Credits: Journey Through Nach 2 Volume Box Set
The Gemara tells us that Sefer Melachim should be viewed as one large sefer. This sefer was written by the prophet Yirmiya and is full of ups and downs in its recording of an extremely turbulent and eventful approximately 400 year period of Jewish history. Sefer Melachim begins with the reign of Shlomo Hamelech, which was the most tranquil period in our history. The Bnei Yisrael were united, the nations were in awe of Bnei Yisrael, there was no war, and the Beis Hamikdash was built. However, Sefer Melachim then details the splitting of the kingdom into the kingdoms of Yisrael and Yehuda, and also records our incremental exile and the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash. It was during the span of Sefer Melachim that the prophets Yeshaya, Yirmiya, Hoshea, and Yechezkel prophesied.
The Sefer is called Melachim as it details 41 out of 44 kings of Klal Yisrael (excluding David who died at the beginning of the Sefer) who lead the entire people or either of the two kingdoms. A king of Bnei Yisrael is more than a mere social leader who ensures law and order; he leads the people in the service of Hashem, and is called the ‘Mashiach Hashem,’ (this is the term David used in expressing his unwillingness to kill Shaul Hamelech even when the latter was pursuing him). The king has special laws which pertain both to him and to how the people are to treat him. This is why, the bracha on seeing a king of Klal Yisrael describes the ‘honor’ bestowed on kings as coming from ‘Hashem’s honor’.
In the Introduction to the “Nechmad La’Mareh” edition of Sefer Melachim, there is an interesting distinction drawn between the kings of Yehuda and those of Yisrael. The kings of Yisrael are connected with Yosef (for their first king was Yeravam, who was a descendant of Yosef), while the kings of Yehuda are from the tribe of Yehuda. And since a central trait of Yosef was emotion (regesh; in Bereishis, the Torah gives us three instances of Yosef crying), the kings of Yisrael were also governed by emotion. This trait is also true of Yosef’s sole maternal brother, Binyamin (perhaps this emotion originated from Rachel), which was the root of Shaul’s mistake in his misplaced mercy on the people of Amalek in Shmuel Alef. In contrast, the kings of Yehuda inherited Yehuda’s trait of putting mind (sechel) over emotion, in the same way that Yehuda rose above the emotions displayed by his brothers, and managed to save Yosef from death in the pit by suggesting that he be sold instead. Thus, Shlomo Hamelech, a descendant of Yehuda, was the epitome of this trait of sechel. It is perhaps for this reason that, in general, the kings of Yehuda were more loyal to Hashem than the kings of Yisrael; for they had greater wisdom, and could recognize Hashem’s ultimate control without being blindly led by emotions. We learn that emotions are important, but they have to be tied down and governed by sechel (intelect). Though there is an essential difference and split between the kings of Yehuda and the kings of Yisrael (different laws apply to each of them), in the future there will only be one king and one kingdom, as the prophet Yechezkel (37:19) tells us.
Each generation varied greatly from the generation it preceded and likewise to the generation that preceded it, as we see that Chizkiyah, one of the most righteous kings, bore Menashe, one of the most wicked kings. The ten lost tribes of Yisrael are described, as is the exile in which we remain until today. Sefer Melachim also describes the splendor of the Beis Hamikdash and eventually, its destruction.
Kings of the entire Jewish people
|2. Ish Boshes: Son of Shaul||2 years||Good|
|4. Shlomo: Son of Dovid||40 years||Good|
Kings of Yisroel
|1. Yerovom: Revolutionary||22 years||Evil|
|2. Nodov : Son of Yerovom||2 years||Evil|
|3. Baasha: Usurper||24 years||Evil|
|4. Eiloh: Son of Baasha||2 years||Evil|
|5. Zimri: Usurper||7 days||Evil|
|6. Tivni: Usurper||5 years||Evil|
|7. Omri: New Dynasty||12 years||Evil|
|8. Achov: Son of Omri||22 years||Evil|
|9. Ahazyoh: Son of Achov||2 years||Evil|
|10. Yehoram: Son of Ahab||12 years||Evil|
|11. Yeihu: Usurper||28 years||Evil|
|12. Yehoahaz: Son of Yeihu||17 years||Evil|
|13. Yehoash: Son of Yehoahaz||16 years||Evil|
|14. Yerovom II: Son of Yehoash||41 years||Evil|
|15. Zechariah: Son of Yerovom II||6 months||Evil|
|16. Shallum: Usurper||1 month||Evil|
|17. Menachem: Usurper||10 years||Evil|
|18. Pekachiah: Son of Menachem||2 years||Evil|
|19. Pekach: Usurper||20 years||Evil|
|20. Hoshea: Elected/appointed||19 years||Evil|
Summary of Perakim:
The Haftara for Chayei Sarah is from Melachim 1 1:1-31
David was 70 and began to feel cold; he was no longer warmed by his clothes. (Rashi 1:1 explains that this was either a punishment for cutting off a corner of Shaul’s cloak, or he became cold from fright when he had seen a vision of an angel brandishing a sword ready to destroy Yerushalayim). His servants suggested employing a female attendant, Avishag, to make the King warm. Adoniyah (the fourth son of David) rebelled and received the backing of Yoav and Evyasar; they feared that David or his successor would kill them (Radak 1:6). The Ralbag writes that Hashem caused Yoav and Evyasar to join Adoniyah’s rebellion so they would receive the punishments they deserved for their previous sins. Adoniyah made a large feast and invited all his supporters to proclaim him as King. Nassan HaNavi and Batsheva informed David of Adoniyah’s rebellion, and David instructed Tzadok, Nassan, and Benayahu to announce that Shlomo – just 12 years old at the time (Rashi and Radak 3:7) – was to be the next king. They anointed Shlomo publicly and Bnei Yisrael celebrated. Adoniyah’s supporters dispersed and, fearing for his life, he grasped onto the corners of the altar and pleaded to be kept alive. Shlomo agreed that if Adoniyah remained loyal to his leadership, his life would be spared.
The Haftara for Vayechi is from Melachim Alef 2:1-12
Before David died, he instructed Shlomo to follow in the ways of the Torah; this would ensure that his descendants would retain the throne. David instructed Shlomo to punish Yoav in a fitting manner for killing two innocent individuals, to treat Barzilai (a wealthy supporter of David) well, and to punish Shimmi ben Gerah for cursing the king. David then passed away after a forty year reign; seven years of ruling over Yehuda in Chevron, and 33 years of ruling over all of Bnei Yisrael in Yerushalayim. Adoniyah requested that Batsheva ask Shlomo to allow him Avishag as a wife. Shlomo realized that this was an attempt to gain the throne, and had Adoniyah killed and his supporters exiled. Yoav fled and grasped onto the altar to try and save his life (the altar offers refuge from killers; see Shemos 21:14), but Shlomo had him killed him there (see Gemara Makkos 12a for two reasons why the passuk in Shemos did not apply here). Shimmi ben Gerah was told to build a house in Yerushalayim and not to leave on pain of death. After three years, Shimmi left Yerushalayim to chase after two servants, and was then put to death.
The Haftara for Mikeitz is from Melachim Alef 3:15-4:1
Shlomo made an alliance with Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and married his daughter, thus guaranteeing assistance from his neighbors: Shlomo felt that he was spiritually resilient enough to avoid the negative influence of Egypt. We are informed that Shlomo obeyed his father David and followed the Torah. Hashem came to Shlomo in a dream and offered to grant him whatever he desired; Shlomo chose wisdom, and in addition, Hashem granted Shlomo wealth, success, and a long life. Two women came before Shlomo, in a dispute over who was the rightful mother of a certain child. Shlomo announced that he was going to cut the live baby in half. The real mother protested and offered her child to the other woman, rather than have her child be killed. As a result, Shlomo ruled that the baby should be returned to the woman who had mercy on the child, as that woman was the real mother. Bnei Yisrael were in awe of their King’s wisdom.
Shlomo ruled the entire nation, who were happy with their king and respected his divine wisdom (Rashi and Radak in their explanations of 4:1). Shlomo’s ministers are listed. Shlomo instituted an innovative method of taxation that divided Bnei Yisrael into 12 equal portions and each would have a representative to collect tax to support the king for one month of the year. The representatives’ names are written. Bnei Yisrael became prosperous, the population grew and there was peace (Radak 4:20).
The Haftara of Terumah is from Melachim 1 5:26-6:13
A description of Shlomo’s huge kingdom and wealth is given, and we are told that he received gifts from the surrounding nations. His provisions for one day are described; the sheer quantity of these provisions shows the extravagance of the meals Shlomo hosted for those who would eat at his table (Metzudas David). He had a vast number of horses, contrary to the laws of the king in Parshas Shoftim (Radak 5:6). Shlomo was the wisest of all men-even wiser than ‘Eitan HaEzrachi’ (5:11), referring to either Eitan ben Zerach, Adom HaRishon, or Moshe. Shlomo was renowned for his wisdom even among the nations. He proposed to build the first Beis Hamikdash and requested that King Chiram of Tzor, a good friend of David, send cedar and cypress wood. Chiram agreed to this request and so Shlomo sent a group of 10,000 workers out of 30,000 to assist Chiram and work for him once every 3 months on rotation. Shlomo employed a further 150,000 workers, and preparations to build the Beis Hamikdash began.
Shlomo began the construction of the Beis Hamikdash. This was in the 4th year of Shlomo’s reign, in Iyar 2928 (480 years after leaving Egypt). The measurements and materials used are detailed. Hashem promised Shlomo that if he would follow the Torah, Hashem would keep the covenant he had made with David. He would not abandon the Bnei Yisrael, and He would dwell in the Beis Hamikdash. The Beis Hamikdash was completed after 7 years, in Cheshvan 2935.
The Haftara of Vayakhel is from Melachim Alef 7:40-50. The Haftara of a second Shabbos Chanukah is from Melachim Alef 7:40-50
After building the Beis Hamikdash, Shlomo built a palace for himself over a period of 13 years. This demonstrates Shlomo’s alacrity and zeal to build the house of Hashem in contrast to his lesser motivation to build a house for himself (Rashi). Others explain that Shlomo’s palace only took two years to build, and the thirteen years mentioned in 7:1 mean that this occurred at the end of the thirteenth year of his reign (see Radak 7:1). The size and splendor of Shlomo’s palace are described at great length. Chiram was an exceptional architect and designed complex parts of the palace, such as the intricate pillars and many vessels. Returning to the topic of the Beis Hamikdash, the passuk tells us that Shlomo himself built the Mizbeach Hazahav and the Lechem Hapanim out of gold, sparing no expense. The passuk also mentions the Yam Shel Shlomo, a Mikvah for Kohanim to wash in. The materials which David assigned for building the Beis Hamikdash were placed into the treasury of the Beis Hamikdash.
Note: The Passuk (7:23) describes the measurements of the Yam Shel Shlomo; it states that the diameter was ten amos whilst the circumference was 30 amos. Rashi (7:23) essentially writes that the circumference is always triple the diameter – a rounded-down version of the irrational number π. The Ralbag explains that if one measures the diameter from the inside of the circle, then the ration of the diameter to the circumference is 3:1. The Rambam writes in his commentary on the Mishna (Eruvin 1:5 and 2:5) that as π is an irrational number (3.14…) The Vilna Gaon explains that the word for circumference in our perek “kav/ kavah” is a kri kesiv (written and read differently). If one adds the numerical value (gematria) of both spellings one gets 106 and 111 respectively. 111 divided by 106 multiplied by 3 gives a result of π to an accuracy of 4 digits!
The Haftara of Pekudei is from Melachim Alef 7:51-8:20. The Haftara for the second day of Succos (chutz l’aretz) is from Melachim Alef 8:2-21. The Haftara for Shmini Atzeres is from Melachim Alef 8:54-66; 9:1
The Aron was transported from Ir David to the Beis Hamikdash in the month of Tishrei (On Succos [Ralbag]), and Shlomo placed it under the Keruvim (Note that these Keruvim were not the same ones as those in the Mishkan – we do not know why, but we can be sure that Shlomo was commanded to do so via a prophet [Radak 8:6]). Every Jew gathered to celebrate Succos together in front of the Sanhedrin and leaders of the nation, and many korbanos were offered up. The people were enveloped by the ‘Cloud of Hashem’ and Shlomo declared that this was Hashem’s dwelling place. Shlomo addressed the people and praised Hashem for fulfilling His covenant with David and enabling the Beis Hamikdash to be built. He begged that the covenant should be observed in the future and that Hashem should listen and forgive anyone who would pray at the Beis Hamikdash (even gentiles). Shlomo blessed the people and urged them to continue serving Hashem and to keep the Torah. Shlomo made a celebration for the people which lasted 14 days; meaning the people ate and rejoiced on Yom Kippur (see Gemara Moed Kattan and the Radak 8:64 for more details, including the Divine sign that David had been forgiven for any sins people thought he had committed). All the people were blessed with sons.
Hashem told Shlomo that his prayer would be answered and that He would reside in the Beis Hamikdash and enable David’s descendants to rule, providing they follow in the way of the Torah. Chiram provided Shlomo with an abundant supply of gold, cedar, and cypress trees, and Shlomo gave Chiram 20 cities in the Galil in return. However, Chiram was not happy with them. Chiram also sent Shlomo 120 talents of gold. The passuk lists the gifts Shlomo received from other countries. Shlomo conscripted many foreign builders, but no Jewish workers. On the three Chagim, Shlomo offered up many korbanos. Shlomo established a fleet of ships to transport valuables to Eretz Yisrael. He also moved the daughter of Pharaoh out of Ir David, as the Aron’s arrival had made the place too holy for her (Rashi 8:24).
The Queen of Sheba heard of Shlomo’s wisdom and wanted to experience it for herself. She brought many riches with her as a present for Shlomo, and challenged him with many questions. Shlomo answered her and revealed secrets about herself that only she knew. She was astounded and overwhelmed by his wisdom and praised Shlomo and Hashem. The Queen of Sheba gave an even greater amount of valuables to Shlomo and, in return, Shlomo gave her many gifts in addition to whatever else she wished to take. The amount of gold that Shlomo received in one year was 666 talents (excluding taxes), and he used the gold for different types of shields. Shlomo built a magnificent throne for himself and was considered the wealthiest and wisest king in the world. All the fixtures and drinking vessels were gold, as silver was not considered valuable. We are told that Shlomo gathered 1,400 chariots and 12,000 riders.
We are told that Shlomo married many non-Jewish women (after they converted; Rambam) and as a result, he sinned with idolatry. The Radak (11:1) explains (echoing the Gemara) that Shlomo did not serve idols himself – he simply did not object enough to his wives’ idol worship. Hashem punished Shlomo that his descendants would only rule over the tribes of Yehuda and Binyamin, and even this would be in David’s merit. Hadad, originally from Edom, had sojourned in Egypt for a period and married the Queen of Egypt’s sister. Now, however, he returned to Eretz Yisrael to cause strife. Retzin was also sent by Hashem to antagonize Shlomo; he had previously led a group of warriors against David. Yeravam ben Nevat criticised Shlomo for building up the Milo. Achiyah HaShiloni (a Navi) tore a cloak into 12 pieces in front of Yeravam; he gave Yeravam 10 pieces and informed him that he would rule over 10 tribes. Shlomo attempted to kill Yeravam, but Yeravam, fled to Egypt. Shlomo died, was buried in Ir David and his son Rechavam ruled in his stead.
Bnei Yisrael appointed Rechavam as king in Shechem. Yeravam returned to Eretz Yisrael from Egypt. The people approached Rechavam and requested that he lighten their heavy taxes. Rechavam considered the matter for three days. The elders advised Rechavam to be sympathetic and gain the people’s trust, while the younger ministers suggested the opposite, that Rechavam increase the taxes and rule with an iron fist. Rechavam foolishly ignored the advice of the elders, angering the people greatly, who then stoned Adoram, Rechavam’s Head of Tax, to death. The 10 disillusioned tribes joined Yeravam; only Yehuda and Binyamin followed Rechavam. Rechavam gathered his troops to war against Yeravam for rebelling against his leadership. Shemaaoh the Navi told Rechavam that it was the will of Hashem for the kingdom to be split, and he should disband his army. Rechavam obeyed and laid down his arms; however, there were still a number of battles between the two kingdoms later on (Radak). Yeravam set up two golden calves in Beis El and Dan, and appointed non-Levite priests to stop Bnei Yisrael going down to Yerushalayim for the purpose of aliyah leregel, because he feared they would be won over by Rechavam. He also created a festival in the 8th month of the year (Cheshvan) in imitation of Sukkos, to prevent people from going up to Yerushalayim.
A Navi informed the people at the altar of Beis El that Yoshiyah, the future king of Yehuda, would sacrifice idolatrous priests on the altar. He prophesied that the altar would split and ashes would spill out. Yeravam ordered the Navi’s arrest, but suddenly, Yeravam’s arm froze, the altar split, and ashes spilled out. On Yeravam’s request, the Navi prayed that Yeravam should regain the use of his arm. Yeravam invited the Navi for a meal, but he refused, as he had been instructed by Hashem not to eat. A false Navi, aware of Hashem’s command that the Navi abstain from food, invited the man for a meal, claiming that an angel had allowed him to eat. The Navi ate, and Hashem told him (via the false prophet) that he would die. Indeed, on the way home, a lion mauled him to death. Rav Dessler (M’M 5:394) explains that the prophet was cautioned not to eat to allow his reproof to be effective; Hashem wanted everyone to know that the prophet was not reproaching the king for any material gain, but because he was a messenger from Hashem. Yet, when the Navi failed this mission and ate, he was taken from this world and his reproach was retroactively invalidated. The false Navi buried him and requested that he be buried next to the dead Navi. Yeravam obstinately continued behaving sinfully; Rashi (13:32) relates that Hashem Himself called to Yeravam to repent, but he remained entrenched in his ways.
Aviyah, Yeravam’s son, became ill, and Yeravam sent his wife to Achiyah HaShiloni in disguise (as she knew Achiyah disapproved of Yeravam’s idolatrous practices [Radak]), with gifts in order to discover Aviyah’s fate. Hashem informed Achiyah in advance that Yeravam’s wife would come. Upon her arrival, Achiyah criticized her for concealing herself, and informed her that Hashem would wipe out Yeravam’s legacy, appoint a new ruler of Yisrael, and cause Aviyah to die as she re-entered the city. This indeed happened, and Yisrael mourned his death. Yeravam had ruled for 22 years, after which Nadav (another son) replaced him as king of Yisrael. Rechavam ruled over Yehuda for 17 years. His reign was evil; there was immorality and idolatry throughout the land. After he died, Aviyam his son took over. King Shishak of Egypt took the treasures of the Beis Hamikdash and of David’s palace. The perek ends by relating that there was constant civil war among the two kingdoms during Yeravam’s and Rechavam’s reigns. See the in-depth article for how children can be punished for their parents’ sins.
Aviyam became king of Yehuda: he ruled for 3 years and did not follow in the way of Hashem. Asah became king after him and reigned for 41 years. Unlike his father and grandfather, he observed the Torah properly. He removed idols and immoral practices from Eretz Yisrael and contributed valuables to the Beis Hamikdash. Asah fought with Baasha King of Yisrael, and Baasha built defenses in Ramah to isolate Yehuda. However, Asah bribed the King of Aram to invade, causing Baasha to retreat from Ramah. Asah died, and his son Yehoshafat ruled in his stead. Baasha’s history is relayed; Nadav, son of Yeravam, was King of Yisrael for two years, but he did not follow the command of Hashem. Baasha murdered him and eradicated all of Yeravam’s descendants (as Hashem had promised). Baasha ruled over Yisrael for 24 years, but he, too, did not keep the Torah properly.
Yehu ben Chanani the prophet was told that Hashem had cursed Baasha and his household. Eilah son of Baasha was King of Yisrael for two years and followed in the evil ways of his father. Zimri killed a drunk Eilah, and ruled over Yisrael in his stead. The people, however, appointed Omri (the commander of the army) as king. Zimri sought refuge in the palace in Tirtzah, and Omri besieged the city. Omri burned the palace, killing Zimri, thus ending Zimri’s reign after seven days. For 6 years, there was a civil war between Tivni and Omri, but ultimately, Omri prevailed and ruled over the people for a further 6 years. Omri did not serve Hashem, and his son Achav, who succeeded him to the throne, served idols and intermarried. Achav ruled for 22 years. Chiel rebuilt Yericho and his sons died, thereby fulfilling Yehoshua’s curse.
(After a conversation with Achav) Eliyahu HaTishbi swore that no rain would fall unless Eliyahu himself declared that it would. Hashem directed Eliyahu to the Kris Brook where there would be both water and food provided by ravens. After a year the brook dried up, so Hashem sent Eliyahu to a widow’s house to ask for some water. She agreed, but when Eliyahu requested bread she refused, explaining that she only had minimal supplies which were sufficient only for her and her son. A miracle occurred that the flour and oil supplies replenished themselves. This miracle continued for a year. The passuk informs us that this woman’s son became deathly ill and died. The mother ran to Eliyahu to ask for help. He took the boy to his room, stretched over him three times and prayed. The boy came back to life and the jubilant mother exclaimed “Now I realize you are a man of G-d!”
The Haftara of Ki Sissa is from Melachim Alef 18:1-39
Hashem instructed Eliyahu to inform Achav that He would send rain, as the people had repented (Radak). Ovadya, the manager of Achav’s household, saved 100 Neviim from being killed by Izevel, Achav’s wife. Eliyahu appeared to Ovadya as he scouted for food for the animals, and reassured Ovadya that he, Eliyahu, would go to Achav so that Ovadya would not be killed for conversing with him. Eliyahu came to Achav and told him that his sinful activities had caused the drought, and he challenged the 450 ‘Priests of Baal’ to a public sacrifice competition on Har HaCarmel. At the contest, the priests called out to the Baal fruitlessly all day, even cutting themselves. Eliyahu took 12 stones representing the 12 tribes, erected an altar, and threw water over the wood. Heavenly fire descended and consumed the offering. The people proclaimed, “Hashem is G-d”. Eliyahu instructed the people to massacre the Baal prophets, and forecasted that there would be rain. Indeed, this occurred. See the in-depth article on how Eliyahu was allowed to offer a sacrifice in a non-permitted area, a violation of a Torah commandment.
The Hafatara of Pinchas is from Melachim Alef 18:46-19:21
Izevel threatened to kill Eliyahu after the prophets’ deaths, so he fled to Be’er Sheva, and begged Hashem to kill him. Eliyahu slept, awakening twice when an angel told him to eat. He walked for forty days, travelling to Chorev, and taking refuge in a cave. Hashem asked Eliyahu why he had come to the cave in Chorev, and he explained that he was hiding as he was in danger for fulfilling His will. Eliyahu was told to go on the mountainside, where he saw wind, an earthquake, and raging fire. A voice proclaimed that Hashem was not in any of these powerful forces but Hashem was ‘heard’ in a “still, thin sound.” The Malbim interprets this to mean that Eliyahu was too harsh with the people and he must restrain himself. Hashem instructed Eliyahu to appoint Chazael as king of Aram and Yehu as king of Yisrael. Hashem also instructed Eliyahu to appoint Elisha as the next Navi, because Eliyahu criticized the people to Hashem, while the role of the Navi is to defend and protect the people (Radak). Yehu would kill every idolater (leaving 7,000 Jews), and Elisha would kill those who succeeded in evading Yehu. Elisha bade farewell to his parents and cooked Eliyahu a meal, signifying acceptance of his position as Eliyahu’s attendant and successor.
Ben Hadad of Aram besieged Shomron, the capital of Yisrael, and demanded Achav’s valuables, women, and children. Achav agreed, but retracted his agreement when Ben Hadad demanded “everything precious in his eyes.” This referred to the King’s Sefer Torah (Rashi & Sanhedrin 102b). The two kings battled. A Navi told Achav he would win and that 7,000 warriors should be led by the 232 regional leaders under Achav’s command. Guards informed a drunken Ben Hadad that some men had escaped from Shomron. Ben Hadad ordered his men to capture them, but these escapees from Shomron slew the Aramean camp. The Navi warned Achav that in one year, the Arameans would attack again. Aram assumed that Hashem only had power on the mountains, and so they fought on regular land. The Navi assured Achav that, once again, Hashem would help them. The men of Yisrael killed 100,000 Arameans, and then a further 27,000 when the city wall collapsed. Ben Hadad’s men begged for mercy, and Achav made a covenant that Ban Hadad would return the land his father had taken, and that Achav would control the Aramean market. A Navi asked a man to strike him, but the man refused and was killed by a lion for disobeying. Another man complied with this request. The Navi then pretended to be an injured soldier and told the king that he had been instructed to protect a man with his life, but he failed. The king responded that he should be killed as a result. The Navi revealed himself and criticized Achav for letting Ben Hadad go. The Navi then prophesied future destruction.
Achav coveted his neighbor Navos’s vineyard and offered to buy it from him, but Navos refused his offer. Enraged, Achav refrained from eating. Using her husband’s signet ring, Izevel declared a fast and ordered Navos to be seated at the head of the people. She prepared two false witnesses who testified that Navos had cursed Hashem and the King, and thus, Navos was stoned. Izevel resorted to underhand methods to kill Navos as a rebellion would have erupted had Achav simply killed someone for no good reason (Radak 21:10). Izevel then seized the vineyard, since when someone is killed by Beis Din, the King inherits his field. Eliyahu appeared to Achav and told him that “In the place where dogs licked Navos’ blood, Achav’s blood would also be licked by the dogs”. Achav’s legacy would be wiped out as he had caused Bnei Yisrael to sin, partly due to his wife Izevel. When Achav heard this, he tore his clothes, wore sackcloth, went barefoot, and fasted. Due to his repentance, Hashem decided that Achav would not be punished in his lifetime, but rather in the days of his son.
Yisrael and Aram had peace for three years Until Achav allied with Yehoshafat (king of Yehuda) against Aram. 400 false prophets assured them of victory in battle. Yehoshafat wanted to consult a genuine Navi, so Achav suggested Michayahu, who told them that Achav would die, while everyone else would be defeated but unharmed (Rashi). Michayahu added that Hashem wanted Achav to fight, but the 400 prophets who assured them victory were false. Tzidkiyahu, a false prophet, challenged Michiyahu, who retorted that it would soon become apparent who was false. Achav imprisoned Michiyahu. Both kings went to war and Achav disguised himself. The Arameans pursued after Yehoshafat, but retreated, as they were targeting Achav. An archer shot Achav, unaware he was the king, and Achav died. The army disbanded, and Achav’s son Achazyahu replaced him as king. However, like his predecessors, he too was wicked. Yehoshafat had become king at 35, and he reigned for 25 years. Yehoshafat followed Hashem and prevented immorality, but he did not remove all idolatry. Yehoram became king when his father Yehoshafat died.