1 Kings 20:1 - 22:53


Throughout the last three chapters, we have followed the career of Elijah as he prophesied the onset of a 3-year drought, then was protected by the Lord during that period.  The drought ended in a very dramatic way and Elijah fled to the Sinai Peninsula where he received new marching orders.


As we come to chapter 20 there is a change.  Over the next three chapters, our focus moves from Elijah to Ahab, the king of Israel.


Chpt. 17

Chpt. 18

Chpt. 19

Chpt. 20

Chpt. 21

Chpt. 22

Elijah Primarily in View

Ahab Primarily in View


Fire from Heaven

Flight into Wilderness

War with Aram

Naboth’s Vineyard

War with Aram

Brook Cherith & Phoenicia

 Mount Carmel









1.         Invasion.


            Now Ben‑hadad king of Aram gathered all his army, and there were thirty‑two kings with him, and horses and chariots. And he went up and besieged Samaria and fought against it. (1 Kings 20:1).


Aram was the country to the northwest of Israel.  It corresponds to modern-day Syria with its capital city at Damascus.  The continuing conflict which is seen today is merely a continuation from 3000 years ago.


Ben-hadad had been previously bribed by Judah to break its treaty with Israel (1 Kings 15:18-20).  He now again takes up that war, invading Israel with a coalition of 32 kings and laying siege to Samaria.


2.         Ahab’s Attempt at Pacification.


Ben-hadad demanded gold and silver as well as hostages from among the wives and children of the nobility of Israel. Ahab readily agreed to this demand.


Having been emboldened by his bloodless victory, Ben-hadad now increased his demands, insisting that his servants be permitted to enter the palace of the king and take anything they desired.  At this point, Ahab quailed and refused.  Ben-hadad responds with the threat of complete destruction.


            Ben‑hadad sent to him and said, “May the gods do so to me and more also, if the dust of Samaria will suffice for handfuls for all the people who follow me.” (1 Kings 20:10).


Jezebel had made a similar oath regarding her intentions to put Elijah to death.  She failed in the fulfillment of her oath.  Ben-hadad now makes an oath in which he will also fail.  Jesus warned against making vows which you have no power to keep.  It is better not to make such an oath in the first place (Matthew 5:33-37).


3.         A Prophecy of Victory.


            Now behold, a prophet approached Ahab king of Israel and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Have you seen all this great multitude?  Behold, I will deliver them into your hand today, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’” (1 Kings 20:13).


In the midst of the threat of destruction, an unnamed prophet comes before Ahab and prophesies victory.  Israel has done nothing to earn or deserve the salvation of the Lord.  But it is given anyway.  This is GRACE.


The reason that this victory will be given will be so that Ahab and the Israelites will know that Yahweh is God.  Ahab had seen fire come down from heaven.  It served as a clear indication that God was working in history.  Now he will experience a victory in battle which will also be the work of God.


4.         The Fulfilled Prophecy of Victory.


20                     They killed each his man; and the Arameans fled and Israel pursued them, and Ben‑hadad king of Aram escaped on a horse with horsemen.

21                     The king of Israel went out and struck the horses and chariots, and killed the Arameans with a great slaughter. (1 Kings 20:20-21).


Israel won the victory against Aram on that day, just the way it had been foretold.  This included the destruction of the Aramaic chariot corps.  This was no small feat.  Chariots were to ancient warfare what the tank and the jet are to modern warfare.  The fact that Aram had chariots indicates that Ben-hadad had a state-of-the-art military.


5.         The Aramaic Interpretation of Events.


            Now the servants of the king of Aram said to him, “Their gods are gods of the mountains, therefore they were stronger than we; but rather let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we will be stronger than they. (1 Kings 20:23).


The servants of Ben-hadad came to a different interpretation of the events surrounding their defeat.  Not willing to give the credit to the Lord, they utilized a secular interpretation of history.  It was based upon their limited world view.  Their world view stated that there is no one God of the universe.  Instead they postulated the existence of many different gods.  They assumed that, because the Israelites lived in the mountains, their gods must be mountain gods.  They concluded that the battle would have a very different outcome if the battle were to be fought on level ground.


What is your world-view?  When you see events happening in the world around you, do you attribute those events to mere chance happenings?  Or do you realize that God is in control of all things and that history is truly HIS STORY?


6.         The Second Aramaic Invasion of Israel.


26                     At the turn of the year, Ben‑hadad mustered the Arameans and went up to Aphek to fight against Israel.

27                     The sons of Israel were mustered and were provisioned and went to meet them; and the sons of Israel camped before them like two little flocks of goats, but the Arameans filled the country. (1 Kings 20:26-27).


On the following year, Ben-hadad returned for a second invasion of Israel.  The scene of the battle was the city of Aphek.  There are several towns in Palestine with this name.  This one seems to have been on the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee.  This was a border city between the lands of Israel and Aram.


It would be at this same location that Jesus would come to cast out a legion of demons into a herd of pigs.  As He would bring about the death of a multitude of pigs, so now the Lord would bring about the defeat and death of a host of Arameans.


The writer of Kings paints a vivid portrait of the disparity between the two armies.




Filled the country

Were like two little flocks of goats

Chariot corps

Exclusively infantry


Again a prophet approached king Ahab and predicted an overwhelming Israelite victory.  Again the reason for this victory had nothing to do with how deserving was either Israel or Ahab.


29                     So they camped one over against the other seven days. And on the seventh day the battle was joined, and the sons of Israel killed of the Arameans 100,000 foot soldiers in one day.

30                     But the rest fled to Aphek into the city, and the wall fell on 27,000 men who were left. And Ben‑hadad fled and came into the city into an inner chamber. (1 Kings 20:29-30).


This was an incredible victory.  The Israelites inflicted an amazing number of casualties upon the much larger army of Aram.  And when the surviving Aramaic soldiers retreated into the city of Aphek, the city itself seemed to rise against them as its wall fell, crushing even more men.


7.         Ahab’s Covenant with Ben-hadad.


Ben-hadad pleaded for his life and it was granted him by Ahab who went so far as to enter into a covenant with him.


            Ben‑hadad said to him, “The cities which my father took from your father I will restore, and you shall make streets for yourself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria.”  Ahab said, “And I will let you go with this covenant.”  So he made a covenant with him and let him go. (1 Kings 20:34).


Ben-hadad agrees to restore the boarder cities in Galilee which had been taken by the first Ben-hadad (1 Kings 15:20).


Furthermore, Ben-hadad promises to create in Damascus a “Jewish quarter.”  What was wrong with this?  First, it was wrong because Ben-hadad had blasphemed the name of the Lord.  He had relegated Yahweh to being “a god of the hills.”  His was had been against the God of the universe.  It was also wrong because the Israelites were forbidden from making covenants with the idolatrous nations around them.  This action on Ahab’s part is condemned by the Lord.  A prophet goes before Ahab in a disguise, presenting him with a story.


38                     So the prophet departed and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with a bandage over his eyes.

39                     As the king passed by, he cried to the king and said, “Your servant went out into the midst of the battle; and behold, a man turned aside and brought a man to me and said, ‘Guard this man; if for any reason he is missing, then your life shall be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver.’

40                     “While your servant was busy here and there, he was gone.”  And the king of Israel said to him, “So shall your judgment be; you yourself have decided it.”

41                     Then he hastily took the bandage away from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him that he was of the prophets.

42                     He said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have let go out of your hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people.’” (1 Kings 20:38-42).


The prophet pretends to be a soldier who was charged with guarding a prisoner of war.  The prisoner has escaped and his life is to be forfeit.  Ahab hears the case and declares judgment.  At this point, the prophet unmasks himself and declares that Ahab has passed judgment upon his own action in allowing Ben-hadad to escape.


Ahab is condemned for having spared the life of Ben‑hadad and entering into a covenant with him.  Most of us have never faced the temptation of sparing the life of a blaspheming pagan king or of entering into a covenant with him, so how does such a narrative relate to us?


Perhaps one lesson is that we should not bind ourselves to that which God has devoted to destruction.  I would suggest that this includes our earthly physical possessions — our “stuff.”  Certainly none of us has made a covenant with our material possessions, but there are times when we seem to act as though this is the case.  It is a maxim that whatever you own owns you.  Can we learn the lesson of freedom from those things that bind?  I'm not necessarily saying that we ought to go out and get rid of all our possessions, but perhaps we need to again commit them into the hands of the Lord.


Jesus said it best:   “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19‑21).





Chapters 20 and 21 stand in contrast to one another.  In chapter 20, Ben-hadad of Damascus demands all of the possessions of Ahab.  In chapter 21 we see Ahab taking exactly the same stance toward one of his subjects.


Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Ben-hadad demands all of the possessions of Ahab to be turned over to him under penalty of death.

Jezebel has Naboth put to death so that Ahab can take possession of his prized vineyard.

The Lord intervenes to protect Ahab and Jezebel.

Ahab and Jezebel show no gratitude and instead plot to murder Naboth and take his vineyard.


Jesus told a parable that was very much like this narrative.  It was of a servant who owed a great debt of 10,000 talents.  When he was forgiven this debt by a gracious king, he went out and persecuted another servant who owed him a lesser sum.  As a result, the king called him to account for his debt.  The point of the parable is that people who have been forgiven have a duty to forgive (Matthew 18:23-35).


Ahab and Jezebel had both been recipients of the grace of God.  It was their duty to be gracious toward others.  Instead they acted with murderous jealousy.  There is a principle here.  You have also been a recipient of the grace of God.  And you have a corresponding duty to be gracious toward others.


1.         Naboth’s Vineyard.


1                       Now it came about after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.

2                       Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden because it is close beside my house, and I will give you a better vineyard than it in its place; if you like, I will give you the price of it in money.”

3                       But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid me that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” (1 Kings 21:1-3).


The Valley of Jezreel was one of the more fertile areas in Palestine.  It was here that the kings of Israel had established a winter palace.  It so happened that there was a man named Naboth who owned a vineyard adjacent to this palace.


“No inheritance of the sons of Israel shall be transferred from tribe to tribe, for the sons of Israel shall each hold to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers.” (Numbers 36:7).

Ahab offered to barter for the ownership of the vineyard, but was turned down.  It was not that Naboth was particularly greedy or that he wanted a higher price.  He viewed this vineyard as his family’s inheritance from the Lord and he wished to treasure that which God had given.  It is his source of identity.  He calls himself Naboth the Jezreelite.  He is determined to keep that which God has given to him.  This stands in contrast to Ahab who had released Ben-hadad when the Lord had given him into his hand.


Israel was completely unique in the ancient world.  In every other ancient nation, the land was owned by the king and his subjects served as mere vassals (the Greek democracy and Roman republic were still far in the future).  But the land of Israel had been divided among the members of the 12 tribes so that each family head owned his own inheritance.


            So Ahab came into his house sullen and vexed because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.”  And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and ate no food. (1 Kings 21:4).


Ahab is described as “sullen and vexed.”  This is the second time he has been described this way.  At the end of the previous chapter, he had been sullen and vexed over the rebuke he received from the Lord.  Now we see that same attitude as he is unhappy over Naboth’s refusal.  Like a spoiled child, he refuses to eat and indulges in a “pity party.”  When Jezebel comes in and asks what is the matter, he relates the incident with Naboth but leaves out the part about his inheritance.


2.         Jezebel’s Wicked Plan.


When Jezebel learns that her husband is upset over his inability to acquire the vineyard, she takes matters into her own hand.


7                       Jezebel his wife said to him, “Do you now reign over Israel? Arise, eat bread, and let your heart be joyful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”

8                       So she wrote letters in Ahab's name and sealed them with his seal, and sent letters to the elders and to the nobles who were living with Naboth in his city.

9                       Now she wrote in the letters, saying, “Proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people;  10 and seat two worthless men before him, and let them testify against him, saying, ‘You cursed God and the king.’  Then take him out and stone him to death.” (1 Kings 21:7-10).


Jezebel plots to have Naboth framed on false charges of blasphemy.  Her plan is a product of her theology.  Baal was a god who was ready to take by force anything that he desired.  There is a lesson here.  It is that bad theology leads to bad living.


This plot was all to obtain a vineyard — a garden.  It is reminiscent of another temptation that took place in a garden.  It was the temptation that took place in the Garden of Eden.  That was another case of masculine passive-aggression.  It was another case when rebellion led ultimately to death.


The plot against Naboth can be seen in striking parallel to the death of Jesus who is the better Naboth.


           He was falsely accused.

           He was placed between two evil men.

           He was the subject of evil plans and intrigues against His life.

           He was taken outside the city and put to death.


The difference is that Naboth was an unwilling victim of this intrigue while Jesus proclaimed that no man was taking His life from Him.  He is the better Naboth who willingly went to His death in order to die in our place.


Ahab acquiesces to this plan.  Not only does his fail to act the part of a good and faithful king, he also fails to act the part of the leader of his family, allowing his wife to use his royal signet to seal the letters instructing Naboth’s murder.


Adam and Eve

Ahab and Jezebel

Eve gave the fruit to her husband and he ate it.

Jezebel plotted murder and her husband went along with it and profited by it.

Adam failed to take a leadership role.

Ahab failed to take a leadership role with his wife.

Eve gave her husband a single fruit.

Jezebel’s plot awarded her husband an entire vineyard.


There is a reason that parents don’t generally name their daughters “Jezebel.”  Her name has become a byword for immorality and greed.  In Revelation 2:20, we read of the church which tolerates Jezebel’s false teachings and immoral conduct.


3.         The Taking of Naboth’s Vineyard.


Jezebel’s plan is carried out to its completion and innocent Naboth is stoned to death.


14                     Then they sent word to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead.”

15                     When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth, the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” (1 Kings 21:14-15).


We are not told what happened to Naboth’s legitimate heirs.  The land that should have gone to them would now be stolen by Ahab.


4.         The Prophetic Judgment against Ahab.


Elijah is sent to Ahab with a message of judgment.  He arrives just as the king is preparing to take possession of the vineyard.


20                     Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?”  And he answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the Lord.

21                     “Behold, I will bring evil upon you, and will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every male, both bond and free in Israel;  22  and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, because of the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger, and because you have made Israel sin.

23                     “Of Jezebel also has the Lord spoken, saying, "The dogs will eat Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.’

24                     “The one belonging to Ahab, who dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and the one who dies in the field the birds of heaven will eat.” (1 Kings 21:20-24).


The last time Ahab had seen Elijah, he had called him the “troubler of Israel.”  Now he speaks of him as “my enemy” (    ).  He is trying to put Elijah on the defensive.  It is a typical ploy by unbelievers when they are faced with the righteousness of God.  Truth does not have to resort to name-calling.


Ahab is denounced for his sin.  The judgment will be that he and his descendants will be removed both from the throne and from the earth.


5.         Repentance and Mercy.


27                     It came about when Ahab heard these words, that he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and fasted, and he lay in sackcloth and went about despondently.

28                     Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29 “Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before Me?  Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days, but I will bring the evil upon his house in his son’s days.” (1 Kings 21:27-29).


Ahab reacts to the words of Elijah with contrition and repentance.  His repentance was demonstrated in four ways:


·        He tore his clothes.

·        He put on sackcloth.

·        He went about despondently.


I believe that he was sincere in this repentance.  The Lord honored his repentance.  And because of that repentance, the kingdom would not be taken away from him during his lifetime.  There is an interesting similarity between Ahab and David.




King of the United Kingdom of Israel.

King of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

Coveted Uriah’s wife and had him murdered.

Coveted Naboth’s field and allowed him to be murdered.

Repented when the sin was condemned by the prophet Nathan.

Repented when the sin was condemned by the prophet Elijah.

War did not depart from his kingdom and 10 tribes were taken from his grandson.

The kingdom would be taken from his son.


God was able to forgive both of these men their sins.  This is not because their sins were not terrible.  It is because God is able to greatly forgive.  This good news is that God is still able to greatly forgive.  And He will do so if you will go to Him with a contrite heart of repentance.





1.         The Renewal of Hostilities with Aram.


1           Three years passed without war between Aram and Israel.

2           In the third year Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel.

3           Now the king of Israel said to his servants, “Do you know that Ramoth‑gilead belongs to us, and we are still doing nothing to take it out of the hand of the king of Aram?” (1 Kings 22:1-3).


Three years passed.  These were three years in which there was no war between Aram and Israel.  That does not mean there was no war in Israel.  Historical records tell us of a coalition of nations which met the Assyrians at Qarqar in 852 B.C.  This took place far to the north of Aram in the lands of the old Hittite Empire.  This coalition was made up of a number of nations.


·        Ben-hadad of Damascus (known in Assyrian documents as Hadad-ezer).

·        Ahab of Israel’s Northern Kingdom.

·        Irhuleni of Hamath (located on the Orontes River).

·        Gindibu of Arabia.

·        Baasha of Ammon.

·        Troops from Byblos and Egypt.


Shalmaneser claimed to have won a victory in this battle, but the truth is that both armies left the battlefield relatively intact.  It was a 100 years before the Assyrians would march southward against Israel.  In the meantime, Ahab prepared to pick a fight with Aram.


Accordingly, he entered into a military alliance with Jehoshaphat, king of Judah (Israel and Judah had been at peace since the days of Omri).  This alliance was sealed with a royal marriage in which Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, was married to the son of Jehoshaphat.  This was to have long-lasting repercussions in Judah.


Judah was in the midst of a revival.  Jehoshaphat had sent officials throughout Judah accompanied by Levites with the mission of teaching the Law of the Lord to the people.  But within a generation, the daughter of Jezebel would be ruling over Judah, bringing a return to idolatry.


For the time being, Israel and Judah were allies against Aram.  The issue over which they would go to war was over the possession of Ramoth-gilead (Ramoth means “heights”).  This city lay astride the King’s Highway, the major north-south route through the lands to the east of the Jordan.


2.         Request for a Prophet of the Lord.


5                       Moreover, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire first for the word of the Lord.”

6                       Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall I go against Ramoth‑gilead to battle or shall I refrain?”  And they said, “Go up, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” (1 Kings 22:5-6).


Because Jehoshaphat was trying to follow the Lord, he asked that a prophet of the Lord be consulted prior to this undertaking.  Ahab was ready with 400 prophets.  But they were not prophets of the Lord.  They were prophets of some other god.  Elijah had put 450 prophets of Baal to death on Mount Carmel.  These were evidently their replacements.


7                       But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not yet a prophet of the Lord here that we may inquire of him?”

8                       The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”  But Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.”

9                       Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah son of Imlah.” (1 Kings 22:7-9).


Jehoshaphat is not satisfied.  He does not care what 400 prophets of Baal might have to say.  He wishes to hear from a prophet of the Lord.  Ahab is reluctant.  He knows of such a prophet, but doesn’t care for him because he doesn’t say those things that Ahab wishes to hear.  The 400 prophets of Ahab were essentially “yes” men.  They were paid to prophesy those things that would please Ahab.


3.         Micaiah’s Prophecy.


a.         Politically correct instructions.


13                     Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, “Behold now, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king. Please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.”

14                     But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I shall speak.” (1 Kings 22:13-14).


The messenger who summons Micaiah to the king’s audience gives him instructions on how he ought to prophesy.  Evidently, he was more concerned with pleasing the king than with hearing what the Lord really had to say concerning the matter.


b.         An initial positive report.


            When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth‑­gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?”  And he answered him, “Go up and succeed, and the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” (1 Kings 22:15).


To everyone’s pleasant surprise, Micaiah gives a positive report, indicating the Lord’s blessing upon this venture.  And yet, there is something in his manner which causes Ahab to question him further.


c.         The negative report.


16                     Then the king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”

17                     So he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep which have no shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These have no master.  Let each of them return to his house in peace.’”

18                     Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?” (1 Kings 22:16-18).


The king knows that there is something wrong.  Whether this was due to Micaiah’s manner or his message, we do not know.  And so, the king asks for the truth of the matter.


“The truth?  Oh, you want the TRUTH!  I thought that you merely wanted a politically correct statement.  But if you want the truth, then here it is...”  The truth of the matter was that Micaiah had seen a vision of a leaderless nation, scattered over the mountains like a flock of wayward sheep.


There is no pleasing Ahab.  He did not care for the politically correct statement, sensing its falsehood.  But neither did he care for the truth.


d.         The reason for the wrong prophecy.


19                     Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord.  I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left.

20                     “The Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth‑gilead?’  And one said this while another said that.

21                     “Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’

22                     “The Lord said to him, "How?' And he said, ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’  Then He said, ‘You are to entice him and also prevail. Go and do so.’

23                     “Now therefore, behold, the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and the Lord has proclaimed disaster against you.” (1 Kings 22:19-23).


As Micaiah stands in the gate of the city before these two reigning kings, he describes another throne room.  He has seen a vision of the Lord sitting upon His throne and consulting with various heavenly spirits in a manner similar to the way in which these two earthly kings have been consulting with their advisors.  However, instead of plotting against the king of Aram, the Lord is planning to bring down Ahab.


It is now revealed that it has been the Lord’s doing that all 400 of Ahab’s prophets have been predicting victory.  Ahab has wanted to believe a lie, so the Lord has given him a lie.  There is a lesson to be learned.  It is that the Lord only gives truth to those who want truth.


e.         Micaiah’s imprisonment.


26                     Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king's son; 27 and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this man in prison and feed him sparingly with bread and water until I return safely.”’”

28                     Micaiah said, “If you indeed return safely the Lord has not spoken by me.”  And he said, “Listen, all you people.” (1 Kings 22:26-28).


Micaiah is imprisoned for telling the truth.  Ahab did not really want the truth.  He only wanted someone to tell him what he wanted to hear.  The world is like that.  The world does not want the truth.  It merely wants you to agree with its system.


4.         The Battle.


            So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up against Ramoth‑gilead. (1 Kings 22:29).


In the ensuing battle, Ahab decided to hedge his bets by donning the garb of a common soldier.  His ploy was successful in that the Arameans focused their attack upon the person of Jehoshaphat who was forced to retreat from the battlefield.  It was then that tragedy struck in the form of a chance arrow.


34                     Now a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel in a joint of the armor. So he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and take me out of the fight; for I am severely wounded.”

35                     The battle raged that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot in front of the Arameans, and died at evening, and the blood from the wound ran into the bottom of the chariot. (1 Kings 22:34-35).


A chance arrow.  A chance joint in the armor.  It was just by chance that the prophecy of the Lord came to pass.  The truth is that there are no chance events.


The lot is cast into the lap,

But its every decision is from the Lord. (Proverbs 16:33).


Even the details of Ahab’s death were not left to chance.  We are told in the narrative how the king’s blood which pooled in the bottom of his chariot was lapped up by dogs in a place where prostitutes washed themselves (22:38).  This ignominious death was a fulfillment of the words of Elijah.  


            “Thus says the Lord, ‘In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth the dogs shall lick up your blood, even yours.’” (1 Kings 21:19b).


As we look at the end of Ahab, we cannot help but to notice a contrast with this rebellious king versus the perfect, obedient King.




A rebellious king

An obedient king

Tried to cheat death

Embraced death

Pierced by an arrow

Pierced by nails and a spear

Blood flowed out

Blood and water flowed out

He was propped up in his chariot

He was lifted up on the cross

His death was because of his own sin

His death was because of our sins


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