Harvard Theological Review

Does God Lie to His Prophets? The Story of Micaiah ben Imlah As a Test Case

R. W. L. Moberly a1
a1 University of Durham

The understanding of Hebrew prophecy has made great advances in modern biblical scholarship. To be sure, such is the diversity and complexity both of prophetic texts within the Hebrew canon and of contemporary methods of interpretation that many unresolved—perhaps irresolvable—issues remain. Yet recent hermeneutical debate, like the philological and historical work of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, can offer fresh lenses through which to read the text, in ways that at least sometimes may help make progress beyond seeming impasses. My purpose in this paper is to focus on one particular prophetic narrative, one which is often used as a case study: the story of Micaiah ben Imlah in 1 Kgs 22:1–38. I hope it may illustrate something of the kind of fresh understanding of a difficult prophetic text which is achievable.