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Ahab Takes Possession of Naboth’s Vineyard

21 Now it happened after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in (A)Jezreel beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “(B)Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden because it is close beside my house, and I will give you a better vineyard than it in its place; if it is good in your sight, I will give you the price of [a]it in money.” But Naboth said to Ahab, “Yahweh forbid me (C)that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” (D)So Ahab came into his house sullen and enraged because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and ate no [b]food.

But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, “How is it that your spirit is so sullen that you are not eating [c]food?” So 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 a vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’” And Jezebel his wife said to him, “(E)Do you now exercise kingship over Israel? Arise, eat bread, and let your heart be merry; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”

(F)So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and sent letters to (G)the elders and to the nobles who were living with Naboth in his city. And she wrote in the letters, saying, “Call for a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people; 10 and seat two (H)vile men before him, and let them testify against him, saying, ‘(I)You [d]cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and (J)stone him so that he will die.”

11 So the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them, just as it was written in the letters which she had sent them. 12 They (K)called for a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the people. 13 Then the two vile men came in and sat before him; and the vile men testified against him, against Naboth, before the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” (L)So they took him outside the city and stoned him with stones and he died. 14 Then they sent word to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead.”

15 Now it happened that when Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” 16 Now it happened that when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

Yahweh Speaks Against Ahab

17 Then the word of Yahweh came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 18 “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, (M)who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth where he has gone down to take possession of it. 19 And you shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh, “(N)Have you murdered and also taken possession?”’ And you shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh, “(O)In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth the dogs will lick up your blood, even yours.”’”

20 And Ahab said to Elijah, “(P)Have you found me, O my enemy?” And he [e]answered, “I have found you, (Q)because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of Yahweh. 21 Behold, I will bring evil upon you, and (R)will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every [f]male, both bond and free in Israel; 22 and (S)I will make your house (T)like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, because of the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger, and because you (U)have made Israel sin. 23 Of Jezebel also has Yahweh spoken, saying, ‘(V)The dogs will eat Jezebel in the [g]district of Jezreel.’ 24 (W)The one belonging to Ahab, who dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and the one who dies in the field the birds of the sky will eat.”

Ahab Humbles Himself

25 (X)Surely there was no one who sold himself to do what is evil in the sight of Yahweh like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited. 26 (Y)And he acted very abominably in following idols, (Z)according to all that the Amorites had done, whom Yahweh dispossessed before the sons of Israel.

27 Now it happened when Ahab heard these words, that (AA)he tore his clothes and put [h]on sackcloth and fasted, and he lay in sackcloth and went about [i]despondently. 28 Then the word of Yahweh came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29 “Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days, but I will bring the evil upon his house (AB)in his son’s days.”


  1. 1 Kings 21:2 Lit this
  2. 1 Kings 21:4 Lit bread
  3. 1 Kings 21:5 Lit bread
  4. 1 Kings 21:10 Heb bless; used euphemistically for curse, cf. 21:13; Job 1:5, 11; 2:5, 9
  5. 1 Kings 21:20 Lit said
  6. 1 Kings 21:21 Lit him who urinates against the wall, cf. 1 Sam 25:22, 34; 1 Kin 14:10; 16:11; 2 Kin 9:8
  7. 1 Kings 21:23 Lit portion; some mss rampart
  8. 1 Kings 21:27 Lit sackcloth on his flesh
  9. 1 Kings 21:27 Or softly