Ahab and Naboth’s Vineyard

21 Some time passed after these events. Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard; it was in Jezreel(A) next to the palace of King Ahab of Samaria.(B) So Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard(C) so I can have it for a vegetable garden, since it is right next to my palace. I will give you a better vineyard in its place, or if you prefer, I will give you its value in silver.”

But Naboth said to Ahab, “As the Lord is my witness, I will never give my ancestors’ inheritance(D) to you.”

So Ahab went to his palace resentful and angry(E) because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had told him. He had said, “I will not give you my ancestors’ inheritance.” He lay down on his bed, turned his face away,(F) and didn’t eat any food.(G)

Then his wife Jezebel came to him and said to him, “Why are you so upset that you refuse to eat?”

“Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite,” he replied. “I told him, ‘Give me your vineyard for silver, or if you wish, I will give you a vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I won’t give you my vineyard!’”

Then his wife Jezebel said to him, “Now, exercise your royal power over Israel. Get up, eat some food, and be happy. For I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”(H) So she wrote letters(I) in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal.(J) She sent the letters to the elders(K) and nobles who lived with Naboth in his city. In the letters, she wrote:

Proclaim a fast(L) and seat Naboth at the head of the people. 10 Then seat two wicked men(M) opposite him and have them testify against him, saying, “You have cursed God and the king!” (N) Then take him out and stone him to death.(O)

11 The men of his city, the elders and nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them, just as it was written in the letters she had sent them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the people. 13 The two wicked men came in and sat opposite him. Then the wicked men testified against Naboth in the presence of the people, saying, “Naboth has cursed God and the king!” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones. 14 Then they sent word to Jezebel: “Naboth has been stoned to death.”(P)

15 When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, “Get up and take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite who refused to give it to you for silver,(Q) since Naboth isn’t alive, but dead.” 16 When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite to take possession of it.

The Lord’s Judgment on Ahab

17 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite:(R) 18 “Get up and go to meet King Ahab of Israel,(S) who is in Samaria.(T) He’s in Naboth’s vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it. 19 Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Have you murdered(U) and also taken possession?’ (V) Then tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: In the place where the dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, the dogs will also lick up your blood!’” (W)

20 Ahab said to Elijah, “So, my enemy, you’ve found me, have you?” (X)

He replied, “I have found you because you devoted(Y) yourself to do what is evil in the Lord’s sight. 21 This is what the Lord says:[a] ‘I am about to bring disaster on you and will eradicate your descendants:

I will wipe out all of Ahab’s males,[b]
both slave and free,[c] in Israel;(Z)

22 I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam(AA) son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha(AB) son of Ahijah, because you have angered me and caused Israel to sin.’(AC) 23 The Lord also speaks of Jezebel: ‘The dogs will eat Jezebel in the plot of land[d] at Jezreel:(AD)

24 Anyone who belongs to Ahab and dies in the city, the dogs will eat,
and anyone who dies in the field, the birds[e] will eat.’”(AE)

25 Still, there was no one like Ahab, who devoted himself to do what was evil in the Lord’s sight, because his wife Jezebel incited him.(AF) 26 He committed the most detestable acts by following idols(AG) as the Amorites(AH) had, whom the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites.

27 When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put sackcloth over his body, and fasted. He lay down in sackcloth(AI) and walked around subdued. 28 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 29 “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? I will not bring the disaster during his lifetime,(AJ) because he has humbled himself before me. I will bring the disaster on his house during his son’s lifetime.”(AK)

Footnotes

  1. 21:21 LXX; MT omits This is what the Lord says
  2. 21:21 Lit eliminate Ahab’s one who urinates against the wall
  3. 21:21 Or males, even the weak and impaired; Hb obscure
  4. 21:23 Some Hb mss, Syr, Tg, Vg, 2Kg 9:36; other Hb mss, LXX read the rampart
  5. 21:24 Lit birds of the sky

Naboth’s Vineyard

21 Some time later there was an incident involving a vineyard belonging to Naboth(A) the Jezreelite. The vineyard was in Jezreel,(B) close to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. Ahab said to Naboth, “Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth.”

But Naboth replied, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance(C) of my ancestors.”

So Ahab went home, sullen and angry(D) because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my ancestors.” He lay on his bed sulking and refused(E) to eat.

His wife Jezebel came in and asked him, “Why are you so sullen? Why won’t you eat?”

He answered her, “Because I said to Naboth the Jezreelite, ‘Sell me your vineyard; or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’”

Jezebel his wife said, “Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard(F) of Naboth the Jezreelite.”

So she wrote letters(G) in Ahab’s name, placed his seal(H) on them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city with him. In those letters she wrote:

“Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 10 But seat two scoundrels(I) opposite him and have them bring charges that he has cursed(J) both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.”

11 So the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city did as Jezebel directed in the letters she had written to them. 12 They proclaimed a fast(K) and seated Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 13 Then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, “Naboth has cursed both God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death.(L) 14 Then they sent word to Jezebel: “Naboth has been stoned to death.”

15 As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, “Get up and take possession of the vineyard(M) of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you. He is no longer alive, but dead.” 16 When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard.

17 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 18 “Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He is now in Naboth’s vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it. 19 Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?’(N) Then say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood,(O) dogs(P) will lick up your blood—yes, yours!’”

20 Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy!”(Q)

“I have found you,” he answered, “because you have sold(R) yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord. 21 He says, ‘I am going to bring disaster on you. I will wipe out your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male(S) in Israel—slave or free.[a](T) 22 I will make your house(U) like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have aroused my anger and have caused Israel to sin.’(V)

23 “And also concerning Jezebel the Lord says: ‘Dogs(W) will devour Jezebel by the wall of[b] Jezreel.’

24 “Dogs(X) will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds(Y) will feed on those who die in the country.”

25 (There was never(Z) anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. 26 He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites(AA) the Lord drove out before Israel.)

27 When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth(AB) and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.(AC)

28 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 29 “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled(AD) himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day,(AE) but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.”(AF)

Footnotes

  1. 1 Kings 21:21 Or Israel—every ruler or leader
  2. 1 Kings 21:23 Most Hebrew manuscripts; a few Hebrew manuscripts, Vulgate and Syriac (see also 2 Kings 9:26) the plot of ground at

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