1 Kings – Chapter 21

1 Kings chapter 21

Summary of Jezebel
Jezebel ranks as the most evil woman in the Bible. The Bible even uses her name as an example of people who completely reject God (Revelation 2:20, 21). Jezebel was determined to make Israel worship her gods. Jezebel not only managed her husband, Ahab, but she also had 850 assorted pagan priests under her control. She believed that the king had the right to possess anything he wanted. Jezebel ruthlessly had Naboth killed and took ownership of the land. Jezebel’s plan to wipe out worship of God in Israel led to painful consequences. Before she died, Jezebel suffered the loss of her husband in combat and her son at the hand of Jehu, who took the throne by force. She died in the defiant and scornful way she had lived.
Verse 4 – After hearing God’s judgment (20:42), Ahab went home to pout. Rage turned to hatred and led to the murder of Naboth. However, Naboth wanted to uphold God’s laws: it was considered a duty to keep ancestral land in the family.
Verses 8-10 – Jezebel knew enough of God’s law to arrange for 2 witnesses to accuse Naboth of blasphemy. What is not revealed here is that Jezebel also had Naboth’s heirs killed (2 Kings 9:25, 26). This was necessary since as long as Naboth had surviving heirs, the land would stay in the family.
Verses 17, 18 – Elijah had faded into the background for a while. Now he reenters the story.
Verses 19-24 – The first cursed pronounced on Ahab described the way dogs would lick Ahab’s blood in the same place that they licked Naboth’s blood and the blood of his sons. The second disaster would come on all males; both slave and free of Ahab’s house. The bible implies that this prophecy of Elijah was fulfilled when Joram, Ahab’s son was left for the dogs on Naboth’s land in Jezreel (2 Kings 9:24-26).
Verses 27-29 – We see that this repentance by Ahab was shallow because he continued his rebellion in the next chapter. God pronounced that the prophesied destruction on Ahab’s house would only happen only after Ahab’s death. We must accept God’s sovereignty on those occasions when He seems harsh by our standards and also when He seems too merciful by our judgment.

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