1 Kings 22:49—How can this verse say that Jehoshaphat refused Ahaziah’s request when 2 Chronicles says they worked together?

Problem: According to 1 Kings 22:48, Jehoshaphat built several merchant ships. When Ahaziah requested that Jehoshaphat take some of his servants, Jehoshaphat refused. However, according to 2 Chronicles 20:35, Jehoshaphat allied himself with Ahaziah to build these merchant ships. How can one passage state that Jehoshaphat refused to let Ahaziah’s servants sail on the ships when the other verse claims that they worked together on building these ships?

Solution: Although Jehoshaphat did join together with Ahaziah to build the merchant ships, Jehoshaphat changed his mind once Eliezer prophesied that God was displeased with Jehoshaphat’s alliance with Ahaziah. The passage in 1 Kings records the fact that Jehoshaphat refused an alliance with Ahaziah, while the passage in 2 Chronicles points out that although the alliance was the original arrangement, God used His prophet to change Jehoshaphat’s mind.

See All Problems

This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.