3 Kingdoms 21:23-22:50
23 The servants of the king of Syria said to him, “The God of Israel is a god of the mountains, and not a god of the valleys. Therefore he was stronger than we. But if we battle them in the plain, surely they will not be stronger than we. 24 But do this: Send away the kings, each one to his place, and replace them with satraps of Persia. 25 Then you shall muster an army equal to the army you lost, horse for horse and chariot for chariot. Then we will battle against them in the plain, and surely we will be stronger than they.” And the son of Hadad listened to their voice and did so. 26 When it was one year later, the son of Hadad reviewed the Syrians and went up to Aphek to war against Israel. 27 They were well organized and went to meet them. The sons of Israel encamped before them like two flocks of goats, but the Syrians filled the land with their army.
28 Then a man of God came and spoke to the king of Israel and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because Syria said, “The Lord God of Israel is a god of the mountains, but He is not a god of the valleys,” therefore, I will deliver this entire great multitude into your hand, and you shall know I am the Lord.’ ” 29 So they encamped opposite them for seven days. And on the seventh day the battle was joined, and in one day the children of Israel killed one hundred thousand foot soldiers of the Syrians. 30 The rest fled to Aphek, into the city, but there a wall fell upon twenty-seven thousand of the remaining men. As for the son of Hadad, he fled into a house and hid in the private chamber of the bedroom.
31 Then he said to his servants, “I know the kings of Israel to be merciful kings. Let us put sackcloth around our waists and ropes around our heads, and go out to the king of Israel; perhaps he may spare our lives.” 32 So they put sackcloth around their waists and put ropes around their heads and said to Ahab the king of Israel, “Your servant the son of Hadad says, ‘Allow my life to be spared.’ ” The king said, “Does he still live? He is my brother.” 33 The men took this as an omen, and listened carefully to the words from the mouth of the servant. Then the men said, “Your brother is the son of Hadad.” The king said, “Go in and bring him here.” So the son of Hadad came out with them, and they brought him to the chariot. 34 He said to him, “I will restore the cities my father took from your father. You may set up marketplaces for yourself in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria. I will make a treaty with you.” So he made a treaty with him and sent him away.
Ahab Is Condemned
35 Now a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his neighbor by the word of the Lord, “Strike me down.” But the man refused to strike him. 36 Then he said to him, “Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord, surely, as soon as you depart from me, a lion shall kill you.” Thus as soon as he left him, a lion found and killed him. 37 Then he found another man and said, “Strike me down.” So the man struck him and inflicted a wound. 38 The prophet departed, and waited for the king of Israel by the road, and disguised himself with a bandage over his eyes. 39 Now as the king passed by, he cried out to the king and said, “Your servant went out against the army in the war, and behold, a man brought a man to me and said to me, ‘Guard this man. But if by some means he escapes, your life shall be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver.’ 40 So it came to pass that your servant was looking here and there, but he was not to be found. But the king of Israel said to him, ‘Behold, you destroyed the ambush meant for me.’ ”
41 Then the prophet hurried to take the bandage off his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him as one of the prophets. 42 He said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because you freed a man meant for destruction at your hand; therefore, your life shall be in place of his life, and your people in place of his people.’ ” 43 So the king of Israel left, and returned to Samaria confused and weary.
Micaiah the Prophet Warns Ahab
1 Three years passed without war between Syria and Israel. 2 Then it came to pass that in the third year, Jehoshaphat the king of Judah traveled down to the king of Israel. 3 And the king of Israel said to his servants, “Do you know that Ramoth in Gilead is ours? But we are silent about taking it from the hand of the king of Syria.” 4 So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with us to fight at Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” 5 Also Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Ask the Lord today.”
6 Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and the king said to them, “Shall I go and fight against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?” So they said, “Go up, for the Lord will surely deliver it into the hands of the king.” 7 But Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Is there yet not here another prophet of the Lord, that we may inquire of the Lord through him?” 8 So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the Lord. But for myself, I hate him because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but only evil.” Jehoshaphat the king of Judah said, “Let not the king say such things.” 9 Then the king of Israel called a eunuch and said, “Quickly, bring Micaiah the son of Imlah here.”
10 The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat, each man on his throne, with armed men within the gates of Samaria, and all the prophets prophesied before them. 11 Now Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘With these you shall gore Syria until they are brought to an end.’ ” 12 All the prophets prophesied in the same manner, saying, “Go up to Ramoth Gilead and you will prosper, for the Lord will deliver it into your hands, even the king of Syria.”
13 Then the messenger who went to call Micaiah spoke to him, saying, “Behold, all the prophets, speaking in one accord, are saying good things to the king. Come now, and let your word be as theirs, and speak good things.” 14 But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, I will say whatever the Lord says to me.” 15 Then he came to the king, and the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall we refrain?” He answered him, “Go and prosper, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king.” 16 So the king said to him, “How many times shall I make you swear you are telling me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” 17 Micaiah said, “It was not so. I saw all Israel being scattered on the mountains, like a shepherd without a flock. The Lord is not with them. Let each return to his house in peace.” 18 Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, “Did I not tell you he would not prophesy good concerning me, but on the contrary, evil?”
19 Micaiah said, “No, this is not so, for I hear the word of the Lord. This is not so, for I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by on His right hand and on His left. 20 Then the Lord said, ‘Who will deceive Ahab the king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ One spoke one way and another spoke in another way. 21 Then a spirit came forth and stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will deceive him.’ The Lord said to him, ‘In what way?’ 22 So he said, ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ The Lord said, ‘You shall deceive him, and you shall prevail. Go and do so.’ 23 Now behold, the Lord put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours. So the Lord has spoken evil things against you.”
24 Now Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “Which spirit of the Lord is speaking in you?” 25 And Micaiah said, “Indeed, you shall see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself.” 26 So the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Joash, son of the king; 27 and place him in prison. Feed him with bread of suffering and water of suffering until I return in peace.” 28 But Micaiah said, “If you return in peace, the Lord did not speak through me.”
Ahab Killed in Battle
29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead. 30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, “I will disguise myself and go into battle; but you put on my robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.
31 Now the king of Syria commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, saying, “Fight with no one small or great except the king of Israel.” 32 So when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, they said, “Surely it is the king of Israel.” So they encircled him to fight him, and Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 When the captains of the chariots saw it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 34 Now a certain man drew his bow at random, and struck the king of Israel between the lungs and the breastplate. So the king said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around, and take me out of the battle; for I am wounded.”
35 The battle turned that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians, and he died at evening. The blood ran out from the wound onto the floor of the chariot. 36 Then, as the sun was going down, a shout went throughout the army, saying, “Every man to his city, and every man to his own land.”
37 So the king died and was brought to Samaria, where they buried him. 38 They also bathed the chariot at a pool in Samaria, and the dogs and the swine licked up his blood while the prostitutes bathed, according to the words the Lord spoke. 39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab and everything he did, the ivory house he built, and all the cities he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel? 40 So Ahab rested with his fathers. Then Ahaziah his son reigned in his place.
Jehoshaphat Is King of Judah
41 Jehoshaphat the son of Asa became king over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned for twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 43 Now he walked in all the ways of his father Asa. He did not turn aside from them, but did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. 44 Nevertheless, the high places were not taken away, for the people offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places. 45 Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel. 46 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat and the might that he showed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Judah? 47 So Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the City of David his father. Then Jehoram his son reigned in his place.
Azariah Is King of Israel
48 Ahaziah the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years over Israel. 49 He did evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the way of his father Ahab, and in the way of his mother Jezebel, and in the sins of the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin. 50 For he served the Baals and worshiped them, and provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger, according to all the things done before him.
28 He sent darkness, and it grew dark;
And they rebelled against His words.
29 He turned their waters into blood,
And He killed their fish.
30 Their land produced frogs
In the chambers of their kings.
31 He spoke and the dog-fly came,
And gnats in all their borders.
32 He gave them hail for rain;
Fire burned up their land;
33 And He smote their vineyards and their fig trees,
And He shattered every tree in their domain.
34 He spoke, and the locust came,
And the caterpillar without number,
35 And ate up all the grass in their land,
And devoured the fruit of their land.
36 And He smote all the firstborn in their land,
The firstling of all their labor.
37 He led them out with silver and gold,
And there was not among their tribes one who was feeble.
38 Egypt was gladdened by their exodus,
For fear of them fell upon them.
39 He spread a cloud as a cover for them,
And a fire to give them light at night.
40 They asked, and the quails came,
And He filled them with the bread of heaven.
41 He split the rock, and the waters flowed;
The rivers ran in the waterless places.
42 For He remembered His holy word
Which He gave to His servant Abraham.
43 He brought out His people with exceeding joy,
And His chosen ones with gladness.
44 And He gave them the lands of the nations,
And they inherited the labors of the peoples,
45 So they might keep His ordinances,
And seek out His law.
27 Do not be a companion to an angry man
And do not associate with a quick-tempered friend,
28 Lest you learn his ways
And receive a snare for your soul.
29 Do not give yourself as surety because you respect a person,
For if you do not have the wherewithal to make compensation,
They will take your bed out from under you.
30 Do not remove the eternal landmarks your fathers established.
31 An observant man and one astute in his business
Should be present with kings,
And he should not be present with slothful men.
26 Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.
27 And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him.
28 But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.
29 “For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’
30 “Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ’
31 “For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?”
32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death.
33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.
34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.
35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”
36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine,
37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”
38 And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew:
THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”
40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?
41 “And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Jesus Dies on the Cross
(Matt. 27:45–56; Mark 15:33–41; John 19:25–30)
44 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.
46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last.
47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”
48 And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned.
49 But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
Jesus Buried in Joseph’s Tomb
(Matt. 27:57–61; Mark 15:42–47; John 19:38–42)
50 Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man.
51 He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God.
52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before.
54 That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.
55 And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid.56 Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.