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Ahab And Jezebel

Updated on February 9, 2015

Ahab, King of Israel

Ahab became king of Israel when his father, Omri died. He became king by inheritance whereas his father was elected king after an overthrow of the kingdom by the servant Zimri who was king of Israel for two days. Ahab's age at the beginning of his reign is not known as it is not mentioned in the Bible but some scholars speculate that he was about the age of forty when he began to reign in Samaria.

At the time of Ahab's reign, Judah and Israel were separate kingdoms and Jehoshaphat was king of Judah.

Map Of Israel - The Area called 'West Bank' is thought to have been the location of Samaria the city where Ahab reigned

Jehoshaphat and Ahab got along even though Jehoshaphat was a godly man while Ahab served idols. This was because Jehoshaphat's son, Jehoram married Ahab's daughter Athaliah. (see 2 Kings 8:26) The two formed and alliance and would fight alongside each other when needed.

Jezebel and Ahab met by Elijah by Frederic Leighton 1862
Jezebel and Ahab met by Elijah by Frederic Leighton 1862 | Source

Ahab And Jezebel

Ahab married Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal (meaning 'with Baal') who was the king of the Zidonions. She was a worshiper of the god Baal and persuaded her husband to become one as well. The Bible says that Ahab was already a wicked king before he married Jezebel but, indifferent to his actions, he nonchalantly committed a greater sin and made her his wife.

"And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him." 1 Kings 16:31

Ahab's wife, Jezebel was so wicked that even today, when someone is said to be a Jezebel it is obviously an insult.

Ahab allowed Jezebel to mercilessly persecute the prophets of God and to give glory to the prophets of Baal. In turn, she taught him to take whatever he wanted and to give in to every pleasure and temptation. The prophet Elijah was a formidable enemy of the couple and both of them wanted to kill him for his judgment of them.

'Elijah Meeting Ahab and Jezebel in Naboth's Vineyard' by Sir Francis Bernard Dicksee 1873
'Elijah Meeting Ahab and Jezebel in Naboth's Vineyard' by Sir Francis Bernard Dicksee 1873 | Source

Naboth's Vineyard

When Ahab saw a plot of land that he wanted to make into an herb garden and realized it belonged to someone who would not sell, he began to pout - And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread ( 1 Kings 21:4) - and would not eat his food. He had asked Naboth, the owner to sell it to him but Naboth had refused because it was a family inheritance.

When his wife, Jezebel saw this, she encouraged him to get up and stop pouting, indeed to make merry, for he was the King of Israel and anything he wanted should not be denied him. Ahab, got up and heeded the words of his wicked wife who then wrote letters in his name and carried out her evil plot to have Naboth murdered. (See 1 Kings Chapter 21)

She had witnesses speak falsely against Naboth and then he was killed because of their lies.

As soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went to claim his vineyard for himself. It was then that the prophet of the Lord, Elijah met both Ahab and Jezebel and told them that because of their wickedness they would die.

The Lord told Ahab, through Elijah that ," In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine, and that, "The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.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." ( See 1 Kings 21: 20-26)

When Ahab heard this, he tore his clothes and fasted before the Lord God and even though the Bible says that he was the wickedest of them all, because he humbled himself before the Lord, the Lord had pity on him.

Jezebel And Elijah

Although Ahab knew that he had sinned against the Lord, there was no evidence to show that Jezebel ever repented of her wickedness. She absolutely hated the prophet Elijah and sought to kill him continuously.

He had killed her prophets who served her idol Baal, and for that she made sure to let him know that she would be after him to kill him. Although Elijah was able to end the drought through the power of Almighty God, she was ungrateful and still pursued him. Elijah fled into the wilderness because of her threats and it was there that God spoke to him in a still, small voice.

This video asks questions about Jezebel (as well as others in the Bible)and her wickedness. Was she as wicked as the Bible says, they ask?

And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.

And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot.

And there went a proclamation throughout the host about the going down of the sun, saying, Every man to his city, and every man to his own country

So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria.

And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the Lord which he spake.

1 Kings 22: 34 - 38 (A.V.)

The Death Of Ahab And The Death Of Jezebel

Ahab's Death

Some time after Elijah's pronouncement ( about three years), Ahab went forth to help Jehoshaphat seize the land of Ramoth in Gilead for it was possessed by the Syrians. Jehoshaphat, a God-fearing man, wanted to inquire of the Lord whether they should go up and seize the land or not. Many prophets told both kings that they should go and fight but when Jehposhaphat insisted that he hear from a prophet of God, Ahab allowed it. He warned though, that the prophet, named Micaiah, never had anything good to say about him and that he was sure to have something bad to say this time again.

Ahab, was right, but instead of believing the godly man, he shut him up in prison for the mad told him that during the battle he would surely die. Ahab took precautions but he could not run away from the proclamation of the Lord.

Jezebel's Death

After the death of her husband, Jehu was anointed king by Elijah's successor, Elisha. Elisha told him of the words of God and what was to happen to Jezebel because of her evil and idolatrous ways. When Jehu came to Jezreel, where Jezebel was staying, he called to those who were at the window with her to throw her down. They obeyed and she died and all that was left of her were her skull and hands when they went out to bury her, fulfilling the word of the Lord when He said she would be eaten by dogs.

Do you think that Jezebel's wickedness encouraged Ahab's wickedness?

See results

The Bond Between Husband And Wife

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Genesis 2:24

There is no doubt that Jezebel had a strong influence over Ahab and his actions. She led him into idolatry, greed and lust and he willingly went along with her. Her influence over him caused his wickedness to grow and instead of trying to end his wicked ways (as Abigail did with her husband Nabal) she nurtured it.

The bond between a husband and a wife is a strong one and cannot be broken. Each has a significant influence over the other whether they acknowledge it or not. The influence can be a good one or a bad one (as with Ahab and Jezebel) which is why it is very important to understand this fact before marriage. The woman is the helpmate and she can help to make or break a man.

"A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones." Proverbs 12:4

Today, many rush into marriage without thinking about the influence of the other person in their lives. Most think that they can change the person and then their spouse will become the spouse that you want them to be. This is very far from the truth because the power to change someone's heart is not in the hands of mankind but in the hand of God. What is true is that some of the ways of your spouse will become yours and some of your ways will become your spouse's, after all, the Bible speaks the truth when it says, 'Iron sharpeneth iron so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend'. (Proverbs 27: 17) we must be certain then that the ways of our significant others are ways that we would like to have.



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    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi teaches,

      Yes, I have noticed that married couples either think alike or they have to compromise and go the way of the other when making decisions. Without realizing it, they do influence each other.

      Thanks for visiting and reading!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      You have a point here, North Wind. I believe that many rush into marriages thinking they will change the other for the better. It doesn't always happen that way and disappointment follows. Also, one influences the other -- who knows if Jezebel was influenced by Ahab. Great post!

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Thank you for reading and commenting, BlossomSB. May God bless you as well.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      What a great write about a Bible story and history. We can learn so much from these stories. Thank you for writing it. God bless you.

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi Faith Reaper,

      No doubt that we can all learn a son from the lives of Ahab and Jezebel.

      Thanks so much for the vote.

      God bless you and keep you as well!

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi lambservant,

      Ahab and Jezebel really were a dynamic duo but not in a good way. What really stunned me about Ahab is the fact that he knew that God was God and that he should serve no other which was why he humbled himself before Him when Elijah told him of God's message, yet he was determined to serve other gods and follow in the wicked way of his wife. Their wickedness shows the extent of evil man can and does do.

      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Excellent write here and a story for the ages no doubt!!!

      Voted up +++

      God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Great work North Wind. Ahab and Jezebel are the king and queen you love to hate. Glad God carried out his plan, but too bad they did not repent and turn to God.


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