Dave Burnette's Commentary

1 Kings Chapter 22

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Jeremiah
Date Penned: (586 BC)
Overview: A History of the Kings of Israel and Judah (c 1-22)
Theme: The Divided Kingdom (c 12-22)
Message: Jehoshaphat Becomes Ahab's Ally (v 1-52)

1 Kings 22 Commentary 

(22:6) The 400 Prophets - These 400 prophets may have been the 400 Asherah (Ashtoreth) priests left alive by Elijah at Carmel, although 450 prophets of Baal had been killed (see 18:19, 40).

(22:7) Disregarding God's Message - Jehoshaphat knew the difference between these false prophets and the "prophet of the LORD," so he asked if a prophet of the Lord was available. Evidently Jehoshaphat wanted to do what was right, although Ahab didn't.

Both kings disregarded God's message, however, and listened only to the false prophets.

(22:10) The Threshing Floor - Threshing floors were placed in elevated areas to allow the wind to blow away the discarded hulls of grain.

(22:15-17) Following False Prophets - Why did Micaiah tell Ahab to attack when he had previously vowed to speak only what God had told him? Perhaps he was speaking sarcastically, making fun of the messages from the false prophets by showing that they were telling the king only what he wanted to hear. Somehow, Micaiah's tone of voice let everyone know he was mocking the false prophets. When confronted, he predicted that the king would die and the battle would be lost. Although Ahab repented temporarily (21:27), he still maintained the system of false prophets. These false prophets would be instrumental in leading him to his own ruin.

(22:19-22) Ahab Falls Into a Snare - The vision Micaiah saw was either a picture of a real incident in heaven or a parable of what was happening on earth, illustrating that the seductive influence of the false prophets would be part of God's judgment upon Ahab (22:23). Whether or not God sent an angel in disguise, he used the system of false prophets to snare Ahab in his sin. The lying spirit symbolized the way of life for these prophets, who told the king only what he wanted to hear.

(22:20-22) The Enticement of Spirits - Does God allow angels ('spirits") to entice people to do evil? To understand evil, we must first understand God. (a) God himself is good (Psalm 129:4). (2) God created a good world that became subject to death because of sin (Romans 5:12). (3) Someday God will re-create the world, and it will be good again (Revelation 21:1). (4) God is stronger than evil (Matthew 13:41-43; Revelation 19:11-21). (5) God allows evil, and thus he has control over it. God did not create evil, and he offers help to those who wish to overcome it (Colossians 2:135). (6) God uses everything - both good and evil-for his good purposes (Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28).

The Bible shows us a God who hates all evil and will one day do away with it completely and forever (Revelation 20:10-15). God does not entice anyone to become evil, but he allows those who are committed to evil to sin even more in order to hurry their deserved judgment (Exodus 11:10). We don't need to understand every detail of how God works in order to have perfect confidence in his absolute power over evil and his total goodness toward us.

(22-31-34) God's Judgement Comes to Ahab - Ahab could not escape God's judgment. The king of Syria sent 32 of his best chariot commanders with the sole purpose of killing Ahab. Thinking he could escape, Ahab tried a disguise, but a random arrow struck him while the chariots chased the wrong king- Jehoshaphat. it was foolish for Ahab to think he could escape God's judgment by wearing a disguise. Sometimes people try to escape reality by disguising themselves--changing jobs, moving to a new town, even changing spouses. But God sees and evaluates the motives of each person. Any attempted disguise is futile.

(22:35) Ahab Death Was Proficisied - Just as the prophet had predicted (20:42), Ahab was killed. See Ahab's profile for more of this king's sad story.

(22:41-50) Jehoshaphat - For more details on Jehoshaphat, see the other account of his reign in 2 Chronicles 17-20.

(22:43) Jehoshaphat Fails to Remove Paganism - Just like his ancestors Solomon and Asa, Jehoshaphat followed God, but he didn't remove the pagan shrines ("high places") in the hills (2 Chronicles 20:33). It was against God's laws to worship idols in the shrines (Numbers 33:52), and at first Jehoshaphat attempted to remove them (2 Chronicles 17:6). They were so popular, however, that this proved difficult. In spite of Jehoshaphat's many contributions to the spiritual, moral, and material health of his country, he did not succeed in eradicating the hill shrines.

(22:51-53) A Divided Kingdom - The book of 1 Kings begins with a nation united under David, the most devout king in Israel's history. The book ends with a divided kingdom and the death of Ahab, the most wicked king of all. What happened? The people forgot to acknowledge God as their ultimate leader; they appointed human leaders who ignored God; then they conformed to the lifestyles of these evil leaders. Their occasional wrongdoing gradually turned into a way of life. Their blatant wickedness could be met only with judgment from God, who allowed enemy nations to arise and defeat Israel and Judah in battle as punishment for their sins. Failing to acknowledge God as our ultimate leader is the first step toward ruin.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

The History of a Fallen Nation

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Today we continue in the book of 1 Kings with Chapter 22.  In our text, we see the Kings of Israel and Judah as Jehoshaphat becomes Ahab's ally, Ahab dies in battle, Jehoshaphat rules Judah, and Ahaziah rules Israel. We started this book with unity under David as the most devout King in Israel's history. We end the book with a divided kingdom and the death of Ahab, the most wicked King of all Israel's History. What happened? The people forgot to acknowledge God as their ultimate leader; they appointed human leaders who ignored God and then conformed to these evil leaders' lifestyles. In making application, we see history repeating itself in our Nation. People have forgotten God in choosing their un-Godly leaders and now have conformed to their leadership. As a result, we see a nation that has rejected God, and God has removed His presence from this Nation. Now we are experiencing the evil of violence, financial bankruptcy, and rampant immorality. We have drifted from God. How about you? Do you see our Nation following the direction of Israel? Let us learn from our text today and the Nation of Israel to learn the history of a fallen Nation. 


1 Kings 22

1 Kings 22

 1And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel.

 2And it came to pass in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel.

 3And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria?

 4And he said unto Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramothgilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses.

 5And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day.

 6Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king.

 7And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him?

 8And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.

 9Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, Hasten hither Micaiah the son of Imlah.

 10And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.

 11And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith the LORD, With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them.

 12And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the king's hand.

 13And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good.

 14And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak.

 15So he came to the king. And the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall we forbear? And he answered him, Go, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king.

 16And the king said unto him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the LORD?

 17And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.

 18And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?

 19And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.

 20And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.

 21And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.

 22And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.

 23Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.

 24But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee?

 25And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself.

 26And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king's son;

 27And 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 come in peace.

 28And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the LORD hath not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O people, every one of you.

 29So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead.

 30And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle.

 31But the king of Syria commanded his thirty and two captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel.

 32And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, Surely it is the king of Israel. And they turned aside to fight against him: and Jehoshaphat cried out.

 33And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him.

 34And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.

 35And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot.

 36And there went a proclamation throughout the host about the going down of the sun, saying, Every man to his city, and every man to his own country.

 37So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria.

 38And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the LORD which he spake.

 39Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house which he made, and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

 40So Ahab slept with his fathers; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead.

 41And Jehoshaphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel.

 42Jehoshaphat was thirty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.

 43And he walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the LORD: nevertheless the high places were not taken away; for the people offered and burnt incense yet in the high places.

 44And Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel.

 45Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might that he shewed, and how he warred, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

 46And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land.

 47There was then no king in Edom: a deputy was king.

 48Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Eziongeber.

 49Then said Ahaziah the son of Ahab unto Jehoshaphat, Let my servants go with thy servants in the ships. But Jehoshaphat would not.

 50And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Jehoram his son reigned in his stead.

 51Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years over Israel.

 52And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin:

 53For he served Baal, and worshipped him, and provoked to anger the LORD God of Israel, according to all that his father had done.