Bible: 1 Kings 11-22

The Lord Punishes Solomon for Idolatry

11:1 King Solomon fell in love with many foreign women (besides Pharaoh’s daughter), including Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites. 11:2 They came from nations about which the Lord had warned the Israelites, “You must not establish friendly relations with them! 1  If you do, they will surely shift your allegiance to their gods.” 2  But Solomon was irresistibly attracted to them. 3 

11:3 He had 700 royal wives 4  and 300 concubines; 5  his wives had a powerful influence over him. 6  11:4 When Solomon became old, his wives shifted his allegiance to 7  other gods; he was not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord his God, as his father David had been. 8  11:5 Solomon worshiped 9  the Sidonian goddess Astarte and the detestable Ammonite god Milcom. 10  11:6 Solomon did evil in the Lord’s sight; 11  he did not remain loyal to 12  the Lord, like his father David had. 11:7 Furthermore, 13  on the hill east of Jerusalem 14  Solomon built a high place 15  for the detestable Moabite god Chemosh 16  and for the detestable Ammonite god Milcom. 17  11:8 He built high places for all his foreign wives so they could burn incense and make sacrifices to their gods. 18 

11:9 The Lord was angry with Solomon because he had shifted his allegiance 19  away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him on two occasions 20  11:10 and had warned him about this very thing, so that he would not follow other gods. 21  But he did not obey 22  the Lord’s command. 11:11 So the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you insist on doing these things and have not kept the covenantal rules I gave you, 23  I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 11:12 However, for your father David’s sake I will not do this while you are alive. I will tear it away from your son’s hand instead. 11:13 But I will not tear away the entire kingdom; I will leave 24  your son one tribe for my servant David’s sake and for the sake of my chosen city Jerusalem.”

11:14 The Lord brought 25  against Solomon an enemy, Hadad the Edomite, a descendant of the Edomite king. 11:15 During David’s campaign against Edom, 26  Joab, the commander of the army, while on a mission to bury the dead, killed every male in Edom. 11:16 For six months Joab and the entire Israelite army 27  stayed there until they had exterminated every male in Edom. 28  11:17 Hadad, 29  who was only a small boy at the time, escaped with some of his father’s Edomite servants and headed for Egypt. 30  11:18 They went from Midian to Paran; they took some men from Paran and went to Egypt. Pharaoh, king of Egypt, supplied him with a house and food and even assigned him some land. 31  11:19 Pharaoh liked Hadad so well 32  he gave him his sister-in-law (Queen Tahpenessister) as a wife. 33  11:20 Tahpenessister gave birth to his son, 34  named Genubath. Tahpenes raised 35  him in Pharaoh’s palace; Genubath grew up in Pharaoh’s palace among Pharaoh’s sons. 11:21 While in Egypt Hadad heard that David had passed away 36  and that Joab, the commander of the army, was dead. So Hadad asked Pharaoh, “Give me permission to leave 37  so I can return to my homeland.” 11:22 Pharaoh said to him, “What do you lack here that makes you want to go to your homeland?” 38  Hadad replied, 39 Nothing, but please give me permission to leave.” 40 

11:23 God also brought against Solomon 41  another enemy, Rezon son of Eliada who had run away from his master, King Hadadezer of Zobah. 11:24 He gathered some men and organized a raiding band. 42  When David tried to kill them, 43  they went to Damascus, where they settled down and gained control of the city. 11:25 He was Israel’s enemy throughout Solomon’s reign and, like Hadad, caused trouble. He loathed 44  Israel and ruled over Syria.

11:26 Jeroboam son of Nebat, one of Solomon’s servants, rebelled against 45  the king. He was an Ephraimite 46  from Zeredah whose mother was a widow named Zeruah. 11:27 This is what prompted him to rebel against the king: 47  Solomon built a terrace and he closed up a gap in the wall of the city of his father David. 48  11:28 Jeroboam was a talented man; 49  when Solomon saw that the young man was an accomplished worker, he made him the leader of the work crew from the tribe 50  of Joseph. 11:29 At that time, when Jeroboam had left Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met him on the road; the two of them were alone in the open country. Ahijah 51  was wearing a brand new robe, 11:30 and he grabbed the robe 52  and tore it into twelve pieces. 11:31 Then he told Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces, for this is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘Look, I am about to tear the kingdom from Solomon’s hand and I will give ten tribes to you. 11:32 He will retain one tribe, for my servant David’s sake and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. 11:33 I am taking the kingdom from him 53  because they have 54  abandoned me and worshiped the Sidonian goddess Astarte, the Moabite god Chemosh, and the Ammonite god Milcom. They have not followed my instructions 55  by doing what I approve and obeying my rules and regulations, like Solomon’s father David did. 56  11:34 I will not take the whole kingdom from his hand. I will allow him to be ruler for the rest of his life for the sake of my chosen servant David who kept my commandments and rules. 11:35 I will take the kingdom from the hand of his son and give ten tribes to you. 57  11:36 I will leave 58  his son one tribe so my servant David’s dynasty may continue to serve me 59  in Jerusalem, the city I have chosen as my home. 60  11:37 I will select 61  you; you will rule over all you desire to have and you will be king over Israel. 11:38 You must obey 62  all I command you to do, follow my instructions, 63  do what I approve, 64  and keep my rules and commandments, like my servant David did. Then I will be with you and establish for you a lasting dynasty, as I did for David; 65  I will give you Israel. 11:39 I will humiliate David’s descendants because of this, 66  but not forever.” 67  11:40 Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam escaped to Egypt and found refuge with King Shishak of Egypt. 68  He stayed in Egypt until Solomon died.

Solomon’s Reign Ends

11:41 The rest of the events of Solomon’s reign, including all his accomplishments and his wise decisions, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of Solomon. 69  11:42 Solomon ruled over all Israel from Jerusalem 70  for forty years. 11:43 Then Solomon passed away 71  and was buried in the city of his father David. 72  His son Rehoboam replaced him as king. 73 

Rehoboam Loses His Kingdom

12:1 Rehoboam traveled to Shechem, for all Israel had gathered in 74  Shechem to make Rehoboam 75  king. 12:2 76  When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard the news, he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon and had been living ever since. 77  12:3 They sent for him, 78  and Jeroboam and the whole Israelite assembly came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 12:4 Your father made us work too hard. 79  Now if you lighten the demands he made and don’t make us work as hard, we will serve you.” 80  12:5 He said to them, “Go away for three days, then return to me.” So the people went away.

12:6 King Rehoboam consulted with the older advisers who had served 81  his father Solomon when he had been alive. He asked them, 82  “How do you advise me to answer these people? 12:7 They said to him, “Today if you show a willingness to help these people and grant their request, they will be your servants from this time forward.” 83  12:8 But Rehoboam rejected their advice and consulted the young advisers who served him, with whom he had grown up. 84  12:9 He asked them, “How do you advise me 85  to respond to these people who said to me, ‘Lessen the demands your father placed on us’? 86  12:10 The young advisers with whom Rehoboam 87  had grown up said to him, “Say this to these people who have said to you, ‘Your father made us work hard, but now lighten our burden.’ 88  Say this to them: ‘I am a lot harsher than my father! 89  12:11 My father imposed heavy demands on you; I will make them even heavier. 90  My father punished you with ordinary whips; I will punish you with whips that really sting your flesh.’ 91 

12:12 Jeroboam and all the people reported 92  to Rehoboam on the third day, just as the king had ordered when he said, “Return to me on the third day.” 12:13 The king responded to the people harshly. He rejected the advice of the older men 12:14 and followed 93  the advice of the younger ones. He said, “My father imposed heavy demands on you; I will make them even heavier. 94  My father punished you with ordinary whips; I will punish you with whips that really sting your flesh.” 95  12:15 The king refused to listen to the people, because the Lord was instigating this turn of events 96  so that he might bring to pass the prophetic announcement he had made 97  through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat.

12:16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, the people answered the king, “We have no portion in David, no share in the son of Jesse! 98  Return to your homes, O Israel! 99  Now, look after your own dynasty, O David!” 100  So Israel returned to their homes. 101  12:17 (Rehoboam continued to rule over the Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah.) 12:18 King Rehoboam sent Adoniram, 102  the supervisor of the work crews, 103  out after them, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam managed to jump into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 104  12:19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the Davidic dynasty to this very day. 12:20 When all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they summoned him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. No one except the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the Davidic dynasty. 105 

12:21 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he summoned 180,000 skilled warriors from all of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin 106  to attack Israel and restore the kingdom to Rehoboam son of Solomon. 12:22 But God told Shemaiah the prophet, 107  12:23 Say this to King Rehoboam son of Solomon of Judah, and to all Judah and Benjamin, as well as the rest of the people, 12:24 The Lord says this: “Do not attack and make war with your brothers, the Israelites. Each of you go home, for I have caused this to happen.”’ 108  They obeyed the Lord and went home as the Lord had ordered them to do. 109 

12:25

Jeroboam Makes Golden Calves

110 

Jeroboam built up Shechem in the Ephraimite hill country and lived there. From there he went out and built up Penuel. 12:26 Jeroboam then thought to himself: 111  “Now the Davidic dynasty could regain the kingdom. 112  12:27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem, 113  their loyalty could shift to their former master, 114  King Rehoboam of Judah. They might kill me and return to King Rehoboam of Judah.” 12:28 After the king had consulted with his advisers, 115  he made two golden calves. Then he said to the people, 116 It is too much trouble for you to go up to Jerusalem. Look, Israel, here are your gods who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” 12:29 He put one in Bethel 117  and the other in Dan. 12:30 This caused Israel to sin; 118  the people went to Bethel and Dan to worship the calves. 119 

12:31 He built temples 120  on the high places and appointed as priests people who were not Levites. 12:32 Jeroboam inaugurated a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, 121  like the festival celebrated in Judah. 122  On the altar in Bethel he offered sacrifices to the calves he had made. 123  In Bethel he also appointed priests for the high places he had made.

A Prophet from Judah Visits Bethel

12:33 On the fifteenth day of the eighth month (a date he had arbitrarily chosen) 124  Jeroboam 125  offered sacrifices on the altar he had made in Bethel. 126  He inaugurated a festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to offer sacrifices. 13:1 Just then 127  a prophet 128  from Judah, sent by the Lord, arrived in Bethel, 129  as Jeroboam was standing near the altar ready to offer a sacrifice. 13:2 With the authority of the Lord 130  he cried out against the altar, “O altar, altar! This is what the Lord says, ‘Look, a son named Josiah will be born to the Davidic dynasty. He will sacrifice on you the priests of the high places who offer sacrifices on you. Human bones will be burned on you.’ 131  13:3 That day he also announced 132  a sign, “This is the sign the Lord has predetermined: 133  The altar will be split open and the ashes 134  on it will fall to the ground.” 135  13:4 When the king heard what the prophet 136  cried out against the altar in Bethel, Jeroboam, standing at the altar, extended his hand 137  and ordered, 138 Seize him!” The hand he had extended shriveled up 139  and he could not pull it back. 13:5 The altar split open and the ashes 140  fell from the altar to the ground, 141  in fulfillment of the sign the prophet had announced with the Lord’s authority. 142  13:6 The king pled with 143  the prophet, 144 Seek the favor of 145  the Lord your God and pray for me, so that my hand may be restored.” So the prophet sought the Lord’s favor 146  and the king’s hand was restored to its former condition. 147  13:7 The king then said to the prophet, “Come home with me and have something to eat. I’d like to give a present.” 13:8 But the prophet said to the king, “Even if you were to give me half your possessions, 148  I could not go with you and eat and drink 149  in this place. 13:9 For the Lord gave me strict orders, 150 Do not eat or drink 151  there and do not go home the way you came.’ 13:10 So he started back on another road; he did not travel back on the same road he had taken to Bethel.

13:11 Now there was an old prophet living in Bethel. 152  When his sons came home, they told their father 153  everything the prophet 154  had done in Bethel that day and all the words he had spoken to the king. 155  13:12 Their father asked them, “Which road did he take?” His sons showed him 156  the road the prophet 157  from Judah had taken. 13:13 He then told his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” When they had saddled the donkey for him, he mounted it 13:14 and took off after the prophet, 158  whom he found sitting under an oak tree. He asked him, “Are you the prophet 159  from Judah?” He answered, “Yes, I am.” 13:15 He then said to him, “Come home with me and eat something.” 13:16 But he replied, “I can’t go back with you 160  or eat and drink 161  with you in this place. 13:17 For the Lord gave me strict orders, 162 Do not eat or drink 163  there; do not go back the way you came.’ 13:18 The old prophet then said, 164 I too am a prophet like you. An angel told me with the Lord’s authority, 165 Bring him back with you to your house so he can eat and drink.’” 166  But he was lying to him. 167  13:19 So the prophet went back with him and ate and drank in his house. 168 

13:20 While they were sitting at the table, the Lord spoke through the old prophet 169  13:21 and he cried out to the prophet from Judah, “This is what the Lord says, ‘You 170  have rebelled against the Lord 171  and have not obeyed the command the Lord your God gave you. 13:22 You went back and ate and drank in this place, even though he said to you, “Do not eat or drink there.” 172  Therefore 173  your corpse will not be buried in your ancestral tomb.’ 174 

13:23 When the prophet from Judah finished his meal, 175  the old prophet saddled his visitor’s donkey for him. 176  13:24 As the prophet from Judah was traveling, a lion attacked him on the road and killed him. 177  His corpse was lying on the road, and the donkey and the lion just stood there beside it. 178  13:25 Some men came by 179  and saw the corpse lying in the road with the lion standing beside it. 180  They went and reported what they had seen 181  in the city where the old prophet lived. 13:26 When the old prophet who had invited him to his house heard the news, 182  he said, “It is the prophet 183  who rebelled against the Lord. 184  The Lord delivered him over to the lion and it ripped him up 185  and killed him, just as the Lord warned him.” 186  13:27 He told his sons, “Saddle my donkey,” and they did so. 187  13:28 He went and found the corpse lying in the road with the donkey and the lion standing beside it; 188  the lion had neither eaten the corpse nor attacked the donkey. 13:29 The old prophet 189  picked up the corpse of the prophet, 190  put it on the donkey, and brought it back. The old prophet then entered the city to mourn him and to bury him. 13:30 He put the corpse into his own tomb, and they 191  mourned over him, saying, “Ah, my brother! 13:31 After he buried him, he said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in the tomb where the prophet 192  is buried; put my bones right beside his bones, 13:32 for the prophecy he announced with the Lord’s authority 193  against the altar in Bethel 194  and against all the temples on the high places in the cities of the north 195  will certainly be fulfilled.”

A Prophet Announces the End of Jeroboam’s Dynasty

13:33 After this happened, Jeroboam still did not change his evil ways; 196  he continued to appoint common people 197  as priests at the high places. Anyone who wanted the job he consecrated as a priest. 198  13:34 This sin caused Jeroboam’s dynasty 199  to come to an end and to be destroyed from the face of the earth.

14:1 200 

At that time Jeroboam’s son Abijah became sick. 14:2 Jeroboam told his wife, “Disguise 201  yourself so that people cannot recognize you are Jeroboam’s wife. Then go to Shiloh; Ahijah the prophet, who told me I would rule over this nation, lives there. 202  14:3 Take 203  ten loaves of bread, some small cakes, and a container of honey and visit him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy.”

14:4 Jeroboam’s wife did as she was told. She went to Shiloh and visited Ahijah. 204  Now Ahijah could not see; he had lost his eyesight in his old age. 205  14:5 But the Lord had told Ahijah, “Look, Jeroboam’s wife is coming to find out from you what will happen to her son, for he is sick. Tell her so-and-so. 206  When she comes, she will be in a disguise.” 14:6 When Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps as she came through the door, he said, “Come on in, wife of Jeroboam! Why are you pretending to be someone else? I have been commissioned to give you bad news. 207  14:7 Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘This is what the Lord God of Israel says: “I raised you up 208  from among the people and made you ruler over my people Israel. 14:8 I tore the kingdom away from the Davidic dynasty and gave it to you. But you are not like my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me wholeheartedly by doing only what I approve. 209  14:9 You have sinned more than all who came before you. You went and angered me by making other gods, formed out of metal; you have completely disregarded me. 210  14:10 So I am ready to bring disaster 211  on the dynasty 212  of Jeroboam. I will cut off every last male belonging to Jeroboam in Israel, including even the weak and incapacitated. 213  I will burn up the dynasty of Jeroboam, just as one burns manure until it is completely consumed. 214  14:11 Dogs will eat the members of your family 215  who die in the city, and the birds of the sky will eat the ones who die in the country.”’ Indeed, the Lord has announced it!

14:12As for you, get up and go home. When you set foot in the city, the boy will die. 14:13 All Israel will mourn him and bury him. He is the only one in Jeroboam’s family 216  who will receive a decent burial, for he is the only one in whom the Lord God of Israel found anything good. 14:14 The Lord will raise up a king over Israel who will cut off Jeroboam’s dynasty. 217  It is ready to happen! 218  14:15 The Lord will attack Israel, making it like a reed that sways in the water. 219  He will remove Israel from this good land he gave to their ancestors 220  and scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, 221  because they angered the Lord by making Asherah poles. 222  14:16 He will hand Israel over to their enemies 223  because of the sins which Jeroboam committed and which he made Israel commit.”

14:17 So Jeroboam’s wife got up and went back to 224  Tirzah. As she crossed the threshold of the house, the boy died. 14:18 All Israel buried him and mourned for him, just as the Lord had predicted 225  through his servant the prophet Ahijah.

Jeroboam’s Reign Ends

14:19 The rest of the events of Jeroboam’s reign, including the details of his battles and rule, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 226  14:20 Jeroboam ruled for twenty-two years; then he passed away. 227  His son Nadab replaced him as king.

Rehoboam’s Reign over Judah

14:21 Now Rehoboam son of Solomon ruled in Judah. He 228  was forty-one years old when he became king and he ruled for seventeen years in Jerusalem, 229  the city the Lord chose from all the tribes of Israel to be his home. 230  His mother was an Ammonite woman 231  named Naamah.

14:22 Judah did evil in the sight of 232  the Lord. They made him more jealous by their sins than their ancestors had done. 233  14:23 They even built for themselves high places, sacred pillars, and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every green tree. 14:24 There were also male cultic prostitutes 234  in the land. They committed the same horrible sins as the nations 235  that the Lord had driven out from before the Israelites.

14:25 In King Rehoboam’s fifth year, King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. 14:26 He took away the treasures of the Lord’s temple and of the royal palace; he took everything, including all the golden shields that Solomon had made. 14:27 King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and assigned them to the officers of the royal guard 236  who protected the entrance to the royal palace. 14:28 Whenever the king visited the Lord’s temple, the royal guard carried them and then brought them back to the guardroom.

14:29 The rest of the events of Rehoboam’s reign, including his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 237  14:30 Rehoboam and Jeroboam were continually at war with each other. 14:31 Rehoboam passed away 238  and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David. His mother was an Ammonite named Naamah. His son Abijah 239  replaced him as king.

Abijah’s Reign over Judah

15:1 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam son of Nebat, Abijah 240  became king over Judah. 15:2 He ruled for three years in Jerusalem. 241  His mother was Maacah, the daughter of Abishalom. 242  15:3 He followed all the sinful practices of his father before him. He was not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord his God, as his ancestor David had been. 243  15:4 Nevertheless for David’s sake the Lord his God maintained his dynasty 244  in Jerusalem by giving him a son 245  to succeed him 246  and by protecting Jerusalem. 247  15:5 He did this 248  because David had done what he approved 249  and had not disregarded any of his commandments 250  his entire lifetime, except for the incident involving Uriah the Hittite. 15:6 Rehoboam 251  and Jeroboam were continually at war with each other throughout Abijah’s 252  lifetime. 15:7 The rest of the events of Abijah’s reign, including all his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 253  Abijah and Jeroboam had been at war with each other. 15:8 Abijah passed away 254  and was buried 255  in the city of David. His son Asa replaced him as king.

Asa’s Reign over Judah

15:9 In the twentieth year of Jeroboam’s reign over Israel, Asa became the king of Judah. 15:10 He ruled for forty-one years in Jerusalem. 256  His grandmother 257  was Maacah daughter of Abishalom. 15:11 Asa did what the Lord approved 258  like his ancestor 259  David had done. 15:12 He removed the male cultic prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the disgusting idols 260  his ancestors 261  had made. 15:13 He also removed Maacah his grandmother 262  from her position as queen because she had made a loathsome Asherah pole. Asa cut down her Asherah pole and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 15:14 The high places were not eliminated, yet Asa was wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord throughout his lifetime. 263  15:15 He brought the holy items that he and his father had made into the Lord’s temple, including the silver, gold, and other articles. 264 

15:16 Now Asa and King Baasha of Israel were continually at war with each other. 265  15:17 King Baasha of Israel attacked Judah and established Ramah as a military outpost to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the land of King Asa of Judah. 266  15:18 Asa took all the silver and gold that was left in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of the royal palace and handed it to his servants. He then told them to deliver it 267  to Ben Hadad son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, ruler in Damascus, along with this message: 15:19 I want to make a treaty with you, like the one our fathers made. 268  See, I have sent you silver and gold as a present. Break your treaty with King Baasha of Israel, so he will retreat from my land.” 269  15:20 Ben Hadad accepted King Asa’s offer and ordered his army commanders to attack the cities of Israel. 270  They conquered 271  Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maacah, and all the territory of Naphtali, including the region of Kinnereth. 272  15:21 When Baasha heard the news, he stopped fortifying 273  Ramah and settled down in Tirzah. 15:22 King Asa ordered all the men of Judah (no exemptions were granted) to carry away the stones and wood that Baasha had used to build Ramah. 274  King Asa used the materials to build up 275  Geba (in Benjamin) and Mizpah.

15:23 The rest of the events of Asa’s reign, including all his successes and accomplishments, as well as a record of the cities he built, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 276  Yet when he was very old he developed a foot disease. 277  15:24 Asa passed away 278  and was buried with his ancestors in the city of his ancestor David. His son Jehoshaphat replaced him as king.

Nadab’s Reign over Israel

15:25 In the second year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Jeroboam’s son Nadab became the king of Israel; he ruled Israel for two years. 15:26 He did evil in the sight of 279  the Lord. He followed in his father’s footsteps and encouraged Israel to sin. 280 

15:27 Baasha son of Ahijah, from the tribe of Issachar, conspired against Nadab 281  and assassinated him in Gibbethon, which was in Philistine territory. This happened while Nadab and all the Israelite army were besieging Gibbethon. 15:28 Baasha killed him in the third year of Asa’s reign over Judah and replaced him as king. 15:29 When he became king, he executed Jeroboam’s entire family. He wiped out everyone who breathed, 282  just as the Lord had predicted 283  through his servant Ahijah the Shilonite. 15:30 This happened because of the sins which Jeroboam committed and which he made Israel commit. These sins angered the Lord God of Israel. 284 

15:31 The rest of the events of Nadab’s reign, including all his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 285  15:32 Asa and King Nadab of Israel were continually at war with each other.

Baasha’s Reign over Israel

15:33 In the third year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Baasha son of Ahijah became king over all Israel in Tirzah; he ruled for twenty-four years. 15:34 He did evil in the sight of 286  the Lord; he followed in Jeroboam’s footsteps and encouraged Israel to sin. 287 

16:1 Jehu son of Hanani received from the Lord this message predicting Baasha’s downfall: 288  16:2 I raised you up 289  from the dust and made you ruler over my people Israel. Yet you followed in Jeroboam’s footsteps 290  and encouraged my people Israel to sin; their sins have made me angry. 291  16:3 So I am ready to burn up 292  Baasha and his family, and make your family 293  like the family of Jeroboam son of Nebat. 16:4 Dogs will eat the members of Baasha’s family 294  who die in the city, and the birds of the sky will eat the ones who die in the country.”

16:5 The rest of the events of Baasha’s reign, including his accomplishments and successes, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 295  16:6 Baasha passed away 296  and was buried in Tirzah. His son Elah replaced him as king. 16:7 The prophet Jehu son of Hanani received from the Lord the message predicting the downfall of Baasha and his family because of all the evil Baasha had done in the sight of the Lord. 297  His actions angered the Lord (including the way he had destroyed Jeroboam’s dynasty), so that his family ended up like Jeroboam’s. 298 

Elah’s Reign over Israel

16:8 In the twenty-sixth year of King Asa’s reign over Judah, Baasha’s son Elah became king over Israel; he ruled in Tirzah for two years. 16:9 His servant Zimri, a commander of half of his chariot force, conspired against him. While Elah was drinking heavily 299  at the house of Arza, who supervised the palace in Tirzah, 16:10 Zimri came in and struck him dead. (This happened in the twenty-seventh year of Asa’s reign over Judah.) Zimri replaced Elah as king. 300  16:11 When he became king and occupied the throne, he killed Baasha’s entire family. He did not spare any male belonging to him; he killed his relatives and his friends. 301  16:12 Zimri destroyed Baasha’s entire family, just as the Lord had predicted to Baasha 302  through Jehu the prophet. 16:13 This happened because of all the sins which Baasha and his son Elah committed and which they made Israel commit. They angered the Lord God of Israel with their worthless idols. 303 

16:14 The rest of the events of Elah’s reign, including all his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 304 

Zimri’s Reign over Israel

16:15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Zimri became king over Israel; he ruled for seven days in Tirzah. Zimri’s revolt took place while the army was deployed 305  in Gibbethon, which was in Philistine territory. 16:16 While deployed there, the army received this report: 306  “Zimri has conspired against the king and assassinated him.” 307  So all Israel made Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that very day in the camp. 16:17 Omri and all Israel went up from Gibbethon and besieged Tirzah. 16:18 When Zimri saw that the city was captured, he went into the fortified area of the royal palace. He set the palace on fire and died in the flames. 308  16:19 This happened because of the sins he committed. He did evil in the sight of 309  the Lord and followed in Jeroboam’s footsteps and encouraged Israel to continue sinning. 310 

16:20 The rest of the events of Zimri’s reign, including the details of his revolt, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 311 

Omri’s Reign over Israel

16:21 At that time the people of Israel were divided in their loyalties. Half the people supported Tibni son of Ginath and wanted to make him king; the other half supported Omri. 16:22 Omri’s supporters were stronger than those who supported Tibni son of Ginath. Tibni died; Omri became king.

16:23 In the thirty-first year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Omri became king over Israel. He ruled for twelve years, six of them in Tirzah. 16:24 He purchased the hill of Samaria 312  from Shemer for two talents 313  of silver. He launched a construction project there 314  and named the city he built after Shemer, the former owner of the hill of Samaria. 16:25 Omri did more evil in the sight of 315  the Lord than all who were before him. 16:26 He followed in the footsteps of Jeroboam son of Nebat and encouraged Israel to sin; 316  they angered the Lord God of Israel with their worthless idols. 317 

16:27 The rest of the events of Omri’s reign, including his accomplishments and successes, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 318  16:28 Omri passed away 319  and was buried in Samaria. His son Ahab replaced him as king. 320 

Ahab Promotes Idolatry

16:29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Omri’s son Ahab became king over Israel. Ahab son of Omri ruled over Israel for twenty-two years in Samaria. 321  16:30 Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the sight of 322  the Lord than all who were before him. 16:31 As if following in the sinful footsteps of Jeroboam son of Nebat were not bad enough, he married Jezebel the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians. Then he worshiped and bowed to Baal. 323  16:32 He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal he had built in Samaria. 16:33 Ahab also made an Asherah pole; he 324  did more to anger the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him.

16:34 During Ahab’s reign, 325  Hiel the Bethelite rebuilt Jericho. 326  Abiram, his firstborn son, died when he laid the foundation; 327  Segub, his youngest son, died when he erected its gates, 328  just as the Lord had warned 329  through Joshua son of Nun. 330 

Elijah Visits a Widow in Sidonian Territory

17:1 Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As certainly as the Lord God of Israel lives (whom I serve), 331  there will be no dew or rain in the years ahead unless I give the command.” 332  17:2 The Lord told him: 333  17:3 Leave here and travel eastward. Hide out in the Kerith Valley near the Jordan. 17:4 Drink from the stream; I have already told 334  the ravens to bring you food 335  there.” 17:5 So he did 336  as the Lord told him; he went and lived in the Kerith Valley near the Jordan. 17:6 The ravens would bring him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he would drink from the stream.

17:7 After a while, 337  the stream dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 17:8 The Lord told him, 338  17:9 Get up, go to Zarephath in Sidonian territory, and live there. I have already told 339  a widow who lives there to provide for you.” 17:10 So he got up and went to Zarephath. When he went through the city gate, there was a widow gathering wood. He called out to her, “Please give me a cup 340  of water, so I can take a drink.” 17:11 As she went to get it, he called out to her, “Please bring me a piece of bread.” 341  17:12 She said, “As certainly as the Lord your God lives, I have no food, except for a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. Right now I am gathering a couple of sticks for a fire. Then I’m going home to make one final meal for my son and myself. After we have eaten that, we will die of starvation.” 342  17:13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go and do as you planned. 343  But first make a small cake for me and bring it to me; then make something for yourself and your son. 17:14 For this is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘The jar of flour will not be empty and the jug of oil will not run out until the day the Lord makes it rain on the surface of the ground.’ 17:15 She went and did as Elijah told her; there was always enough food for Elijah and for her and her family. 344  17:16 The jar of flour was never empty and the jug of oil never ran out, just as the Lord had promised 345  through Elijah.

17:17 After this 346  the son of the woman who owned the house got sick. His illness was so severe he could no longer breathe. 17:18 She asked Elijah, “Why, prophet, have you come 347  to me to confront me with 348  my sin and kill my son? 17:19 He said to her, “Hand me your son.” He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him down on his bed. 17:20 Then he called out to the Lord, “O Lord, my God, are you also bringing disaster on this widow I am staying with by killing her son? 17:21 He stretched out over the boy three times and called out to the Lord, “O Lord, my God, please let this boy’s breath return to him.” 17:22 The Lord answered Elijah’s prayer; the boy’s breath returned to him and he lived. 17:23 Elijah took the boy, brought him down from the upper room to the house, and handed him to his mother. Elijah then said, “See, your son is alive! 17:24 The woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a prophet and that the Lord really does speak through you.” 349 

Elijah Meets the King’s Servant

18:1 Some time later, in the third year of the famine, the Lord told Elijah, 350 Go, make an appearance before Ahab, so I may send rain on the surface of the ground.” 18:2 So Elijah went to make an appearance before Ahab.

Now the famine was severe in Samaria. 351  18:3 So Ahab summoned Obadiah, who supervised the palace. (Now Obadiah was a very loyal follower of the Lord. 352  18:4 When Jezebel was killing 353  the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah took one hundred prophets and hid them in two caves in two groups of fifty. He also brought them food and water.) 18:5 Ahab told Obadiah, “Go through the land to all the springs and valleys. Maybe we can find some grazing areas 354  so we can keep the horses and mules alive and not have to kill 355  some of the animals.” 18:6 They divided up the land between them; Ahab went 356  one way and Obadiah went the other.

18:7 As Obadiah was traveling along, Elijah met him. 357  When he recognized him, he fell facedown to the ground and said, “Is it really you, my master, Elijah? 18:8 He replied, “Yes, 358  go and say to your master, ‘Elijah is back.’ 359  18:9 Obadiah 360  said, “What sin have I committed that you are ready to hand your servant over to Ahab for execution? 361  18:10 As certainly as the Lord your God lives, my master has sent to every nation and kingdom in an effort to find you. When they say, ‘He’s not here,’ he makes them 362  swear an oath that they could not find you. 18:11 Now you say, ‘Go and say to your master, “Elijah is back.”’ 363  18:12 But when I leave you, the Lord’s spirit will carry you away so I can’t find you. 364  If I go tell Ahab I’ve seen you, he won’t be able to find you and he will kill me. 365  That would not be fair, 366  because your servant has been a loyal follower of 367  the Lord from my youth. 18:13 Certainly my master is aware of what I did 368  when Jezebel was killing the Lord’s prophets. I hid one hundred of the Lord’s prophets in two caves in two groups of fifty and I brought them food and water. 18:14 Now you say, ‘Go and say to your master, “Elijah is back,”’ 369  but he will kill me.” 18:15 But Elijah said, “As certainly as the Lord who rules over all 370  lives (whom I serve), 371  I will make an appearance before him today.”

Elijah Confronts Baal’s Prophets

18:16 When Obadiah went and informed Ahab, the king went to meet Elijah. 372  18:17 When Ahab saw Elijah, he 373  said to him, “Is it really you, the one who brings disaster 374  on Israel? 18:18 Elijah 375  replied, “I have not brought disaster 376  on Israel. But you and your father’s dynasty have, by abandoning the Lord’s commandments and following the Baals. 18:19 Now send out messengers 377  and assemble all Israel before me at Mount Carmel, as well as the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah whom Jezebel supports. 378 

18:20 Ahab sent messengers to all the Israelites and had the prophets assemble at Mount Carmel. 18:21 Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long are you going to be paralyzed by indecision? 379  If the Lord is the true God, 380  then follow him, but if Baal is, follow him!” But the people did not say a word. 18:22 Elijah said to them: 381  “I am the only prophet of the Lord who is left, but there are 450 prophets of Baal. 18:23 Let them bring us two bulls. Let them choose one of the bulls for themselves, cut it up into pieces, and place it on the wood. But they must not set it on fire. I will do the same to the other bull and place it on the wood. But I will not set it on fire. 18:24 Then you 382  will invoke the name of your god, and I will invoke the name of the Lord. The god who responds with fire will demonstrate that he is the true God.” 383  All the people responded, “This will be a fair test.” 384 

18:25 Elijah told the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls for yourselves and go first, for you are the majority. Invoke the name of your god, but do not light a fire.” 385  18:26 So they took a bull, as he had suggested, 386  and prepared it. They invoked the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “Baal, answer us.” But there was no sound and no answer. They jumped 387  around on the altar they had made. 388  18:27 At noon Elijah mocked them, “Yell louder! After all, he is a god; he may be deep in thought, or perhaps he stepped out for a moment or has taken a trip. Perhaps he is sleeping and needs to be awakened.” 389  18:28 So they yelled louder and, in accordance with their prescribed ritual, 390  mutilated themselves with swords and spears until their bodies were covered with blood. 391  18:29 Throughout the afternoon they were in an ecstatic frenzy, 392  but there was no sound, no answer, and no response. 393 

18:30 Elijah then told all the people, “Approach me.” So all the people approached him. He repaired the altar of the Lord that had been torn down. 394  18:31 Then Elijah took twelve stones, corresponding to the number of tribes that descended from Jacob, to whom the Lord had said, “Israel will be your new 395  name.” 396  18:32 With the stones he constructed an altar for the Lord. 397  Around the altar he made a trench large enough to contain two seahs 398  of seed. 18:33 He arranged the wood, cut up the bull, and placed it on the wood. 18:34 Then he said, “Fill four water jars and pour the water on the offering and the wood.” When they had done so, 399  he said, “Do it again.” So they did it again. Then he said, “Do it a third time.” So they did it a third time. 18:35 The water flowed down all sides of the altar and filled the trench. 18:36 When it was time for the evening offering, 400  Elijah the prophet approached the altar 401  and prayed: “O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, prove 402  today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 18:37 Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are the true God 403  and that you are winning back their allegiance.” 404  18:38 Then fire from the Lord fell from the sky. 405  It consumed the offering, the wood, the stones, and the dirt, and licked up the water in the trench. 18:39 When all the people saw this, they threw themselves down with their faces to the ground and said, “The Lord is the true God! 406  The Lord is the true God! 18:40 Elijah told them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Don’t let even one of them escape!” So they seized them, and Elijah led them down to the Kishon Valley and executed 407  them there.

18:41 Then Elijah told Ahab, “Go on up and eat and drink, for the sound of a heavy rainstorm can be heard.” 408  18:42 So Ahab went on up to eat and drink, while Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel. He bent down toward the ground and put his face between his knees. 18:43 He told his servant, “Go on up and look in the direction of the sea.” So he went on up, looked, and reported, “There is nothing.” 409  Seven times Elijah sent him to look. 410  18:44 The seventh time the servant 411  said, “Look, a small cloud, the size of the palm of a man’s hand, is rising up from the sea.” Elijah 412  then said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up the chariots and go down, so that the rain won’t overtake you.’ 413  18:45 Meanwhile the sky was covered with dark clouds, the wind blew, and there was a heavy rainstorm. Ahab rode toward 414  Jezreel. 18:46 Now the Lord energized Elijah with power; 415  he tucked his robe into his belt 416  and ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.

Elijah Runs for His Life

19:1 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, including a detailed account of how he killed all the prophets with the sword. 19:2 Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah with this warning, 417 May the gods judge me severely 418  if by this time tomorrow I do not take your life as you did theirs! 419 

19:3 Elijah was afraid, 420  so he got up and fled for his life to Beer Sheba in Judah. He left his servant there, 19:4 while he went a day’s journey into the desert. He went and sat down under a shrub 421  and asked the Lord to take his life: 422  “I’ve had enough! Now, O Lord, take my life. After all, I’m no better than my ancestors.” 423  19:5 He stretched out 424  and fell asleep under the shrub. All of a sudden an angelic messenger 425  touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 19:6 He looked and right there by his head was a cake baking on hot coals and a jug of water. He ate and drank and then slept some more. 426  19:7 The Lord’s angelic messenger came back again, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, for otherwise you won’t be able to make the journey.” 427  19:8 So he got up and ate and drank. That meal gave him the strength to travel forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.

19:9 He went into a cave there and spent the night. All of a sudden the Lord spoke to him, “Why are you here, Elijah? 19:10 He answered, “I have been absolutely loyal 428  to the Lord, the sovereign God, 429  even though the Israelites have abandoned the agreement they made with you, 430  torn down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left and now they want to take my life.” 431  19:11 The Lord 432  said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord. Look, the Lord is ready to pass by.”

A very powerful wind went before the Lord, digging into the mountain and causing landslides, 433  but the Lord was not in the wind. After the windstorm there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 19:12 After the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire, there was a soft whisper. 434  19:13 When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his robe and went out and stood at the entrance to the cave. All of a sudden 435  a voice asked him, “Why are you here, Elijah? 19:14 He answered, “I have been absolutely loyal 436  to the Lord, the sovereign God, 437  even though the Israelites have abandoned the agreement they made with you, 438  torn down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left and now they want to take my life.” 439  19:15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came and then head for the Desert of Damascus. Go and anoint Hazael king over Syria. 19:16 You must anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to take your place as prophet. 19:17 Jehu will kill anyone who escapes Hazael’s sword, and Elisha will kill anyone who escapes Jehu’s sword. 19:18 I still have left in Israel seven thousand followers who have not bowed their knees to Baal or kissed the images of him.” 440 

19:19 Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen; he was near the twelfth pair. Elijah passed by him and threw his robe over him. 19:20 He left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Please let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, then I will follow you.” Elijah 441  said to him, “Go back! Indeed, what have I done to you? 19:21 Elisha 442  went back and took his pair of oxen and slaughtered them. He cooked the meat over a fire that he made by burning the harness and yoke. 443  He gave the people meat and they ate. Then he got up and followed Elijah and became his assistant.

Ben Hadad Invades Israel

20:1 Now King Ben Hadad of Syria assembled all his army, along with thirty-two other kings with their horses and chariots. He marched against Samaria 444  and besieged and attacked it. 445  20:2 He sent messengers to King Ahab of Israel, who was in the city. 446  20:3 He said to him, “This is what Ben Hadad says, ‘Your silver and your gold are mine, as well as the best of your wives and sons.’ 20:4 The king of Israel replied, “It is just as you say, my master, O king. I and all I own belong to you.”

20:5 The messengers came again and said, “This is what Ben Hadad says, ‘I sent this message to you, “You must give me your silver, gold, wives, and sons.” 20:6 But now at this time tomorrow I will send my servants to you and they will search through your palace and your servantshouses. They will carry away all your valuables.” 447  20:7 The king of Israel summoned all the leaders 448  of the land and said, “Notice how this man is looking for trouble. 449  Indeed, he demanded my wives, sons, silver, and gold, and I did not resist him.” 20:8 All the leaders and people said to him, “Do not give in or agree to his demands.” 450  20:9 So he said to the messengers of Ben Hadad, “Say this to my master, the king, ‘I will give you everything you demanded at first from your servant, but I am unable to agree to this latest demand.’” 451  So the messengers went back and gave their report.

20:10 Ben Hadad sent another message to him, “May the gods judge me severely 452  if there is enough dirt left in Samaria for my soldiers to scoop up in their hands.” 453  20:11 The king of Israel replied, “Tell him the one who puts on his battle gear should not boast like one who is taking it off.” 454  20:12 When Ben Hadad received this reply, 455  he and the other kings were drinking in their quarters. 456  He ordered his servants, “Get ready to attack!” So they got ready to attack the city.

The Lord Delivers Israel

20:13 Now a prophet visited King Ahab of Israel and said, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Do you see this huge army? 457  Look, I am going to hand it over to you this very day. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ 20:14 Ahab asked, “By whom will this be accomplished?” 458  He answered, “This is what the Lord says, ‘By the servants of the district governors.’” Ahab 459  asked, “Who will launch the attack?” He answered, “You will.”

20:15 So Ahab 460  assembled the 232 servants of the district governors. After that he assembled all the Israelite army, numbering 7,000. 461  20:16 They marched out at noon, while Ben Hadad and the thirty-two kings allied with him were drinking heavily 462  in their quarters. 463  20:17 The servants of the district governors led the march. When Ben Hadad sent messengers, they reported back to him, “Men are marching out of Samaria.” 464  20:18 He ordered, “Whether they come in peace or to do battle, take them alive.” 465  20:19 They marched out of the city with the servants of the district governors in the lead and the army behind them. 20:20 Each one struck down an enemy soldier; 466  the Syrians fled and Israel chased them. King Ben Hadad of Syria escaped on horseback with some horsemen. 20:21 Then the king of Israel marched out and struck down the horses and chariots; he thoroughly defeated 467  Syria.

The Lord Gives Israel Another Victory

20:22 The prophet 468  visited the king of Israel and instructed him, “Go, fortify your defenses. 469  Determine 470  what you must do, for in the spring 471  the king of Syria will attack 472  you.” 20:23 Now the advisers 473  of the king of Syria said to him: “Their God is a god of the mountains. That’s why they overpowered us. But if we fight them in the plains, we will certainly overpower them. 20:24 So do this: Dismiss the kings from their command, and replace them with military commanders. 20:25 Muster an army like the one you lost, with the same number of horses and chariots. 474  Then we will fight them in the plains; we will certainly overpower them.” He approved their plan and did as they advised. 475 

20:26 In the spring 476  Ben Hadad mustered the Syrian army 477  and marched to Aphek to fight Israel. 478  20:27 When the Israelites had mustered and had received their supplies, they marched out to face them in battle. When the Israelites deployed opposite them, they were like two small flocks 479  of goats, but the Syrians filled the land. 20:28 The prophet 480  visited the king of Israel and said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because the Syrians said, “The Lord is a god of the mountains and not a god of the valleys,” I will hand over to you this entire huge army. 481  Then you will know that I am the Lord.’

20:29 The armies were deployed opposite each other for seven days. On the seventh day the battle began, and the Israelites killed 100,000 Syrian foot soldiers in one day. 20:30 The remaining 27,000 ran to Aphek and went into the city, but the wall fell on them. 482  Now Ben Hadad ran into the city and hid in an inner room. 483  20:31 His advisers 484  said to him, “Look, we have heard that the kings of the Israelite dynasty are kind. 485  Allow us to put sackcloth around our waists and ropes on our heads 486  and surrender 487  to the king of Israel. Maybe he will spare our lives.” 20:32 So they put sackcloth around their waists and ropes on their heads and went to the king of Israel. They said, “Your servant 488  Ben Hadad says, ‘Please let me live!’” Ahab 489  replied, “Is he still alive? He is my brother.” 490  20:33 The men took this as a good omen and quickly accepted his offer, saying, “Ben Hadad is your brother.” Ahab 491  then said, “Go, get him.” So Ben Hadad came out to him, and Ahab pulled him up into his chariot. 20:34 Ben Hadad 492  said, “I will return the cities my father took from your father. You may set up markets 493  in Damascus, just as my father did in Samaria.” 494  Ahab then said, “I want to make a treaty with you before I dismiss you.” 495  So he made a treaty with him and then dismissed him.

A Prophet Denounces Ahab’s Actions

20:35 One of the members of the prophetic guild, speaking with divine authority, ordered his companion, “Wound me!” 496  But the man refused to wound him. 20:36 So the prophet 497  said to him, “Because you have disobeyed the Lord, as soon as you leave me a lion will kill you.” When he left him, a lion attacked and killed him. 20:37 He found another man and said, “Wound me!” So the man wounded him severely. 498  20:38 The prophet then went and stood by the road, waiting for the king. He also disguised himself by putting a bandage down over his eyes. 20:39 When the king passed by, he called out to the king, “Your servant went out into the heat 499  of the battle, and then a man turned aside and brought me a prisoner. 500  He told me, ‘Guard this prisoner. If he ends up missing for any reason, 501  you will pay with your life or with a talent 502  of silver.’ 503  20:40 Well, it just so happened that while your servant was doing this and that, he disappeared.” The king of Israel said to him, “Your punishment is already determined by your own testimony.” 504  20:41 The prophet 505  quickly removed the bandage from his eyes and the king of Israel recognized he was one of the prophets. 20:42 The prophet 506  then said to him, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Because you released a man I had determined should die, you will pay with your life and your people will suffer instead of his people.’ 507  20:43 The king of Israel went home to Samaria 508  bitter and angry.

Ahab Murders Naboth

21:1 After this the following episode took place. 509  Naboth the Jezreelite owned a vineyard in Jezreel adjacent to the palace of King Ahab of Samaria. 510  21:2 Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard so I can make a vegetable garden out of it, for it is adjacent to my palace. I will give you an even better vineyard in its place, or if you prefer, 511  I will pay you silver for it.” 512  21:3 But Naboth replied to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should sell you my ancestral inheritance.” 513 

21:4 So Ahab went into his palace, bitter and angry that Naboth the Jezreelite had said, 514 I will not sell to you my ancestral inheritance.” 515  He lay down on his bed, pouted, 516  and would not eat. 21:5 Then his wife Jezebel came in and said to him, “Why do you have a bitter attitude and refuse to eat? 21:6 He answered her, “While I was talking to Naboth the Jezreelite, I said to him, ‘Sell me your vineyard for silver, or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not sell you my vineyard.’ 517  21:7 His wife Jezebel said to him, “You are the king of Israel! 518  Get up, eat some food, and have a good time. 519  I will get the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite for you.”

21:8 She wrote out orders, 520  signed Ahab’s name to them, 521  and sealed them with his seal. She then sent the orders 522  to the leaders 523  and to the nobles who lived in Naboth’s city. 524  21:9 This is what she wrote: 525  “Observe a time of fasting and seat Naboth in front of the people. 21:10 Also seat two villains opposite him and have them testify, ‘You cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.”

21:11 The men of the 526  city, the leaders 527  and the nobles who lived there, 528  followed the written orders Jezebel had sent them. 529  21:12 They observed a time of fasting and put Naboth in front of the people. 21:13 The two villains arrived and sat opposite him. Then the villains testified against Naboth right before the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they dragged him 530  outside the city and stoned him to death. 531  21:14 Then they reported to Jezebel, “Naboth has been stoned to death.” 532 

21:15 When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she 533  said to Ahab, “Get up, take possession of the vineyard Naboth the Jezreelite refused to sell you for silver, for Naboth is no longer alive; he’s dead.” 21:16 When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, 534  he got up and went down to take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

21:17 The Lord told Elijah the Tishbite: 535  21:18 Get up, go down and meet King Ahab of Israel who lives in Samaria. He is at the vineyard of Naboth; he has gone down there to take possession of it. 21:19 Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: “Haven’t you committed murder and taken possession of the property of the deceased?”’ Then say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: “In the spot where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood they will also lick up your blood – yes, yours!”’

21:20 When Elijah arrived, Ahab said to him, 536 So, you have found me, my enemy!” Elijah 537  replied, “I have found you, because you are committed 538  to doing evil in the sight of 539  the Lord. 21:21 The Lord says, 540  ‘Look, I am ready to bring disaster 541  on you. I will destroy you 542  and cut off every last male belonging to Ahab in Israel, including even the weak and incapacitated. 543  21:22 I will make your dynasty 544  like those of Jeroboam son of Nebat and Baasha son of Ahijah because you angered me and made Israel sin.’ 545  21:23 The Lord says this about Jezebel, ‘Dogs will devour Jezebel by the outer wall 546  of Jezreel.’ 21:24 As for Ahab’s family, dogs will eat the ones 547  who die in the city, and the birds of the sky will eat the ones who die in the country.” 21:25 (There had never been anyone like Ahab, who was firmly committed 548  to doing evil in the sight of 549  the Lord, urged on by his wife Jezebel. 550  21:26 He was so wicked he worshiped the disgusting idols, 551  just like the Amorites 552  whom the Lord had driven out from before the Israelites.)

21:27 When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and fasted. He slept in sackcloth and walked around dejected. 21:28 The Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, 553  21:29 Have you noticed how Ahab shows remorse 554  before me? Because he shows remorse before me, I will not bring disaster on his dynasty during his lifetime, but during the reign of his son.” 555 

Ahab Dies in Battle

22:1 There was no war between Syria and Israel for three years. 556  22:2 In the third year King Jehoshaphat of Judah came down to visit 557  the king of Israel. 22:3 The king of Israel said to his servants, “Surely you recognize that Ramoth Gilead belongs to us, though we are hesitant to reclaim it from the king of Syria.” 558  22:4 Then he said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to attack Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I will support you; my army and horses are at your disposal.” 559  22:5 Then Jehoshaphat added, 560 First seek an oracle from the Lord.” 561  22:6 So the king of Israel assembled about four hundred prophets and asked them, “Should I attack Ramoth Gilead or not?” 562  They said, “Attack! The sovereign one 563  will hand it over to the king.” 22:7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not a prophet of the Lord still here, that we may ask him? 22:8 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man through whom we can seek the Lord’s will. 564  But I despise 565  him because he does not prophesy prosperity for me, but disaster. His name is Micaiah son of Imlah. 566  Jehoshaphat said, “The king should not say such things.” 22:9 The king of Israel summoned an official and said, “Quickly bring Micaiah son of Imlah.”

22:10 Now the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah were sitting on their respective thrones, 567  dressed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria. 568  All the prophets were prophesying before them. 22:11 Zedekiah son of Kenaanah made iron horns and said, “This is what the Lord says, ‘With these you will gore Syria until they are destroyed.’ 22:12 All the prophets were prophesying the same, saying, “Attack Ramoth Gilead! You will succeed; the Lord will hand it over to the king.” 22:13 Now the messenger who went to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the prophets are in complete agreement that the king will succeed. 569  Your words must agree with theirs; you must predict success.” 570  22:14 But Micaiah said, “As certainly as the Lord lives, I will say what the Lord tells me to say.”

22:15 When he came before the king, the king asked him, “Micaiah, should we attack Ramoth Gilead or not?” He answered him, “Attack! You will succeed; the Lord will hand it over to the king.” 571  22:16 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you solemnly promise in 572  the name of the Lord to tell me only the truth? 22:17 Micaiah 573  said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep that have no shepherd. Then the Lord said, ‘They have no master. They should go home in peace.’ 22:18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you he does not prophesy prosperity for me, but disaster? 22:19 Micaiah 574  said, “That being the case, hear the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, with all the heavenly assembly standing on his right and on his left. 22:20 The Lord said, ‘Who will deceive Ahab, so he will attack Ramoth Gilead and die 575  there?’ One said this and another that. 22:21 Then a spirit 576  stepped forward and stood before the Lord. He said, ‘I will deceive him.’ The Lord asked him, ‘How?’ 22:22 He replied, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.’ The Lord 577  said, ‘Deceive and overpower him. 578  Go out and do as you have proposed.’ 22:23 So now, look, the Lord has placed a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours; but the Lord has decreed disaster for you.” 22:24 Zedekiah son of Kenaanah approached, hit Micaiah on the jaw, and said, “Which way did the Lord’s spirit go when he went from me to speak to you? 22:25 Micaiah replied, “Look, you will see in the day when you go into an inner room to hide.” 22:26 Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the city official and Joash the king’s son. 22:27 Say, ‘This is what the king says, “Put this man in prison. Give him only a little bread and water 579  until I safely return.”’ 580  22:28 Micaiah said, “If you really do safely return, then the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Take note, 581  all you people.”

22:29 The king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah attacked Ramoth Gilead. 22:30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and then enter 582  into the battle; but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and then entered into the battle. 22:31 Now the king of Syria had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, “Do not fight common soldiers or high-ranking officers; 583  fight only the king of Israel.” 22:32 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “He must be the king of Israel.” So they turned and attacked him, but Jehoshaphat cried out. 22:33 When the chariot commanders realized he was not the king of Israel, they turned away from him. 22:34 Now an archer shot an arrow at random, 584  and it struck the king of Israel between the plates of his armor. The king 585  ordered his charioteer, “Turn around and take me from the battle line, 586  because I’m wounded.” 22:35 While the battle raged throughout the day, the king stood propped up in his chariot opposite the Syrians. He died in the evening; the blood from the wound ran down into the bottom of the chariot. 22:36 As the sun was setting, a cry went through the camp, “Each one should return to his city and to his homeland.” 22:37 So the king died and was taken to Samaria, where they buried him. 587  22:38 They washed off the chariot at the pool of Samaria (this was where the prostitutes bathed); 588  dogs licked his blood, just as the Lord had said would happen. 589 

22:39 The rest of the events of Ahab’s reign, including a record of his accomplishments and how he built a luxurious palace and various cities, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 590  22:40 Ahab passed away. 591  His son Ahaziah replaced him as king.

Jehoshaphat’s Reign over Judah

22:41 In the fourth year of King Ahab’s reign over Israel, Asa’s son Jehoshaphat became king over Judah. 22:42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king and he reigned for twenty-five years in Jerusalem. 592  His mother was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi. 22:43 He followed in his father Asa’s footsteps and was careful to do what the Lord approved. 593  594  However, the high places were not eliminated; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense on the high places. 22:44 Jehoshaphat was also at peace with the king of Israel.

22:45 The rest of the events of Jehoshaphat’s reign, including his successes and military exploits, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 595  22:46 He removed from the land any male cultic prostitutes who had managed to survive the reign of his father Asa. 596  22:47 There was no king in Edom at this time; a governor ruled. 22:48 Jehoshaphat built a fleet of large merchant ships 597  to travel to Ophir for gold, but they never made the voyage because they were shipwrecked in Ezion Geber. 22:49 Then Ahaziah son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my sailors join yours in the fleet,” 598  but Jehoshaphat refused.

22:50 Jehoshaphat passed away 599  and was buried with his ancestors in the city of his ancestor 600  David. His son Jehoram replaced him as king.

Ahaziah’s Reign over Israel

22:51 In the seventeenth year of King Jehoshaphat’s reign over Judah, Ahab’s son Ahaziah became king over Israel in Samaria. 601  He ruled for two years over Israel. 22:52 He did evil in the sight of 602  the Lord and followed in the footsteps 603  of his father and mother; like Jeroboam son of Nebat, he encouraged Israel to sin. 604  22:53 He worshiped and bowed down to Baal, 605  angering the Lord God of Israel just as his father had done. 606 

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