David Burnette's Commentary

2 Chronicles Chapter 18

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Ezra
Date Penned: (430 BC)
Overview: A History of God's Chosen People (c 1-36)
Theme: The Kingdom of Judah (c 10-36)
Message: Jehoshaphat Joins Forces with Ahab (v 1-34)

2 Chronicles 18 Commentary 

(18:1) Jehoshaphat Encourages an Ungodly Alliance -  Although Jehoshaphat was deeply committed to God, he arranged for his son to marry Athaliah, the daughter of wicked King Ahab of Israel, and then made a military alliance with Ahab. Jehoshaphat's popularity and power made him attractive to the cunning and opportunistic Ahab. This alliance had three devastating consequences: (1) Jehoshaphat incurred God's anger (19:2); (2) when Jehoshaphat's grandson died and Athaliah seized the throne, she nearly destroyed all of David's descendants (22:10-12); and (3) Athaliah brought the evil practices of Israel into Judah, which eventually led to the nation's downfall. When believers in leadership positions become allied with unbelievers, values can be compromised and spiritual awareness dulled. The Bible warns against compromising our standards and beliefs when working with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). (See the note on 2 Chronicles 20:32 for more on alliances.)

(18:3-8) Evil kings Hiire False Prophets - Evil kings did not like God's prophets bringing messages of doom (18:17; Jeremiah Sa3). Many, therefore, hired prophets who told them only what they wanted to hear (Isaiah 30:10-11; Jeremiah 14:13-16; 23:16, 21,30-36). These prophets were false because they extolled the greatness of the kings and predicted victory regardless of the real situation. They were speaking for the kings rather than for God.

(18:3-8) Jehoshaphat Ignores God's Advice - Wicked Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to join forces with him in battle (18:2-3). Before making that commitment, Jehoshaphat rightly sought God's advice. But when God gave his answer through the prophet Micaiah (18:6), Jehoshaphat ignored it (18:28). Seeking God's advice does no good for us if we ignore it when it is given. Real love for God is shown not by merely asking for direction but by listening to and following that direction once it is given.

(18:5-16) False Prophets Give Bad Advice -  When you want to please or impress someone, it can be tempting to lie to make yourself look good. Ahab's 400 prophets did just that, telling Ahab only what he wanted to hear. They were then rewarded for making Ahab happy. Micaiah, however, told the truth and got arrested (18:25-26). Obeying God doesn't always protect us from evil consequences. Obedience may, in fact, provoke them. But it is better to suffer from people's displeasure than from God's wrath (Matthew 10:28. If you are ridiculed for being honest, remember that this can be a sign that you are indeed doing what is right in God's eyes (Matthew 5:10-12; Romans 8:17.35:39).

(18:22) Ahab Follows the Bad Advice - God used the seductive influence of false prophets to judge Ahab. They were determined to tell Ahab what he wanted to hear. God confirmed their plans to lie as a means to remove Ahab from the throne. These prophets, supported by Ahab, snared him in his sin. Because he listened to them instead of God, he was killed in battle. The lying spirit is a picture of the prophets' entire way of life--telling the king only what he wanted to hear, not what he needed to hear. Leaders will find only trouble if they surround themselves with advisers whose only intention is to please them.

(18:31) Ahab Gives Bad Advice - Jehoshaphat's troubles began when he joined forces with the evil King Ahab. Almost at once he found himself the target for soldiers who mistakenly identified him as Ahab. He could have accepted this fate because he deserved it, but instead he cried out to God, who mercifully saved him. When we sin and the inevitable consequences follow, we may be tempted to give up. I chose to sin, we may think. It's my fault, and I must accept the consequences. While we may deserve what comes to us, that is no reason to avoid calling on God for urgent help. Had Jehoshaphat given up, he might have died. No matter how greatly you have sinned, you can still call upon God, who is full of mercy and ready to save you.

(18:33) Ahab DIES - icaiah prophesied death for Ahab (18:16, 27), so Ahab disguised himself to fool the enemy. Apparently, the disguise worked, but that didn't change the prophecy. A random Syrian arrow found a crack in his armor and killed him. God fulfills his will despite the defenses people try to erect. God can use anything, even an error, to bring his will to pass. This is good news for God's followers, because we can trust him to work out his plans and keep his promises no matter how desperate our circumstances.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Stay Away from Evil


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of 2 Chronicles with Chapter 18 and we see Jehoshaphat joins forces with Ahab as he arranged his son to marry Ahab's daughter. Jehosaphet thought he could control the situation but this alliance proved costly as he encountered the wrath of God, lost his grandson, and the evil practices of Israel came to Judah. In making application we see that we can't allow evil in our lives. If we do we can expect the same results of God's judgement, personal loss, and an evil effect on those you love. It reminds me of my youth and life in high school. The popular people were the "bad kids" and in making a few of them my friends I found myself having a bad influence rubbing off on me. I felt a distance from my Lord and I was placed in situations that could have harmed me. It taught me that I could not run with the wrong crowd. How about you? Do you see that you can not associate with evil without it effecting your life? Let us learn from out text today and the life of Jehosaphet to remember that we cannot allow evil in our lives. 


2 Chronicles 18

2 Chronicles 18

 1Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab.

 2And after certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. And Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that he had with him, and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramothgilead.

 3And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramothgilead? And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war.

 4And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day.

 5Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for God will deliver it into the king's hand.

 6But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him?

 7And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he never prophesied good unto me, but always evil: the same is Micaiah the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.

 8And the king of Israel called for one of his officers, and said, Fetch quickly Micaiah the son of Imla.

 9And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah sat either of them on his throne, clothed in their robes, and they sat in a void place at the entering in of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.

 10And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made him horns of iron, and said, Thus saith the LORD, With these thou shalt push Syria until they be consumed.

 11And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king.

 12And the messenger that went to call Micaiah spake to him, saying, Behold, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one assent; let thy word therefore, I pray thee, be like one of their's, and speak thou good.

 13And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak.

 14And when he was come to the king, the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And he said, Go ye up, and prosper, and they shall be delivered into your hand.

 15And the king said to him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou say nothing but the truth to me in the name of the LORD?

 16Then he said, I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace.

 17And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would not prophesy good unto me, but evil?

 18Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left.

 19And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner.

 20Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith?

 21And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so.

 22Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.

 23Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and smote Micaiah upon the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee?

 24And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see on that day when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself.

 25Then the king of Israel said, Take ye Micaiah, and carry him back to Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king's son;

 26And 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 return in peace.

 27And Micaiah said, If thou certainly return in peace, then hath not the LORD spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, all ye people.

 28So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead.

 29And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and I will go to the battle; but put thou on thy robes. So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went to the battle.

 30Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of the chariots that were with him, saying, Fight ye not with small or great, save only with the king of Israel.

 31And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them to depart from him.

 32For it came to pass, that, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back again from pursuing him.

 33And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: therefore he said to his chariot man, Turn thine hand, that thou mayest carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.

 34And the battle increased that day: howbeit the king of Israel stayed himself up in his chariot against the Syrians until the even: and about the time of the sun going down he died.