Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 1 Kings
Book: 1 Kings
Chapter: 22

Jehoshaphat makes a League with Ahab. (1-14) Micaiah predicts
the Death of Ahab. (15-28) Death of Ahab. (29-40) Jehoshaphat's
good reign over Judah. (41-50) Ahaziah's evil reign over Israel.

1-14 The same easiness of temper, which betrays some godly
persons into friendship with the declared enemies of religion,
renders it very dangerous to them. They will be drawn to wink at
and countenance such conduct and Conversation as they ought to
protest against with abhorrence. Whithersoever a good Man goes,
he ought to take his religion with him, and not be ashamed to
own it when he is with those who have No regard for it.
Jehoshaphat had not left behind him, at Jerusalem, his Affection
and reverence for the Word of the Lord, but avowed it, and
endeavoured to bring it into Ahab's Court. And Ahab's prophets,
to please Jehoshaphat, made use of the name of Jehovah: to
please Ahab, they said, Go up. But the false prophets cannot So
mimic the true, but that he who has spiritual senses exercised,
can discern the fallacy. One Faithful Prophet of the Lord was
worth them all. Worldly men have in all ages been alike absurd in
their views of religion. They would have the preacher fit his
doctrine to the fashion of the times, and the taste of the
hearers, and yet to add. Thus saith the Lord, to words that men
would Put into their mouths. They are ready to cry out against a
Man as rude and foolish, who scruples thus to try to secure his
own interests, and to deceive others.

15-28 The greatest kindness we can do to one that is going in a
dangerous way, is, to tell him of his danger. To leave the
hardened criminal without excuse, and to give a useful lesson to
others, Micaiah related his Vision. This matter is represented
after the manner of men: we are not to imagine that God is ever
Put upon new counsels; or that he needs to consult with angels,
or any Creature, about the methods he should take; or that he is
the author of Sin, or the cause of any Man's telling or
believing a Lie. Micaiah returned not the blow of Zedekiah, yet,
since he boasted of the Spirit, as those commonly do that know
least of the Holy Spirit's operations, the true Prophet left him
to be convinced of his error By the event. Those that will not
have their mistakes set right in time, By the Word of God, will
be undeceived, when it is too late, By the Judgments of God. We
should be ashamed of what we Call trials, were we to consider
what the servants of God have endured. Yet it will be Well, if
Freedom from trouble prove not more hurtful to us; we are more
easily allured and bribed into unfaithfulness and conformity to
the world, than driven to them.

29-40 Ahab basely intended to betray Jehoshaphat to danger,
that he might secure himself. See what they get that join with
wicked men. How can it be expected that he should be true to his
friend, who has been false to his God! He had said in compliment
to Ahab, I am as thou art, and now he was indeed taken for him.
Those that associate with evil-doers, are in danger of sharing
in their plagues. By Jehoshaphat's deliverance, God let him
know, that though he was displeased with him, yet he had not
deserted him. God is a friend that will not fail us when other
friends do. Let No Man think to hide himself from God's
Judgment. God directed the arrow to hit Ahab; those cannot
escape with Life, whom God has doomed to Death. Ahab lived long
enough to see part of Micaiah's Prophecy accomplished. He had
time to feel himself die; with what horror must he have thought
upon the wickedness he had committed!

41-50 Jehoshaphat's reign appears to have been one of the best,
both as to Piety and prosperity. He pleased God, and God blessed

51-53 Ahaziah's reign was very short, not two years; some
sinners God makes quick work with. A very bad character is given
of him; he listened not to instruction, took No warning, but
followed the Example of his wicked Father, and the counsel of
his more wicked mother, Jezebel, who was still living. Miserable
are the children who not only derive a sinful nature from their
parents, but are taught By them to increase it; and most unhappy
parents are they, that help to damn their children's souls.
Hardened sinners Rush forward, unawed and unmoved, in the ways
from which others before them have been driven into Everlasting