1Now Jehoshaphat was very wealthy and highly honored, and he made a marriage alliance with Ahab.
2Some years later he went to pay Ahab a visit in Samaria. Ahab sacrificed many sheep and cattle for him and the people who accompanied him, and encouraged him to attack Ramoth-gilead.
3Ahab, king of Israel, asked Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, “Would you go with me against Ramoth-gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied, “You and I are as one, and my men and your men are as one. We will join forces with you in this war.”
4Then Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “But first though, please find out what the Lord says.”
5So the king of Israel brought out the prophets—four hundred of them—and he asked them, “Should we go up and attack Ramoth-gilead, or should I not?” “Yes, go ahead,” they replied, “for God will hand it over to the king.”
6But Jehoshaphat asked, “Isn't there another prophet of the Lord here that we can ask?”
7“Yes, there's another man who could consult the Lord,” the king of Israel replied, “but I don't like him because he never prophesies anything good for me—it's always bad! His name is Micaiah, son of Imlah.” “You shouldn't talk like that,” said Jehoshaphat.
8The king of Israel called over one of his officials and told him, “Bring me Micaiah, son of Imlah, right away.”
9Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah, were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor beside the gate of Samaria, with all of the prophets prophesying in front of them.
10One of them, Zedekiah, son of Chenaanah, had made himself iron horns. He announced, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these horns you will gore the Arameans until they're dead!”
11All the prophets were prophesying the same thing, saying, “Go ahead, attack Ramoth-gilead; you will be successful, for the Lord will hand it over to the king.”
12The messenger who went to call Micaiah told him, “Look, all the prophets are unanimous in prophesying positively to the king. So please make sure to speak positively like them.”
13But Micaiah replied, “As the Lord lives, I can only say what my God tells me.”
14When he came before the king, the king asked him, “Should we go up and attack Ramoth-gilead, or should I not?” “Yes, go ahead and be victorious,” Micaiah replied, “for they will be handed over to the king.”
15But the king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me only the truth in the name of the Lord?”
16So Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep without a shepherd. The Lord said, ‘These people have no master; let each of them go home in peace.’”
17The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn't I tell you he never prophesies anything good for me, only bad?”
18Micaiah went on to say, “So listen to what the Lord says. I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, surrounded by the whole army of heaven standing to his right and to his left.
19The Lord asked, ‘Who will trick Ahab, king of Israel, into attacking Ramoth-gilead so he will be killed there?’ One said this, another said that, and another said something else.
20Finally a spirit came and approached the Lord and said, ‘I will trick him.’ ‘How are you going to do that?’ the Lord asked.
21‘I will go and be a lying spirit and make all his prophets tell lies,’ the spirit replied. ‘That will work,’ the Lord responded. ‘Go and do it.’
22As you see, the Lord has put a lying spirit into these prophets of yours, and the Lord has pronounced your death sentence.”
23Then Zedekiah, son of Chenaanah, went and slapped Micaiah in the face, and demanded, “Which way did the Spirit of the Lord go when he left me to speak to you?”
24“You'll soon find out when you try and find some secret place to hide!” Micaiah replied.
25The king of Israel ordered, “Place Micaiah under arrest and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and to my son Joash.
26Tell them these are the king's instructions: ‘Put this man in jail. Give him only bread and water until my safe return.’”
27“If you do in fact return safely then the Lord has not spoken through me,” Micaiah declared. “Pay attention everyone to all I've said!”
28The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, went to attack Ramoth-gilead.
29The king of Israel told Jehoshaphat, “When I go into battle I will be in disguise, but you should wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.
30The king of Aram had already given these orders to his chariot commanders: “Head straight for the king of Israel alone. Don't fight with anyone else, whoever they are.”
31So when the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they shouted, “There's the king of Israel!” So they turned to attack him, but Jehoshaphat called out for help, and the Lord did help him. God redirected them away from him,
32for when the chariot commanders realized that he wasn't the king of Israel, they stopped chasing him.
33However, an enemy archer shot an arrow at random, hitting the king of Israel between the joints of his armor by his breastplate. The king told his charioteer, “Turn around and get me out of the fight, because I've been wounded!”
34The battle lasted all day. The king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot to face the Arameans until the evening. But he died at sunset.