Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 22

400 prophets support Ahab’s plan

1 Kings 22:6

At the time of Ahab, many people claimed to be prophets. In other words, they claimed to speak messages from God, or from the spirit world. People would inquire of them, usually for a payment, whenever they needed advice (1 Samuel 9:6-9).

Those prophets did not all have the same beliefs. They belonged to different religions. It is possible that some of them acted as prophets for several different religions at the same time. People did not always distinguish clearly between different religions, or between the true God and a false god.

Ahab was a rich king, and he could pay many prophets for their advice. In the past, he had used prophets from the religions of the false gods called Baal and Asherah (18:19). However, on this occasion, Ahab was trying to please Jehoshaphat, who served only the true God. So, Ahab chose prophets who were willing to speak in the name of the true God (22:12). The religions of Baal and Asherah considered the true God to be their enemy (18:16-40).

So, probably on this occasion, Ahab chose prophets from the religion that Jeroboam had established (12:28-30). In that religion, people prayed in front of the images (idols) of animals. They believed that these images helped them to pray to the true God. Anyone could pay to be a priest of that religion (2 Chronicles 13:9). It seems likely that many of those priests also served as prophets of that religion.

So Ahab gathered 400 of those prophets. They all declared that God would give Ahab and Jehoshaphat success in their battle for Ramoth-Gilead.

Next part: Jehoshaphat asks Ahab for a prophet of the true God (1 Kings 22:7)


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