From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

MICAIAH or Michaiah Son of Imlah ( 1 Kings 22:8). Consulted by Ahab at Jehoshaphat's request when undertaking the joint expedition against Ramoth Gilead, which Benhadad had engaged to restore ( 1 Kings 20:34). The 400 prophets whom Ahab gathered together to "inquire the word of Jehovah" ( 1 Kings 22:5) were prophets of Jeroboam's symbolic calf worship of Jehovah not of Baal. (See Jeroboam .) Jehoshaphat begged for some "prophet of Jehovah besides," unconnected with the calf symbolism forbidden by the second commandment. Ahab mentioned Micaiah, adding "I hate him, for he doth not prophesy good concerning me but evil" (compare  1 Kings 21:20;  Jeremiah 36:28).

Ahab had Micaiah already in prison, as  1 Kings 22:26 implies, "carry him back ... prison." Josephus (Ant. 8:15, sec. 6) says that it was Micaiah who predicted ("in the word of Jehovah,"  Haggai 1:13) death by a lion to the neighbor who would not smite him, and who, disguised with ashes, under the parable of one letting go a prisoner entrusted to him made Ahab in his hour of triumph, when the mortification would be the greater, condemn himself out of his own mouth, to lose his life for letting Benhadad escape ( 1 Kings 20:35-43). Zedekiah, one of the 400, at the gate of Samaria where the two kings sat in state, symbolically putting horns or iron spikes on his head, foretold the transfer of Ephraim's blessing ( Deuteronomy 33:17) to Ahab; "with the horns of the buffalo (or wild ox, Reem ) he shall push the people."

So all the rest said, "go up and prosper." Micaiah, though prompted to imitate their prophecies of good, would say only what Jehovah said ( Numbers 22:38). Ironically and in parody he repeated at first their parrot-like cry, "go and prosper," to show Ahab how easy such prophesying is if worldly interest were one's aim. Then, being adjured in Jehovah's name, Micaiah said "I saw all Israel scattered ... as sheep that have no shepherd (quoted by the Lord Jesus Himself,  Matthew 9:36, as it is previously the basis of  Ezekiel 34:5;  Zechariah 10:2), and Jehovah said, these have no master (Ahab falling), let them return every man to his house." Instead of Moses' blessing on Ephraim awaiting Ahab, as Zedekiah had said, Moses' picture of what Israel would be at his death, "Jehovah's congregation as sheep having no shepherd," if no successor were appointed, would be realized ( Numbers 27:17). Ahab, though he had asked Micaiah to speak the truth, attributed it when spoken to Micaiah's ill will.

Micaiah therefore revealed the source unseen of the 400 prophets' falsehood; Jehovah, seen in real vision on His throne amidst His hosts, asked, who shall persuade Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth Gilead? A lying spirit undertook to influence the 400 to Ahab's ruin ( Zechariah 13:2;  1 John 4:6). The access of Satan to the heavenly court in Old Testament times appears here and  Job 1:6;  Job 2:1 (but compare  Revelation 12:7-10 as to the New Testament times). God said to the lying spirit, "go forth and do so." It was no invention of fancy, but a supernatural agency under Satan, by God's overruling appointment, which in righteous retribution gives over to a lie those who love not the truth ( Judges 9:23;  Job 12:16;  Ezekiel 14:9;  2 Thessalonians 2:11-12).

God does not will or tempt to evil ( James 1:13); but, as Ahab would not heed the true prophet, gives him over to the false ( Romans 1:24-28;  Romans 9:17-23;  Exodus 7:3;  Exodus 7:13;  Exodus 14:4;  Exodus 14:17;  Exodus 10:20;  Exodus 10:27). The words "thou shalt persuade and prevail also" show that the human will was left free; God makes one stage in the sinner's downward course the sequel and punishment of the foregoing one; Ahab might have resisted the tempter. Zedekiah, conscious that he had not invented his lying prophecy, smote Micaiah on the cheek, asking "which way went the Spirit of Jehovah from me to speak unto thee? .... Thou shalt see in the day when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide," namely, from the vengeance of those misled by thee to their defeat.

Ahab commanded, "take Micaiah back unto Amon ... in the prison, feed him with bread and water of affliction (in more severe imprisonment than before) until I come in peace." Micaiah replied: "if thou return at all in peace Jehovah hath not spoken by me; hearken, O nations, every one of you"; appealing not only to Israel but to the Gentile world, to which Ahab had conformed, and which may heed, since Israel will not, so as when the event should come to pass to discern the truth of Jehovah ( Micah 1:2).

Morrish Bible Dictionary [2]

Son of Imla. When Ahab was joined by Jehoshaphat, and all Ahab's prophets foretold his success against Ramoth-gilead, Jehoshaphat asked if there was not yet another prophet of Jehovah of whom they could inquire. Then Micaiah was sent for, though Ahab said that he hated him, for he always prophesied evil unto him. At first Micaiah said, "Go ye up, and prosper, and they shall be delivered into your hand." The way in which this was said apparently convinced Ahab that it was spoken in irony, for he said, "How many times shall I adjure thee that thou say nothing but the truth to me in the name of the Lord?" Micaiah at once said that he saw all Israel scattered, having no shepherd. Jehovah said they had no master.

Then he relates that he had seen, probably in a vision, Jehovah sitting on His throne, and asking who would persuade Ahab to go to Ramoth-gilead and fall there. A spirit volunteered to accomplish it by being a lying spirit in the mouth of all Ahab's prophets. This had come to pass. Zedekiah, one of Ahab's prophets, struck Micaiah on the cheek, and said, "Which way went the Spirit of the Lord from me to speak unto thee?" Micaiah replied, "Behold, thou shalt see on that day when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself." Ahab disguised himself, but was wounded by an arrow and died. Ahab's four hundred prophets, and Jehovah's one prophet are an instance of the conflict of spirits , which the Christian is now called upon to try.  1 Kings 22:8-28;  2 Chronicles 18:7-27 .

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [3]

1. A faithful and fearless prophet, consulted by King Ahab at the demand of Jehoshaphat as to the issue of their proposed campaign against the Syrians. He was imprisoned to abide the event, which coincided with his predictions and probably secured his release,  1 Kings 22:8-38 . Ahab's conduct in this matter displays the amazing folly of sins against light.

2. A prince of Judah, who seconded the efforts of Jehoshaphat to instruct and reform the people of Judah,  2 Kings 17:7-9 .

People's Dictionary of the Bible [4]

Micaiah ( Mî-Kâ'Yah ). The son of Imlah. A faithful prophet who predicted in vain to Ahab the fatal termination of his expedition against Ramoth-gilead.  1 Kings 22:8-28;  2 Chronicles 18:7-27. He delivered his warning in the form of a remarkable vision, in which the weighty lesson is conveyed that God blinds judicially those who have shut their eyes and ears to his monitions, letting them be deceived by lying spirits.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [5]

The son of Imlah, whom Ahab hated, ( 1 Kings 22:8) His name is the same in derivation as the former. We meet with another Micaiah or Michaiah, son of Gemariah, in the days of Jeremiah. (See  Jeremiah 36:11, etc.)

Smith's Bible Dictionary [6]

Mica'iah. (Who Is Like God?). Micahiah, the son of Imlah, was a prophet of Samaria, who in the last year, of the reign of Ahab, king of Israel, predicted his defeat and death, B.C. 897.  1 Kings 22:1-35;  2 Chronicles 18:1.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [7]

 1 Kings 22:8-28 1 Kings 20:35-42

Holman Bible Dictionary [8]

 1 Kings 22:7-28 1 Kings 22:28

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [9]

MICAIAH. See Micah.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [10]

the prevailing form of the name of several persons (one a Levite,  2 Chronicles 13:2), written with considerable diversity in the original and in the ancient translations, as well as the Auth. Vers. (properly, for Heb. Mikayah', מַיכָיָה , Who is Like Jehovah?  2 Kings 22:12; Sept. Μιχαίας , Vulg. Micha, Auth. Vers. "Michaiah,"  Nehemiah 12:35, Μιχαία , Michaja, "Michaiah;"  Nehemiah 12:41, Μιχαίας , Michaea, "Michaiah;"  Jeremiah 26:18, Μιχαίας , Michaeas, "Micah;" paragogically, Heb. Mikah'Yehu, מַיכָיְהוּ  ;  Judges 17:1;  Judges 17:4, Μιχά , Michas, "Micah;"  1 Kings 22:8-9;  1 Kings 22:13-15;  1 Kings 22:24-26;  1 Kings 22:28, Μιχαίας , Micheas, "Micaiah;"  2 Chronicles 18:7-8;  2 Chronicles 18:12-13;  2 Chronicles 18:23-25;  2 Chronicles 18:27, Μιχαίας , Michaeas, "Micaiah;"  Jeremiah 36:11;  Jeremiah 36:13, Μιχαίας , Michaeas, "Michaiah;" fully, Heb. Mikaya'Hut  2 Chronicles 13:2, Μααχά , Michaja, "Michaiah "  2 Chronicles 17:7, Μιχαίας , Micheas, "Michaiah;" contracted, Heb. Mikah', מַיכָה ;  Judges 17:5;  Judges 17:8-10;  Judges 17:12-13;  Judges 18:2-4;  Judges 18:13;  Judges 18:15;  Judges 18:18;  Judges 18:22-23;  Judges 18:26-27;  Judges 18:31, Μιχά , Michas, "Micah;"  1 Chronicles 5:5;  1 Chronicles 8:34-35;  1 Chronicles 9:40-41;  1 Chronicles 23:20, Μιχά , Michas, "Micah;"  1 Chronicles 24:24-25, Μιχά , Micha, "Michah;"  2 Chronicles 18:14, Μιχαίας , Michaeas, "Micaiah;"  2 Chronicles 34:20, Μιχαία , Micha, "Micah;"  Jeremiah 26:11 Μιχαίας v.r. Μιχέας and Μηχαίας , Michtas, "Micah"  Micah 1:1, Μιχαίας , Michaeas, "Micah;" by Chaldaism, Mika', מַיכָא  ;  2 Samuel 9:12, and  Nehemiah 10:11;  Nehemiah 11:17, Μιχά , Μιχά , "Micha;"  1 Chronicles 9:15, Μιχά , Micha, "Micah;"  Nehemiah 11:22, Μιχά , Michas, "Micha"). The only person invariably thus called was the son of Imla, and a prophet of Samaria ( 1 Kings 22:13; 2 Chronicles 18). B.C. 895.

The following abstract of the narrative concerning him is sufficiently copious on certain disputed points. Three years after the great battle with Benhadad, king of Syria, in which the extraordinary number of 100,000 Syrian soldiers is said to have been slain, without reckoning the 27,000 who, it is asserted, were killed by the falling of the wall at Aphek, Ahab proposed to Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, that they should jointly go up to battle against Ramoth-Gilead: which Benhadad was, apparently, bound by treaty to restore to Ahab. Jehoshaphat, whose son Jehoram had married Athaliah, Ahab's daughter, assented in cordial words to the proposal; but suggested that they should first "inquire at the word of Jehovah." Accordingly, Ahab assembled 400 prophets, while, in an open space at the gate of the city of Samaria, he and Jehoshaphat sat in royal robes to meet and consult them. "That these were, however, no true prophets of Jehovah, is evident from their being afterwards emphatically designated Ahab's prophets, in contradistinction to the Lord's ( 2 Chronicles 18:22-23). It is evident also from the suspicion created in the mind of Jehoshaphat respecting their character by their manner and appearance; for, after they had all spoken, and as having yet to learn the real purpose of heaven, Jehoshaphat asked whether there was not yet a prophet of Jehovah. In consequence of this request Micaiah was mentioned by Ahab, but with the notification that he hated him, for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil' ( 2 Chronicles 18:8); which, in the circumstances, cannot be regarded otherwise than as a further proof of the essential difference between the actual position of this man and the others who assumed the name of prophets of the Lord."

The prophets unanimously gave a favorable response; and among them, Zedekiah, the son of Chenaanah, made horns of iron as a symbol, and announced, from Jehovah. that with those horns Ahab would push the Syrians till he consumed them. For some reason which is unexplained, and can now only be conjectured, Jehoshaphat was dissatisfied with the answer, and asked if there was no other prophet of Jehovah at Samaria? Ahab replied that there was yet one, Micaiah, the son of Imla; but, in words which obviously call to mind a passage in the Iliad (1:106), he added, "I hate him, for he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil." Micaiah was, nevertheless, sent. for; and after an attempt had in vain been made to tamper with him, he first expressed an ironical concurrence with the 400 prophets, and then openly foretold the defeat of Ahab's army and the death of Ahab himself. In opposition to the other prophets, he said that he had seen Jehovah sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him, on his right hand and on his left: that Jehovah said, Who shall persuade Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-Gilead; that a spirit (the Heb. has the art. the spirit, as if some special emissary of evil) came forth and said that he would do so; and on being asked, Wherewith? he answered, that he would go forth and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all the prophets. Irritated by the account of this vision, Zedekiah struck Micaiah on the cheek, and Ahab ordered Micaiah to be taken to prison, and fed on bread and water, till his return to Samaria. Ahab then went up with his army to Ramoth-Gilead; and in the battle which ensued, Benhadad, who could not have failed to become acquainted with Micaiah's prophecy, uttered so publicly, which had even led to an act of public personal violence on the part of Zedekiah, gave special orders to direct the attack against Ahab, individually. Ahab, on the other hand, requested Jehoshaphat to wear his royal robes, which we know that the king of Judah had brought with him to Samaria ( 1 Kings 22:10); and then he put himself into disguise for the battle; hoping thus, probably, to baffle the designs of Benhadad and the prediction of Micaiah; but he was, nevertheless, struck and mortally wounded in the combat by a random arrow. We hear nothing further of the prophet. Josephus dwells emphatically on the death of Ahab. as showing the utility of prophecy, and the impossibility of escaping destiny, even when it is revealed beforehand (Ant. 8:15, 6). He says that it steals on human souls, flattering them with cheerful hopes, till it leads them round to the point whence it will gain the mastery over them. This was a theme familiar to the Greeks in many tragic tales, and Josephus uses words in unison with their ideas. (See Euripides, Hippolyt. 1256, and compare Herodot. 7:17; 8:77; 1:91).

From his interest in the story, Josephus relates several details not contained in the Bible, some of which are probable, while others are very unlikely; but for none of which does he give any authority. Thus. he says, Micaiah was already in prison when sent for to prophesy before Ahah and Jehoshaphat, and that it was Micaiah who had predicted death by a lion to the son of a prophet, under the circumstances mentioned in  1 Kings 20:35-36; and had rebuked Ahab after his brilliant victory over the Syrians for not putting Benhadad to death. There is no doubt that these facts would be not only consistent with the narrative in the Bible, but would throw additional light upon it; for the rebuke of Ahab in his hour of triumph, on account of his forbearance, was calculated to excite in him the intensest feeling of displeasure and mortification; and it would at once explain Ahab's hatred of Micaiah, if Micaiah was the prophet by whom the rebuke was given. Nor is it unlikely that Ahab, in his resentment, might have caused Micaiah to be thrown into prison, just as the princes of Judah, about 300 years later, maltreated Jeremiah in the same way ( Jeremiah 37:15). But some other statements of Josephus cannot so readily be regarded as probable. Thus he relates that, when Ahab disguised himself, he gave his own royal robes to be worn by Jehoshaphat in the battle of Ramoth-Gilead, an act which would have been so unreasonable and cowardly in Ahab, and would have shown such singular complaisance in Jehoshaphat, that, although supported by the translation in the Septuagint, it cannot be received as true. The fact that some of. the Syrian captains mistook Jehoshaphat for Ahab is fully explained by Jehoshaphat's being the only person in the army of Israel who wore royal robes. Again, Josephus informs us that Zedekiah alleged, as a reason for disregarding Micaiah's prediction, that it was directly at variance with the prophecy of Elijah, that dogs should lick the blood of Ahab, where dogs had licked the blood of Naboth, in the city of Samaria: inasmuch as Ramoth-Gilead, where, according to Micaiah, Ahab was to meet his doom, was distant from Samaria a journey of three days. It is unlikely, however, that Zedekiah would have founded an argument on Elijah's insulting prophecy, even to the meekest of kings who might have been the subject of it; but that, in order to prove himself in the right as against Micaiah, he should have ventured on such an allusion to a person of Ahab's character, is absolutely incredible. (See Ahab).

It only remains to add, that the history of Micaiah offers several points of interest, among which the two following may be specified:

1. Micaiah's vision presents what may be regarded as transitional ideas of one origin of evil actions. In Exodus, Jehovah himself is represented as directly hardening Pharaoh's heart ( Exodus 7:3;  Exodus 7:13;  Exodus 14:4;  Exodus 14:17;  Exodus 10:20;  Exodus 10:27). In the Book of Job, the name of Satan is mentiolled; but he is admitted without rebuke, among the sons of God, into the presence of Jehovah ( Job 1:6-12). After the captivity, the idea of Satan, as an independent principle of evil, in direct opposition to goodness, becomes fully established ( 1 Chronicles 21:1; and compare  Wisdom of Solomon 2:24). (See Satan). Now the ideas presented in the vision of Micaiah are different from each of these three, and occupy a place of their own. They do not go so far as the Book of Job much less so far as the ideas current after the captivity; but they go farther than Exodus.. See Ewald, Poet. Biicher, 3:65. 2. The history of Micaiah is an exemplification in practice of contradictory predictions being made by different prophets. Other striking instances occur in the time of Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 14:13-14;  Jeremiah 28:15-16;  Jeremiah 23:16;  Jeremiah 23:25;  Jeremiah 23:2-6). The only rule bearing on the judgment to be formed under such circumstances seems to have. been a negative one, which would be mainly useful after the event. It is laid down in  Deuteronomy 18:21-22, where the question is asked, how the children of Israel Were To Know the word which Jehovah had not spoken? The solution is, that "if The Thing Follow Not, Nor Come To Pass, That is the thing which Jehovah has not spoken." (See Prophet).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

mı̄ - kā´ya , mı̄ - kı̄´a ( מיכיהוּ , mı̄khāyāhū , "who is like Yah?"; Μειχαίας , Meichaı́as ): A frequently occurring Old Testament name occasionally contracted to Mica or Micah (which see). In the King James Version it is usually spelled "Michaiah."

(1) The mother of Abijah ( 2 Chronicles 13:2 , the King James Version "Michaiah"). The parallel passage ( 1 Kings 15:2; compare  2 Chronicles 11:20 ) indicates that Michaiah here is a corruption of Maacah (which see) (so the Septuagint).

(2) The father of Achbor ( 2 Kings 22:12 , the King James Version "Michaiah"). See Micah , (5).

(3) A prince of Judah sent by Jehoshaphat to teach in the cities of Judah ( 2 Chronicles 17:7 , the King James Version "Michaiah").

(4) The son of Zaccur, a priestly processionist at the derivation of the wall ( Nehemiah 12:35 , the King James Version, "Michaiah").

(5) A priestly processionist at the dedication of the wall ( Nehemiah 12:41; wanting in the Septuagint (Septuagint)).

(6) The canonical prophet. See Micah , (7), and special article.

(7) The son of Imlah, the chief character of an important episode near the end of the reign of Ahab ( 1 Kings 22:4-28 parallel   2 Chronicles 18:3-27 ). In the Hebrew, his name appears once in the contracted form "Micah" ( 2 Chronicles 18:14 ). Ahab had suggested to his victor, Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, that they should undertake a joint campaign against Ramoth-gilead. Jehoshaphat politely acquiesced, but asked that the mind of Yahweh should first be ascertained. Ahab forthwith summoned the official prophets to the number of 400, into the royal presence. Obsequious to their master, they, both by oracular utterance and by the symbolic action of their leader, Zedekiah, the son of Chenaanah, gave the king a favorable answer. Their ready chorus of assent seems to have made Jehoshaphat suspicious, for he pleaded that further guidance be sought. Micaiah, for whom Ahab, then, with evident reluctance, sent, at first simply repeated the favorable response of the 400; but adjured by the king to speak the whole truth, he dropped his ironical tone, and in sad earnest described a vision of disaster. Ahab endeavored to lessen the effect of this oracle by pettishly complaining that Micaiah was always to him a prophet of evil. The latter thereupon related an impressive vision of the heavenly court, whence he had seen a lying spirit dispatched by Yahweh to the prophets in order to bring about Ahab's delusion and downfall. In answer to a rude challenge from Zedekiah, who acted as spokesman for the 400, Micaiah confidently appealed to the issue for proof of the truth of his prediction, and was promptly commuted to prison by the king.

The narrative is exceedingly vivid and of the utmost interest to students of Issraelite prophecy. Several of its details have given rise to discussion, and the questions: How far were the prophet's visions objective? How far did he admit the inspiration of his opponents? Is the Divine action described consistent with the holy character of Yahweh? have occasioned difficulty to many. But their difficulty arises largely either because of their Christian viewpoint, or because of their hard and mechanical theory of prophetic inspiration. Micaiah's position was a delicate one. Foreboding or foreseeing disaster, he did his best to avert it. This he could do only by weaning the king from the influence of the 400 time-serving prophets. He sought to gain his end; first, by an ironical acquiescence in their favorable answer; then, by a short oracle forecasting disaster especially to Ahab; and, these means having failed, by discrediting in the most solemn manner the courtly prophets opposed to him. Thus regarded, his vision contains no admission of their equal inspiration; rather is it an emphatic declaration that these men were uttering falsehood in Yahweh's name, thereby endangering their country's safety and their king's life. Their obsequious time-service made them fit forerunners of the false prophets denounced by Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 23:9-40 ) and by Ezekiel ( Ezekiel 13:1-15 ). The frank anthropomorphism of the vision need be no stumbling-block if allowed to drop into its proper place as the literary device of a prophet intensely conscious of his own inspiration and as whole-heartedly patriotic as those opposed to him.

The record ends very abruptly, giving no account of Micaiah's vindication when at length the course of events brought about the fulfillment of his prediction. The closing words, "Hear, ye peoples, all of you" ( 1 Kings 22:28 parallel   2 Chronicles 18:27 ), a quotation of  Micah 1:2 , are an evident interpolation by some late scribe who confused the son of Imlah with the contemporary of Isaiah.

For fuller treatment see Eb , Hdb , and commentaries on Kings and Chronicles.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

Micaiah, 1

Micai´ah (who as Jehovah?), a prophet of the time of Ahab. He was absent from the mob of false prophets who incited the kings of Israel and Judah to march against the Syrians in Ramoth-gilead; for Ahab, having been offended by his sincerity and boldness, had not called for him on this occasion. But he was sent for at the special desire of Jehoshaphat; and as he declared against the enterprise, which the other prophets encouraged, Ahab commanded him to be imprisoned, and allowed only 'bread and water of affliction' till he returned from the wars in peace. To which the prophet ominously answered, 'If thou return at all in peace, then the Lord hath not spoken by me' . The event corresponded with this intimation [AHAB]; but we have no further information concerning the prophet.

Micaiah, 2

One of the princes whom Jehoshaphat sent to 'teach in the cities of Judah' .

Michaiah, 3

Michaiah, son of Gemariah, who, after having heard Baruch read the terrible predictions of Jeremiah in his father's hall, went, apparently with good intentions, to report to the king's officers what he had heard .