Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 22

Defeat at Ramoth-Gilead

1 Kings 22:36

Ahab had been such a cruel and evil king that few people would regret his death. However, the news of his death was still a great shock for the armies of Israel and Judah. For the first time since Solomon, their armies had gone together into battle because of Ahab’s ambitions. Now Ahab, the extremely powerful king of northern and central Israel, was dead. Israel’s men did not know whether, without him, their country could stand against its enemies. Judah’s men were afraid about the effect upon their own country.

After Ahab’s death, the soldiers of Israel and Judah were fighting a battle without a purpose. They had begun that battle to try to regain control of Ramoth-Gilead for Ahab. However, now that Ahab was dead, it was more important for them to defend their own towns and homes.

So, the commanders of the armies gave the order to their men. The fight for Ramoth-Gilead must not continue. Instead, each man must try to escape from Aram’s army and to return to his own home. They had lost the battle, and now they must try to go to a place of safety.

That was what God showed to Micaiah in 1 Kings 22:17. The armies had gathered for war. However, they had nobody to lead them, because Ahab was dead. So God directed that each man must go back to his home.

Next part: Ahab's grave and his punishment (1 Kings 22:37-38)


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