1 Kings 21-22 Bible in Basic English

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Ahab and Naboth's Vineyard

21 1  Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vine-garden in Jezreel, near the house of Ahab, king of Samaria. 2  And Ahab said to Naboth, Give me your vine-garden so that I may have it for a garden of sweet plants, for it is near my house; and let me give you a better vine-garden in exchange, or, if it seems good to you, let me give you its value in money. 3  But Naboth said to Ahab, By the Lord, far be it from me to give you the heritage of my fathers. 4  So Ahab came into his house bitter and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him, I will not give you the heritage of my fathers. And stretching himself on the bed with his face turned away, he would take no food.

5  But Jezebel, his wife, came to him and said, Why is your spirit so bitter that you have no desire for food? 6  And he said to her, Because I was talking to Naboth the Jezreelite, and I said to him, Let me have your vine-garden for a price, or, if it is pleasing to you, I will give you another vine-garden for it: and he said, I will not give you my vine-garden. 7  Then Jezebel, his wife, said, Are you now the ruler of Israel? Get up, take food, and let your heart be glad; I will give you the vine-garden of Naboth the Jezreelite. 8  So she sent a letter in Ahab's name, stamped with his stamp, to the responsible men and the chiefs who were in authority with Naboth. 9  And in the letter she said, Let a time of public sorrow be fixed, and put Naboth at the head of the people; 10  And get two good-for-nothing persons to come before him and give witness that he has been cursing God and the king. Then take him out and have him stoned to death. 11  So the responsible men and the chiefs who were in authority in his town, did as Jezebel had said in the letter she sent them. 12  They gave orders for a day of public sorrow, and put Naboth at the head of the people. 13  And the two good-for-nothing persons came in and took their seats before him and gave witness against Naboth, in front of the people, saying, Naboth has been cursing God and the king. Then they took him outside the town and had him stoned to death. 14  And they sent word to Jezebel, saying, Naboth has been stoned and is dead. 15  Then Jezebel, hearing that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, said to Ahab, Get up and take as your heritage the vine-garden of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he would not give you for money, for Naboth is no longer living but is dead. 16  So Ahab, hearing that Naboth was dead, went down to the vine-garden of Naboth the Jezreelite to take it as his heritage.

17  And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 18  Go down to Ahab, king of Israel, in Samaria; see, he is in the vine-garden of Naboth the Jezreelite, where he has gone to take it as his heritage. 19  Say to him, The Lord says, Have you put a man to death and taken his heritage? Then say to him, The Lord says, In the place where dogs have been drinking the blood of Naboth, there will your blood become the drink of dogs. 20  And Ahab said to Elijah, Have you come face to face with me, O my hater? And he said, I have come to you because you have given yourself up to do evil in the eyes of the Lord. 21  See, I will send evil on you and put an end to you completely, cutting off from Ahab every male child, him who is shut up and him who goes free in Israel; 22  And I will make your family like the family of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, and like the family of Baasha, the son of Ahijah, because you have made me angry, and have made Israel do evil. 23  And of Jezebel the Lord said, Jezebel will become food for dogs in the heritage of Jezreel. 24  Any man of the family of Ahab who comes to his death in the town will become food for the dogs; and he who comes to his death in the open country will be food for the birds of the air. 25  (There was no one like Ahab, who gave himself up to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, moved to it by Jezebel his wife. 26  He did a very disgusting thing in going after false gods, doing all the things the Amorites did, whom the Lord sent out before the children of Israel.) 27  Hearing these words, Ahab, in great grief, put haircloth on his flesh and went without food, sleeping in haircloth, and going about quietly. 28  Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29  Do you see how Ahab has made himself low before me? because he has made himself low before me, I will not send the evil in his life-time, but in his son's time I will send the evil on his family.

Micaiah Prophesies the Defeat of Ahab and Jehoshaphat

22 1  Now for three years there was no war between Aram and Israel. 2  And it came about in the third year, that Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, came down to the king of Israel. 3  And the king of Israel said to his servants, Do you not see that Ramoth-gilead is ours? and we are doing nothing to get it back from the hands of the king of Aram. 4  And he said to Jehoshaphat, Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead to make war? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as you are: my people as your people, my horses as your horses. 5  Then Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, Let us now get directions from the Lord. 6  So the king of Israel got all the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, Am I to go to Ramoth-gilead to make war or not? And they said, Go up: for the Lord will give it into the hands of the king. 7  But Jehoshaphat said, Is there no other prophet of the Lord here from whom we may get directions? 8  And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, There is still one man by whom we may get directions from the Lord, Micaiah, son of Imlah; but I have no love for him, for he is a prophet of evil to me and not of good. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so. 9  Then the king of Israel sent for one of his unsexed servants and said, Go quickly and come back with Micaiah, the son of Imlah. 10  Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, were seated on their seats of authority, dressed in their robes, by the doorway into Samaria; and all the prophets were acting as prophets before them. 11  And Zedekiah, the son of Chenaanah, made himself horns of iron and said, The Lord says, Pushing back the Aramaeans with these, you will put an end to them completely. 12  And all the prophets said the same thing, saying, Go up to Ramoth-gilead, and it will go well for you, for the Lord will give it into the hands of the king. 13  Now the servant who had gone to get Micaiah said to him, See now, all the prophets with one voice are saying good things to the king; so let your words be like theirs and say good things. 14  And Micaiah said, By the living Lord, whatever the Lord says to me I will say.

15  When he came to the king, the king said to him, Micaiah, are we to go to Ramoth-gilead to make war or not? And in answer he said, Go up, and it will go well for you; and the Lord will give it into the hands of the king. 16  Then the king said to him, Have I not, again and again, put you on your oath to say nothing to me but what is true in the name of the Lord? 17  Then he said, I saw all Israel wandering on the mountains like sheep without a keeper; and the Lord said, These have no master: let them go back, every man to his house in peace. 18  And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not say that he would not be a prophet of good but of evil? 19  And he said, Give ear now to the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord seated on his seat of power, with all the army of heaven in their places round him at his right hand and at his left. 20  And the Lord said, How may Ahab be tricked into going up to Ramoth-gilead to his death? And one said one thing and one another. 21  Then a spirit came forward and took his place before the Lord and said, I will get him to do it by a trick. 22  And the Lord said, How? And he said, I will go out and be a spirit of deceit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Your trick will have its effect on him: go out and do so. 23  And now, see, the Lord has put a spirit of deceit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and the Lord has said evil against you. 24  Then Zedekiah, the son of Chenaanah, came near and gave Micaiah a blow on the side of the face, saying, Where is the spirit of the Lord whose word is in you? 25  And Micaiah said, Truly, you will see on that day when you go into an inner room to keep yourself safe. 26  And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon, the ruler of the town, and to Joash, the king's son; 27  And say, It is the king's order that this man is to be put in prison and given prison food till I come again in peace. 28  And Micaiah said, If you come back at all in peace, the Lord has not sent his word by me.

29  So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, went up to Ramoth-gilead. 30  And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, I will make a change in my clothing, so that I do not seem to be the king, and will go into the fight; but do you put on your robes. So the king of Israel made a change in his dress and went into the fight. 31  Now the king of Aram had given orders to the thirty-two captains of his war-carriages, saying, Make no attack on small or great, but only on the king of Israel. 32  So when the captains of the war-carriages saw Jehoshaphat, they said, Truly, this is the king of Israel; and turning against him, they came round him, but Jehoshaphat gave a cry. 33  And when the captains of the war-carriages saw that he was not the king of Israel, they went back from going after him. 34  And a certain man sent an arrow from his bow without thought of its direction, and gave the king of Israel a wound where his breastplate was joined to his clothing; so he said to the driver of his war-carriage, Go to one side and take me away out of the army, for I am badly wounded. 35  But the fight became more violent while the day went on; and the king was supported in his war-carriage facing the Aramaeans, and the floor of the carriage was covered with the blood from his wound, and by evening he was dead. 36  And about sundown a cry went up from all parts of the army, saying, Let every man go back to his town and his country, for the king is dead. 37  And they came to Samaria, and put the king's body to rest in Samaria. 38  And the war-carriage was washed by the pool of Samaria, which was the bathing-place of the loose women, and the dogs were drinking his blood there, as the Lord had said. 39  Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all he did, and his ivory house, and all the towns of which he was the builder, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel? 40  So Ahab was put to rest with his fathers; and Ahaziah his son became king in his place.

The Reign of Jehoshaphat

41  And Jehoshaphat, the son of Asa, became king over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab's rule over Israel. 42  Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he was king for twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi. 43  He did as Asa his father had done, not turning away from it, but doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord; but the high places were not taken away: the people went on making offerings and burning them in the high places. 44  And Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel. 45  Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his great power, and how he went to war, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? 46  He put an end to the rest of those who were used for sex purposes in the worship of the gods, all those who were still in the land in the time of his father Asa. 47  At that time there was no king in Edom; 48  And the representative of King Jehoshaphat made a Tarshish-ship to go to Ophir for gold, but it did not go, because it was broken at Ezion-geber. 49  Then Ahaziah, the son of Ahab, said to Jehoshaphat, Let my men go with yours in the ships. But Jehoshaphat would not let them. 50  Then Jehoshaphat went to rest with his fathers, and his body was put into the earth in the town of David his father; and Jehoram his son became king in his place.

The Reign of Ahaziah of Israel

51  Ahaziah, the son of Ahab, became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of the rule of Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, and he was king over Israel for two years. 52  He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, going in the ways of his father and his mother, and in the ways of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel do evil. 53  He was a servant and worshipper of Baal, moving the Lord, the God of Israel, to wrath, as his father had done.

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