Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Sama'ria.
And after this Ahab said to Naboth, "Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house; and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money."
But Naboth said to Ahab, "The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers."
And Ahab went into his house vexed and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him; for he had said, "I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers." And he lay down on his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no food.
But Jez'ebel his wife came to him, and said to him, "Why is your spirit so vexed that you eat no food?"
And he said to her, "Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and said to him, `Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it please you, I will give you another vineyard for it'; and he answered, `I will not give you my vineyard.'"
And Jez'ebel his wife said to him, "Do you now govern Israel? Arise, and eat bread, and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite."
So she wrote letters in Ahab's name and sealed them with his seal, and she sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who dwelt with Naboth in his city.
And she wrote in the letters, "Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people;
and set two base fellows opposite him, and let them bring a charge against him, saying, `You have cursed God and the king.' Then take him out, and stone him to death."
And the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who dwelt in his city, did as Jez'ebel had sent word to them. As it was written in the letters which she had sent to them,
they proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people.
And the two base fellows came in and sat opposite him; and the base fellows brought a charge against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, "Naboth cursed God and the king." So they took him outside the city, and stoned him to death with stones.
Then they sent to Jez'ebel, saying, "Naboth has been stoned; he is dead."
As soon as Jez'ebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jez'ebel said to Ahab, "Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead."
And as soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
Then the word of the LORD came to Eli'jah the Tishbite, saying,
"Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Sama'ria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession.
And you shall say to him, `Thus says the LORD, "Have you killed, and also taken possession?"' And you shall say to him, `Thus says the LORD: "In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your own blood."'"
Ahab said to Eli'jah, "Have you found me, O my enemy?" He answered, "I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the LORD.
Behold, I will bring evil upon you; I will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel;
and I will make your house like the house of Jerobo'am the son of Nebat, and like the house of Ba'asha the son of Ahi'jah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you have made Israel to sin.
And of Jez'ebel the LORD also said, `The dogs shall eat Jez'ebel within the bounds of Jezreel.'
Any one belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs shall eat; and any one of his who dies in the open country the birds of the air shall eat."
(There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the LORD like Ahab, whom Jez'ebel his wife incited.
He did very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the LORD cast out before the people of Israel.)
And when Ahab heard those words, he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about dejectedly.
And the word of the LORD came to Eli'jah the Tishbite, saying,
"Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days; but in his son's days I will bring the evil upon his house."
For three years Syria and Israel continued without war.
But in the third year Jehosh'aphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel.
And the king of Israel said to his servants, "Do you know that Ramoth-gilead belongs to us, and we keep quiet and do not take it out of the hand of the king of Syria?"
And he said to Jehosh'aphat, "Will you go with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead?" And Jehosh'aphat said to the king of Israel, "I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses."
And Jehosh'aphat said to the king of Israel, "Inquire first for the word of the LORD."
Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, "Shall I go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I forbear?" And they said, "Go up; for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king."
But Jehosh'aphat said, "Is there not here another prophet of the LORD of whom we may inquire?"
And the king of Israel said to Jehosh'aphat, "There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, Micai'ah the son of Imlah; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil." And Jehosh'aphat said, "Let not the king say so."
Then the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, "Bring quickly Micai'ah the son of Imlah."
Now the king of Israel and Jehosh'aphat the king of Judah were sitting on their thrones, arrayed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Sama'ria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them.
And Zedeki'ah the son of Chena'anah made for himself horns of iron, and said, "Thus says the LORD, `With these you shall push the Syrians until they are destroyed.'"
And all the prophets prophesied so, and said, "Go up to Ramoth-gilead and triumph; the LORD will give it into the hand of the king."
And the messenger who went to summon Micai'ah said to him, "Behold, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king; let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably."
But Micai'ah said, "As the LORD lives, what the LORD says to me, that I will speak."
And when he had come to the king, the king said to him, "Micai'ah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we forbear?" And he answered him, "Go up and triumph; the LORD will give it into the hand of the king."
But the king said to him, "How many times shall I adjure you that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?"
And he said, "I saw all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd; and the LORD said, `These have no master; let each return to his home in peace.'"
And the king of Israel said to Jehosh'aphat, "Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?"
And Micai'ah said, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left;
and the LORD said, `Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?' And one said one thing, and another said another.
Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, `I will entice him.'
And the LORD said to him, `By what means?' And he said, `I will go forth, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' And he said, `You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go forth and do so.'
Now therefore behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the LORD has spoken evil concerning you."
Then Zedeki'ah the son of Chena'anah came near and struck Micai'ah on the cheek, and said, "How did the Spirit of the LORD go from me to speak to you?"
And Micai'ah said, "Behold, you shall see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself."
And the king of Israel said, "Seize Micai'ah, and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and to Jo'ash the king's son;
and say, `Thus says the king, "Put this fellow in prison, and feed him with scant fare of bread and water, until I come in peace."'"
And Micai'ah said, "If you return in peace, the LORD has not spoken by me." And he said, "Hear, all you peoples!"
So the king of Israel and Jehosh'aphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead.
And the king of Israel said to Jehosh'aphat, "I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes." And the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.
Now the king of Syria had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, "Fight with neither small nor great, but only with the king of Israel."
And when the captains of the chariots saw Jehosh'aphat, they said, "It is surely the king of Israel." So they turned to fight against him; and Jehosh'aphat cried out.
And when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.
But a certain man drew his bow at a venture, and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate; therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, "Turn about, and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded."
And the battle grew hot that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians, until at evening he died; and the blood of the wound flowed into the bottom of the chariot.
And about sunset a cry went through the army, "Every man to his city, and every man to his country!"
So the king died, and was brought to Sama'ria; and they buried the king in Sama'ria.
And they washed the chariot by the pool of Sama'ria, and the dogs licked up his blood, and the harlots washed themselves in it, according to the word of the LORD which he had spoken.
Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house which he built, and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
So Ahab slept with his fathers; and Ahazi'ah his son reigned in his stead.
Jehosh'aphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel.
Jehosh'aphat was thirty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Azu'bah the daughter of Shilhi.
He walked in all the way of Asa his father; he did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the LORD; yet the high places were not taken away, and the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.
Jehosh'aphat also made peace with the king of Israel.
Now the rest of the acts of Jehosh'aphat, and his might that he showed, and how he warred, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?
And the remnant of the male cult prostitutes who remained in the days of his father Asa, he exterminated from the land.
There was no king in Edom; a deputy was king.
Jehosh'aphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold; but they did not go, for the ships were wrecked at E'zion-ge'ber.
Then Ahazi'ah the son of Ahab said to Jehosh'aphat, "Let my servants go with your servants in the ships," but Jehosh'aphat was not willing.
And Jehosh'aphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father; and Jeho'ram his son reigned in his stead.
Ahazi'ah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Sama'ria in the seventeenth year of Jehosh'aphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel.
He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jerobo'am the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
He served Ba'al and worshiped him, and provoked the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger in every way that his father had done.
For you yourselves know, brethren, that our visit to you was not in vain;
but though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philip'pi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the face of great opposition.
For our appeal does not spring from error or uncleanness, nor is it made with guile;
but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but to please God who tests our hearts.
For we never used either words of flattery, as you know, or a cloak for greed, as God is witness;
nor did we seek glory from men, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ.
But we were gentle among you, like a nurse taking care of her children.
So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
For you remember our labor and toil, brethren; we worked night and day, that we might not burden any of you, while we preached to you the gospel of God.
You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our behavior to you believers;
for you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you
to lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus which are in Judea; for you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews,
who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all men
by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they may be saved--so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But God's wrath has come upon them at last!
But since we were bereft of you, brethren, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face;
because we wanted to come to you--I, Paul, again and again--but Satan hindered us.
For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?
For you are our glory and joy.
Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone,
and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's servant in the gospel of Christ, to establish you in your faith and to exhort you,
that no one be moved by these afflictions. You yourselves know that this is to be our lot.
For when we were with you, we told you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction; just as it has come to pass, and as you know.
For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent that I might know your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and that our labor would be in vain.
But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you--
for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith;
for now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.
For what thanksgiving can we render to God for you, for all the joy which we feel for your sake before our God,
praying earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?
Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you;
and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all men, as we do to you,
so that he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.