1 Kings 22 A Slap in the Face


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1 Kings 22:14 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.”

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

“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”

16 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?”

17 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.’”

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

19 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’

“One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’

22 “‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.

“‘I will go out 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.’

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

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

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

26 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 27 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.’”

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

I need to go back and look at the characters.

On the Judah [the southern part of the Promised Land] side.... there's king Jehoshaphat. He loves God. He'll only go into battle if God says so.

On the Israel side [the northern part of the Promised Land] side.... there's king Ahab. He's married to Jezebel who directed him to worship idols, and Baal. She also directed the murder Naboth and his family over a veggie garden.

1 Kings 21:24 “Dogs will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds will feed on those who die in the country.”

25 (There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. 26 He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.)​

The prophet here is named Micaiah. He's a true prophet. He's a little arrogant, IMHO. At first he was being mocking king Ahab. Then when king Jehoshaphat pushed for the truth... he continued with a horrible prophesy for Ahab.

There is Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah, apparently he's the top dog of the false prophets. He's the one who slapped Micaiah in the face in verse 24.

I can just see Ahab, all dressed in his finest, saying "these prophets are always full of gloom and doom when it comes to me".. Maybe that's because they see dogs lapping at his blood or birds picking at the meat on his bones.

This is from enduringword.com.

I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by: King Ahab and others at the court found it hard to explain how one prophet could be right and 400 prophets could be wrong. Here, Micaiah explained the message of the 400 prophets. It is possible that this was just a parable, but it is more likely that Micaiah had an accurate prophetic glimpse into the heavenly drama behind these events.

On His right hand and on His left: Since the right hand was the place of favor, this may indicate that God spoke to the combinedhost of heaven, both faithful and fallen angelic beings.

Some people forget that Satan and his fellow fallen angels have access to heaven (Job 1:6, Revelation 12:10). There is a well-intentioned but mistaken teaching that God can allow no evil in His presence, meaning that Satan and other fallen angels could not be in His presence. These passages show that God can allow evil in His presence, though He can have no fellowship with evil and one day all evil will be removed from His presence (Revelation 20:14-15).​

Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead: God wanted to bring judgment against Ahab, so He asked this group of the host of heaven for a volunteer to lead Ahab into battle.

I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets: Apparently, one of the fallen angels volunteered for this task. Since Ahab wanted to be deceived, God would give him what He wanted, using a willing fallen angel who worked through willing unfaithful prophets.

“It is rather a personified spirit of prophecy (Zechariah 13:2; 1 John 4:6), for even the false prophets may be governed by supernatural or spiritual forces rather than merely human reason. It represents the power of a lie in the mouth of someone opposed to the truth and speaking for his own ends.” (Wiseman)​

Ahab had Micaiah jailed until his return. IMHO the good king just chose not to believe the prophesy. Micaiah told him.... [paraphrased] "I told you what I know".