Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 22

Ahab’s plan to fight for Ramoth-Gilead

1 Kings 22:1-3

Ahab saved the life of King Ben-Hadad of Aram, because Ben-Hadad made a peace agreement with him (20:29-34). However, Ben-Hadad never carried out the promises that he made in that peace agreement. In particular, he promised to return the cities that Aram had taken from Israel in war (20:34).

Ramoth-Gilead, on the east side of the river Jordan, was one of those cities. It had been an important city in Israel since Israel’s people had gained possession of their land (Joshua 20:8-9).

Ahab was the first king of northern and central Israel who was at peace with the king of Judah. The peace agreement between Israel and Judah was the result of a marriage (2 Chronicles 18:1). Jehoram, the son of King Jehoshaphat of Judah, married Athaliah, Ahab’s daughter (2 Kings 8:26; 2 Chronicles 21:6).

Ahab knew that his own army was not strong enough to defeat Aram’s army. He had only won the previous two battles because God acted in an extraordinary manner to help him (1 Kings chapter 20). However, with the support of Judah’s army, which was very large (2 Chronicles 17:12-19), Ahab expected to win the battle for Ramoth-Gilead.

Jehoshaphat acted unwisely when he agreed to such a close relationship with Ahab (2 Chronicles 19:2). Jehoshaphat was a good king who served the true God loyally. However, Ahab was a cruel and wicked king. By means of this friendship, Jehoshaphat brought great troubles upon his nation, his family, and his own life.

Next part: Ahab asks Jehoshaphat to support him (1 Kings 22:4-5)


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