New Defender's Study Bible Notes
22:1 three years without war. It was probably during this period when Israel and Syria were at peace with each other that they both had to fight an invasion by Shalmanezer III of Assyria. The latter left an inscription describing this battle that mentioned both Ahab and Ben-Hadad.
22:2 Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was already involved to some extent with Ahab, for he had married his son Jehoram to Athaliah, daughter of Ahab and Jezebel (II Chronicles 21:6).
22:6 four hundred men. These false prophets were possibly the 400 prophets of “the groves” (I Kings 18:19) who were not among the 450 prophets of Baal slain by Elijah at Mt. Carmel.
22:15 Go, and prosper. Ahab’s angry response shows that Micaiah’s first prophecy was delivered sarcastically, echoing the deadly prophecy of the false prophets and mocking Ahab’s desire to hear just that.
22:17 have not a shepherd. This was nothing less than a prophecy of Ahab’s death if he should persist in this action. Note also I Kings 22:28.
22:23 lying spirit. The question raised by this passage is why the God of truth would send a lying spirit to deceive the king of Israel. The fact is, of course, that Satan and his hosts of evil spirits can only pursue their evil goals to the extent God allows them to do so—as in the case of Job, for example. King Ahab (like the Pharaoh in the days of Moses) had so hardened his heart against God, that God finally would allow an evil spirit to lead him to his own deserved destruction (compare Exodus 7:3 and 8:15). For such a mission it would be more appropriate for God to release one of Satan’s lying spirits to carry it out than to dispatch one of His holy angels. Note also I Corinthians 5:5.
22:28 If thou return at all. Ahab preferred the counsel of his false prophets to that of Micaiah, God’s true prophet, sending Micaiah to the dungeon and rushing off to his own destruction. Ungodly rulers have, throughout history, sought thus to destroy those who would try to lead them to God’s truth, but they inevitably end up in ignominious death or rejection themselves. It is noteworthy that Micaiah’s final words, in this verse, were echoed a century later by his namesake, the prophet Micah, who cried out: “Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is” (Micah 1:2).
22:32 Jehoshaphat cried out. Why Jehoshaphat was willing to wear his royal robes into battle, almost certainly to be mistaken for Ahab, is not clear. In any case, the parallel account in Chronicles indicated that, when he “cried out,” his cry was apparently a prayer to God, and “the LORD helped him,” sparing his life (II Chronicles 18:31).
22:34 at a venture. Despite his disguise, Ahab was slain by an arrow, shot randomly by an archer, but evidently directed by God.
22:38 licked up his blood. This was a precise fulfillment of God’s prophecy against Ahab by the prophet Elijah (I Kings 21:19), after Ahab had murdered Naboth and his sons in order to take Naboth’s vineyard (II Kings 9:26).
22:39 ivory house. Remains of Ahab’s “ivory house” have been excavated at Samaria. Ahab himself is mentioned in Assyrian inscriptions.
22:39 book of the chronicles. See note on I Kings 16:5.
22:44 made peace. Jehoshaphat was, in general, one of Judah’s good kings, and no doubt thought this “peace” with Israel was a good thing. But it was not based on spiritual peace, for Ahab was still a wicked idolater, and it only led to defeat.
22:48 go to Ophir. Although the location of ancient Ophir is uncertain (sites in India, Someliland and Arabia have been suggested), its existence as a primary source of gold in antiquity has been corroborated in non-Biblical texts as well as in the Bible (e.g., I Kings 9:28; 10:11). For example, an inscription on a piece of pottery found on the plain of Sharon near Tel-Aviv mentions the “gold of Ophir.”
22:49 Jehoshaphat would not. Although Jehoshaphat had agreed on a joint ship-building project with wicked King Ahab (II Chronicles 20:35-36), he apparently balked at allowing Ahab’s servants to join his own servants as crewmen on the ship. The prophet Eliezer prophesied against even the ship-building agreement itself, however, with the result that the ships were all destroyed in a storm (II Chronicles 20:37), so that the entire project was abandoned.