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Naboth’s Vineyard

21 Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel right by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And after this Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard, so that I can have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near to my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it, or if you prefer, I will give you its worth in money.”

Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”

Ahab returned home angry and depressed because of the answer Naboth the Jezreelite had given him, for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” He lay down on his bed and sulked and would not eat any bread.

But Jezebel his wife came to him and said, “Why is your spirit so sad that you refuse to eat bread?”

And he said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard for it.’ And he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’ ”

Jezebel his wife said to him, “Are you not the governor of the kingdom of Israel? Get up and eat bread, and let your heart be happy, for I will get the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite for you.”

So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal and sent the letters to the elders and to the nobles that were in the city where Naboth lived. In the letters she wrote,

“Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people, 10 and set two men, sons of Belial,[a] before him, to bear witness against him, saying, ‘You blasphemed God and the king.’ And then carry him out and stone him, so that he will die.”

11 The men of his city, the elders and the nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them, as it was written in the letters that she had sent to them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and set Naboth on high among the people. 13 Two men, children of Belial, came in and sat in front of him, and the men of Belial witnessed against Naboth in the presence of the people, saying, “Naboth blasphemed God and the king.” Then they carried him out of the city and stoned him to death. 14 Then they sent word to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead.”

15 When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, she said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to sell to you for money, for Naboth is not 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 Condemns Ahab

17 The word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying: 18 Arise, go down to meet Ahab, king of Israel, who is in Samaria. He is now in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone down to possess it. 19 You shall speak to him, saying, “Thus says the Lord: Have you killed and also taken possession?” And you shall speak to him, saying, “Thus says the Lord: In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, dogs will lick your own blood!”

20 Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, my enemy?”

And he answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to work evil in the sight of the Lord. 21 ‘See, I will bring disaster upon you and will take away your posterity and will cut off all your males, both free and slave, who are left in Israel, 22 and will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger and made Israel to sin.’

23 “The Lord also spoke of Jezebel, saying, ‘The dogs will eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.’

24 “Those from Ahab’s family who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and those who die in the field will be eaten by birds of the air.”

25 But there were none compared to Ahab, who sold himself to evil deeds in the sight of the Lord, which Jezebel his wife stirred up. 26 He performed the most abominable act in following idols like the Amorites, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel.

27 When Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and walked meekly.

28 The word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29 “See how Ahab humbles himself before Me? Because he humbles himself before Me, I will not bring the disaster during his lifetime, but during his son’s lifetime I will bring the disaster on his household.”


  1. 1 Kings 21:10 Or, evil men.