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Ahab, the most wicked King of Israel

God stated that King Ahab did more evil in his eyes than any other king before him. When the Lord of heaven makes this kind of comment about a person’s life this clearly reveals that God was not pleased with Ahab’s rule. God said that Ahab didn’t think much was wrong with the evil things that he did while he ruled. He married a foreign woman named Jezebel who worshiped the god Baal and he built a temple to honor this god in Samaria. He also built altars and idols to another pagan deity named Asherah. He allowed Jezebel to kill godly priests and a godly man named Naboth. He also created problems for the prophet Elijah while he was alive. He appears on the Amazing Bible Timeline with World History starting in 932 BC.

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Ahab was the son of King Omri a former military commander who had taken over the throne after laying siege to Tirzah. Self-proclaimed king Zimri set fire to the palace around himself after seeing the city was taken. Omri was a wicked ruler and he taught his son his evil ways. After Omri had passed away Ahab took what he had learned from his father and put it into practice while he ruled Israel. Ahab name means ” father’s brother” or “uncle”.

Ahab, Obadiah, Elijah, and Jezebel

At one point during Ahab’s rule, his wife Jezebel was killing God’s prophets. King Ahab didn’t care about what she was doing because he was worshipping Baal. God sent a prophet named Elijah to resolve this situation. Before Elijah confronted the King Ahab, the king had one of his chief servants, named Obadiah, to find some grass or vegetation for the king’s animals. The land of Israel was experiencing a severe famine at the time. Obadiah did what the king had commanded him.

Ahab,Unrighteous_King_of_Isreal

King Ahab

Obadiah began to search Israel for some green pastures and while he was out performing his duties, he met up with Elijah. Obadiah was a godly man who hid many prophets away from Jezebel. When Obadiah saw Elijah he bowed to him and they started to talk. Elijah told Obadiah to tell Ahab that he was going to pay him a visit. Obadiah was afraid to tell King Ahab because the king and Jezebel had wanted to capture Elijah since he was the leader of the prophets. Ultimately, Obadiah did as Elijah told him to and Ahab met up with him. So Elijah confronted Ahab and told him that him to summon the prophets of Baal. There was a showdown between the prophet of God and the false prophets. Elijah won this confrontation. This was a major blow that was dealt to his kingdom since Elijah proved that God was stronger than Baal.

Naboth Vineyards

Naboth was a Jezreelite who lived in Israel during the reign of Ahab. King Ahab wanted his vineyard because it was beautiful and it was located near his royal palace. King Ahab wanted to pay Naboth for his vineyard or exchange it for another vineyard. Naboth refused to part with it because it was a family plot. King Ahab became upset and was depressed about the situation. His wife Jezebel told him that she would get Naboth’s land. She devised a scheme where two men bore a false witness against Naboth claiming that he cursed God and the king. The people stoned Naboth for these sins. Jezebel then told King Ahab to take his land because he was dead. God once again used Elijah to inform King Ahab that dogs will lick up his blood in the same spot where Naboth died. Elijah also tells Ahab about Jezebel’s fate as well. Ultimately, King Ahab lost his life at the battle of Ramoth-Gilead. His blood that was washed off of his chariot was licked up by dogs in the city of Samaria in the same place where Naboth was unjustly killed.

References:

  • 1 Kings 16: 29 – 33 Ahab becomes king of Israel.
  • 1 Kings 18 King Ahab and the prophets of Baal versus Elijah the Prophet on Mt. Carmel.
  • 1 Kings 21 Jezebel kills Naboth and takes his lands for King Ahab.
  • 1 Kings 22: 29 – 39 King Ahab dies and his blood is licked up by dogs.

References:
http://www.biblegateway.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Ahab
http://www.biblestudy.org/question/who-was-king-ahab.html
 

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Jezebel

Jezebel is considered one of the most evil 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,Foreign_Queen_in_Isreal
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.