jehoshaphat and his good influence on his people is manifested in this response of theirs. The Levite singers, represented by the families of the Kohathites and Korhites (descendants of Korah), broke into spontaneous praise of the Lord. The people believed the Lord’s word.

2 Chronicles 20:20

Enemies Vanquished - Verses 20-30

The town of Tekoa has been located earlier in this commentary as being about twelve miles south of Jerusalem, on the invasion route of the enemies as they came up by Ziz, through the wilderness of Jeruel. The wilderness around Tekoa was called by the name of that town. Jehoshaphat and people accompanying him passed through that wilderness. As they set forth the king encouraged them, calling on them to, "Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper." They were to have ultimate confidence in the Lord and believe what they were told by His prophets.

Jehoshaphat organized the procession out of Jerusalem to praise the beauty and holiness of the Lord by the singers he appointed. The refrain of their song as they went through the wilderness was, "Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever." Many of the Psalms incorporate these words in their message (e.g., Psalms 106; Psalms 107; Psalms 118; Psalms 136). When this praise of the Lord began to sound the Lord began to move to deliver the enemy army into the hands of His people.

The Scriptures say the Lord set ambushments against the Moabites, Ammonites and Edomites. This implies the use of His invisible heavenly host in some way which caused the brother nations of Moab and Ammon to turn against their allies from Mount Seir (the Edomites) and begin to slay them. When these had decimated the Edomites the animosity extended to one another, and they proceeded to slay themselves. All this was happening as the people from Jerusalem were approaching, so that when they reached the watchtower, or outpost on the wilderness frontier, they looked upon a battle scene literally filled with the dead bodies of their enemies. Those who defy God and go against Him will always be smitten (see Acts 12:23). There was not a survivor to be found.

The spoil of the armies which they had brought with them fell into the hands of Judah. There were great riches and precious jewels on the fallen bodies. The Judahites began to strip the bodies, and there was so much it took three days to gather it and carry it away. Finally on the fourth day they assembled in the nearby valley and blessed the Lord for the great victory He had given them. The valley lies between Bethlehem and Hebron and got its name, Berachah, meaning "blessing", form this event.

The people then returned to Jerusalem, with the king, Jehoshaphat, in the forefront of the procession. They were filled with joy and rejoicing as they moved along. The musicians played on the psalteries, harps, and trumpets in celebration of the Lord’s victory in their behalf. The people back in the countries, hearing what had happened to their armies, were filled with such fear of the Lord they no longer molested Jehoshaphat. God gave him rest from war on every side.

2 Chronicles 20:31

Naval Plans Frustrated - Verses 31-37

With the incident just studied the Books of Chronicles come to the conclusion of the record of Jehoshaphat’s reign. One other incident is recorded in the Kings, which will be studied below. The inspired writer now sums up the reign of this good king of Judah. He was older than some when he began his reign, which lasted twenty-five years, coming out to an entire age for him of just sixty years. Nothing more is known of his mother than her name and that of her father. Jehoshaphat is commended as faithfully following the good example of his father, Asa, and not departing from it in all his life.

In earlier comments (on 2 Chronicles 17:6; 1 Kings 22:43) it was suggested that the high places appear to have been removed in the later years of Jehoshaphat’s reign, following the great moral reformation he sponsored. An account of Jehoshaphat’s reign was kept by Jehu the prophet, but it does not appear to have been the inspired account of the Scriptures. The Lord may have inspired the actual author to choose from such writings, however, and record them in an infallible account.

Brief notice of Jehoshaphat’s attempted naval venture concludes the Chronicles record. It was noticed earlier in comments on 1 Kings 22:48-49, but there is a little more detail here in Chronicles. Putting the two accounts together it may be surmised that 1) Jehoshaphat willingly joined in the naval venture with wicked Ahaziah, the son of Ahab, though it was his navy he sought to build; 2) God sent an otherwise unknown prophet, Eliezer, to warn Jehoshaphat about renewing affinity with the family of Ahab; 3) the ships were destroyed by an act of God; 4) Jehoshaphat refused to enter into any more agreements with Ahaziah. God warns against seeking strength without Him (see Isaiah 30:1-2).

Lessons from chapter 20: 1) the Lord may allow distressing things in the lives of His children to strengthen their faith in Him; 2) many good examples of God’s blessings on earlier generations may be a means of reassurance and comfort when trials come; 3) God has His spokesmen to show His repentant people what they ought to do; 4) blessing is always the result of reliant faith in the Lord’s word; 5) following the godly example of parents brings blessing on the children.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 1 Kings 22". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/1-kings-22.html. 1985.
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