2 Chronicles 18

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Read 2 Chronicles 18

Micaiah Prophesies Against Ahab

18 Now Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor, and he allied himself with Ahab by marriage. Some years later he went down to see Ahab in Samaria. Ahab slaughtered many sheep and cattle for him and the people with him and urged him to attack Ramoth Gilead. Ahab king of Israel asked Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me against Ramoth Gilead?”

Jehoshaphat replied, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will join you in the war.” But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”

So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I not?”

“Go,” they answered, “for God will give it into the king’s hand.”

But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?”

The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”

“The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied.

So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”

Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them. 10 Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns, and he declared, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’”

11 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”

12 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.”

13 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what my God says.”

14 When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I not?”

“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for they will be given into your hand.”

15 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”

16 Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’”

17 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”

18 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lordsitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing on his right and on his left. 19 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’

“One suggested this, and another that. 20 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’

“‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.

21 “‘I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.

“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’

22 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.”

23 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from the Lord go when he went from me to speak to you?” he asked.

24 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.”

25 The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son, 26 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.’”

27 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!”

Ahab Killed at Ramoth Gilead

28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead. 29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will enter the battle in disguise, but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguisedhimself and went into battle.

30 Now the king of Aram had ordered his chariot commanders, “Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel.” 31 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought, “This is the king of Israel.” So they turned to attack him, but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him. God drew them away from him, 32 for when the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel, they stopped pursuing him.

33 But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the breastplate and the scale armor. The king told the chariot driver, “Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I’ve been wounded.” 34 All day long the battle raged, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot facing the Arameans until evening. Then at sunset he died.

Go Deeper

Second Chronicles 18 reminds us of the importance of discerning which voices we choose to follow. It is easy to seek out voices that affirm what we already want to hear. When we have a strong desire, we want the people around us to tell us that we are right in what we want. In this chapter, Ahab wants victory, so he gathers prophets that tell him he would defeat Syria. Jehoshaphat aligns himself with Ahab as a way to protect his own kingdom, but insists on hearing from one more voice before he commits to going into battle with Ahab. Micaiah, a prophet of the Lord, speaks in opposition to what Ahab’s prophets had said despite Ahab’s efforts to convince Micaiah to do otherwise.

In a culture that is constantly telling us to find our own truth, to do what feels good, and to follow our own desires, it is easy to surround ourselves with voices that affirm what we want to be true. This makes Biblical community all the more important. Proverbs tells us, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses,” (Proverbs 27:6). The people we surround ourselves with have a profound influence on how we walk with the Lord and our obedience to Him.

Jehoshaphat, because he chose to align himself with a king that is not surrendered to the Lord, finds himself listening to false prophets and going into a battle that the Lord had said would end in disaster. He compromises obedience to the Lord because of his misaligned priorities. Instead of being concerned with dependence on and obedience to God, he sought political gain through an alliance with Ahab. 2 Corinthians 6:14 warns us, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” Paul is warning us about the people we commit to walking with, knowing that the voices we listen to determine the direction we are headed.


In Matthew 5:16, Jesus says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Followers of Jesus should be marked by the way we follow Jesus and influence the culture around us, not sacrificing truth for the sake of our own desires.


  1. Whose voices do you choose to listen to when seeking wisdom? Who are the people that you know will point you to Jesus, even if it’s not what you want to hear?
  2. Where are you ignoring the voice of God in your life? Where do you need to surrender to him?
  3. Are you the type of friend that is willing to point others to truth, in love, even when it feels difficult?

Keep Digging

In the same way Jehoshaphat was led away from obedience to God by following King Ahab, Ahab was led away from God by marrying Jezebel. Read this article to learn more about Jezebel’s relationship with Ahab and how he eventually turned from God, leading to their destruction.

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2 thoughts on “2 Chronicles 18”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    What a compelling narrative we read in the discourse between Jehoshaphat, Ahab, 400 false prophets & Micaiah. Only one in this group truly displayed a holy fear of God, one who proclaimed when much was at stake, “As surely as the Lord lives, I will say only what my God tells me to say.” No managing the perceptions of others, just remaining obedient to the Father. This spoke volumes to me as I fight the tendency to please others rather than obey God. If you are wondering what scripture says about the holy fear of God, delve into The Awe of God. After completing the book over the past weeks, I’m starting it over again. This quote resonates with today’s reading, “The carnal person fears man, not God. The strong Christian fears God, not man. The weak Christian fears man too much, and God too little.” (John Flavel)

  2. What a stance Micaiah made. This is something I battle everyday, everyday. My people pleasing gets in the way. I am working on the surrending part, but it is a major work in progress, BUT GOD I give this to You also, that I shall possess the gates of my enemies.
    Genesis 22:17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.. This God’s promise to Abraham but gates are an important part of Jewish history, whomever controlled the gates had the town. So who we let influence us, speaking into our lives, is it with Holy Spirit direction or tickling our ears with what we want to hear????

    God thank You for Holy Spirit!!!!! Thank You for my listening ears that hear YOU!!! Thank You that I can know in my knower what it is YOU need me to hear. God thank You for possessing the gates of my enemies. Thank You for Godly people to give me guidance in this crazy world in Jesus name amen

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