In describing Yehoshafat’s visit to the king of Yisrael, the verse uses the Hebrew word yarad (ירד), which literally means ‘he came down.’ When the Bible makes references to ‘going up’ or ‘going down,’ these terms often have spiritual, rather than physical meaning. Therefore, going to Yerushalayim, or immigrating to Eretz Yisrael, is always referred to as “going up,” while leaving Yerushalayim or the Land of Israel is always called “going down.” Since Yehoshafat is going from Yerushalayim in Yehuda to the less holy northern kingdom of Israel, the Bible says he “came (down) to visit.” In Modern Hebrew, the same expressions are used. Immigrating to Israel is known as aliya, ‘ascent,’ while leaving is known as yerida, ‘descent.’Comment
4 And he said to Yehoshafat, “Will you come with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead?” Yehoshafat answered the king of Yisrael, “I will do what you do; my troops shall be your troops, my horses shall be your horses.”
6 So the king of Yisrael gathered the Neviim, about four hundred men, and asked them, “Shall I march upon Ramoth-gilead for battle, or shall I not?” “March,” they said, “and Hashem will deliver [it] into Your Majesty’s hands.”
8 And the king of Yisrael answered Yehoshafat, “There is one more man through whom we can inquire of Hashem; but I hate him, because he never prophesies anything good for me, but only misfortune—Michaihu son of Imlah.” But King Yehoshafat said, “Don’t say that, Your Majesty.”
9 So the king of Yisrael summoned an officer and said, “Bring Michaihu son of Imlah at once.”
ט וַיִּקְרָא מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־סָרִיס אֶחָד וַיֹּאמֶר מַהֲרָה מִיכָיְהוּ בֶן־יִמְלָה׃
10 The king of Yisrael and King Yehoshafat of Yehuda were seated on their thrones, arrayed in their robes, on the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Shomron; and all the Neviim were prophesying before them.
11 Tzidkiyahu son of Chenaanah had provided himself with iron horns; and he said, “Thus said Hashem: With these you shall gore the Arameans till you make an end of them.”
יא וַיַּעַשׂ לוֹ צִדְקִיָּה בֶן־כְּנַעֲנָה קַרְנֵי בַרְזֶל וַיֹּאמֶר כֹּה־אָמַר יְהֹוָה בְּאֵלֶּה תְּנַגַּח אֶת־אֲרָם עַד־כַּלֹּתָם׃
12 And all the other Neviim were prophesying similarly, “March upon Ramoth-gilead and triumph! Hashem will deliver it into Your Majesty’s hands.”
יב וְכָל־הַנְּבִאִים נִבְּאִים כֵּן לֵאמֹר עֲלֵה רָמֹת גִּלְעָד וְהַצְלַח וְנָתַן יְהֹוָה בְּיַד הַמֶּלֶךְ׃
13 The messenger who had gone to summon Michaihu said to him: “Look, the words of the Neviim are with one accord favorable to the king. Let your word be like that of the rest of them; speak a favorable word.”
יג וְהַמַּלְאָךְ אֲשֶׁר־הָלַךְ לִקְרֹא מִיכָיְהוּ דִּבֶּר אֵלָיו לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה־נָא דִּבְרֵי הַנְּבִיאִים פֶּה־אֶחָד טוֹב אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ יְהִי־נָא דבריך [דְבָרְךָ] כִּדְבַר אַחַד מֵהֶם וְדִבַּרְתָּ טּוֹב׃
14 “As Hashem lives,” Michaihu answered, “I will speak only what Hashem tells me.”
יד וַיֹּאמֶר מִיכָיְהוּ חַי־יְהֹוָה כִּי אֶת־אֲשֶׁר יֹאמַר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי אֹתוֹ אֲדַבֵּר׃
15 When he came before the king, the king said to him, “Michaihu, shall we march upon Ramoth-gilead for battle, or shall we not?” He answered him, “March and triumph! Hashem will deliver [it] into Your Majesty’s hands.”
טו וַיָּבוֹא אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵלָיו מִיכָיְהוּ הֲנֵלֵךְ אֶל־רָמֹת גִּלְעָד לַמִּלְחָמָה אִם־נֶחְדָּל וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו עֲלֵה וְהַצְלַח וְנָתַן יְהֹוָה בְּיַד הַמֶּלֶךְ׃
16 The king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of Hashem?”
טז וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו הַמֶּלֶךְ עַד־כַּמֶּה פְעָמִים אֲנִי מַשְׁבִּעֶךָ אֲשֶׁר לֹא־תְדַבֵּר אֵלַי רַק־אֱמֶת בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה׃
17 Then he said, “I saw all Yisrael scattered over the hills like sheep without a shepherd; and Hashem said, ‘These have no master; let everyone return to his home in safety.’”
יז וַיֹּאמֶר רָאִיתִי אֶת־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל נְפֹצִים אֶל־הֶהָרִים כַּצֹּאן אֲשֶׁר אֵין־לָהֶם רֹעֶה וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה לֹא־אֲדֹנִים לָאֵלֶּה יָשׁוּבוּ אִישׁ־לְבֵיתוֹ בְּשָׁלוֹם׃
19 But [Michaihu] said, “I call upon you to hear the word of Hashem! I saw Hashem seated upon His throne, with all the host of heaven standing in attendance to the right and to the left of Him.
יט וַיֹּאמֶר לָכֵן שְׁמַע דְּבַר־יְהֹוָה רָאִיתִי אֶת־יְהֹוָה יֹשֵׁב עַל־כִּסְאוֹ וְכָל־צְבָא הַשָּׁמַיִם עֹמֵד עָלָיו מִימִינוֹ וּמִשְּׂמֹאלוֹ׃
20 Hashem asked, ‘Who will entice Achav so that he will march and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ Then one said thus and another said thus,
כ וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה מִי יְפַתֶּה אֶת־אַחְאָב וְיַעַל וְיִפֹּל בְּרָמֹת גִּלְעָד וַיֹּאמֶר זֶה בְּכֹה וְזֶה אֹמֵר בְּכֹה׃
21 until a certain spirit came forward and stood before Hashem and said, ‘I will entice him.’ ‘How?’ Hashem asked him.
כא וַיֵּצֵא הָרוּחַ וַיַּעֲמֹד לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וַיֹּאמֶר אֲנִי אֲפַתֶּנּוּ וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֵלָיו בַּמָּה׃
22 And he replied, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his Neviim.’ Then He said, ‘You will entice and you will prevail. Go out and do it.’
כב וַיֹּאמֶר אֵצֵא וְהָיִיתִי רוּחַ שֶׁקֶר בְּפִי כָּל־נְבִיאָיו וַיֹּאמֶר תְּפַתֶּה וְגַם־תּוּכָל צֵא וַעֲשֵׂה־כֵן׃
23 So Hashem has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these Neviim of yours; for Hashem has decreed disaster upon you.”
כג וְעַתָּה הִנֵּה נָתַן יְהֹוָה רוּחַ שֶׁקֶר בְּפִי כָּל־נְבִיאֶיךָ אֵלֶּה וַיהֹוָה דִּבֶּר עָלֶיךָ רָעָה׃
24 Thereupon Tzidkiyahu son of Chenaanah stepped up and struck Michaihu on the cheek, and demanded, “Which way did the spirit of Hashem pass from me to speak with you?”
כד וַיִּגַּשׁ צִדְקִיָּהוּ בֶן־כְּנַעֲנָה וַיַּכֶּה אֶת־מִיכָיְהוּ עַל־הַלֶּחִי וַיֹּאמֶר אֵי־זֶה עָבַר רוּחַ־יְהֹוָה מֵאִתִּי לְדַבֵּר אוֹתָךְ׃
25 And Michaihu replied, “You’ll find out on the day when you try to hide in the innermost room.”
כה וַיֹּאמֶר מִיכָיְהוּ הִנְּךָ רֹאֶה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא אֲשֶׁר תָּבֹא חֶדֶר בְּחֶדֶר לְהֵחָבֵה׃
27 and say, ‘The king’s orders are: Put this fellow in prison, and let his fare be scant bread and scant water until I come home safe.’”
כז וְאָמַרְתָּ כֹּה אָמַר הַמֶּלֶךְ שִׂימוּ אֶת־זֶה בֵּית הַכֶּלֶא וְהַאֲכִילֻהוּ לֶחֶם לַחַץ וּמַיִם לַחַץ עַד בֹּאִי בְשָׁלוֹם׃
28 To which Michaihu retorted, “If you ever come home safe, Hashem has not spoken through me.” He said further, “Listen, all you peoples!”
כח וַיֹּאמֶר מִיכָיְהוּ אִם־שׁוֹב תָּשׁוּב בְּשָׁלוֹם לֹא־דִבֶּר יְהֹוָה בִּי וַיֹּאמֶר שִׁמְעוּ עַמִּים כֻּלָּם׃
33 And when the chariot officers became aware that he was not the king of Yisrael, they turned back from pursuing him.
לג וַיְהִי כִּרְאוֹת שָׂרֵי הָרֶכֶב כִּי־לֹא־מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל הוּא וַיָּשׁוּבוּ מֵאַחֲרָיו׃
34 Then a man drew his bow at random and he hit the king of Yisrael between the plates of the armor; and he said to his charioteer, “Turn the horses around and get me behind the lines; I’m wounded.”
לד וְאִישׁ מָשַׁךְ בַּקֶּשֶׁת לְתֻמּוֹ וַיַּכֶּה אֶת־מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל בֵּין הַדְּבָקִים וּבֵין הַשִּׁרְיָן וַיֹּאמֶר לְרַכָּבוֹ הֲפֹךְ יָדְךָ וְהוֹצִיאֵנִי מִן־הַמַּחֲנֶה כִּי הָחֳלֵיתִי׃
35 The battle raged all day long, and the king remained propped up in the chariot facing Aram; the blood from the wound ran down into the hollow of the chariot, and at dusk he died.
לה וַתַּעֲלֶה הַמִּלְחָמָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וְהַמֶּלֶךְ הָיָה מָעֳמָד בַּמֶּרְכָּבָה נֹכַח אֲרָם וַיָּמָת בָּעֶרֶב וַיִּצֶק דַּם־הַמַּכָּה אֶל־חֵיק הָרָכֶב׃
36 As the sun was going down, a shout went through the army: “Every man to his own town! Every man to his own district.”
לו וַיַּעֲבֹר הָרִנָּה בַּמַּחֲנֶה כְּבֹא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ לֵאמֹר אִישׁ אֶל־עִירוֹ וְאִישׁ אֶל־אַרְצוֹ׃
37 So the king died and was brought to Shomron. They buried the king in Shomron,
לז וַיָּמָת הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיָּבוֹא שֹׁמְרוֹן וַיִּקְבְּרוּ אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ בְּשֹׁמְרוֹן׃
38 and they flushed out the chariot at the pool of Shomron. Thus the dogs lapped up his blood and the whores bathed [in it], in accordance with the word that Hashem had spoken.
לח וַיִּשְׁטֹף אֶת־הָרֶכֶב עַל בְּרֵכַת שֹׁמְרוֹן וַיָּלֹקּוּ הַכְּלָבִים אֶת־דָּמוֹ וְהַזֹּנוֹת רָחָצוּ כִּדְבַר יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר דִּבֵּר׃
43 He followed closely the course of his father Asa and did not deviate from it, doing what was pleasing to Hashem.
מג וַיֵּלֶךְ בְּכָל־דֶּרֶךְ אָסָא אָבִיו לֹא־סָר מִמֶּנּוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה׃
44 However, the shrines did not cease to function; the people still sacrificed and offered at the shrines.
מד אַךְ הַבָּמוֹת לֹא־סָרוּ עוֹד הָעָם מְזַבְּחִים וּמְקַטְּרִים בַּבָּמוֹת׃
46 As for the other events of Yehoshafat‘s reign and the valor he displayed in battle, they are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Yehuda.
47 He also stamped out the remaining male prostitutes who had survived in the land from the time of his father Asa.)
מז וְיֶתֶר הַקָּדֵשׁ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁאַר בִּימֵי אָסָא אָבִיו בִּעֵר מִן־הָאָרֶץ׃
49 Yehoshafat constructed Tarshish ships to sail to Ophir for gold. But he did not sail because the ships were wrecked at Ezion-geber.
מט יְהוֹשָׁפָט עשר [עָשָׂה] אֳנִיּוֹת תַּרְשִׁישׁ לָלֶכֶת אוֹפִירָה לַזָּהָב וְלֹא הָלָךְ כִּי־נשברה [נִשְׁבְּרוּ] אֳנִיּוֹת בְּעֶצְיוֹן גָּבֶר׃