- Where is Milcah?
- How long have Elijah and Milcah been married?
- Kids yet?
- Where is Nathan? Did he go back to Huldah?
- Who gets which lines?
- Daughters of Zelophehad – Quiet Grandma Tirzah — Elijah’s mother can be talking to Elijah’s kids
Halfway through the banquet, King Ahab started speaking loudly to aides over at the next table. “You know Ramoth over in Gilead belongs to us, but here we sit in Samaria for three years now doing nothing to take it back.”
He leered at the King of Judah eating and drinking at his side, “How would you like to help us take back Ramoth from the king of Syria?”
At a third table, Queen Jezebel put her lips to the ear of Athaliah, her daughter. “Your father’s not as drunk as he sounds. He knows very well that King Jehoshaphat likes keeping on good terms with his northern neighbors.”
Jezebel groaned. “And my husband hopes this barbeque is going to impress him?”
“I don’t think that’s it, Mother. People love to talk about the 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep at King Solomon’s barbeque, but nobody tries to match it.”iii
King Jehoshaphat opened out a broad smile. “I am as you are, my people as your people.”
Athaliah put her hand in front of her mouth. “More true than my father-in-law wants to admit. He closed the male whorehousesiv and got rid of all the official temples. But people still sneak off to their little high places to offer a few babies for better crops. And any farmer in Judah can still buy an Asherah girl for crop insurance.v He just has to know where to ask.
King Jehoshaphat continued. “My horses as your horses.” Then his smile shrank. “Um, maybe we should seek the counsel of the Lord.”
King Ahab sat up straight. “No problem.” He told an aide, “Bring in the counselors.”
As the aide left the threshing floor, Jezebel chuckled. “Did you see your father-in-law’s face? He’s thinking. ‘Horses. That means chariots and troops.’”
The guests took several more bites of mutton and offered a few more toasts. Then Baal officials came through the gate.
King Ahab asked, “Shall we go to Gilead and fight for Ramoth or stay home?”
The four hundred officials spoke in unison.
“War! Make war!”
“God will lay that city in your hand!”
King Jehoshaphat scowled. “Is this it? These Baal people? Don’t you know any counselor of the Lord?”
Jezebel set her drink down. “Looks like your father-in-law’s not impressed.”
Athaliah shook her head. “He’d really like the Hebrew Lord to be the only god in Judah. Just not sure how to make it happen.”
Ahab sighed, “Bring me Micaiah son of Imlah.”
The aide who had summoned the Baal officials nodded and left. King Ahab explained. “I hate this Micaiah guy. He never has anything good to predict. A very negative outlook. But you asked for someone from the Lord.” [Gwen: Maybe Micaiah is a prophet who is feared by the king and people, so no one touches him? That would explain how he gets by with living in open opposition to the king.] [MP – Does the king need another warning about whatever? Or does Micaiah just need some fresh air? He’s a country boy, right? Or has he fallen into the pit of despair and doesn’t care if he lives or dies? Maybe his wife’s just born him a son? Have you seen the movie Amazing Grace? Rufus Sewell plays an abolitionist who absolutely falls in love with his baby–almost to the point of not being available for his favorite cause. Whatever works. Hope it helps. MP]
Micaiah came onto the threshing floor and stood before the two kings in their royal robes. “Your man tells me everybody’s saying War and Victory, Your Excellency. Why do you need me? The Lord’s quite alive, you know, and I merely repeat what He tells me. Nothing like this morning prophecy show you already have going.”
At the center of the threshing floor Zedekiah held a pair of horns to his head and crouched.
Jezebel nudged her daughter. “Don’t laugh, Dear. It’s the best bull imitation he can manage.”
Zedekiah thrust forward and back, right and left. “The Lord says, ‘With these you will gore and destroy!’”
The four hundred cheered:
“Attack Ramoth in Gilead. Attack!”
“The Lord says, ‘Hold out your hand!’”
“Grasp victory! Success!”
King Ahab smiled. “Well, Micaiah, what do you say? Go to war or stay home?”
“Oh, war, of course, Your Excellency,” he stifled a yawn. “Attack. Easy victory.”
“Hold it, Mister! Give me your true report!”
“If you insist.” Micaiah pointed to the mountains. “I saw Israel scattered.”
“Men dotted the hills like wandering sheep.”
“The Lord said, ‘They have no leader.’
“‘Send them home to fend for themselves.’”
Ahab turned to Jehoshaphat, “See what I mean? Never anything good! Only gloom and doom.”
“Don’t interrupt.” Micaiah raised his hand. “I saw the Lord on his throne with angels standing left and right. And the Lord asked, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go die at Ramoth in Gilead?’”
“One said, ‘Like this.’”
“Another said, ‘Here’s how.’”
“And then an angel took center stage. ‘I’ll make those Baal officials of his think they’ve discovered Truth.’”
Micaiah waved toward the chorus, “So the Lord put this victory dance in the mouths of your puppets here. But you’re right about one thing. For you, Your Excellency, only gloom and doom!”
Zedekiah-of-the-Crouching-Horns came up and punched Micaiah in the mouth.
“What makes you think the Spirit of God would leave me and talk to you?”
Micaiah wiped his mouth. “You’ll know. When you’re looking for a place to hide, you’ll know.”
Ahab barked, “Get him out of here! Lock him away! Bread and water until I return in peace!”
As the guards reached for him, Micaiah declared, “If you ever return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me!”
* * *
Outside Ramoth in Gidead, King Ahab advised King Jehoshaphat. “You should wear your royal robes into battle, while I fight in disguise.”
In Ramoth, the Syrian king addressed his thirty-two chariot captains. “The only one we want today is Ahab, King of Israel. Bypass everyone else and hunt him down. Kill Ahab!”
The captains drove out to meet the chariots from Judah and Israel. At first they closed in on Jehoshaphat’s royal colors. But he yelled out, and they kept searching for King Ahab.
Yet before the chariot captains could find Ahab, a Syrian archer sent a high, arching shot that fell into the attacking chariots, and his arrow found a crack between the pieces of King Ahab’s armor. “Wheel around! Take me out. I’m hurt.”
The king’s driver took his chariot over to the side of the battle and propped him up to face the Syrians. All afternoon Ahab’s blood pooled on the chariot floor, and at sundown, the cry went out. “The king is dead! Every man to his town! Head for home!”
They buried King Ahab in the family plot and told stories about his reign of twenty-two years—the palace he decorated with ivory, the towns he founded, and the troops he led into battle.
The king’s servants took his chariot to Samaria and washed it out at the pool where prostitutes bathed. Exactly as the Lord said through Elijah, dogs came and licked up Ahab’s blood.
i Jehoshaphat’s army – [edit this note] From Judah: Adnah the commander, with 300,000 fighting men; next, Jehohanan the commander, with 280,000; next, Amasiah son of Zikri, who volunteered himself for the service of the Lord, with 200,000. From Benjamin: Eliada, a valiant soldier, with 200,000 men armed with bows and shields; next, Jehozabad, with 180,000 men armed for battle. (2 Chronicles 17:13-18)
ii Jehoshaphat’s wealth – Some Philistines brought Jehoshaphat gifts and silver as tribute, and the Arabs brought him flocks: seven thousand seven hundred rams and seven thousand seven hundred goats. (2 Chronicles 17:11)
iii Solomon’s barbeque of 22,000 oxen & 120,000 sheep (1 Kings 8:63)
iv Male whorehouses closed – Reference?
v Jehoshaphat vs. Asherah – Most of the story of Jehoshaphat says he removed the Asherah temples. But I Kings 22:43 which says he failed to take away the high places. Perhaps he made a good start but did not address the desire of the people to worship idols. Thus, as his reign continued, the high places were rebuilt and eventually Jehoshaphat stopped removing them. From – http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVanswers/2006/04-01a.htm