|2 Chronicles 18 |
1 Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance, and joined in alliance [by marriage] with Ahab.
2 After some years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that he had with him, and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramothgilead.
3 Ahab, king of Israel, said to Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, "Will you go with me to Ramothgilead?" And he answered him, "I am as you are, and my people as your people; and we will be with you in the war."
4 And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, "Inquire, I pray you, at the word of the LORD today."
5 Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men, and said to them, "Shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I avoid war?" And they said, "Go up for God will deliver it into the king's hand."
6 But Jehoshaphat said, "Is there not a prophet here of the LORD besides, that we might inquire of him?"
7 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "There is yet one man, by whom we may inquire of the LORD; but I hate him for he has never prophesied good to me, but always evil. That man's name is Micaiah, the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, "The king should not say that."
8 And the king of Israel called for one of his officers, and said, "Go quickly and bring Micaiah, the son of Imla."
9 The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah both sat on his throne, clothed in their robes. They sat in an open place at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.
10 Zedekiah, the son of Chenaanah, had made him horns of iron, and said, "Thus says the Lord, With these you shall push Syria until they are consumed."
11 And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, "Go up to Ramothgilead and prosper for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king."
12 And the messenger that went to call Micaiah spoke to him, saying, "Behold, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one accord; therefore let your words, I pray you, be like theirs, and speak you good."
13 And Micaiah said, "As the LORD lives, even what my God said, that will I speak."
14 And when he had come to the king, the king said to him, "Micaiah, shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I avoid war? And he said, "Go you up, and prosper, and they shall be delivered into your hand." [Apparently Micaiah had received a false vision from the opposition, or he felt so much pressure to agree with the 400 false prophets that Micaiah lied; which lie he modifies in the next verses, (but does not recant), after being reminded to only tell the truth as he had been reminded many times before. There is nothing here to show that Micaiah was speaking lies under instruction from the Lord. From the word of the Lord within: "I have never asked anyone to lie." To ask someone to lie is worse than lying oneself. Common sense along with many scriptures support that God does not lie, but curiously the translators and commentators of this verse, (and its duplicate in 1 Kings 11:15), typically accuse God of lying and assume Micaiah always told the truth. God is holy, pure, perfect, and truth; the devil did not remain in the truth and is the father of all lies. John 8:44.]
15 And the king said to him, "How many times shall I order you that you say nothing but the truth to me in the name of the LORD?"
16 Then he said, I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd; and the LORD said, "These have no master; therefore let every man of them return to his house in peace."
17 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good to me, but evil?"
18 Again he said, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left.
19 And the LORD said, 'Who shall persuade Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead?' And one spoke saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. [This whole scene is suspect. The Lord could deal with Ahab permanently with the blink of an eye; numerous times he quickly eliminated thousands of Israelites as well as Israel's enemies. He gives orders and it is done, finished. He doesn't sit around and discuss with others what or how it might be done.]
20 Then there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, 'I will persuade him.' And the LORD said to him, 'With what?' [Prophet Micaiah is again relating a lying vision from the opposition, or Micaiah is again suspect of lying because of what the word of the Lord within has said: "I am not the conductor of evil, let alone the promiser of it; I neither counsel or collaborate with evil." As to why the commentators and translators so easily assume that God tells His prophets to lie, and that He collaborates with evil spirits: perhaps it is because they are all representatives of Babylon and want to believe that God is just like them; they don't know His character or know God, who is only known by revelation.]
21 And he said, 'I will go forth to be a spirit of lies in the mouth of all his prophets, to promise, persuade even to be able to go out to do just so.'1 [This verse is typically translated as God telling the Sprit to go out and deceive him, but the translators added the words "and the Lord said" for clarity. It is just as accurate to be translated as the spirit, (not the Holy spirit), continuing to say what he was going to do. One can assume that prophet Micaiah is again relating a false vision, lying, or that the verse has been incorrectly translated.]
22 Now therefore, behold, the LORD has permitted a lying spirit in the mouth of these your prophets, and the LORD has spoken evil against you." [This verse is typically translated the Lord "placed" a lying Spirit in the mouth of all these prophets; however "permitted" is just as correct. God permitted Satan to try the disciples, but He did not tell Satan what to do; there is a big difference. God permitted Satan to try Job, but He did not tell Satan to do anything; He only restricted Him to not harming Job.]
23 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and smote Micaiah upon the cheek, and said, "Which way did the Spirit of the LORD go from me to speak to you?"
24 And Micaiah said, "Behold, you will know on that day when you shall go into an inner chamber to hide yourself."
25 Then the king of Israel said, "Take Micaiah and escort him back to Amon. the governor of the city, and to Joash, the king's son;
26 And say, 'Thus said the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I return in peace.'"
27 And Micaiah said, "If you return in peace, then for certain the LORD has not spoken by me." And he said, "Listen up, (take note) all you people."
28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, went up to Ramothgilead.
29 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "I will disguise myself, and I will go to the battle; but you put on your robes." So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went to the battle.
30 Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of the chariots that were with him, saying, "Do not fight with small or great, fight only with the king of Israel."
31 And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, "It is the king of Israel." Therefore they surrounded him to fight, but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them to depart from him.
32 For it came to pass, that, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back again from pursuing him.
33 A certain man drew his bow at random and shot the king of Israel between the joints of his armor; therefore he said to his chariot man, "Turn your hand, that you may carry me out of the host for I am wounded."
34 The battle increased that day; However, the king of Israel kept himself propped up in his chariot in view of the Syrians until the evening; and at about sundown down he died.
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1 I will go forth to be a spirit of lies in the mouth of all his prophets, to promise, persuade even to be able to go out to do just so.
This verse is typically translated as And the LORD said, 'You shall entice him and also succeed. Go and do so.' However, "the Lord said" in that phrase is not in the original Greek or Hebrew, but "was added by the translators for clarity." However, if you assume the Lord never instructed anyone to lie, then the verse can be just as accurately translated as a continuation of the spirit speaking instead of the Lord. One can assume that prophet Micaiah is again relating a false vision from the opposition, lying, or that the verse has been incorrectly translated.
To prove the validity of the alternate translation presented, the below is from the original Hebrew text in the Net Bible; which shows each Hebrew word and its green numbered reference to Strong's dictionary of meanings. The green number for each wording translated can be clicked upon to verify the translation's accuracy.
|English||I will go forth||to be||a lying||spirit||in the mouths||of all|
|the prophets||to promise||to persuade||even||be able||to go out||to do||just so|
The Lord permits the demons to tempt us, but he never gives us a temptation that is too strong for us to withstand. If we resist the temptation, we grow stronger. If we fall to the temptation, we suffer, hopefully realize our error, and resolve to be stronger the next time. The atheists point to this scripture in an attempt to show that God orders people to lie; but take notice of two facts: 1) false prophets always speak lies; the Lord only gave permission for them to have a lying spirit, which false prophets always have; at best this was only a different lying spirit, and 2) the Lord through the one true prophet, Micaiah, in verse 22, warned Ahab that he was being lied to by the false prophets. But, because Ahab was weak and willful, he ignored the Lord's warning. From the word of the Lord within: "I have never asked anyone to lie."
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