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Jezebel is considered one of the evilest women in all of history. Ironically her name means chaste.  Her story is told in the Bible in the books of 1 and 2 Kings. Ahab and Jezebel were part of a horrible line of rulers that started with Jeroboam, who was the first king of Israel when the kingdom split from Judah.  She is found on the Biblical Timeline Poster during the reign of kings after the Division of the Kingdoms.

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Jezebel and Ahab Meeting Elijah in Naboth’s Vineyard Giclee. Print by Sir Frank Dicksee

Jezebel Gains Power in Israel

Ahab was the son of Omri, who was a wicked ruler of Israel. After his death, Ahab took over the kingdom. God said that Ahab was extremely evil and early on in his reign he married a foreign princess from Phoenicia named Jezebel, who was a worshipper of Baal. Ahab’s and Jezebel’s rule was a continuation of bad leadership that began with Jeroboam. When Jezebel became queen, she quickly tries to take over Israel with her pagan worship and idolatrous practices.

Jezebel’s Evil Deeds

Once Jezebel became the Queen of Israel, she started the worship of Baal and had Ahab lead the people in this type of practice. In 1 Kings 18:4 she started to kill off God’s prophets, and she began to set up her own prophets who honored Baal. The rest of 1 Kings 18 tells about how God’s prophet Elijah defeated the Baal’s prophets and in doing so became an enemy of Jezebel. Jezebel also killed a godly man named Naboth to give his land to Ahab. She encouraged Ahab to set up shrines to Baal and the other pagan gods that she worshiped. God also stated that Jezebel committed witchcraft.

Jezebel’s Death

Eventually, God became fed up with Jezebel. He told Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat that he was going to be king and that he had to avenge the deaths of his prophets that Jezebel killed. He also revealed to Jehu that he was going to use him to wipe out Ahab’s lineage and that Jezebel was going to be eaten by dogs instead of being buried. This incident takes place in 2 Kings 9: 1-11. Jehu’s next move was to kill Joram (Ahab and Jezebel’s son) and King Ahaziah of Judah before taking down Jezebel. Jezebel found out about Joram’s and King Ahaziah’s death at the hand of Jehu. She knew that he was going to come eventually after her. She then put on some make-up and tried to make herself attractive for Jehu. She sat out on the balcony of her palace to greet Jehu as he approached her home. When he was near, she asked him if he had come in peace but Jehu asked if there any of her servants who was on his side. Two or three eunuchs threw Jezebel off of the balcony. She hit the wall before landing on the ground and then she was trampled underfoot by horses. Jehu decided to get some food after the incident and told his men to bury Jezebel. When his men went outside to gather her body dogs ate it up only leaving her skull, feet, and hands. God’s judgment against Jezebel had finally been carried out as promised.

Biblical References

  •  1 Kings 16:31 Jezebel becomes the Queen of Israel because of her marriage to King Ahab.
  • 1 Kings 18:31-32 Jezebel encourages Ahab and the Israelites to worship Baal.
  • 1 Kings 18:4 Jezebel starts to kill off God’s prophets once she gains power.
  • 1 Kings 18 Elijah the prophet confronts Jezebel’s prophets on Mount Carmel and makes Jezebel into one of his greatest enemies.
  • 1 Kings 21:1-15 Jezebel kills a godly man named Naboth and gives his land to King Ahab.
  • 2 Kings 9:22 Jehu tells Joram that his mother practices witchcraft and idolatry.
  • 2 Kings 9:1-11 God reveals to Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat that he is going to be king once he wipes out Ahab’s lineage and kills Jezebel.
  • 2 Kings 9:14-29 Jehu slays Joram and King Ahaziah.
  • 2 Kings 9:30-37 Jehu slays Jezebel, and her tyranny comes to an end.
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