1 Kings 22:38, A Bloody Bath

… and the dogs licked up his blood, and the prostitutes washed themselves in it, according to the word of the LORD that he had spoken.


Did prostitutes really bathe themselves in the blood of King Ahab? Various translations reach different conclusions.

The story runs like this: God, sitting on his throne in heaven, is having trouble coming up with a plan to entice Ahab into a war that will be his demise. All the hosts of heaven are standing around the throne, bantering ideas back and forth. Finally, a “lying spirit” offers to deceive Ahab. God approves the plan, and the lying spirit makes his exit. He speaks through the mouths of Ahab’s prophets, promising Ahab victory.

Though warned that his prophets had spoken a lie, Ahab decides to enter battle anyway, cloaked in disguise. It doesn’t work; a random arrow finds him, and he spends the battle propped up in his chariot, bleeding to death, watching his army suffer defeat.

The bloody chariot is taken to Samaria, and there it is washed in a pool where prostitutes bathe. Perhaps while prostitutes bathe. The text is unclear.

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