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Daily Bible Reading
April 17 - Straight Thru the Bible
26 The next spring(o) Ben-Hadad mustered the Arameans and went up to Aphek(p) to fight against Israel. 27 When the Israelites were also mustered and given provisions, they marched out to meet them. The Israelites camped opposite them like two small flocks of goats, while the Arameans covered the countryside.(q)
28 The man of God came up and told the king of Israel, "This is what the Lord says: ‘Because the Arameans think the Lord is a god of the hills and not a god(r) of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know(s) that I am the Lord .'"
29 For seven days they camped opposite each other, and on the seventh day the battle was joined. The Israelites inflicted a hundred thousand casualties on the Aramean foot soldiers in one day. 30 The rest of them escaped to the city of Aphek,(t) where the wall collapsed(u) on twenty-seven thousand of them. And Ben-Hadad fled to the city and hid(v) in an inner room.
31 His officials said to him, "Look, we have heard that the kings of Israel are merciful.(w) Let us go to the king of Israel with sackcloth(x) around our waists and ropes around our heads. Perhaps he will spare your life."
32 Wearing sackcloth around their waists and ropes around their heads, they went to the king of Israel and said, "Your servant Ben-Hadad says: ‘Please let me live.'"
The king answered, "Is he still alive? He is my brother."
33 The men took this as a good sign and were quick to pick up his word. "Yes, your brother Ben-Hadad!" they said.
"Go and get him," the king said. When Ben-Hadad came out, Ahab had him come up into his chariot.
34 "I will return the cities(y) my father took from your father," Ben-Hadad(z) offered. "You may set up your own market areas(aa) in Damascus,(ab) as my father did in Samaria."
Ahab said, "On the basis of a treaty(ac) I will set you free." So he made a treaty with him, and let him go.
A Prophet Condemns Ahab
35 By the word of the Lord one of the company of the prophets(ad) said to his companion, "Strike me with your weapon," but he refused.(ae)
36 So the prophet said, "Because you have not obeyed the Lord , as soon as you leave me a lion(af) will kill you." And after the man went away, a lion found him and killed him.
37 The prophet found another man and said, "Strike me, please." So the man struck him and wounded him. 38 Then the prophet went and stood by the road waiting for the king. He disguised himself with his headband down over his eyes. 39 As the king passed by, the prophet called out to him, "Your servant went into the thick of the battle, and someone came to me with a captive and said, ‘Guard this man. If he is missing, it will be your life for his life,(ag) or you must pay a talent[b] of silver.' 40 While your servant was busy here and there, the man disappeared."
"That is your sentence,"(ah) the king of Israel said. "You have pronounced it yourself."
41 Then the prophet quickly removed the headband from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him as one of the prophets. 42 He said to the king, "This is what the Lord says: ‘You(ai) have set free a man I had determined should die.[c](aj) Therefore it is your life for his life,(ak) your people for his people.'" 43 Sullen and angry,(al) the king of Israel went to his palace in Samaria.
1 Some time later there was an incident involving a vineyard belonging to Naboth(a) the Jezreelite. The vineyard was in Jezreel,(b) close to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 Ahab said to Naboth, "Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth."
3 But Naboth replied, "The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance(c) of my ancestors."
4 So Ahab went home, sullen and angry(d) because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, "I will not give you the inheritance of my ancestors." He lay on his bed sulking and refused(e) to eat.
5 His wife Jezebel came in and asked him, "Why are you so sullen? Why won't you eat?"
6 He answered her, "Because I said to Naboth the Jezreelite, ‘Sell me your vineyard; or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard in its place.' But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.'"
7 Jezebel his wife said, "Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I'll get you the vineyard(f) of Naboth the Jezreelite."
8 So she wrote letters(g) in Ahab's name, placed his seal(h) on them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth's city with him. 9 In those letters she wrote:
"Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 10 But seat two scoundrels(i) opposite him and have them bring charges that he has cursed(j) both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death."
11 So the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth's city did as Jezebel directed in the letters she had written to them. 12 They proclaimed a fast(k) and seated Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 13 Then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, "Naboth has cursed both God and the king." So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death.(l) 14 Then they sent word to Jezebel: "Naboth has been stoned to death."
15 As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, "Get up and take possession of the vineyard(m) of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you. He is no longer alive, but dead." 16 When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of Naboth's vineyard.
17 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 18 "Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He is now in Naboth's vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it. 19 Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?'(n) Then say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth's blood,(o) dogs(p) will lick up your blood—yes, yours!'"
20 Ahab said to Elijah, "So you have found me, my enemy!"(q)
"I have found you," he answered, "because you have sold(r) yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord . 21 He says, ‘I am going to bring disaster on you. I will wipe out your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male(s) in Israel—slave or free.[a](t) 22 I will make your house(u) like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have aroused my anger and have caused Israel to sin.'(v)
23 "And also concerning Jezebel the Lord says: ‘Dogs(w) will devour Jezebel by the wall of[b] Jezreel.'
24 "Dogs(x) will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds(y) will feed on those who die in the country."
25 (There was never(z) anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord , urged on by Jezebel his wife. 26 He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites(aa) the Lord drove out before Israel.)
27 When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth(ab) and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.(ac)
28 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 29 "Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled(ad) himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day,(ae) but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son."(af)
Micaiah Prophesies Against Ahab(a)
1 For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel. 2 But in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to see the king of Israel. 3 The king of Israel had said to his officials, "Don't you know that Ramoth Gilead(b) belongs to us and yet we are doing nothing to retake it from the king of Aram?"
4 So he asked Jehoshaphat, "Will you go with me to fight(c) against Ramoth Gilead?"
Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, "I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses." 5 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, "First seek the counsel(d) of the Lord ."
6 So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—about four hundred men—and asked them, "Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?"
"Go,"(e) they answered, "for the Lord will give it into the king's hand."(f)
7 But Jehoshaphat asked, "Is there no longer a prophet(g) of the Lord here whom we can inquire(h) of?"
8 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, "There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord , but I hate(i) him because he never prophesies anything good(j) about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah."
"The king should not say such a thing," Jehoshaphat replied.
9 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, "Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once."
10 Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor(k) by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them. 11 Now Zedekiah(l) son of Kenaanah had made iron horns(m) and he declared, "This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.'"
12 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. "Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious," they said, "for the Lord will give it into the king's hand."
13 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, "Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably."(n)
14 But Micaiah said, "As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me."(o)
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."
16 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 ?"
17 Then Micaiah answered, "I saw all Israel scattered(p) on the hills like sheep without a shepherd,(q) and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.'"
18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "Didn't I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?"
19 Micaiah continued, "Therefore hear the word of the Lord : I saw the Lord sitting on his throne(r) with all the multitudes(s) of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?'
"One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.'
22 "‘By what means?' the Lord asked.
"‘I will go out and be a deceiving(t) spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,' he said.
"‘You will succeed in enticing him,' said the Lord . ‘Go and do it.'
23 "So now the Lord has put a deceiving(u) spirit in the mouths of all these prophets(v) of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster(w) for you."
24 Then Zedekiah(x) son of Kenaanah went up and slapped(y) Micaiah in the face. "Which way did the spirit from[a] the Lord go when he went from me to speak(z) to you?" he asked.
25 Micaiah replied, "You will find out on the day you go to hide(aa) in an inner room."
26 The king of Israel then ordered, "Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king's son 27 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison(ab) and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.'"
28 Micaiah declared, "If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken(ac) through me." Then he added, "Mark my words, all you people!"
Ahab Killed at Ramoth Gilead(ad)
29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead. 30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "I will enter the battle in disguise,(ae) but you wear your royal robes." So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.
31 Now the king of Aram(af) had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, "Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king(ag) of Israel." 32 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought, "Surely this is the king of Israel." So they turned to attack him, but when Jehoshaphat cried out, 33 the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel and stopped pursuing him.
34 But someone drew his bow(ah) at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor. The king told his chariot driver, "Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I've been wounded." 35 All day long the battle raged, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran onto the floor of the chariot, and that evening he died. 36 As the sun was setting, a cry spread through the army: "Every man to his town. Every man to his land!"(ai)
the Sixth Week after Easter