21 After this the following episode took place. 1 Naboth the Jezreelite owned a vineyard in Jezreel adjacent to the palace of King Ahab of Samaria. 2 2 Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard so I can make a vegetable garden out of it, for it is adjacent to my palace. I will give you an even better vineyard in its place, or if you prefer, 3 I will pay you silver for it.” 4 3 But Naboth replied to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should sell you my ancestral inheritance.” 5
4 So Ahab went into his palace, bitter and angry that Naboth the Jezreelite had said, 6 “I will not sell to you my ancestral inheritance.” 7 He lay down on his bed, pouted, 8 and would not eat. 5 Then his wife Jezebel came in and said to him, “Why do you have a bitter attitude and refuse to eat?” 6 He answered her, “While I was talking to Naboth the Jezreelite, I said to him, ‘Sell me your vineyard for silver, or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not sell you my vineyard.’” 9 7 His wife Jezebel said to him, “You are the king of Israel! 10 Get up, eat some food, and have a good time. 11 I will get the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite for you.”
8 She wrote out orders, 12 signed Ahab’s name to them, 13 and sealed them with his seal. She then sent the orders 14 to the leaders 15 and to the nobles who lived in Naboth’s city. 16 9 This is what she wrote: 17 “Observe a time of fasting and seat Naboth in front of the people. 10 Also seat two villains opposite him and have them testify, ‘You cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.”
11 The men of the 18 city, the leaders 19 and the nobles who lived there, 20 followed the written orders Jezebel had sent them. 21 12 They observed a time of fasting and put Naboth in front of the people. 13 The two villains arrived and sat opposite him. Then the villains testified against Naboth right before the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they dragged him 22 outside the city and stoned him to death. 23 14 Then they reported to Jezebel, “Naboth has been stoned to death.” 24
15 When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she 25 said to Ahab, “Get up, take possession of the vineyard Naboth the Jezreelite refused to sell you for silver, for Naboth is no longer alive; he’s dead.” 16 When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, 26 he got up and went down to take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.
17 The Lord told Elijah the Tishbite: 27 18 “Get up, go down and meet King Ahab of Israel who lives in Samaria. He is at the vineyard of Naboth; he has gone down there to take possession of it. 19 Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: “Haven’t you committed murder and taken possession of the property of the deceased?”’ Then say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: “In the spot where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood they will also lick up your blood – yes, yours!”’”
20 When Elijah arrived, Ahab said to him, 28 “So, you have found me, my enemy!” Elijah 29 replied, “I have found you, because you are committed 30 to doing evil in the sight of 31 the Lord. 21 The Lord says, 32 ‘Look, I am ready to bring disaster 33 on you. I will destroy you 34 and cut off every last male belonging to Ahab in Israel, including even the weak and incapacitated. 35 22 I will make your dynasty 36 like those of Jeroboam son of Nebat and Baasha son of Ahijah because you angered me and made Israel sin.’ 37 23 The Lord says this about Jezebel, ‘Dogs will devour Jezebel by the outer wall 38 of Jezreel.’ 24 As for Ahab’s family, dogs will eat the ones 39 who die in the city, and the birds of the sky will eat the ones who die in the country.” 25 (There had never been anyone like Ahab, who was firmly committed 40 to doing evil in the sight of 41 the Lord, urged on by his wife Jezebel. 42 26 He was so wicked he worshiped the disgusting idols, 43 just like the Amorites 44 whom the Lord had driven out from before the Israelites.)
27 When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and fasted. He slept in sackcloth and walked around dejected. 28 The Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, 45 29 “Have you noticed how Ahab shows remorse 46 before me? Because he shows remorse before me, I will not bring disaster on his dynasty during his lifetime, but during the reign of his son.” 47
22 There was no war between Syria and Israel for three years. 1 2 In the third year King Jehoshaphat of Judah came down to visit 2 the king of Israel. 3 The king of Israel said to his servants, “Surely you recognize that Ramoth Gilead belongs to us, though we are hesitant to reclaim it from the king of Syria.” 3 4 Then he said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to attack Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I will support you; my army and horses are at your disposal.” 4 5 Then Jehoshaphat added, 5 “First seek an oracle from the Lord.” 6 6 So the king of Israel assembled about four hundred prophets and asked them, “Should I attack Ramoth Gilead or not?” 7 They said, “Attack! The sovereign one 8 will hand it over to the king.” 7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not a prophet of the Lord still here, that we may ask him?” 8 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man through whom we can seek the Lord’s will. 9 But I despise 10 him because he does not prophesy prosperity for me, but disaster. His name is Micaiah son of Imlah. 11 Jehoshaphat said, “The king should not say such things.” 9 The king of Israel summoned an official and said, “Quickly bring Micaiah son of Imlah.”
10 Now the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah were sitting on their respective thrones, 12 dressed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria. 13 All the prophets were prophesying before them. 11 Zedekiah son of Kenaanah made iron horns and said, “This is what the Lord says, ‘With these you will gore Syria until they are destroyed.’” 12 All the prophets were prophesying the same, saying, “Attack Ramoth Gilead! You will succeed; the Lord will hand it over to the king.” 13 Now the messenger who went to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the prophets are in complete agreement that the king will succeed. 14 Your words must agree with theirs; you must predict success.” 15 14 But Micaiah said, “As certainly as the Lord lives, I will say what the Lord tells me to say.”
15 When he came before the king, the king asked him, “Micaiah, should we attack Ramoth Gilead or not?” He answered him, “Attack! You will succeed; the Lord will hand it over to the king.” 16 16 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you solemnly promise in 17 the name of the Lord to tell me only the truth?” 17 Micaiah 18 said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep that have no shepherd. Then the Lord said, ‘They have no master. They should go home in peace.’” 18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you he does not prophesy prosperity for me, but disaster?” 19 Micaiah 19 said, “That being the case, hear the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, with all the heavenly assembly standing on his right and on his left. 20 The Lord said, ‘Who will deceive Ahab, so he will attack Ramoth Gilead and die 20 there?’ One said this and another that. 21 Then a spirit 21 stepped forward and stood before the Lord. He said, ‘I will deceive him.’ The Lord asked him, ‘How?’ 22 He replied, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.’ The Lord 22 said, ‘Deceive and overpower him. 23 Go out and do as you have proposed.’ 23 So now, look, the Lord has placed a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours; but the Lord has decreed disaster for you.” 24 Zedekiah son of Kenaanah approached, hit Micaiah on the jaw, and said, “Which way did the Lord’s spirit go when he went from me to speak to you?” 25 Micaiah replied, “Look, you will see in the day when you go into an inner room to hide.” 26 Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the city official and Joash the king’s son. 27 Say, ‘This is what the king says, “Put this man in prison. Give him only a little bread and water 24 until I safely return.”’” 25 28 Micaiah said, “If you really do safely return, then the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Take note, 26 all you people.”
29 The king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah attacked Ramoth Gilead. 30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and then enter 27 into the battle; but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and then entered into the battle. 31 Now the king of Syria had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, “Do not fight common soldiers or high-ranking officers; 28 fight only the king of Israel.” 32 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “He must be the king of Israel.” So they turned and attacked him, but Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 When the chariot commanders realized he was not the king of Israel, they turned away from him. 34 Now an archer shot an arrow at random, 29 and it struck the king of Israel between the plates of his armor. The king 30 ordered his charioteer, “Turn around and take me from the battle line, 31 because I’m wounded.” 35 While the battle raged throughout the day, the king stood propped up in his chariot opposite the Syrians. He died in the evening; the blood from the wound ran down into the bottom of the chariot. 36 As the sun was setting, a cry went through the camp, “Each one should return to his city and to his homeland.” 37 So the king died and was taken to Samaria, where they buried him. 32 38 They washed off the chariot at the pool of Samaria (this was where the prostitutes bathed); 33 dogs licked his blood, just as the Lord had said would happen. 34
39 The rest of the events of Ahab’s reign, including a record of his accomplishments and how he built a luxurious palace and various cities, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 35 40 Ahab passed away. 36 His son Ahaziah replaced him as king.
41 In the fourth year of King Ahab’s reign over Israel, Asa’s son Jehoshaphat became king over Judah. 42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king and he reigned for twenty-five years in Jerusalem. 37 His mother was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi. 43 He followed in his father Asa’s footsteps and was careful to do what the Lord approved. 38 39 However, the high places were not eliminated; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense on the high places. 44 Jehoshaphat was also at peace with the king of Israel.
45 The rest of the events of Jehoshaphat’s reign, including his successes and military exploits, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 40 46 He removed from the land any male cultic prostitutes who had managed to survive the reign of his father Asa. 41 47 There was no king in Edom at this time; a governor ruled. 48 Jehoshaphat built a fleet of large merchant ships 42 to travel to Ophir for gold, but they never made the voyage because they were shipwrecked in Ezion Geber. 49 Then Ahaziah son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my sailors join yours in the fleet,” 43 but Jehoshaphat refused.
50 Jehoshaphat passed away 44 and was buried with his ancestors in the city of his ancestor 45 David. His son Jehoram replaced him as king.
51 In the seventeenth year of King Jehoshaphat’s reign over Judah, Ahab’s son Ahaziah became king over Israel in Samaria. 46 He ruled for two years over Israel. 52 He did evil in the sight of 47 the Lord and followed in the footsteps 48 of his father and mother; like Jeroboam son of Nebat, he encouraged Israel to sin. 49 53 He worshiped and bowed down to Baal, 50 angering the Lord God of Israel just as his father had done. 51
1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, 1 which God gave him to show his servants 2 what must happen very soon. 3 He made it clear 4 by sending his angel to his servant 5 John, 2 who then 6 testified to everything that he saw concerning the word of God and the testimony about 7 Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this 8 prophecy aloud, 9 and blessed are 10 those who hear and obey 11 the things written in it, because the time is near! 12
4 From John, 13 to the seven churches that are in the province of Asia: 14 Grace and peace to you 15 from “he who is,” 16 and who was, and who is still to come, 17 and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ – the faithful 18 witness, 19 the firstborn from among the dead, the ruler over the kings of the earth. To the one who loves us and has set us free 20 from our sins at the cost of 21 his own blood 6 and has appointed 22 us as a kingdom, 23 as priests 24 serving his God and Father – to him be the glory and the power for ever and ever! 25 Amen.
7 (Look! He is returning with the clouds, 26
and every eye will see him,
even 27 those who pierced him, 28
and all the tribes 29 on the earth will mourn because 30 of him.
This will certainly come to pass! 31 Amen.) 32
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” 33 says the Lord God – the one who is, and who was, and who is still to come – the All-Powerful! 34
9 I, John, your brother and the one who shares 35 with you in the persecution, kingdom, and endurance that 36 are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony about Jesus. 37 10 I was in the Spirit 38 on the Lord’s Day 39 when 40 I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 saying: “Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches – to Ephesus, 41 Smyrna, 42 Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”
12 I 43 turned to see whose voice was speaking to me, 44 and when I did so, 45 I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands was one like a son of man. 46 He was dressed in a robe extending down to his feet and he wore a wide golden belt 47 around his chest. 14 His 48 head and hair were as white as wool, even as white as snow, 49 and his eyes were like a fiery 50 flame. 15 His feet were like polished bronze 51 refined 52 in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar 53 of many waters. 16 He held 54 seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp double-edged sword extended out of his mouth. His 55 face shone like the sun shining at full strength. 17 When 56 I saw him I fell down at his feet as though I were dead, but 57 he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid! I am the first and the last, 18 and the one who lives! I 58 was dead, but look, now I am alive – forever and ever – and I hold the keys of death and of Hades! 59 19 Therefore write what you saw, what is, and what will be after these things. 60 20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lampstands is this: 61 The seven stars are the angels 62 of the seven churches and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.