Historic Beginnings of Jezebel
To begin with, Jezebel was not just any woman; she was a Phoenician princess and the daughter of King Ethbaal in the ninth century BC. Their kingdom, among other gods, worshiped the nature god Baal, which would later become a source of contention within her next kingdom.
At the time of 922 BC, Israel was a divided nation (Israel to the north, Judah to the south), and Phoenicia (to the north of Israel) was regarded as a city that couldn’t care less about following Yahweh, the true God’s traditions and beliefs. King Ethbaal ruled over what is now Lebanon, which included the coastal cities of Tyre and Sidon.
An arranged marriage between the newly appointed king of Israel’s son, Ahab, and the princess of the Phoenicians, Jezebel, was suggested as a peaceful solution for the divided nation.
In 1 Kings 16:31, Jezebel is described as the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians rather than the Phoenicians. Jezebel and Ahab’s marriage is also mentioned at this point in the Bible.
Jezebel And Ahab’s kingdom
After the wedding for Jezebel and Ahab’s arranged marriage, it was clear that Jezebel had no intention of abandoning her Baal worship just because she had moved to a new kingdom. Despite the outrage of Israel’s townspeople, Queen Jezebel continued to worship Baal in her new home.
She even brought 800 prophets of Baal into the kingdom to encourage others to worship Baal. When Yahweh’s prophets spoke out against Jezebel’s promotion of Baal worship, she killed them.
4 For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)1 Kings 18:4 (KJV
In 1 Kings 18:4, it is described as a massacre, to the point where Obadiah, the chief prophet in King Ahab’s palace, had to hide a hundred prophets in caves to avoid being killed by Jezebel. The king wanted to take a vineyard from Naboth the Jezreelite, which was located next to the palace, and Jezebel’s murderous wrath continued. Ahab became depressed as a result of Naboth’s refusal to give up the vineyard that had been in his family for years, and Queen Jezebel took matters into her own hands once more.
She told King Ahab to rise and eat while she delivered the vineyard to his hands, which she did by advising two men to falsely accuse Naboth of blasphemy against God and the king, and requesting that he be stoned to death, using letters bearing his seal.
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Elijah’s Proclamation for King Ahab and Queen Jezebel
At the same time, Israel was suffering from a drought, and King Ahab and Obadiah were scrambling for water and grass to keep the city’s livestock alive.
5 And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts.
6 So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.
7 And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Art thou that my lord Elijah?1 Kings 18:5-7 (KJV)
While looking for water and food, Obadiah met the prophet Elijah, who had been sent by God to help the kingdom and had predicted in 1 Kings 17 that a drought would be sent as a result of Jezebel’s actions.
The treason committed by King Ahab and Jezebel had aided God’s creation of the drought, and Elijah declared that Jezebel’s murder of His prophets and Naboth (with King Ahab’s passive assistance) meant their deaths were also imminent.
According to 1 Kings 21:19, just as Naboth’s blood was licked up by the dogs of the kingdom after his death, their blood would be licked up by the dogs as well. When King Ahab heard this proclamation, he immediately began fasting and mourning in order to repent of what he had done to the Lord. This display caused God to reverse the destruction that was to occur during King Ahab’s generation, which was to occur during the generation of his son.
Why Jezebel Kill Naboth Him?
In 1 Kings 21, we see how Jezebel orchestrated Naboth’s death.
Naboth owned a vineyard near King Ahab’s palace. He offered to either improve the vineyard’s profitability or pay him for the vineyard in its current state.
3 But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you!”
4 So Ahab went into his house sullen and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no food. 5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said to him, “Why is your spirit so sullen that you eat no food?”
6 He said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you another vineyard for it.’ And he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’ ”
7 Then Jezebel his wife said to him, “You now exercise authority over Israel! Arise, eat food, and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”1 Kings 21:3-7
She forged letters requesting a fast under Ahab’s name and seal. The letters also demanded that Naboth be charged with blasphemy against God, a charge that would be backed up by the false testimony of two scoundrels. Naboth was also to be stoned to death, according to the orders. Jezebel’s plan was carried out exactly as planned, and Naboth was put to death.
Ahab went to take possession of the vineyard as soon as he learned of Naboth’s death. Elijah emerged from the wilderness to confront Ahab at the vineyard, as the Lord had instructed the prophet, about Jezebel’s plot against Naboth as well as Ahab’s sinful actions that were causing Israel to sin.
“The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel,” the Lord said of Jezebel’s guilt in the matter (1 Kings 21:23). “[t]here was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, urged on by Jezebel his wife,” the Lord explained, casting much of the blame on Jezebel (1 Kings 21:25).
When Ahab “heard these words,” he realized he was a conspirator and “rented his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went around meekly” (1 Kings 21:27).
The Lord appeared to Elijah and told him that because Ahab had humbled himself, He would not bring evil upon him during his lifetime, but that judgment would be passed on to his son. Ahab lived for another three years before succumbing to the Syrian-Israeli war. His son Ahaziah succeeded him on the throne, but he died soon after, and Joram took his place.
How Jezebel died in the bible?
Jezebel’s death isn’t recorded until the book of 2 Kings 9:30-37, where the newly anointed king, Jehu, after King Ahab (who died in battle), was named. He assassinated Jezebel’s son, killing those who belonged to the house of Ahab, as well as Jezebel sympathizers. It is said in 2 Kings 9:30 that Jezebel, knowing that Jehu was coming to kill her, adorned herself with fine clothing and makeup and waited for him by looking out her bedroom window. When she saw Jehu approach through the gate, she asked if peace was what he came to bring, followed by calling him “murderer of your master” (2 Kings 9:31) in reference to her dead son.
Jehu asked the eunuchs by Jezebel’s side if they were on his side; two or three looked down at him and he commanded them to throw her from the window. She died from the fall and when Jehu’s men came to bury her body, in honor of her royal blood, all that was found was her skull, feet, and hands. Her body’s desecration reflected Elijah’s earlier prophecy (1 Kings 21:23) that dogs lick the blood of Ahab and tear the flesh of Jezebel.