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diab invites Jehoshaphat to join

CHAPTER XXII.

him in recovering Ramoth-gilead.

A M.3105. 29 Seest thou how Ahab hum- || bring the evil in his days; but ? in A. M. 3105. B. C. 699.

B. C. 899 bleth himself before me? because his son's days will I bring the evil he humbleth himself before me, I will not upon his house.

* 2 Kings || ix. 25.

softly --Slowly and silently, after the manner of to show mercy: it teaches us to take notice of that mourners, or those who are under a great conster- | which is good, even in the worst of men: it gives a Dation.

reason why wicked persons often prosper; God reVerse 29. Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself wards the little good which is in them; and it enbefore me?–His humiliation was real, though not courages true penitents. If even Ahab goes to his lasting, and accordingly pleasing to God. This dis- | house reprieved, doubtless they shall go to their covers the great goodness of God, and his readiness || houses justified.

B. .

CHAPTER XXII. Akat incites Jehoshaphat to join in recovering Ramoth-gilead, 1-4. His false prophets promise sim success, 5, 6. He sends for Micaiah, 7–10. Further promises, 11, 12. Micaiah's uprightness and prediction, 13–23. He is abused and imfrisoned, 24–28. An account of the battle, wherein Ahab is slain, 29-40. The good reign of Jehoshaphat, 41-50. The wicked reign of Ahaziah, 51–53. B. 1.3103. AND they continued three years || 4 And he said unto Jehoshaphat, A. M. 3107.

without war between Syria and Wilt thou go with me to battle to Israel.

Ramoth-gilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the B. C. 897.

2 And it came to pass in the third king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people

year, that a Jehoshaphat the king of | as thy people, my horses as thy horses. Judah came down to the king of Israel. 5 1 And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of

3 And the king of Israel said unto his ser- || Israel, Inquire, I pray thee, at the word of the vants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is Lord to-day. curs, and we be ? still, and take it not out of the 6 Then the king of Israel d gathered the band of the king of Syria ?

prophets together, about four hundred men,

2 2 Chron. xviii. 2, &c.

b Deut. iv. 43. Heb. silent || from taking it.-* 2 Kings iii. 7.

d Chap. xviii. 19.

NOTES ON CHAPTER XXII.

Verse 4. He said to Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go up Verse 1. They continued three yearsThat is, | with me, &c. ?—It is not strange that Ahab should three years were spent; without war between Sy- | desire the assistance of so pious and prosperous a ria and Israel-Computed from the last war and neighbour as Jehoshaphat, and should wish to draw league wherewith it was concluded. Both Ahab | him in to join him in this expedition for the recoand Ben-hadad were so weakened and broken by | very of Ramoth-gilead. Even bad men have often the late wars, that they needed and desired peace to coveted the friendship of the good; but it is strange recruit themselves, and repair their former losses. that Jelioshaphat should go so entirely into Ahab's

Verse 2. The king of Judah came down to the interests as to say, I am as thou art, and my people king of Israel-Having now, as he supposed, made as thy peopleThat is, I will heartily and effectua firm peace with him, by the alliance contracted | ally join with thee; and my forces shall be at thy between Jehoram his son, and Athaliah, Ahab's service, as much as thine own. daughter, 2 Kings viji. 18; 2 Chron. xviii, ļ. It is

is Verse 5. Jehoshaphat said

, Inquire, I pray thee, strange that so good a man would be so closely con- . &c.—By some prophet; that we may know the nected with a king revolted from the worship of mind of God in this matter, and what success we God! But he appears to have been of too easy a may expect. A good man, wherever he goes, will temper, which betrayed him to many inconveniences. take God along with him, will acknowledge him in

Verse 3. Know ye not that Ramoth in Gilead is | all his ways, and look to him for success: and, our: ?-Belongeth to us by right, both by God's do- wherever he goes, he ought to take his religion nation, and by our last agreement with Ben-hadad, along with him; and not be ashamed to own it, even chap. xx. 34. It is probable Ben-hadad had not among those who have no kindness for it. made good his part of the covenant, to restore all Verse 6. The king of Israel gaihered the prothe cities which the Syrians had taken from Israel, phets together-Doubtless his own false prophets, and that this was one which he refused to deliver up. such as he had set up by rewards and promises, and Ahab's false prophets predict success.

I. KINGS.

The prophet Micaiah is consulted.

B. C. 897.

A. M. 3107. and said unto them, Shall I go against the entrance of the gate of Samaria ; A. M. 3107

B. C. 897. Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I for- || and all the prophets prophesied before bear ? And they said, Go up; for the LORD them. shall deliver it into the hand of the king. 11 And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah

7 9 And • Jehoshaphat said, Is there not made him horns of iron : and he said, Thus here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we saith the LORD, With these shalt thou push the might inquire of him?

Syrians until thou have consumed them. 8 And the king of Israel said unto Jehosha- 12 And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, phat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son Go up to Ramoth-gilead, and prosper : for the of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD shall deliver it into the king's hand. LORD: but I hate him: for he doth not prophesy 13 And the messenger that was gone to call good concerning me, but evil. And Jehosha- Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, phat said, Let not the king say so.

the words of the prophets declare good unto the 9 Then the king of Israel called an 2 officer, king with one mouth : let thy word, I pray thee, and said, Hasten hither Micaiah the son of be like the word of one of them, and speak that Imlah.

which is good. 10 And the king of Israel, and Jehoshaphat | 14 And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, the king of Judah, sat each on his throne, what the Lord saith unto me, that will I having put on their robes, in a : void place in speak.

2 Kings ii. 11.

-> Or, eunuch.

: Heb. floor.

_Num. xxii. 38.

who accordingly knew how to suit his humour, and and for that, had lain in prison three years. But flatter his vanity, and who yet gave in their answer this did not make him less confident, or less faithful in the name of Jehovah; either in compliance with || in delivering his message. Having put on their Jehoshaphat, or by Ahab's direction, that Jehosha- | robesTheir royal robes and ensigns of majesty. phat might be deceived by them into a good opinion || In a void place—In the place of judicature, which of the war.

was in or nigh the gate of the city, and in the front Verses 7, 8. Is there not here a prophet of the of some void place, where either people stood to Lord besides ?-—Besides these who may seem to be hear and see justice administered, or soldiers were such in your opinion, and by their own profession ? | placed for the defence of the city in time of war. He did not entirely reject these as no prophets of || And all the prophets prophesied before them-Conthe Lord, though he had some doubt of their being tinued to encourage them in their design; all agreedivinely inspired with the certain knowledge of fu- | ing, to a man, in the same fawning compliances ture events; and therefore he desired to know if with Ahab, and the same treacherous counsels, there was any other from whom he might receive which pleased and tickled, for the present, but further satisfaction. There is yet one man, &c.— proved fatal in the end. Namely, in this place, for whom I can speedily Verse 11. Zedekiah made him horns of iron-Fit send;

for there were also other prophets elsewhere | emblems of the power and victory of these two in the kingdom, but these were not at hand. Mi- | kings. The devil is God's ape, and the false procaiah the son of Imlah-Not the person whom we phets imitated the true, who, when they declared call Micah, one of the twelve minor prophets, for he | God's mind by words, did also sometimes confirm it lived a hundred and fifty years after this time, but by sensible signs, Isa. xx. 2; Jer. xxvii. 2. Thus another of that name. He doth not prophesy good saith the Lord-Hebrew, Jehovah, in whose name concerning me, but evil-He is always a messenger | he pretends to speak, to gain the more credit and to me of evil tidings. This probably was true, but | countenance to his words. not a sufficient reason why he should hate him, be- Verses 13, 14. Speak that which is goodThis cause Micaiah only delivered the messages which was a most absurd request: for if Micaiah was a God sent by him; and whatsoever evil he de- true prophet, he could say nothing but what was nounced, Ahab himself was the cause and procurer suggested to him by divine inspiration, and if he of it. Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so— were not, why should he speak at all? Of what use Let us neither hate his person, nor despise his could his prophesying be unless to deceive? What message; but first hear it, and then do as we see the Lord saith unto me, that will I speakWhat

answer the Lord shall put into my mind and mouth. Verses 9, 10. Hasten hither MicaiahIt seems He resolves as became one who had an eye to a he had imprisoned him; for, verse 26, he bids the greater king than either of these. He seen, s, as officer carry him back, namely, to the place where yet, to have had no revelation about the matter. he was before. Probably this was he that had re- But when the question was put to him, God taught proved him for letting Ben-hadad go, chap. xx. 42: || him what to answer.

cause.

The Prophet Micaiah inquired of,

CHAPTER XXII.

who foretels the death of thub.

B. C. 897.

A M 3107. 15 So he came to the king. And 18 And the king of Israel said unto A. M. 3107. B. C. 897.

the king said unto him, Micaiah, | Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that shall we go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, he would prophesy no good concerning me, but or shall we forbear? And he answered him, evil ? Go, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it 19 And he said, Hear thou therefore the into the band of the king.

word of the LORD: "I saw the LORD sitting 16 And the king said unto him, How many on his throne, and all the host of heaven times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me standing by him on his right hand and on his nothing but that which is true in the name of || left. the LORD?

20 And the LORD said, Who shall persuade 17 And he said, I saw all Israel 8 scattered Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothupon the hills, as sheep that have not a shep-gilead? And one said on this manner, and herd : and the LORD said, These have no another said on that manner. master ; let them return every man to his 21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood

before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.

house in peace.

& Mathew ix. 36.-4h Isaiah vi. 1; Daniel vii. 9.

Job i. 6; ii. l; Psalm ciii. 20; Dan. vii. 10; Zech. i. 10;

Matt. xviii. 10; Heb. i. 7, 14.- Or, deceive.

Verses 15, 16. He answered him, Go, and pros- were but the suggestions of my own fancy, and of per-He gave the very same answer, and in the hatred to thy person, I will give thee a distinct and same words, which the other prophets had done; true account of the whole matter in God's name and but spake them in such a manner, that Ahab plainly presence. I saw the Lord sitting on his thronediscerned he derided and mocked him: his meaning Not with his bodily eyes certainly, for with them being evidently this: Because thou dost not seek to he could not see God, but with the eyes of his mind, know the truth, but only to please thyself, go to or rather in a vision. For we must by no means the battle, as all thy prophets advise thee, and try look upon what follows as the relation of an affair the truth of their prediction by thy own experience. really transacted, but merely as an account of a The king said, How many times shall I adjure symbolical vision, like that of Peter, (Acts x.,) when thee?—He had not adjured him before, but now he he saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descenddoes; as, probably, observing something in the ing unto him; whereby Micaiah was informed how countenance and gesture of Micaiah, which per- it came to pass that so many prophets prophesied saled him that what he said was rather ironical | falsely, or contrary to what the event of things than the real sentiments of his mind.

would prove; which was, that these prophets were Verse 17. And he said, I saw-Namely, in the influenced, not by the Spirit of God, which is the Spirit, or in a vision; all Israel scattered upon the spirit of truth, but by an evil spirit, a spirit of error kills–Upon the mountains of Gilead, where they and falsehood, of flattery and dissimulation. For jaş encamped by Ahab's order, or to which they | we should form most unjust ideas of the truth and ied from the enemy. As sheep that have no shep-holiness of God, if we supposed he would really send hard-As people that have lost their king. The a spirit of lying into any of his prophets, which they Lord said, These have no master; let them return, could not distinguish from true inspiration; for this kl.-Discharged from the war. This was fulfilled, I would be to confound false prophecy with true, and Terze 36.

to make God the author of moral evil, which he can Verse 18. The king of Israel said, Did not I tell || in no way or manner ever be. It would have been to thee, &c.—Now thou seest my words verified, and overturn the whole authority of prophecy; for, if box this man shows his hatred by his malignant the true prophets had been once actuated by a false and treasonable prophecy, and how little regard is spirit, there would have been an end of placing any to be paid to his words. Which crafty insinuation dependance on them for the future. The whole seems to have had too great an influence on good | foundation of their authority would have been overJehoshaphat, otherwise he would not have gone to thrown. the battle. That he would prophesy no good con- Verses 20-22. The Lord said, Who shall percerning me, but evil–Nay, but what evil was it to suade Ahab, &c.—This is not to be understood tell him what would be the event if he proceeded in grossly, as if God were at a loss to find out an exhis expedition, while it was in his own powerpedient to accomplish his own designs; nor is it to whether he would proceed or not? The greatest | be supposed that there was really any such consultkindness we can do to one that is walking in a dan- | ation, before the Divine Majesty, as who should gerous way is to tell him of his danger.

be employed to persuade Ahab to undo himself. Verse 19. And he said, Hear thou therefore the But this is a symbolical representation, to signify word of the Lord-Because thou givest credit to thy that the Lord resolved to suffer Ahab to be deceived faise prophets, and disbelievest my words, as if they || and perish at Ramoth-gilead rather than in any

A lying spirit deceives Ahab.

I. KINGS.

Micarah is remanded to prison.

A. M. 3107.
B. C. 897.

B. C. 897.

do so.

22 And the LORD said unto him, || the LORD from me to speak unto A. M. 3107.

Wherewith ? And he said, I will go thee? forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth 25 And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see of all his prophets. And he said, "Thou shalt in that day when thou shalt go into an inner persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and chamber to hide thyself.

26 And the king of Israel said, Take Mi23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath caiah, and carry him back unto Amon the put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy governor of the city, and to Joash the king's prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil con- | son; cerning thee.

27 And say, Thus saith the king, Put this 24 ? But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread went near, and sinote Micaiah on the cheek, of affliction, and with water of affliction, until I and said, mWhich way went the Spirit of come in peace.

* Judges ix. 23; Job xii. 16; Ezekiel xiv. 9 ; 2 Thess. ii. 11.

I Ezek. xiv. 9.

m 2 Chron. xviii. 23.- - Or, from chamber to chamber. Heb.

a chamber in a chamber.

other place; in order that he, who sinfully suffered the snares and temptations which would draw them
Ben-hadad to escape, might be punished by Ben- | to transgress the law of God, never mentions this
hadad. And there came forth a spirit-An evil capital enemy of heaven. Nay, when the form of
one; and stood before the LordThis is not to be that sacred history which Moses composed obliged
taken literally. There are, however, evil spirits him to treat of Satan's first grand machination
who are very forward to entice men to their own against mankind, he entirely hides this wicked spi-
destruction, and have power so to do, if the Lord | rit under the animal which he made his instrument;
do not hinder them. He said, I will be a lying | but, as the fulness of time drew near, they were
spirit in the mouth of all his prophets– I will sug- || made more and more - acquainted with this their
gest to them that which will deceive them. And he capital enemy. When Ahab, for the crimes and
said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also- | follies of the people, was suffered to be infatuated,
I will give them up into thy hands, and leave them | we have the account in the words of Micaiah above.
to their own ignorance and wickedness. Go forth, || Satan is not here recorded by name; and so we
and do 80—This is not a command, but only a per- || must conclude the people were yet to know little of
mission. If we suppose this to be any thing more | his history: however, this undertaking sufficiently
than a symbolical vision, we must say God permit- || declared his nature.” Div. Leg., vol. iv. p. 279.
ted this evil spirit to follow his own inclinations, Verses 24, 25. But Zedekiah went near The
which he knew would have success, and prevail chief of the false prophets, who was much in the
with Ahab to believe he should prosper in this war, king's favour. Which way went the Spirit of the
wherein God intended he should perish. Ahab's Lord, &c.—In what manner went it? Contemptu-
prophets had observed how prosperous he had been ous language as well as behaviour: as much as to
in former wars with the king of Syria, and that say, How dare you prophesy directly contrary to
made them forward to promise him the same success what I have done, who have the Spirit of the Lord !
in this also. And Ahab was as forward to believe as Behold, thou shalt go into an inner chamber-Into
they were to promise.

a secret place; to hide thyself-For fear of being
Verse 23. Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath | seized and punished as a false prophet, and as the
put, &c.—It is frequent in the Holy Scriptures to great author and abetter of this pernicious war, and
call that the Lord's doing which he only permits to of Ahab's destruction. Probably he went with Ahab
be done; because he has the supreme direction of to the battle, after which he was glad to shelter him-
all things, and governs the event. Wicked devices self where he could.
proceed from wicked men and wicked spirits: but, Verses 26, 27. Take Micaiah, and carry him
that they prevail and take effect, is owing to the back-Namely, into prison, where, it seems, he was
hand of God directing and ordering when and where before shut up; for so the Lord's prophets were
they shall light, and what shall be the issue of them. treated by Ahab. Feed him with bread of affliction,
Hath put a lying spirit into the mouth, &c.—Hath &c.-With very coarse and spare diet, whereby he
permitted a lying spirit to influence these men. may be only supported to endure his torment. Un-
Hath spoken evil concerning thee-Hath decreed til I come in peace-Until I return in triumph,
that thou shalt perish in this war. It may not be which I doubt not I shall, in spite of all his mali-
amiss to observe here, that “the evil being, named cious suggestions to the contrary; and then I shall
Satan, was little known to the Jewish people till call him to an account for all his lies and impu-
their captivity; and then this history was taught dence. Hard usage for one that would have pre-
openly as a security against the doctrine of the two vented his ruin! We see here how confident Ahab
principles. The Jewish lawgiver, where he so was of success! He questions not but he should return
frequently enumerates and warns the Israelites of || in peace, forgetting what he himself had said to Ben-

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Jer shaphat and Ahab go

CHAPTER XXII.

to battle; Ahab is wounded.

B. C. 897.

A. M. 3107. 28 And Micaiah said, If thou return 32 And it came to pass, when the A. M. 3107. B. C. 997.

at all in peace," the LORD hath not captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaspoken by me. And he said, Hearken, 0 people, || phat, that they said, Surely it is the king of every one of you.

Israel. And they turned aside to fight against 29 [ So the king of Israel and Jehosháphat || him: and Jehoshaphat P cried out. the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 33 And it came to pass, when the captains

30 And the king of Israel said unto Jehosha- of the chariots perceived that it was not the phat, 'I will disguise myself, and enter into king of Israel, that they turned back from purthe battle; but put thou on thy robes. And suing him. the king of Israel disguised himself and went 34 [ And a certain man drew a bow at a into the battle.

venture, and smote the king of Israel, between 31 But the king of Syria commanded his the joints of the harness : wherefore he said thirty and two captains that had rule over his unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thy hand, chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor and carry me out of the host; for I am great, save only with the king of Israel. 10 wounded.

• Nambers xvi. 29; Deuteron. xviii. 20, 22.-_7 Or, when he was to disguise himself, and enter into the battle.- - 2 Chron.

Y. 22.

P2 Chron. xviii. 31 ; Prov. xiii. 20. Heb. in his simplicity, 2 Sam. xv. 11.—Heb. joints and the breast-plate.-- 1 Heb. made sick,

hadad, Let not him that girdeth on his harness Verse 31. Fight only with the king of Israel, boast : but there was little likelihood of his return- This he ordered, truly supposing this to be the best ing in peace when he left one of God's prophets be- way to put an end to the war; and by the provihind him in prison.

dence of God, which disposeth the hearts of kings Verse 28. Micaiah said, If thou return, fc., the as he pleaseth, and which inclined them to this Lord hath not spoken by me-Let me incur the re- || course, that they might; though ignorantly, accomproach and punishment of a false prophet; and he plish his counsel. Perhaps Ben-hadad only design

- Namely, Micaiah ; said, Hearken, 0 people, every | ed to have taken him prisoner, that he might now one of you-Knowing in whom he had believed, and give him as honourable a treatment as he had forbeing fully assured of the truth of his prophecy, he | merly received from him. calls all the people to be witnesses of it.

Verses 32, 33. When the captains-saw JehoshaVerse 29. So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat | phat, they said, Surely, &c.—They saw no other -went up, &c.—Notwithstanding the declaration but him in a royal habit, and hence concluded he Micaiah had made of God's decree, Jehoshaphat | must be the king of Israel, whom they believed to was persuaded by Ahab and other prophets to go be present in the battle, and to be the commander of on this expedition; partly because Micaiah was a the Israelitish army. They turned aside to fight person unknown to him, and both he and the other | against himThey drew their forces from their prophets professing to speak from God, it seemed several quarters toward him. And Jehoshaphat difficult to him to determine the controversy be- cried out-By his danger God now let him know tween them, which, he probably thought, only the that he was displeased with him, for joining in conevent could decide: and partly because the war was federacy with Ahab. They that associate with evil just and lawful, being undertaken to recover Ahab's doers are in danger of sharing in their plagnes. rights, which the Syrian king unjustly detained when the captains-perceived it was not the king from him.

of IsraelThis they would easily perceive, either Verse 30. The king of Israel said, I will dis- | by the words which he spake, when he cried out, or guise myself-Put off my imperial habit, and appear | by the difference of his form and countenance from as a private man, that the Syrians may not know those of Ahab, whom, probably, many of them had me, and direct their main force against me. This seen, and knew well. They turned back from purhe judged they would do, as knowing him to be the suing him— Thus, by his deliverance, God showed principal author of this war, and that it was likely him that, though he was displeased with him, he to die with him. But put thou on thy robes—Thy had not deserted him. To him he cried out, not in royal robes, which thou mayest do without danger, cowardice, but devotion, and from him his relief because thou art not the object of the rage of the came. For God, who has the hearts of all men in Syrians, nor of this false prophecy. Thus, while his hand, moved them to depart from him, 2 Chron. he pretended to do honour to Jehoshaphat, and com- | xviii. 31. In the mean time Ahab, who brought him pliment him with the sole command of the army in into this danger, seems to have been in no care to this action, he hoped to elude the danger, and so de- succour him. God is a friend who will not fail us feat the threatening, as if by disguising himself he when other friends do. could escape the divine cognizance, and the judg- Verse 34. A certain man drew a bow at a venments that pursued him.

ture-Shot at a venture among the army, without

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