It seems King Ahab turned a bit of a corner. His humble act of mourning apparently led to a peace in the land that had not been enjoyed for many years. The last chapter of this book starts out telling us that for three years there was no war between Aram and Israel, and a visit from the king of Judah not only was cordial but it led to a partnership, a union these two territories had not experienced in decades. This was, however, the downfall of Ahab, but the end of this chapter alludes to the fact that it was one of Jehoshaphat’s biggest accomplishments. Verse 44 says “Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel.” The text also details how Jehoshaphat wasn’t perfect, but he did do (mostly) what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. And we see many of his best attributes in this story, which is written in a completely different style than the rest of the Book of 1 Kings, dontcha think? That’s a side note and not really relevant here, but I did want to mention it. Back to Jehoshaphat’s attributes. First, he went against 400 prophets and a king who didn’t always show kindness. That’s another thing, too, though. King Ahab was CIVIL to Jehoshaphat, and the land had enjoyed peace for three whole years, so there must have been some communication between the two kings already. I mean, Jehoshaphat didn’t just waltz into Ahab’s palace, and boom, they became frenemies. There were some peace talks going on during these three years. But still, Jehoshaphat showed courage when he asked for a “prophet of the Lord (v. 7).” Apparently, the other prophets were true prophets of God? There are a few verses that make us think they are. It was the Lord who put the lying spirit in the other prophets’ mouths, and two of them felt insulted enough by Micaiah’s claims that they slapped him across the face. “Since when did the Spirit of the Lord leave me to speak to you (v. 24)?” So Ahab’s prophets seem like they were the real thing, but still Jehoshaphat asked for one more. Micaiah seals the king’s fate, and I was kind of sad to see that Ahab didn’t listen to him. He was doing so good! Perhaps Jezebel had died. God did promise her demise in the last chapter, and he promised Ahab’s as well. The story of Ahab’s death concludes the Book of 1 Kings. I think that’s pretty appropriate. We leave off with Jehoshaphat’s son, Jehoram, and Ahab’s son, Ahaziah, taking over the thrones in Judah and Israel, respectively. Will the peace last?
Writing prompt: writing style
I mentioned the writing style of this chapter above, and I was wondering if you felt like it was a little different than the rest of the book. Perhaps the last couple chapters were a little different, actually. They seemed to tell short stories in a “fun” tone. Whereas the chapters at the front of the book seemed more like historical recordings with important events jotted down for reference. What do you think?