April 25

1 Kings 21:1 — 22:53

21 And it came about after these things that there was a vineyard that happened to belong to Naboth the Jezreelite, which was in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab the king of Samaria. 2 So Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying: “Do give me your vineyard, that it may serve as a garden of vegetables to me, for it is close by my house; and let me give you in place of it a vineyard better than it. [Or] if it is good in your eyes, I will give you money as the price of this.” 3 But Naboth said to Ahab: “It is unthinkable on my part, from Jehovah’s standpoint, for me to give the hereditary possession of my forefathers to you.” 4 Consequently Ahab came into his house, sullen and dejected over the word that Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him, when he said: “I shall not give you the hereditary possession of my forefathers.” Then he lay down upon his couch and kept his face turned, and he did not eat bread.

5 Finally Jezebel his wife came in to him and spoke to him: “Why is it that your spirit is sad and you are not eating bread?” 6 At that he spoke to her: “Because I proceeded to speak to Naboth the Jezreelite and say to him, ‘Do give me your vineyard for money. Or, if you prefer, let me give you another vineyard in place of it.’ But he said, ‘I shall not give you my vineyard.’” 7 Then Jezebel his wife said to him: “Is it you that now exercise the kingship over Israel? Rise up, eat bread and let your heart be merry. I myself shall give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” 8 Accordingly she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the older men and the nobles that were in his city dwelling with Naboth. 9 But she wrote in the letters, saying: “Proclaim a fast, and HAVE Naboth sit at the head of the people. 10 And MAKE two men, good-for-nothing fellows, sit in front of him, and let them bear witness against him, saying, ‘You have cursed God and the king!’ And BRING him out and stone him that he may die.”

11 So the men of his city, the older men and the nobles that were dwelling in his city, did just as Jezebel had sent to them, just as it was written in the letters that she had sent to them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and had Naboth sit at the head of the people. 13 Then two of the men, good-for-nothing fellows, came in and sat down in front of him; and the good-for-nothing men began to bear witness against him, that is, Naboth, in front of the people, saying: “Naboth has cursed God and the king!” After that they brought him out to the outskirts of the city and stoned him with stones, so that he died. 14 They now sent to Jezebel, saying: “Naboth has been stoned so that he is dead.”

15 And it came about that, as soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned so that he died, Jezebel immediately said to Ahab: “Rise up, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is no longer alive, but dead.” 16 And it came about that, as soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab at once rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

17 And Jehovah’s word came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying: 18 “Rise up, go down to meet Ahab the king of Israel, who is in Samaria. There he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone down to take possession of it. 19 And you must speak to him, saying, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “Have you murdered and also taken possession?”’ And you must speak to him, saying, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth, the dogs will lick up your blood, even yours.”’”

20 And Ahab proceeded to say to Elijah: “Have you found me, O enemy of mine?” to which he said: “I have found you. ‘For the reason that you have sold yourself to do what is bad in the eyes of Jehovah, 21 here I am bringing calamity upon you; and I shall certainly make a clean sweep after you and cut off from Ahab anyone urinating against a wall and the helpless and worthless one in Israel. 22 And I shall certainly constitute your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the offense with which you have offended and then caused Israel to sin.’ 23 And also as regards Jezebel Jehovah has spoken, saying, ‘The very dogs will eat up Jezebel in the plot of land of Jezreel. 24 Anyone of Ahab’s that is dying in the city the dogs will eat up; and anyone dying in the field the fowls of the heavens will eat up. 25 Without exception no one has proved to be like Ahab, who sold himself to do what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah, whom Jezebel his wife egged on. 26 And he went acting very detestably by going after the dungy idols, the same as all that the Amorites had done, whom Jehovah drove out from before the sons of Israel.’”

27 And it came about that as soon as Ahab heard these words, he proceeded to rip his garments apart and to put sackcloth upon his flesh; and he went on a fast and kept lying down in sackcloth and walking despondently. 28 And Jehovah’s word came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying: 29 “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself on my account? For the reason that he has humbled himself because of me, I shall not bring the calamity in his own days. In the days of his son I shall bring the calamity upon his house.”

22 And for three years they continued dwelling without war between Syria and Israel. 2 And it came about in the third year that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah proceeded to go down to the king of Israel. 3 Then the king of Israel said to his servants: “Do YOU really know that Ramoth-gilead belongs to us? Yet we are hesitating to take it out of the hand of the king of Syria.” 4 And he went on to say to Jehoshaphat: “Will you go with me to the fight at Ramoth-gilead?” At this Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel: “I am the same as you. My people are the same as your people. My horses are the same as your horses.”

5 However, Jehoshaphat went on to say to the king of Israel: “Inquire, please, first of all for the word of Jehovah.” 6 So the king of Israel collected the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them: “Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead in war, or shall I refrain?” And they began to say: “Go up, and Jehovah will give it into the king’s hand.”

7 But Jehoshaphat said: “Is there not here a prophet of Jehovah still? Then let us inquire through him.” 8 At that the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat: “There is still one man through whom to inquire of Jehovah; but I myself certainly hate him, for he does not prophesy good things concerning me but bad—Micaiah the son of Imlah.” However, Jehoshaphat said: “Do not let the king say a thing like that.”

9 Accordingly the king of Israel called a certain court official and said: “Do bring Micaiah the son of Imlah quickly.” 10 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting each one on his throne, clothed in garments, in the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were acting as prophets before them. 11 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made for himself horns of iron and said: “This is what Jehovah has said, ‘With these you will push the Syrians until you exterminate them.’” 12 And all the other prophets were prophesying the same as that, saying: “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and prove successful; and Jehovah will certainly give it into the king’s hand.”

13 And the messenger that had gone to call Micaiah spoke to him, saying: “Look, now! The words of the prophets are unanimously of good to the king. Let your word, please, become like the word of one of them, and you must speak good.” 14 But Micaiah said: “As Jehovah is living, what Jehovah will say to me, that is what I shall speak.” 15 Then he came in to the king, and the king proceeded to say to him: “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead in war, or shall we refrain?” At once he said to him: “Go up and prove successful; and Jehovah will certainly give it into the king’s hand.” 16 At that the king said to him: “For how many times am I putting you under oath that you should not speak to me anything but truth in the name of Jehovah?” 17 So he said: “I certainly see all the Israelites scattered on the mountains, like sheep that have no shepherd. And Jehovah went on to say: ‘These have no masters. Let them go back each one to his house in peace.’”

18 Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat: “Did I not say to you, ‘He will prophesy concerning me, not good things, but bad’?”

19 And he went on to say: “Therefore hear the word of Jehovah: I certainly see Jehovah sitting upon his throne and all the army of the heavens standing by him, to his right and to his left. 20 And Jehovah proceeded to say, ‘Who will fool Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And this one began to say something like this, while that one was saying something like that. 21 Finally a spirit came out and stood before Jehovah and said, ‘I myself shall fool him.’ At that Jehovah said to him, ‘By what means?’ 22 To this he said, ‘I shall go forth, and I shall certainly become a deceptive spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ So he said, ‘You will fool him, and, what is more, you will come off the winner. Go out and do that way.’ 23 And now here Jehovah has put a deceptive spirit into the mouth of all these prophets of yours; but Jehovah himself has spoken calamity concerning you.”

24 Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah now approached and struck Micaiah upon the cheek and said: “In just which [way] did the spirit of Jehovah pass along from me to speak with you?” 25 At that Micaiah said: “Look! You are seeing [which way] on that day when you will enter the innermost chamber to hide yourself.” 26 Then the king of Israel said: “Take Micaiah and turn him back to Amon the chief of the city and to Joash the king’s son. 27 And you must say, ‘This is what the king has said: “PUT this fellow in the house of detention and feed him with a reduced allowance of bread and a reduced allowance of water until I come in peace.”’” 28 Upon that Micaiah said: “If you return at all in peace, Jehovah has not spoken with me.” And he added: “Hear, all YOU peoples.”

29 And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah proceeded to go up to Ramoth-gilead. 30 The king of Israel now said to Jehoshaphat: “There will be a disguising and entering into the battle [for me], but you, for your part, put on your garments.” Accordingly, the king of Israel disguised himself and entered into the battle. 31 As for the king of Syria, he had commanded the thirty-two chiefs of the chariots that were his, saying: “YOU must fight, neither with the small nor the great, but with the king of Israel alone.” 32 And it came about that, as soon as the chiefs of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they, for their part, said to themselves: “Surely it is the king of Israel.” So they turned aside against him to fight; and Jehoshaphat began to cry for aid. 33 And it came about that, as soon as the chiefs of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they immediately came back from following him.

34 And there was a man that bent the bow in his innocence, but he got to strike the king of Israel between the appendages and the coat of mail, so that he said to his charioteer: “Turn your hand around, and take me out from the camp, because I have been badly wounded.” 35 And the battle kept rising in intensity on that day, and the king himself had to be kept in a standing position in the chariot facing the Syrians, and gradually he died in the evening; and the blood of the wound kept pouring out upon the interior of the war chariot. 36 And the ringing cry began to pass through the camp about the setting of the sun, saying: “Everyone to his city, and everyone to his land!” 37 Thus the king died. When he was brought to Samaria, then they buried the king in Samaria. 38 And they began to wash off the war chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs went licking up his blood (and the prostitutes themselves bathed there), according to Jehovah’s word that he had spoken.

39 As for the rest of the affairs of Ahab and all that he did and the house of ivory that he built and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the book of the affairs of the days of the kings of Israel? 40 Finally Ahab lay down with his forefathers; and Ahaziah his son began to reign in place of him.

41 As for Jehoshaphat the son of Asa, he had become king over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab the king of Israel. 42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he began to reign, and for twenty-five years he reigned in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 43 And he kept walking in all the way of Asa his father. He did not turn aside from it, by doing what was right in the eyes of Jehovah. Only the high places themselves did not disappear. The people were still sacrificing and making sacrificial smoke on the high places. 44 And Jehoshaphat kept peaceful relations with the king of Israel. 45 As for the rest of the affairs of Jehoshaphat and the mightiness with which he acted and how he warred, are they not written in the book of the affairs of the days of the kings of Judah? 46 And the rest of the male temple prostitutes that had been left over in the days of Asa his father he cleared out from the land.

47 As regards a king, there was none in Edom; a deputy was king.

48 Jehoshaphat, for his part, made Tarshish ships to go to Ophir for gold; but they did not go, because the ships were wrecked at Ezion-geber. 49 It was then that Ahaziah the son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat: “Let my servants go with your servants in the ships,” but Jehoshaphat did not consent.

50 Finally Jehoshaphat lay down with his forefathers and was buried with his forefathers in the City of David his forefather; and Jehoram his son began to reign in place of him.

51 As for Ahaziah the son of Ahab, he became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, and he continued to reign over Israel for two years. 52 And he kept doing what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes and went walking in the way of his father and in the way of his mother and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had caused Israel to sin. 53 And he continued serving Baal and bowing down to him and kept offending Jehovah the God of Israel according to all that his father had done.