Who is King Ahab?
King Ahab was a famous king of Israel. He was famous as an evil king in the eyes of God. He walked in teh footsteps of King Jeroboam, son of Nebat by committing idolatry. He wasmarried to Jezebel, the daughter of Sidonian king Ethbaal. After he was married to Jezebel, he started to worship Baal. He built altar and temple to worship Baal in Samaria. He built an Asherah pole. He did more than the other kings of Israel and provoked God to anger.
King Ahab’s Hostility Towards Elijah
King Ahab hated Elijah because Elijah prophesied that there will be no rain for the next few years in the land. This caused famine in the land of Israel. It happened as Elijah said and there was no rain for 3 years. Ahab was mad at Elijah and had been looking all over the places for him. However, Elijah had escaped to the Kerith River. When at the Kerith River, God sent ravens to bring bread ad in the morning and meat in the evening for him. Later, he escaped to Zarephath and stayed at a widow’s house until the third year of King Ahab’s reign.
Elijah was walking when he happened to encounter Obadiah. Obadiah was a good man and he had helped to hide 100 prophets in 2 caves, and provided them with food and water. He hid 50 prophets in each cave. Elijah asked Obadiah for a favor to bring AHab to him but Obadiah did not want to tell Ahab about Elijah. Obadiah was afraid that King Ahab will kill him if he didn’t find Elijah there since the Spirit of God can carry away Elijah to anywhere at any moment.
When Ahab met with Elijah, Elijah challenged him to prove whose God is real, whether Baal is a real god or the God of Israel. Ahab was to called all 450 prophets of Baal. Each party is to choose a bull for themselves. Then, each party is to chop the bull into many pieces, prepare the wood and call on their God to set fire on it. The Baal prophets tried all day to call on Baal to set fire on the wood by shouting, cutting themselves, and dancing around the altar but there was no response.
Then, Elijah called to the people to come to him. He repaired the altar of God. He used 12 stones to build the altar. He made a ditch around the altar and instructed the men to pour 4 large jars of water into it and on the offering and wood three times. After that,Elijah called on God to bring fire on the sacrifices. Immediately, God sent fire to burned up the sacrifice, wood, stones, soil and water in the ditch.
Everyone fell prostrate when they saw this. Elijah commanded the people to capture and kill the 450 prophets. Later, God sent a heavy rain in the land.
King Ahab Defeated King Benhadad
King Benhadad of Aram wanted to have a war with King Ahab of Israel. He sent messengers to threaten King Ahab to give his silver, gold, best of his wives, and children. King Ahab agreed and was willing to give all these to him to avoid war. Later, the messengers came again and told King Ahab that Ben-Hadad will send officials to personally search through his palace and officials’ houses and seize all they had. This time, King Ahab did not agree to Benhadad’s messengers. Benhadad was angry when he heard this and proceeded to attack King Ahab.
A prophet came to tell King Ahab that God will help him to defeat King Benhadad of Aram. Ahab asked the prophet who will fight the battle and he replied the young officers of the provincial commanders. Then, King Ahab asked who will start the war and he replied he will. Two hundred thirty two provincial commanders and 7000 Israelites to fight the war.
The Israelite soldiers set out to fight the war in the afternoon. At this time, King Benhadad and his officials were drunk in the tent. An official reported to King Benhadad that the Israelite soldiers were coming to fight them. Just as the prophet prophesied, the Israelite soldiers successfully defeated the Aramean soldiers.
King Ahab Defeated King Benhadad for the Second Time
After that, the prophet came to tell King Ahab that King Benhadad will come back the next spring to attack them. The officials told King Benhadad that the Israelite soldiers won because their god is the gods of the hills. The officials suggested to King Benhadad to fight another war with the Israelites again but this time they will wage war with them on the plains.
In the following spring, King Benhadad mustered his army to fight King Ahab again. King Benhadad’s army was numerous but the Israelites army looked like 2 small flocks of goats. The prophet came up to King Ahab and told him God will help him defeat King Benhadadof Aram again so that his name can be glorified. This is because King Benhadad think the Israelites is a god of the hills, not a god of the valleys.
The Israelites and Aramean soldiers camped opposite each other for 7 days before engaging in war. The Israelites managed to kill 100,000 Aramean soldiers in one day. The surviving soldiers escaped to Aphek. While at Aphek, the wall collapsed and 22,000 Aramean soldiers died. King Ben Hadad was afraid and he hid in the inner room. His official suggested to go to King Ahab in sackcloth around the waist, and ropes around the heads and surrender. King Benhadad agreed with the suggestion and the official acted accordingly.
King Ahab asked the official if Benhadad was alive and he replied yes. He invited Ben Hadad into his chariot. Ben Hadad promised to return the cities his father took and let Israel set up market places in Damascus. Ahab agreed to set King Benhadad free through a treaty.
Because of this, God sent a prophet to condemn King Ahab. The prophet at first asked a man to beat him with his weapon but the man refused. The prophet prophesied that the man will be killed by a lion because he refused to beat him and it happened just as he said later. The prophet found another man and told him to beat him. This time, the man beat him.
After that, the prophet went to stand by the road side and wait for King Ahab to pass by. When King Ahab passed by, the prophet lied that he was being beaten up because he fail to secure a captive who was accounted to him by a man in a battle. The man said that if he fails, he will have to pay back with his life or a talent of silver. The king replied this is his sentence. Immediately, the prophet removed the headband over his eyes and told the king that he has instead pronounced his own sentence and will die for setting free King Ben Hadad whom he had determined to set free. King Ahab was angry and sullen when he heard this.
King Ahab’s Frustration over Naboth’s Vineyard
King Ahab wanted Naboth’s vineyard badly. He wanted to trade a better vineyard with Naboth’s vineyard. Naboth refused to trade his vineyard with King Ahab’s vineyard because it was an inheritance from his fathers. After that, AHab returned to his home and lie on the bed sulking. Whenhis wife, Jezebel saw this, she asked him why he looked so gloomy and he told him all about it.
Jezebel then told Ahab not to worry because she will help him get Naboth’s vineyard. Jezebel wrote a letter to the elders and nobles and instructed them to proclaim a day of fasting and had 2 scoundrels pronounced false testimony against him and stone him to death. They did as Jezebel instructed and had Naboth stoned to death. Later, Jezebel told King Ahab that Naboth has died so he proceeded to take over his vineyard.
Elijah went to King Ahab and prophesied that every male in his household will die including slave or free because he compromised with Jezebel about killing Naboth. This prophecy was fulfilled with Jehu has 70 sons of Ahab killed as well as all his relatives. Jehu also killed Jezebel (2 Kings 10:1-17).
King Ahab Killed in a war at Ramoth Gilead
After King Ahab made a peace treaty with King Ben Hadad, there was no war for 3 years. But King Ben Hadad did not keep his promise to return all the cities his father has returned. King Ben Hadad did not return Ramoth Gilead to King Ahab.
Meanwhile, Jehoshaphat had come to visit King Ahab. King Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to accompany him into war. King Jehoshaphat suggested to seek advice from the prophet. So King Ahab had sought advice from all the prophets and they told him that he will surely defeat King Benhadad.
Later, Jehoshaphat asked if there is another prophet they can inquire and King Ahab called the prophet Micaiah. Before arriving, the messenger had told the prophet Micaiah to agree with other prophets but Micaiah said he can only say what God had told him.
Micaiah told King Ahab about a vision in heaven. According to Micaiah, God was consulting the angels and other spirits around him on how to bring King Ahab into war at Ramoth Gilead so that he will die. Suddenly, one spirit suggested to be a lying spirit in the mouths of all the prophets. God then commanded him to go and do it. Thus, the prophets all prophesied that King AHab will win the war.
Ahab disguised himself when going into war while Jehoshaphat wear his royal robes. A soldier randomly shoot an arrow and it hit King Ahab. The wound inflicted by the arrow caused too much blood loss and Ahab died.