Biblical People

Biblical People: Ahab (1)

After Solomon’s reign, the nation of Israel splits into two countries. David’s line continues to rule the nation of Judah, while other kings reign over the rest of Israel. Both nations have God as their legacy, but the kings of Israel are consistent in not following him. They rebel and do evil.

One such king, who reigns about a century after David, is Ahab. He’s the evilest king of Israel so far. He establishes the worship of foreign gods, Asherah and Baal, instead of God. 

He marries Jezebel, a woman even more wicked than himself. Though we can criticize her for her negative influence on her husband, he alone is at fault for what he does.

Ahab begins his twenty-two-year rule as king of Israel while Asa, a good king, reigns in Judah. When Asa dies, his son Jehoshaphat succeeds him. Jehoshaphat is also a God-honoring king like his father.

Though Ahab and Jehoshaphat are opposite from a faith perspective, their nations have a common heritage and a common enemy, the nation of Aram. When Ahab asks Jehoshaphat to join forces in battle to retake the town of Ramoth Gilead, Jehoshaphat agrees.

But he also wants to seek God’s counsel. Ahab’s four hundred prophets all predict victory. Jehoshaphat, however, wants input from the Lord’s prophets. Ahab knows of one, Micaiah. But the king doesn’t like him because the prophet never predicts anything good.

After first sarcastically agreeing with the other four hundred prophets, Micaiah then speaks God’s truth. He says Israel will face defeat if they go to battle, and he says Ahab will not return, implying he will die in the skirmish.

Attempting to avoid this, Ahab disguises himself as a chariot soldier so that he won’t stand out as a target. But a random arrow hits him, and he dies. 

Is there ever a time when we should align ourselves with someone who is evil and doesn’t share our faith? When we seek counsel, do we believe the majority opinion or follow the single voice who represents God?

[Read Ahab’s story throughout 1 Kings 16–22. Discover more in Micah 6:16.]

Learn about more biblical characters in Old Testament Sinners and Saints, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover. Get your copy today.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at