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Ahab invites Jehoshaphat to join in recovering Ramoth - gilead,
ver. 1 - 4.
His false prophets promise him success, ver. 5, 6.
He sends for Micaiah, ver. 7 - 10.
Farther promises, ver. 11, 12.
Micaiah's uprightness and prediction, ver. 13 - 23.
He is abused and imprisoned, ver. 24 - 28.
An account of the battle, wherein Ahab is slain, ver. 29 - 40.
The good reign of Jehoshaphat, ver. 41 - 50.
The wicked reign of Ahaziah, ver. 51 - 53.
2: Came down, &c. - It is strange, that so good a man would be so
closely connected with a king revolted from the worship of God! But he
appears to have been of too easy a temper, which betrayed him to many
3: Is ours - Belongeth to us by right. both by God's donation, and
by our last agreement with Ben - hadad, (1Ki 20:34), which yet he
refuseth to deliver up.
5: Enquire - A good man, wherever he goes, will take God along with
him, will acknowledge him in all his ways, and look to him for success.
And wherever he goes, he ought to take his religion along with him: and not
be ashamed to own it, even among those who have no kindness for it.
6: The prophets - Doubtless his own false prophets, or the priests of
the groves; who yet gave in their answer in the name of Jehovah; either,
in compliance with Jehoshaphat, or by Ahab's direction, that
Jehoshaphat might be deceived by them, into a good opinion of the war.
8: One man - In this place, for whom I can speedily send: for there
were also other prophets elsewhere in the kingdom, but these were not at
hand. Micaiah - Not one of the twelve prophets, who lived about a hundred
and fifty years after this time, but another of that name.
Let not, &c. - Let us neither hate his person, nor despise his message;
but first hear it, and then do as we see cause.
9: Micaiah - It seems, he had imprisoned him; for ver.(26), he
bids the officer carry him back, namely to the place where he was
before. Probably this was he that had reproved him, for letting
Ben - hadad go: And for that, had lain in prison three years. But this
did not make him less confident, or less faithful in delivering his message.
14: Said - What answer God shall put in to my mouth. Bravely
resolved! And as became one who had an eye to a greater king than
either of these.
15: Go - Using the very words of the false prophets, in way of
derision. Micaiah's meaning is plainly this, because thou dost not
seek to know the truth, but only to please thyself, go to the battle,
as all thy prophets advise thee, and try the truth of their prediction
by thy own experience.
17: I saw - In the spirit, or in a vision. The hills - Upon the
mountains of Gilead, nigh Ramoth, where they lay encamped by
Ahab's order. As sheep - As people who have lost their king.
Return - Discharged from the war: which was fulfilled, ver.(26).
18: Evil - Nay, but what evil was it, to tell him, what would be the
event, if he proceeded in his expedition, while it was in his own power,
whether he would proceed, or no? The greatest kindness we can do to one
that is walking in a dangerous way, is to tell him of his danger.
19: He said - I will give thee a distinct and true account of the
whole matter, in God's name and presence. I saw - By the eyes of my mind:
for he could not see the Lord with bodily eyes. The Host - The angels,
both good and bad, the one possibly on his right, the other on his left
hand. Nor is it strange that the devils are called the host of heaven;
if you consider, first, that their original seat was in heaven. Secondly,
that the name of heaven is often given to all that part of the world which
is above the earth, and among the rest, to the air, and where the devil's
residence and dominion lies, (Eph 2:2),
and that both Michael and his angels, and the Dragon and his angels,
are said to be, and to wage war in heaven, (Re 12:7), either the
air, or the church.
20: Who shall - This is not to be grossly understood, as if God were
at a loss to find out an expedient to accomplish his own will; but only to
bring down divine things to our shallow capacities, and to express the
various means which God hath to execute his own designs.
21: A spirit - An evil spirit came, and presented himself before the
22: He said - I will inspire a lie into the minds and mouths of his
prophets. Thou shalt - I will give them up into thy hands, and leave them
to their own ignorance and wickedness. Go - This is not a command, but
only a permission.
24: Zedekiah - The chief of the false prophets, who was much in the
king's favour. Which way - In what manner went it? Forasmuch as I and
my brethren have consulted the Lord, and have the same spirit which thou
pretendest to have.
25: Hide thyself - Probably he went with Ahab to the battle,
after which he was glad to shelter himself where he could.
27: Bread, &c. - With a very course and sparing diet, whereby he may
be only supported to endure his torment.
31: Save only - This he ordered, truly supposing this to be the best
way to put an end to the war: and by the providence of God, which disposeth
the hearts of kings as he pleaseth; and inclined them to this course, that
they might, though ignorantly, accomplish his counsel. Perhaps Ben - hadad
only designed to have taken him prisoner, that he might now give him as
honourable a treatment, as he had formerly received from him.
34: The joints - Where the several parts of his armour were joined
together. The only place about him where this arrow of death could find
entrance. No armour is proof against the darts of divine vengeance. Case
the criminal in steel, and it is all one: he that made him, can make his
sword approach him. And that which to us seems altogether casual, comes
by the determinate counsel of God.
37: Died - Finding too late the truth of Micaiah's words; and
Zedekiah's horns of iron, pushing not the Syrians, but himself,
39: Ivory house - Not that it was made of solid ivory, but because
the other materials were covered, or inlaid with ivory.
41: Of Ahab - Who reigned twenty two years; therefore he reigned
about eighteen years with Ahab.
43: High places - He took them away, but not fully; or not in the
beginning of of his reign.
44: Made peace - With Ahab first, and then with his son. This is
noted as a blemish in his government, (2Ch 19:2), and proved of most
mischievous consequence to his posterity.
47: A deputy - Sent, and set over them by the kings of Judah,
from the time of David, until the days of Jehoram, (2Ch 21:8).
49: Would not - He did join with Ahaziah before this time, and
before the ships were broken: for the breaking of the ships mentioned
here, is noted to be the effect of his sin, in joining with Ahaziah,(2Ch 20:37).
And Jehoshaphat being warned and chastised by God for this sin,
would not be persuaded to repeat it.
51: Ahaziah, &c. - Ahaziah was made king by his father, and
reigned in conjunction with him a year or two before Ahab's death, and
as long after it; even as Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat was made
king by his father in his life - time, which possibly was done in compliance
with Ahab's desire upon marriage of his daughter to Jehoshaphat's
son; and it may be Ahab, to induce him to do so, give him an example
of it, and made his son his partner in the kingdom.
52: In the way - Which seems added, to shew, how little the example
of parents, or ancestors, is to be valued where it is opposed to the will
and word of God.
53: His father, &c. - Most unhappy parents, that thus help to damn
their own children's souls!