1Kings Chapter 22 (Bible Marathon Day 156)

1Kings Chapter 22 (Bible Marathon Day 156)

Ahab’s Defeat by Aram.*
1
Three years passed without war between Aram and Israel.
2
In the third year, however, King Jehoshaphat of Judah came down to the king of Israel.
3
The king of Israel said to his servants, “Do you not know that Ramoth-gilead is ours and we are doing nothing to take it from the king of Aram?”
4
He asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you come with me to fight against Ramoth-gilead?” Jehoshaphat answered the king of Israel, “You and I are as one, and your people and my people, your horses and my horses as well.”

Prophetic Condemnation.
5
Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “Seek the word of the LORD at once.”
6
The king of Israel assembled the prophets, about four hundred of them, and asked, “Shall I go to fight against Ramoth-gilead or shall I refrain?” They said, “Attack. The Lord will give it into the power of the king.”*
7
But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there no other prophet of the LORD here we might consult?”
8
The king of Israel answered, “There is one other man through whom we might consult the LORD; but I hate him because he prophesies not good but evil about me. He is Micaiah, son of Imlah.” Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say that.”
9
So the king of Israel called an official and said to him, “Get Micaiah, son of Imlah, at once.”
10
The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, were seated, each on his throne, clothed in their robes of state in the square at the entrance of the gate of Samaria, and all the prophets were prophesying before them.
11
a Zedekiah, son of Chenaanah, made himself two horns of iron* and said, “The LORD says, With these you shall gore Aram until you have destroyed them.”
12
The other prophets prophesied in a similar vein, saying: “Attack Ramoth-gilead and conquer! The LORD will give it into the power of the king.”
13
Meanwhile, the messenger who had gone to call Micaiah said to him, “Look now, the prophets are unanimously predicting good for the king. Let your word be the same as any of theirs; speak a good word.”
14
Micaiah said, “As the LORD lives, I shall speak whatever the LORD tells me.”
15
When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to fight at Ramoth-gilead, or shall we refrain?” He said, “Attack and conquer! The LORD will give it into the power of the king.”
16
But the king answered him, “How many times must I adjure you to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?”
17
* So Micaiah said:
“I see all Israel
scattered on the mountains,
like sheep without a shepherd,
And the LORD saying,
These have no master!
Let each of them go back home in peace.”
18
The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you, he does not prophesy good about me, but only evil?”
19
* Micaiah continued: “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD seated on his throne, with the whole host of heaven standing to his right and to his left.
20
The LORD asked: Who will deceive Ahab, so that he will go up and fall on Ramoth-gilead?* And one said this, another that,
21
until this spirit came forth and stood before the LORD, saying, ‘I will deceive him.’ The LORD asked: How?
22
He answered, ‘I will go forth and become a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.’ The LORD replied: You shall succeed in deceiving him. Go forth and do this.
23
So now, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours; the LORD himself has decreed evil against you.”
24
Thereupon Zedekiah, son of Chenaanah, came up and struck Micaiah on the cheek, saying, “Has the spirit of the LORD, then, left me to speak with you?”
25
Micaiah said, “You shall find out on the day you go into an inner room to hide.”
26
The king of Israel then said, “Seize Micaiah and take him back to Amon, prefect of the city, and to Joash, the king’s son,
27
and say, ‘This is the king’s order: Put this man in prison and feed him scanty rations of bread and water until I come back in safety.’”
28
b But Micaiah said, “If you return in safety, the LORD has not spoken through me.” (He also said, “Hear, O peoples, all of you.”)*
Ahab at Ramoth-gilead.
29
The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, went up to Ramoth-gilead,
30
and the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you put on your own robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and entered the battle.
31
In the meantime the king of Aram had given his thirty-two chariot commanders the order, “Do not fight with anyone, great or small, except the king of Israel alone.”
32
When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they cried out, “There is the king of Israel!” and wheeled to fight him. But Jehoshaphat cried out,
33
and the chariot commanders, seeing that he was not the king of Israel, turned away from him.
34
But someone drew his bow at random, and hit the king of Israel between the joints of his breastplate. He ordered his charioteer, “Rein about and take me out of the ranks, for I am wounded.”
35
c The battle grew fierce during the day, and the king, who was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans, died in the evening. The blood from his wound flowed to the bottom of the chariot.
36
At sunset a cry went through the army, “Every man to his city, every man to his land!”
37
And so the king died, and came back to Samaria, and they buried him there.
38
d When they washed out the chariot at the pool of Samaria, the dogs licked up his blood and prostitutes bathed there, as the LORD had prophesied.
39
The rest of the acts of Ahab, with all that he did, including the ivory house he built and all the cities he built, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
40
Ahab rested with his ancestors, and his son Ahaziah succeeded him as king.
Reign of Jehoshaphat.
41
Jehoshaphat, son of Asa, became king of Judah in the fourth year of Ahab, king of Israel.
42
Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah, daughter of Shilhi.
43
He walked in the way of Asa his father unceasingly, doing what was right in the LORD’s sight.
44
Nevertheless, the high places did not disappear, and the people still sacrificed on the high places and burned incense there.
45
Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel.
46
The rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, with his valor, what he did and how he fought, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah.
47
He removed from the land the rest of the pagan priests who had remained in the reign of Asa his father.
48
There was no king in Edom, but an appointed regent.
49
Jehoshaphat made Tarshish ships to go to Ophir for gold; but in fact the ships did not go, because they were wrecked at Ezion-geber.
50
That was the time when Ahaziah, son of Ahab, had said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my servants accompany your servants in the ships.” But Jehoshaphat would not agree.
51
Jehoshaphat rested with his ancestors; he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David his father, and his son Jehoram succeeded him as king.
Reign of Ahaziah.*
52
Ahaziah, son of Ahab, became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year* of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah; he reigned two years over Israel.
53
He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, walking in the way of his father, his mother, and Jeroboam, son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin.
54
He served Baal and worshiped him, thus provoking the LORD, the God of Israel, just as his father had done.

* [22:1–40] This chapter presents a contrasting parallel to chap. 20, where Ahab enjoyed victories over Aram’s aggression. Here Ahab is the aggressor, but falls in battle against Aram. Like the preceding chapters, it contains a story of Ahab plus an episode of prophetic condemnation. The story ends with the formulaic conclusion to Ahab’s reign (vv. 39–40). Chronicles has a parallel version of this account in 2 Chr 18:1–34. After the story of Ahab’s death come accounts of the reign of Jehoshaphat (paralleled in 2 Chr 20:31–37) and of the beginning of the reign of Ahaziah.

* [22:6] Though Ahab is clearly intended to understand the oracle as prophesying his success, the prophets’ words are ambiguous. “The lord” (not “the LORD,” i.e., the proper name of Israel’s God) who will give victory is unidentified, as is the king to whom it will be given.

* [22:11] The “two” horns probably symbolize the coalition of two kings, Ahab and Jehoshaphat.

* [22:17] Micaiah’s oracle uses the common ancient metaphor of “shepherd” for the king. It means that the Israelite forces will be left leaderless because the king (or perhaps both kings: the word “master” could be singular or plural in Hebrew) will die in battle.

* [22:19–23] Since Ahab’s intention to attack Ramoth-gilead is unshaken, Micaiah reveals God’s plan to trick Ahab to his death, and thus virtually dares Ahab to walk into the trap with his eyes open. The work of the “lying spirit” explains the ambiguities of the prophets’ original oracle in v. 6. Prophets “stand in the council of the Lord” and are privy to its deliberations; cf. Jer 23:22.

* [22:20] Fall on Ramoth-gilead: lit., “heights of Gilead”; even the Lord’s words are double-meaning. God wants Ahab to “fall on” (that is, attack) Ramoth-gilead so that he will “fall on” (that is, die on) Ramoth-gilead.

* [22:28] The last words of the verse are a scribal gloss attributing to Micaiah, son of Imlah, the opening words of the book of a different Micaiah (Micah), the prophet of Moresheth, the sixth of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament canon.

* [22:52–54] The account of Ahaziah’s reign continues in 2 Kings.

* [22:52] Seventeenth year: so the present Hebrew text. This is consistent with the figures in 2 Kgs 3:1, but together those figures conflict with information in 1 Kgs 22:42 and 2 Kgs 1:17. The problem of the chronology of the kings of Israel and Judah has never been convincingly resolved; it is complicated by the fact that the ancient Greek translation sometimes has different lengths of reign and different accession dates. See further note on 2 Kgs 3:1.

a. [22:11] Dt 33:17.

b. [22:28] Mi 1:2.

c. [22:35] 1 Kgs 20:42.

d. [22:38] 1 Kgs 21:19.

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1Kings Chapter 21 (Bible Marathon Day 156)

Seizure of Naboth’s Vineyard.*
1
Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel next to the palace of Ahab, king of Samaria. Some time later,
2
Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard to be my vegetable garden, since it is close by, next to my house. I will give you a better vineyard in exchange, or, if you prefer, I will give you its value in money.”
3
Naboth said to Ahab, “The LORD forbid that I should give you my ancestral heritage.”*
4
Ahab went home disturbed and angry at the answer Naboth the Jezreelite had given him: “I will not give you my ancestral heritage.” Lying down on his bed, he turned away and would not eat.
5
His wife Jezebel came to him and said to him, “Why are you so sullen that you will not eat?”
6
He answered her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, ‘Sell me your vineyard, or, if you prefer, I will give you a vineyard in exchange.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’”
7
Jezebel his wife said to him, “What a king of Israel you are! Get up! Eat and be cheerful. I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”
8
So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and, having sealed them with his seal, sent them to the elders and to the nobles who lived in the same city with Naboth.
9
This is what she wrote in the letters: “Proclaim a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people.
10
Next, set two scoundrels opposite him to accuse him: ‘You have cursed God and king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.”
11
His fellow citizens—the elders and the nobles who dwelt in his city—did as Jezebel had ordered in the letters she sent them.
12
They proclaimed a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people.
13
Two scoundrels came in and sat opposite Naboth, and the scoundrels accused him in the presence of the people, “Naboth has cursed God and king.” And they led him out of the city and stoned him to death.
14
Then they sent word to Jezebel: “Naboth has been stoned to death.”
15
When Jezebel learned that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, “Go, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite which he refused to sell you, because Naboth is not alive, but dead.”
16
When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he started on his way down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
Prophetic Condemnation.
17
Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite:
18
Go down to meet Ahab, king of Israel, who is in Samaria. He will be in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession.
19
a Tell him: “Thus says the LORD: After murdering, do you also take possession?” And tell him, “Thus says the LORD: In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth, the dogs shall lick up your blood, too.”
20
* Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me out, my enemy?” He said, “I have found you. Because you have given yourself up to doing evil in the LORD’s sight,
21
b I am bringing evil upon you: I will consume you and will cut off every male belonging to Ahab, whether bond or free, in Israel.
22
I will make your house like that of Jeroboam, son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha, son of Ahijah, because you have provoked me by leading Israel into sin.”
23
Against Jezebel, too, the LORD declared: The dogs shall devour Jezebel in the confines of Jezreel.
24
Anyone of Ahab’s line who dies in the city,
dogs will devour;
Anyone who dies in the field,
the birds of the sky will devour.
25
Indeed, no one gave himself up to the doing of evil in the sight of the LORD as did Ahab, urged on by his wife Jezebel.
26
He became completely abominable by going after idols, just as the Amorites had done, whom the LORD drove out of the Israelites’ way.
27
When Ahab heard these words, he tore his garments and put on sackcloth over his bare flesh. He fasted, slept in the sackcloth, and went about subdued.
28
Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite,
29
c Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Since he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his time. I will bring the evil upon his house in his son’s time.
* [21:1–16] The story tells how Jezebel manipulates important structures of Israelite social order, law, and religious observance to eliminate a faithful Israelite landowner who frustrates Ahab’s will.

* [21:3] Heritage: Hebrew nah?alah. Naboth is unwilling to sell or exchange his vineyard. According to the Israelite system of land tenure and distribution, land was held in common within a social unit. The ancestral nah?alah was not private property, to be alienated at will.

* [21:20–26] In these verses the narrator uses against the third Israelite dynasty the same condemnation formula that was uttered against the first two dynasties, those of Jeroboam (14:9–11) and Baasha (16:2–4). Part of the formula is put in Elijah’s mouth, in an oracle against Ahab and his descendants (vv. 21–22), and part of it in an aside to the reader that extends the condemnation to Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, and his whole household (vv. 23–24). The oracle against Jezebel will be fulfilled in 2 Kgs 9:36; the obliteration of the dynasty will be recounted in the bloody stories of 2 Kgs 9–11.

a. [21:19] 1 Kgs 22:38; 2 Kgs 9:26.

b. [21:21–23] 1 Kgs 14:10–11; 15:29; 16:3–4, 11; 2 Kgs 9:8–10, 36.

1Kings Chapter 20 (Bible Marathon Day 155)

1Kings Chapter 20 (Bible Marathon Day 155)

Ahab’s Victories over Aram.*
1
Ben-hadad, king of Aram, gathered all his forces and, accompanied by thirty-two kings with horses and
chariotry, set out to besiege and attack Samaria.
2
He sent messengers to Ahab, king of Israel, within the city,
3
and said to him, “This is Ben-hadad’s message: ‘Your silver and gold are mine, and your wives and your fine
children are mine.’”
4
The king of Israel answered, “Just as you say, my lord king, I and all I have are yours.”
5
But the messengers came again and said, “This is Ben-hadad’s message: ‘I sent you word: Give me your
silver and gold, your wives and your children.
6
But now I say: At this time tomorrow I will send my servants to you, and they shall ransack your house and
the houses of your servants. They shall seize and take away whatever you consider valuable.’”
7
The king of Israel then summoned all the elders of the land and said: “Understand clearly that this man is
intent on evil. When he sent to me for my wives and children, my silver and my gold, I did not refuse him.”
8
All the elders and all the people said to him, “Do not listen. Do not give in.”
9
Accordingly he directed the messengers of Ben-hadad, “Say this: ‘To my lord the king: I will do all that you
demanded of your servant the first time. But this I cannot do.’” The messengers left and reported this.
10
Ben-hadad then responded, “May the gods do thus to me and more, if there will remain enough dust in
Samaria to make handfuls for all my followers.”
11
The king of Israel replied, “Tell him, ‘Let not one who puts on armor boast like one who takes it off.’”
12
Ben-hadad was drinking in the pavilions with the kings when he heard this reply. He commanded his
servants, “Get ready!”; and they got ready to storm the city.
13
Then a prophet came up to Ahab, king of Israel, and said: “The LORD says, Do you see all this vast army?
Today I am giving it into your power, that you may know that I am the LORD.”
14
But Ahab asked, “Through whom will it be given over?” He answered, “The LORD says, Through the aides
of the provincial governors.” Then Ahab asked, “Who is to attack?” He replied, “You are.”
15
So Ahab mustered the aides of the provincial governors, two hundred thirty-two of them. Behind them he
mustered all the Israelite soldiery, who numbered seven thousand in all.
16
* They marched out at noon, while Ben-hadad was drinking heavily in the pavilions with the thirty-two kings
who were his allies.
17
When the aides of the provincial governors marched out first, Ben-hadad received word, “Some men have
marched out of Samaria.”
18
He answered, “Whether they have come out for peace or for war, take them alive.”
19
But when these had come out of the city—the aides of the provincial governors with the army following
them—
20
each of them struck down his man. The Arameans fled with Israel pursuing them, while Ben-hadad, king of
Aram, escaped on a chariot horse.
21
Then the king of Israel went out and destroyed the horses and chariots. Thus he inflicted a severe defeat on
Aram.
22
Then the prophet approached the king of Israel and said to him: “Go, regroup your forces. Understand
clearly what you must do, for at the turning of the year* the king of Aram will attack you.”
23
Meanwhile the servants of the king of Aram said to him: “Their gods are mountain gods. That is why they
defeated us. But if we fight them on level ground, we shall be sure to defeat them.
24
This is what you must do: Take the kings from their posts and put prefects in their places.
25
Raise an army as large as the army you have lost, horse for horse, chariot for chariot. Let us fight them on
level ground, and we shall surely defeat them.” He took their advice and did this.
26
At the turning of the year, Ben-hadad mustered Aram and went up to Aphek to fight against Israel.
27
The Israelites, too, were mustered and supplied with provisions; then they went out to meet the enemy. The
Israelites, encamped opposite, looked like little flocks of goats, while Aram covered the land.
28
A man of God approached and said to the king of Israel: “The LORD says, Because Aram has said the
LORD is a god of mountains, not a god of plains, I will give all this vast army into your power that you may
know I am the LORD.”
29
They were encamped opposite each other for seven days. On the seventh day battle was joined, and the
Israelites struck down one hundred thousand foot soldiers of Aram in one day.
30
The survivors fled into the city of Aphek, where the wall collapsed on twenty-seven thousand of them. Ben-
hadad, too, fled, and took refuge within the city, in an inner room.
31
His servants said to him: “We have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings. Allow us,
therefore, to garb ourselves in sackcloth, with cords around our heads, and go out to the king of Israel.
Perhaps he will spare your life.”
32
Dressed in sackcloth girded at the waist and wearing cords around their heads, they went to the king of
Israel and said, “Your servant Ben-hadad says, ‘Spare my life!’” He asked, “Is he still alive? He is my
brother.”*
33
Hearing this as a good omen, the men quickly took him at his word and said, “Ben-hadad is your brother.”
He answered, “Go and get him.” When Ben-hadad came out to him, the king had him mount his chariot.
34
Ben-hadad said to him, “The cities my father took from your father I will restore, and you may set up bazaars
for yourself in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria.” Ahab replied, “For my part, I will set you free on those
terms.” So he made a covenant with him and then set him free.
Prophetic Condemnation.
35
Acting on the word of the LORD, one of the guild prophets said to his companion, “Strike me.” But he refused
to strike him.
36
Then he said to him, “Since you did not obey the voice of the LORD, a lion will attack you when you leave
me.” When he left him, a lion came upon him and attacked him.a
37
Then the prophet met another man and said, “Strike me.” The man struck him a blow and wounded him.
38
The prophet went on and waited for the king on the road, disguising himself with a bandage over his eyes.
39
As the king was passing, he called out to the king and said: “Your servant went into the thick of the battle, and
suddenly someone turned and brought me a man and said, ‘Guard this man. If he is missing, you shall have
to pay for his life with your life or pay out a talent of silver.’*
40
But while your servant was occupied here and there, the man disappeared.” The king of Israel said to him,
“That is your sentence. You have decided it yourself.”
41
He quickly removed the bandage from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him as one of the
prophets.
42
b He said to him: “The LORD says, Because you have set free the man I put under the ban,* your life shall
pay for his life, your people for his people.”
43
c Disturbed and angry, the king of Israel set off for home and entered Samaria.

* [20:1–22:54] Although coverage of Ahab’s reign began in 16:29, he was only a secondary character in the
chapters about Elijah. Now attention focuses on Ahab. Each of these chapters tells a story of the king
(20:1–34; 21:1–16; 22:1–4, 29–38), to which is attached a scene of prophetic condemnation (20:30–42;
21:17–29; 22:5–28). As relations between Ahab and the prophets of the Lord deteriorate, the scenes of
prophetic condemnation get longer and the condemnations themselves become more pointed. Some
historians doubt that the stories of hostility between Israel and Aram (chaps. 20 and 22) originally pertained
to the reign of Ahab. If this is correct, their original setting may have been several decades later.

* [20:1–34] This story recounts two battles through which Ahab won freedom for Israel from vassalage to
Ben-hadad of Syria. The story is chiastically arranged: negotiations (vv. 1–12), battle (vv. 13–21), battle (vv.
22–30), negotiations (vv. 31–34). The ensuing prophetic condemnation is surprising, since the portrait of
Ahab in vv. 1–34 is apparently quite positive.

* [20:16–19] The narrator uses a sort of verbal split-screen technique to show us two separate and
simultaneous scenes. At the gates of Samaria, the Israelite forces are coming out to battle (v. 16a): first the
aides (lit., “young men”; v. 17a), then the whole army (v. 19). Meanwhile in the Aramean camp Ben-hadad is
getting drunk (v. 16b), receiving reports (v. 17b) and issuing commands (v. 18).

* [20:22] At the turning of the year: the idiom may mean “next year about this time” or “at the beginning of the
year,” i.e., the spring (cf. 2 Sm 11:1).

* [20:32] He is my brother: cf. note on 9:13.

* [20:39] The “man” is ostensibly a prisoner of war, to be kept or sold as a slave. In the event he escapes, the
one charged with guarding him would be obliged either to pay a fine or to take his place as a slave. The fine,
however, is exorbitant: a talent of silver is roughly one hundred times the price of an ordinary slave (see Ex
21:32). This is the only clue Ahab will get that he is being set up and that the story is really about himself in
his dealings with Ben-hadad. In 2 Sm 14:1–20, the wise woman of Tekoa uses the same technique with
King David: she tells a story that elicits a reaction from the king; David is tricked into pronouncing judgment
on himself, as the story parallels his own situation. The prophet Nathan (2 Sm 12:1–7) likewise uses a story
that leads David to see his sin for what it is.

* [20:42] Under the ban: cf. note on Dt 2:34.

a. [20:36] 1 Kgs 13:24.

b. [20:42] 1 Kgs 22:35.

c. [20:43] 1 Kgs 21:4.

1Kings Chapter 19 (Bible Marathon Day 155)

1Kings Chapter 19 (Bible Marathon Day 155)

Flight to Horeb.*
1
Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done—that he had murdered all the prophets by the sword.
2
Jezebel then sent a messenger to Elijah and said, “May the gods do thus to me and more, if by this time
tomorrow I have not done with your life what was done to each of them.”
3
Elijah was afraid and fled for his life, going to Beer-sheba of Judah. He left his servant there
4
a and went a day’s journey into the wilderness, until he came to a solitary broom tree and sat beneath it. He
prayed for death: “Enough, LORD! Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.”
5
He lay down and fell asleep under the solitary broom tree, but suddenly a messenger* touched him and
said, “Get up and eat!”
6
He looked and there at his head was a hearth cake and a jug of water. After he ate and drank, he lay down
again,
7
but the angel of the LORD came back a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat or the journey
will be too much for you!”
8
b He got up, ate, and drank; then strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights to the
mountain of God, Horeb.
9
There he came to a cave, where he took shelter. But the word of the LORD came to him: Why are you here,
Elijah?
10
He answered: “I have been most zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts, but the Israelites have forsaken
your covenant. They have destroyed your altars and murdered your prophets by the sword. I alone remain,
and they seek to take my life.”
11
c Then the LORD said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD;* the LORD will pass by. There
was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD—but the LORD
was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake—but the LORD was not in the earthquake;
12
after the earthquake, fire—but the LORD was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound.*
13
When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. A
voice said to him, Why are you here, Elijah?
14
d He replied, “I have been most zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts, but the Israelites have forsaken
your covenant. They have destroyed your altars and murdered your prophets by the sword. I alone remain,
and they seek to take my life.”
15
* e The LORD said to him: Go back! Take the desert road to Damascus. When you arrive, you shall anoint
Hazael as king of Aram.
16
f You shall also anoint Jehu, son of Nimshi, as king of Israel, and Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah, as
prophet to succeed you.
17
Anyone who escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill. Anyone who escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will
kill.
18
g But I will spare seven thousand in Israel—every knee that has not bent to Baal, every mouth that has not
kissed him.
19
* Elijah set out, and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat, as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen; he was
following the twelfth. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak on him.
20
h Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Please, let me kiss my father and mother good-bye, and I will
follow you.” Elijah answered, “Go back! What have I done to you?”
21
Elisha left him and, taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them; he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil
their flesh, and gave it to the people to eat. Then he left and followed Elijah to serve him.

* [19:1–21] The story of Elijah’s journey to Mount Horeb begins as a flight from danger, but takes a surprising
turn. The prophet makes his solitary way to the mountain where the Lord had appeared to Moses and the
Israelites (“Horeb” is an alternate name for “Sinai”). Like Moses on the holy mountain, Elijah experiences a
theophany and receives a commission.

* [19:5–7] Sound asleep, Elijah is startled awake by an unspecified “messenger.” Only in v. 7 is the figure
identified as a messenger (or “angel”) of the Lord.

* [19:11–13] To “stand before the Lord” is a literal translation of a Hebrew idiom meaning “to serve the Lord”;
Elijah has used this idiom twice before to describe himself as the Lord’s servant (17:1; 18:15). The Lord’s
command, then, means that Elijah is to take up once again the prophetic service to which he has been
appointed. The Lord’s question, “Why are you here?” (v. 9, repeated in v. 13), could imply an accusation that
he is abandoning his prophetic office. In v. 15, the Lord tells him to go back.

* [19:12] Compare these divine manifestations to Elijah with those to Moses on the same mountain (Ex
19:16–19; 33:18–23; 34:5–6; Dt 4:10–15). Though various phenomena, such as wind, storms,
earthquakes, fire, accompany the divine presence, they do not constitute the presence itself which, like the
“silent sound,” is mysterious and ultimately ungraspable. Moses and Elijah, the two figures who experienced
God’s theophany on this mountain, reappear with Jesus on another mountain at his transfiguration (Mt
17:1–9; Mk 9:2–9; Lk 9:28–36).

* [19:15–17] Elijah himself carried out only the last of the three commissions entrusted to him (vv. 19–21);
Elisha performed the first himself (2 Kgs 8:7–19), and the second, the anointing of Jehu, through one of his
followers (2 Kgs 9:1–10).

* [19:19–21] Elijah’s act of throwing his mantle over the shoulders of Elisha associates him with Elijah as a
servant (v. 21). Elisha will later succeed to Elijah’s position and prophetic power (2 Kgs 2:1–15). Elisha’s
prompt response, destroying his plow and oxen, signifies a radical change from his former manner of living.

a. [19:4] Jon 4:6–9.

b. [19:8] Ex 34:28.

c. [19:11–13] Ex 33:18–23; 34:5–6.

d. [19:14] Rom 11:3.

e. [19:15] 2 Kgs 8:7–15.

f. [19:16] 2 Kgs 2:1–15; 9:1–10.

g. [19:18] Rom 11:4.

h. [19:20] Lk 9:61–62.

1Kings Chapter 18 (Bible Marathon Day 154)

1Kings Chapter 18 (Bible Marathon Day 154)

Elijah Ends the Drought.*
1
Long afterward, in the third year, the word of the LORD came to Elijah: Go, present yourself to Ahab, that I
may send rain upon the earth.
2
So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab.

Now the famine in Samaria was severe,
3
and Ahab had summoned Obadiah, master of his palace, who greatly revered the LORD.
4
When Jezebel was slaughtering the prophets of the LORD, Obadiah took a hundred prophets, hid them
away by fifties in caves, and supplied them with food and water.
5
Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go through the land to all sources of water and to all the wadis. We may find grass
and keep the horses and mules alive, so that we shall not have to slaughter any of the beasts.”
6
Dividing the land to explore between them, Ahab went one way by himself, Obadiah another way by himself.
7
As Obadiah was on his way, Elijah met him. Recognizing him, Obadiah fell prostrate and asked, “Is it you,
my lord Elijah?”
8
He said to him, “Yes. Go tell your lord, ‘Elijah is here!’”*
9
But Obadiah said, “What sin has your servant committed, that you are handing me over to Ahab to be killed?
10
As the LORD, your God, lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent in search of you.
When they replied, ‘He is not here,’ he made each kingdom and nation swear they could not find you.
11
And now you say, ‘Go tell your lord: Elijah is here!’
12
After I leave you, the spirit of the LORD will carry you to some place I do not know, and when I go to inform
Ahab and he does not find you, he will kill me—though your servant has revered the LORD from his youth!
13
Have you not been told, my lord, what I did when Jezebel was murdering the prophets of the LORD—that I
hid a hundred of the prophets of the LORD, fifty each in caves, and supplied them with food and water?
14
And now you say, ‘Go tell your lord: Elijah is here!’ He will kill me!”
15
Elijah answered, “As the LORD of hosts lives, whom I serve, I will present myself to him today.”
16
So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and informed him, and Ahab came to meet Elijah.
17
When Ahab saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is it you, you disturber of Israel?”
18
He answered, “It is not I who disturb Israel, but you and your father’s house, by forsaking the commands of
the LORD and you by following the Baals.
19
Now summon all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, as well as the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and
the four hundred prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
20
So Ahab summoned all the Israelites and had the prophets gather on Mount Carmel.
21
Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long will you straddle the issue? If the LORD is God, follow
him; if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him.
22
So Elijah said to the people, “I am the only remaining prophet of the LORD, and there are four hundred and
fifty prophets of Baal.
23
Give us two young bulls. Let them choose one, cut it into pieces, and place it on the wood, but start no fire. I
shall prepare the other and place it on the wood, but shall start no fire.
24
You shall call upon the name of your gods, and I will call upon the name of the LORD. The God who
answers with fire is God.” All the people answered, “We agree!”
25
Elijah then said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one young bull and prepare it first, for there are more of
you. Call upon your gods, but do not start the fire.”
26
Taking the young bull that was turned over to them, they prepared it and called upon Baal from morning to
noon, saying, “Baal, answer us!” But there was no sound, and no one answering. And they hopped around
the altar they had prepared.
27
When it was noon, Elijah taunted them: “Call louder, for he is a god; he may be busy doing his business, or
may be on a journey. Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”
28
They called out louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears according to their ritual until blood
gushed over them.
29
Noon passed and they remained in a prophetic state until the time for offering sacrifice. But there was no
sound, no one answering, no one listening.
30
Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” When they drew near to him, he repaired the altar of
the LORD which had been destroyed.
31
He took twelve stones, for the number of tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the LORD had said: Israel shall
be your name.
32
He built the stones into an altar to the name of the LORD, and made a trench around the altar large enough
for two measures of grain.
33
When he had arranged the wood, he cut up the young bull and laid it on the wood.
34
He said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it over the burnt offering and over the wood.” “Do it again,” he said,
and they did it again. “Do it a third time,” he said, and they did it a third time.
35
The water flowed around the altar; even the trench was filled with the water.
36
At the time for offering sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came forward and said, “LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac,
and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all
these things at your command.
37
a Answer me, LORD! Answer me, that this people may know that you, LORD, are God and that you have
turned their hearts back to you.”
38
The LORD’s fire came down and devoured the burnt offering, wood, stones, and dust, and lapped up the
water in the trench.
39
Seeing this, all the people fell prostrate and said, “The LORD is God! The LORD is God!”
40
b Then Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Let none of them escape!” They seized them, and
Elijah brought them down to the Wadi Kishon and there he slaughtered them.
41
Elijah then said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.”
42
So Ahab went up to eat and drink, while Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, crouched down to the earth, and
put his head between his knees.
43
He said to his servant, “Go up and look out to sea.” He went up and looked, but reported, “There is nothing.”
Seven times he said, “Go look again!”
44
And the seventh time the youth reported, “There is a cloud as small as a man’s hand rising from the sea.”
Elijah said, “Go and say to Ahab, ‘Harness up and go down the mountain before the rain stops you.’”
45
All at once the sky grew dark with clouds and wind, and a heavy rain fell. Ahab mounted his chariot and
headed for Jezreel.
46
But the hand of the LORD was on Elijah. He girded up his clothing and ran before Ahab as far as the
approaches to Jezreel.

* [18:1–45] The story of the conflict with the prophets of Baal (vv. 21–40) is embedded in the story of the
drought and its ending (vv. 1–20, 41–45). The connection between the two stories is found in Canaanite
theology, in whose pantheon Baal, “the Cloud Rider,” the god of rain and storm, was recognized as the one
who brings fertility. Worship of many gods was virtually universal in the ancient world; the Israelite
requirement of exclusive worship of the Lord (Ex 20:3) was unique. The people of Israel had apparently
become comfortable worshiping both Baal and the Lord, perhaps assigning mutually exclusive spheres of
influence to each. By claiming authority over the rain (17:1; 18:1), the Lord was challenging Baal’s power in
Baal’s own domain. The entire drought story in chaps. 17–18 implies what becomes explicit in 18:21–40:
this is a struggle between the Lord and Baal for the loyalties of the people of Israel.

* [18:8] Elijah is here: the Hebrew hinneh ‘eliyahu involves a pun. The sentence means both “Elijah is here,”
informing Ahab that the prophet has been found, and “Behold, Yhwh is my God” (the meaning of the name
“Elijah”).

a. [18:37] Ex 32:13.

b. [18:40] Ex 32:26–28.

1Kings Chapter 17 (Bible Marathon Day 154)

1Kings Chapter 17 (Bible Marathon Day 154)

Elijah Proclaims a Drought.*
1
Elijah the Tishbite,* a from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab: “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I
serve, during these years there shall be no dew or rain except at my word.”
2
The word of the LORD came to Elijah:
3
Leave here, go east and hide in the Wadi Cherith, east of the Jordan.
4
You shall drink of the wadi, and I have commanded ravens to feed you there.
5
So he left and did as the LORD had commanded. He left and remained by the Wadi Cherith, east of the
Jordan.
6
b Ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank
from the wadi.
7
After some time, however, the wadi ran dry, because no rain had fallen in the land.
8
c So the word of the LORD came to him:
9
Arise, go to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow there to feed you.
10
He arose and went to Zarephath. When he arrived at the entrance of the city, a widow was there gathering
sticks; he called out to her, “Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink.”
11
She left to get it, and he called out after her, “Please bring along a crust of bread.”
12
She said, “As the LORD, your God, lives, I have nothing baked; there is only a handful of flour in my jar and a
little oil in my jug. Just now I was collecting a few sticks, to go in and prepare something for myself and my
son; when we have eaten it, we shall die.”
13
Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid. Go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake and bring it to
me. Afterwards you can prepare something for yourself and your son.
14
For the LORD, the God of Israel, says: The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the
day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.”
15
She left and did as Elijah had said. She had enough to eat for a long time—he and she and her household.
16
The jar of flour did not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD spoken through
Elijah.
17
d Some time later the son of the woman, the owner of the house, fell sick, and his sickness grew more
severe until he stopped breathing.
18
So she said to Elijah, “Why have you done this to me, man of God? Have you come to me to call attention to
my guilt and to kill my son?”
19
Elijah said to her, “Give me your son.” Taking him from her lap, he carried him to the upper room where he
was staying, and laid him on his own bed.
20
He called out to the LORD: “LORD, my God, will you afflict even the widow with whom I am staying by killing
her son?”
21
Then he stretched himself out upon the child three times and he called out to the LORD: “LORD, my God, let
the life breath return to the body of this child.”
22
The LORD heard the prayer of Elijah; the life breath returned to the child’s body and he lived.
23
Taking the child, Elijah carried him down into the house from the upper room and gave him to his mother.
Elijah said, “See! Your son is alive.”
24
The woman said to Elijah, “Now indeed I know that you are a man of God, and it is truly the word of the LORD
that you speak.”

* [17:1–19:21] The central section of 1–2 Kings tells the story of the dynasty of Omri. That dynasty begins and
ends in civil war (1 Kgs 16:21–22; 2 Kgs 9–11). Most of the story is set during the reigns of Ahab of Israel (1
Kgs 16:29–22:40) and his son Joram (2 Kgs 3:1–9:26) and focuses particularly on the interaction of the king
with various prophets, especially Ahab with Elijah and Joram with Elisha. The story of Ahab itself contains two
large complexes, a series of narratives about Elijah (1 Kgs 17:1–19:21) and a series about hostility between
Ahab and the prophets (1 Kgs 20:1–22:38).

* [17:1–24] The story of Elijah is in three parts. The first (chap. 17) describes how Elijah proclaimed a
drought on God’s authority and how he survived during the drought. The second (chap. 18) describes how
he ends the drought by bringing the populace back to exclusive worship of the Lord. The third (chap. 19)
describes Elijah’s despair at the failure of his prophetic mission and his consequent attempt to resign from
the prophetic office.

* [17:1] This verse introduces the enigmatic figure of Elijah the Tishbite. (The name “Elijah” means “the Lord
is my God.” The meaning of “Tishbite” is unknown; it may refer to a place or to a social class.) His
appearance before Ahab is abrupt and involves several matters that will unify the whole Elijah story. His claim
to “serve the Lord” (lit., to “stand before the Lord”) points forward to 19:13, where he refuses to do so; the
center of narrative tension on this level is the question of the prophet’s autonomy in God’s service. His
proclamation of a drought points forward to 18:41–45 where he announces the drought’s end; the center of
narrative tension on this level is the struggle between the Lord and the Canaanite fertility god Baal for the
loyalties of Israel. His claim that the drought is due to his own word of power (“except at my word”) points
forward to 17:24 where the widow acknowledges the divine source of the word Elijah speaks; the center of
narrative tension on this level is the gradual characterization of the prophet as one who receives a divine
word (vv. 2, 8), obeys it (v. 5), conveys an effective divine word of threat (v. 1) or promise (vv. 14, 16), and
even speaks an effective human word of entreaty to God (vv. 20, 22).

a. [17:1] Sir 48:1–12; Jas 5:17–18.

b. [17:6] Ex 16:8, 12.

c. [17:8–16] 2 Kgs 4:1–7; Lk 4:25–26.

d. [17:17–24] 2 Kgs 4:18–37; Lk 7:11–16.

1Kings Chapter 16 (Bible Marathon Day 153)

1Kings Chapter 16 (Bible Marathon Day 153)

1
The word of the LORD came to Jehu, son of Hanani, against Baasha:
2
Inasmuch as I exalted you from the dust and made you ruler of my people Israel, but you have walked in the
way of Jeroboam and have caused my people Israel to sin, provoking me to anger by their sins,
3
a I will burn up what is left of Baasha and his house; I will make your house like that of Jeroboam, son of
Nebat:
4
b One of Baasha’s line who dies in the city,
dogs will devour;
One who dies in the field,
the birds of the sky will devour.
5
The rest of the acts of Baasha, what he did and his valor, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the
kings of Israel.
6
Baasha rested with his ancestors; he was buried in Tirzah, and his son Elah succeeded him as king.
7
(Through the prophet Jehu, son of Hanani, the word of the LORD came against Baasha and his house,
because of all the evil Baasha did in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger by his deeds so that he
became like the house of Jeroboam, and because of what he destroyed.)

Reign of Elah.
8
In the twenty-sixth year of Asa, king of Judah, Elah, son of Baasha, became king of Israel in Tirzah for two
years.
9
His servant Zimri, commander of half his chariots, plotted against him. As he was in Tirzah, drinking to
excess in the house of Arza, master of his palace in Tirzah,
10
c Zimri entered; he struck and killed him in the twenty-seventh year of Asa, king of Judah, and succeeded
him as king.
11
Once he was king, seated on the throne, he killed the whole house of Baasha, not sparing a single male
relative or friend of his.
12
d Zimri destroyed the entire house of Baasha, according to the word the LORD spoke against Baasha
through Jehu the prophet,
13
because of all the sins which Baasha and his son Elah committed and caused Israel to commit, provoking
the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger by their idols.
14
The rest of the acts of Elah, with all that he did, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of
Israel.

Reign of Zimri.
15
In the twenty-seventh year of Asa, king of Judah, Zimri became king for seven days in Tirzah.
The army was encamped at Gibbethon of the Philistines
16
when they heard, “Zimri has formed a conspiracy and has killed the king.” So that day in the camp all Israel
made Omri, commander of the army, king of Israel.
17
Omri and all Israel with him marched up from Gibbethon and besieged Tirzah.
18
When Zimri saw that the city was captured, he entered the citadel of the king’s house and burned it down
over him. He died
19
because of the sins he had committed, doing what was evil in the LORD’s sight by walking in the way of
Jeroboam and the sin he had caused Israel to commit.
20
The rest of the acts of Zimri, with the conspiracy he carried out, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of
the kings of Israel.

Civil War.
21
At that time the people of Israel were divided in two, half following Tibni, son of Ginath, to make him king, and
half for Omri.
22
The partisans of Omri prevailed over those of Tibni, son of Ginath. Tibni died and Omri became king.

Reign of Omri.
23
In the thirty-first year of Asa, king of Judah, Omri became king of Israel for twelve years; the first six of them he
reigned in Tirzah.
24
He then bought the mountain of Samaria from Shemer for two silver talents and built upon the mountain the
city he named Samaria, after Shemer, the former owner.
25
But Omri did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, more than any of his predecessors.
26
In every way he imitated the sinful conduct of Jeroboam, son of Nebat, and the sin he had caused Israel to
commit, thus provoking the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger by their idols.
27
The rest of the acts of Omri, what he did and his valor, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings
of Israel.
28
Omri rested with his ancestors; he was buried in Samaria, and Ahab his son succeeded him as king.

Reign of Ahab.
29
Ahab, son of Omri, became king of Israel in the thirty-eighth year of Asa, king of Judah. Ahab, son of Omri,
reigned over Israel in Samaria for twenty-two years.
30
Ahab, son of Omri, did what was evil in the LORD’s sight more than any of his predecessors.
31
It was not enough for him to follow the sins of Jeroboam, son of Nebat. He even married Jezebel, daughter
of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal, and worship him.
32
Ahab set up an altar to Baal in the house of Baal which he built in Samaria,
33
and also made an asherah. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than any of the
kings of Israel before him.
34
e During his reign, Hiel from Bethel rebuilt Jericho. At the cost of Abiram, his firstborn son, he laid the
foundation, and at the cost of Segub, his youngest son, he set up the gates, according to the word of the
LORD spoken through Joshua, son of Nun.*

* [16:34] See note on Jos 6:26.

a. [16:3] 1 Kgs 16:11; 21:22.

b. [16:4] 1 Kgs 14:11.

c. [16:10] 2 Kgs 9:31.

d. [16:12] 1 Kgs 16:2–4.

e. [16:34] Jos 6:26.

1Kings Chapter 15 (Bible Marathon Day 153)

1Kings Chapter 15 (Bible Marathon Day 153)

Reign of Abijam.
1
In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, son of Nebat, Abijam became king of Judah;
2
he reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah, daughter of Abishalom.
3
He followed all the sins his father had committed before him, and his heart was not entirely with the LORD,
his God, as was the heart of David his father.
4
Yet for David’s sake the LORD, his God, gave him a holding in Jerusalem, raising up his son after him and
permitting Jerusalem to endure,
5
a because David had done what was right in the sight of the LORD and did not disobey any of his
commands as long as he lived, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.
6
There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days.
7
The rest of the acts of Abijam, with all that he did, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of
Judah. There was war between Abijam and Jeroboam.
8
Abijam rested with his ancestors; they buried him in the City of David, and his son Asa succeeded him as
king.

Reign of Asa.
9
In the twentieth year of Jeroboam, king of Israel, Asa, king of Judah, became king;
10
he reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s* name was Maacah, daughter of Abishalom.
11
Asa did what was right in the sight of the LORD like David his father,
12
banishing the pagan priests from the land and removing all the idols his ancestors had made.
13
He also deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother, because she had made an
outrageous object for Asherah. Asa cut down this object and burned it in the Wadi Kidron.
14
The high places did not disappear; yet Asa’s heart was entirely with the LORD as long as he lived.
15
He brought into the house of the LORD his father’s and his own votive offerings of silver and gold and
various vessels.
16
There was war between Asa and Baasha, king of Israel, all their days.
17
Baasha, king of Israel, attacked Judah and fortified Ramah to blockade Asa, king of Judah.
18
Asa then took all the silver and gold remaining in the treasuries of the house of the LORD and the house of
the king. Entrusting them to his ministers, King Asa sent them to Ben-hadad, son of Tabrimmon, son of
Hezion, king of Aram,* who ruled in Damascus. He said:
19
“There is a treaty between you and me, as there was between your father and my father. I am sending you a
present of silver and gold. Go, break your treaty with Baasha, king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me.”
20
Ben-hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the leaders of his troops against the cities of Israel. They attacked
Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, and all Chinnereth, besides all the land of Naphtali.
21
When Baasha heard of it, he left off fortifying Ramah, and stayed in Tirzah.
22
Then King Asa summoned all Judah without exception, and they carried away the stones and beams with
which Baasha was fortifying Ramah. With them King Asa built Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah.
23
All the rest of the acts of Asa, with all his valor and all that he did, and the cities he built, are recorded in the
book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah. But in his old age, Asa had an infirmity in his feet.
24
Asa rested with his ancestors; he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David his father, and his son
Jehoshaphat succeeded him as king.
Reign of Nadab.
25
Nadab, son of Jeroboam, became king of Israel in the second year of Asa, king of Judah. For two years he
reigned over Israel.
26
He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, walking in the way of his father and the sin he had caused Israel to
commit.
27
Baasha, son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, plotted against him and struck him down at Gibbethon of the
Philistines, which Nadab and all Israel were besieging.
28
Baasha killed him in the third year of Asa, king of Judah, and succeeded him as king.
29
b Once he was king, he killed the entire house of Jeroboam, not leaving a single soul but destroying
Jeroboam utterly, according to the word of the LORD spoken through his servant, Ahijah the Shilonite,
30
because of the sins Jeroboam committed and caused Israel to commit, by which he provoked the LORD,
the God of Israel, to anger.
31
The rest of the acts of Nadab, with all that he did, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of
Israel.
32
There was war between Asa and Baasha, king of Israel, all their days.

Reign of Baasha.
33
In the third year of Asa, king of Judah, Baasha, son of Ahijah, became king of all Israel in Tirzah for twenty-
four years.
34
He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, walking in the way of Jeroboam and the sin he had caused Israel
to commit.

* [15:10] Maacah was in fact Asa’s grandmother (see v. 2), but “king’s mother” was perhaps a title for the
gebira, the “Great Lady” or “queen mother” (see, for instance, 2:19). This influential position was usually held
by the king’s biological mother, but Maacah may have retained it after the early death of her son Abijam.

* [15:18] Ben-hadad…king of Aram: Ben-hadad I, third successor of Rezon, who had thrown off the yoke of
the Israelites during the reign of Solomon and become king of Aram (11:23–24). Chronicles has a parallel
version of this account in 2 Chr 16:1–6. Who ruled: lit., “sitting,” i.e., enthroned, possibly also meaning
“resident” or “residing.”

a. [15:5] 2 Sm 11:1–27.

b. [15:29] 1 Kgs 14:10–11.

1Kings Chapter 14 (Bible Marathon Day 152)

1Kings Chapter 14 (Bible Marathon Day 152)

Ahijah Announces Jeroboam’s Downfall.*
1
At that time Abijah, son of Jeroboam, took sick.
2
a So Jeroboam said to his wife, “Go and disguise yourself so that no one will recognize you as Jeroboam’s
wife. Then go to Shiloh, where you will find Ahijah the prophet. It was he who spoke the word that made me
king over this people.
3
Take along ten loaves, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to
the child.”
4
The wife of Jeroboam did so. She left and went to Shiloh and came to the house of Ahijah.

Now Ahijah could not see because age had dimmed his sight.
5
But the LORD said to Ahijah: Jeroboam’s wife is coming to consult you about her son, for he is sick. Thus
and so you must tell her. When she comes, she will be in disguise.
6
So Ahijah, hearing the sound of her footsteps as she entered the door, said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam.
Why are you in disguise? For my part, I have been commissioned to give you bitter news.
7
Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: I exalted you from among the people and made
you ruler of my people Israel.
8
I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you. Yet you have not been like my servant
David, who kept my commandments and followed me with his whole heart, doing only what is right in my
sight.
9
You have done more evil than all who were before you: you have gone and made for yourself other gods
and molten images to provoke me; but me you have cast behind your back.
10
b Therefore, I am bringing evil upon the house of Jeroboam:
I will cut off from Jeroboam’s line every male
—bond or free—in Israel;
I will burn up what is left of the house of Jeroboam
as dung is burned, completely.
11
c Anyone of Jeroboam’s line who dies in the city,
dogs will devour;
anyone who dies in the field,
the birds of the sky will devour.
For the LORD has spoken!’
12
As for you, leave, and go home! As you step inside the city, the child will die,
13
and all Israel will mourn him and bury him, for he alone of Jeroboam’s line will be laid in the grave, since in
him alone of Jeroboam’s house has something pleasing to the LORD, the God of Israel, been found.
14
The LORD will raise up for himself a king over Israel who will cut off the house of Jeroboam—today, at this
very moment!
15
The LORD will strike Israel like a reed tossed about in the water and will pluck out Israel from this good land
which he gave their ancestors, and will scatter them beyond the River,* because they made asherahs for
themselves, provoking the LORD.
16
He will give up Israel because of the sins Jeroboam has committed and caused Israel to commit.”
17
So Jeroboam’s wife left and went back; when she came to Tirzah and crossed the threshold of her house,
the child died.
18
He was buried and all Israel mourned him, according to the word of the LORD spoken through his servant
Ahijah the prophet.
19
The rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he fought and how he reigned, these are recorded in the book of the
chronicles of the kings of Israel.
20
The length of Jeroboam’s reign was twenty-two years. He rested with his ancestors, and Nadab his son
succeeded him as king.

Reign of Rehoboam.
21
* Rehoboam, son of Solomon, became king in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became
king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city in which, out of all the tribes of Israel, the LORD
chose to set his name. His mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonite.
22
Judah did evil in the LORD’s sight and they angered him even more than their ancestors had done.
23
They, too, built for themselves high places, sacred pillars, and asherahs,* upon every high hill and under
every green tree.
24
There were also pagan priests in the land. Judah imitated all the abominable practices of the nations whom
the LORD had driven out of the Israelites’ way.
25
* In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak, king of Egypt, attacked Jerusalem.
26
d He took everything, including the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the house of the
king, even the gold shields Solomon had made.
27
To replace them, King Rehoboam made bronze shields, which he entrusted to the officers of the guard on
duty at the entrance of the royal house.
28
Whenever the king visited the house of the LORD, those on duty would carry the shields, and then return
them to the guardroom.
29
The rest of the acts of Rehoboam, with all that he did, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings
of Judah.
30
There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days.
31
Rehoboam rested with his ancestors; he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. His mother’s
name was Naamah the Ammonite. His son Abijam succeeded him as king.

* [14:1–20] The last major unit of the Jeroboam story recounts the story of Ahijah of Shiloh’s oracle
condemning the entire house of Jeroboam; this is followed by a formulaic notice of Jeroboam’s death and
the succession of his son. Compare the first unit of the Jeroboam story, 11:26–43, which recounted Ahijah’s
oracle proclaiming Jeroboam’s kingship, followed by the formulaic notice of the death of Solomon.

* [14:15] The River: the Euphrates; see note on 5:1.

* [14:21–16:34] The treatment of the events of Jeroboam’s reign shows that the author believes that the
political division of the kingdoms embodies the Lord’s will, but that their religious separation is undesirable.
The Israelites are, in effect, one people of God under two royal administrations. This complex arrangement is
reflected in the way 1–2 Kings organizes the history of the divided kingdoms. Each reign is treated as a unity:
the kings, whether of Israel or Judah, are legitimate rulers. But the accounts of northern and southern kings
are interwoven in the order in which each came to the throne, without regard to which kingdom they ruled:
the people of God is one.

* [14:21] The account of each king’s reign follows the same basic pattern: a formulaic introduction, a
theological evaluation based on religious fidelity, a brief account of an event from the king’s reign, and a
formulaic conclusion.

* [14:23] Asherahs: see note on Ex 34:13.

* [14:25–28, 30] The narrator recounts Shishak’s campaign here to imply that it was punishment for Judah’s
evil, and perhaps to cast him as supporting Jeroboam in his constant warfare with Rehoboam. (Shishak was
named as Jeroboam’s protector and patron in 11:40.) Egyptian records of the campaign list one hundred
fifty cities conquered in Israel as well as Judah, but Jerusalem is not one of them. Chronicles has a parallel
version of this account in 2 Chr 12:9–11.

a. [14:2] 1 Kgs 11:29–39.

b. [14:10] 1 Kgs 15:29–30.

c. [14:11] 1 Kgs 16:4; 21:22.

d. [14:26] 1 Kgs 10:16–17.

1Kings Chapter 13 (Bible Marathon Day 152)

1Kings Chapter 13 (Bible Marathon Day 152)

1
A man of God came from Judah to Bethel by the word of the LORD, while Jeroboam was standing at the
altar to burn incense.
2
a He cried out against the altar by the word of the LORD: “Altar, altar, thus says the LORD: A child shall be
born to the house of David, Josiah by name, who shall slaughter upon you the priests of the high places
who burn incense upon you, and they shall burn human bones upon you.”
3
b He also gave a sign that same day and said: “This is the sign that the LORD has spoken: The altar shall
be torn apart and the ashes on it shall be scattered.”
4
When the king heard the word of the man of God which he was crying out against the altar in Bethel,
Jeroboam stretched forth his hand from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the hand he stretched forth
against him withered, so that he could not draw it back.
5
(The altar was torn apart and the ashes from the altar were scattered, in accordance with the sign the man of
God gave by the word of the LORD.)
6
Then the king said to the man of God, “Entreat the LORD, your God, and intercede for me that my hand may
be restored.” So the man of God entreated the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored as it was before.
7
The king told the man of God, “Come with me to the house for some refreshment so that I may give you a
present.”
8
The man of God said to the king, “If you gave me half your palace, I would not go with you, nor eat bread or
drink water in this place.
9
For I was instructed by the word of the LORD: Do not eat bread or drink water, and do not return by the way
you came.”
10
So he departed by another road and did not go back the way he had come to Bethel.
Prophetic Disunity.*
11
There was an old prophet living in Bethel, whose son came and told him all that the man of God had done
that day in Bethel. When his sons repeated to their father the words the man of God had spoken to the king,
12
the father asked them, “Which way did he go?” So his sons pointed out to him the road taken by the man of
God who had come from Judah.
13
Then he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” When they had saddled it, he mounted
14
and followed the man of God, whom he found seated under a terebinth. When he asked him, “Are you the
man of God who came from Judah?” he answered, “Yes.”
15
Then he said, “Come home with me and have some bread.”
16
“I cannot return with you or go with you, and I cannot eat bread or drink water with you in this place,” he
answered,
17
“for I was told by the word of the LORD: You shall not eat bread or drink water there, and do not go back the
way you came.”
18
But he said to him, “I, too, am a prophet like you, and an angel told me by the word of the LORD: Bring him
back with you to your house to eat bread and drink water.” But he was lying to him.
19
So he went back with him, and ate bread and drank water in his house.
20
But while they were sitting at table, the word of the LORD came to the prophet who had brought him back,
21
and he cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah: “Thus says the LORD: Because you
rebelled against the charge of the LORD and did not keep the command which the LORD, your God, gave
you,
22
but returned and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you, Do not eat bread or drink water,
your corpse shall not be brought to the grave of your ancestors.”
23
After he had eaten bread and drunk, they saddled for him the donkey that belonged to the prophet who had
brought him back,
24
and he set out. But a lion met him on the road, and killed him. His body lay sprawled on the road, and the
donkey remained standing by it, and so did the lion.
25
Some passersby saw the body lying in the road, with the lion standing beside it, and carried the news to the
city where the old prophet lived.
26
On hearing it, the prophet who had brought him back from his journey said: “It is the man of God who
rebelled against the charge of the LORD. The LORD has delivered him to a lion, which mangled and killed
him, according to the word which the LORD had spoken to him.”
27
Then he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me,” and they saddled it.
28
He went off and found the body sprawled on the road with the donkey and the lion standing beside it. The
lion had not eaten the body nor had it harmed the donkey.
29
The prophet lifted up the body of the man of God and put it on the donkey, and brought him back to the city to
mourn and to bury him.
30
He laid the man’s body in his own grave, and they mourned over it: “Alas, my brother!”
31
c After he had buried him, he said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in the grave where the man of God is
buried. Lay my bones beside his.
32
d For the word which he proclaimed by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel and against all the
temples on the high places in the cities of Samaria shall certainly come to pass.”
33
Even after this, Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but again made priests for the high places from
among the common people. Whoever desired it was installed as a priest of the high places.
34
This is the account of the sin of the house of Jeroboam for which it was to be cut off and destroyed from the
face of the earth.

* [13:11–34] The next major unit illustrates how Jeroboam’s cultic innovations begin to alienate prophetic
figures of the two kingdoms. Nevertheless, the Lord’s word is stronger than any human attempt to thwart it.
The two prophets also foreshadow the destinies of their respective kingdoms. Israel’s experiment with
idolatry can tempt Judah to abandon its faithfulness to the Lord. If Judah succumbs, and no longer speaks
the word that can call Israel back to the true God, then the only hope for reuniting the two kingdoms will be
when they have both died the death of exile.

a. [13:2] 2 Kgs 23:16.

b. [13:3] 2 Kgs 23:15.

c. [13:31] 2 Kgs 23:17–18.

d. [13:32] 2 Kgs 23:19–20.