1 Kings 21

Naboth killed for his vinyard; The Lord's condemnation of Ahab
 1 ¶ And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.
 2 And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money. 
 3 And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.
 4 And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.
  1 - Jezreel See map, lower left. 
  3 - x 
  4 - Heavy and displeased Like a spoiled child.
.5 ¶ But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?
 6 And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard.
 7 And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.
.8 So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.
 9 And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: 
.10 And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.
Husbands and wives influence each other. Choosing the right marriage partner is very important.

  10 - Witness against him Compare jg1922, jg2013, 1sa0116, 2sa1607, 2sa2001.

 11 And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them.
 12 They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people.
 13 And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died.
  13 - Men ... Belial The word means "worthlessness." It is always used in a moral sense. A man or son of Belial is a wicked, worthless man; one resolved to endure do subjection; a rebel; a disobedient, uncontrollable fellow, Jg 19:22; 1Sa 2:12.  In later writings, Belial is put for the power or lord of evil, Satan, 2Co 6:15." (ATS Dict.).
  13 - Stoned him "As they pretended to find him guilty of treason against God and the king, it is likely they destroyed the whole of his family; and then the king seized on his grounds as confiscated, or as escheated to the king, without any heir at law. That his family was destroyed appears strongly intimated, 2Ki 9:26; 'Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons, saith the Lord.'" (Clarke).
 14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead.
 15 And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.
 16 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
  14 - Naboth ... dead So were all his heirs, by base wickedness.
  15 - Arise She was just waiting for her evil scheme to be accomplished.
.17 ¶ And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
 18 Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it.
.19 And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.
"The idolatry which, supported by Ahab and the heathen Jezebel, had seduced the nation, had been given a decided check. Baal's prophets had been slain. The whole people of Israel had been deeply stirred, and many were returning to the worship of God. As Elijah's successor, Elisha, by careful, patient instruction, must endeavor to guide Israel in safe paths. His association with Elijah, the greatest prophet since the days of Moses, prepared him for the work that he was soon to take up alone. During these years of united ministry, Elijah from time to time was called upon to meet flagrant evils with stern rebuke. When wicked Ahab seized Naboth's vineyard, it was the voice of Elijah that prophesied his doom and the doom of all his house. And when Ahaziah, after the death of his father Ahab, turned from the living God to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, it was Elijah's voice that was heard once more in earnest protest." (Prophets and Kings, p. 224.)
 20 And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD.
 21 Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel,
 22 And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin.
.23 And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. 
.24 Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.
  23 - Dogs shall eat Jezebel A clear prediction 1ki2124.
  24 - Dieth of Ahab Fate of his children.
 25 But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. 
 26 And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.
  These two verses clarify the need for the punishment
  "Sin was a fire that flamed in the heart of Ahab but Jezebel saw to it that it burned at its greatest intensity." (SDABC). She got him to adopt Baal worship 1ki1631 and the killing of God's prophets 1ki1804 and to chase after Elijah. etc.
.27 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.
 28 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
 29 Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house.
  Ahab ... rent his clothes He was softened. He must have been comforted by the word of the Lord.
Kings home
Commentary home