1 Kings 21
Ahab Takes Naboth’s Vineyard
21 After these things had happened, this is what followed. A man named Naboth owned a vineyard in Jezreel, near the palace of Ahab king of Israel. 2 One day Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard. It is near my palace, and I want to make it into a vegetable garden. I will give you a better vineyard in its place, or, if you prefer, I will pay you what it is worth.”
3 Naboth answered, “·May the Lord keep me from ever giving my land to you. It belongs to my family [L The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers/ancestors].”
4 Ahab went home ·angry and upset [resentful and sullen], because he did not like what Naboth from Jezreel had said. (Naboth had said, “I will not give you ·my family’s land [L the inheritance of my fathers/ancestors].”) Ahab lay down on his bed, turned his face to the wall, and refused to eat.
5 His wife, Jezebel, came in and asked him, “Why are you so ·upset [sullen; depressed] that you refuse to eat?”
6 Ahab answered, “I talked to Naboth, the man from Jezreel. I said, ‘Sell me your vineyard, or, if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard for it.’ But Naboth refused.”
7 Jezebel answered, “Is this how you ·rule as king [reign] over Israel? Get up, eat something, and cheer up. I will get Naboth’s vineyard for you.”
8 So Jezebel wrote some letters, signed Ahab’s name to them, and used his own seal to seal them. Then she sent them to the elders and ·important men [nobles] who lived in Naboth’s town. 9 The letter she wrote said: “Declare a day during which the people are to fast. Call the people together, and give Naboth a place of honor among them. 10 Seat two ·troublemakers [scoundrels] across from him, and have them say ·they heard Naboth speak against [“You cursed…”] God and the king. Then take Naboth out of the city and ·kill him with stones [stone him to death].”
11 The elders and important men of Jezreel obeyed Jezebel’s command, just as she wrote in the letters. 12 They declared a ·special day on which the people were to fast [fast]. And they put Naboth in a place of honor before the people. 13 Two ·troublemakers [scoundrels] sat across from Naboth and said in front of everybody ·that they had heard him speak against [“You cursed…”] God and the king. So the people carried Naboth out of the city and ·killed him with stones [stoned him to death]. 14 Then the leaders sent a message to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been ·killed [L stoned and is dead].”
15 When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been ·killed [L stoned and was dead], she told Ahab, “Naboth of Jezreel is no longer alive; he’s dead. Now you may go and take for yourself the vineyard he would not sell to you.” 16 When Ahab heard that Naboth of Jezreel was dead, he got up and went to the vineyard to take ·it for his own [possession of it].
17 At this time the ·Lord spoke his word [L word of the Lord came] to the prophet Elijah the Tishbite. The Lord said, 18 “Go to Ahab king of Israel in Samaria. He is at Naboth’s vineyard, where he has gone to take ·it as his own [possession of it]. 19 Tell Ahab that I, the Lord, say to him, ‘·You have [L Have you not…?] murdered Naboth and taken his land. So I tell you this: In the same place the dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, they will also lick up your blood [1 Kin. 22:37–38]!’”
20 When Ahab saw Elijah, he said, “So you have found me, my enemy!”
Elijah answered, “Yes, I have found you. You ·have always chosen to do what the Lord says is wrong [L sold yourself to do evil in the eyes/sight of the Lord]. 21 So the Lord says to you, ‘I will ·soon destroy you [bring evil/disaster on you]. I will ·kill you [sweep you away] and ·every [L cut off every] ·male [L one who urinates against the wall] in your ·family [L house], both slave and free. 22 Your ·family [L house] will be like the ·family [L house] of King Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the ·family [L house] of King Baasha son of Ahijah. I will destroy you, because you have ·made me angry [provoked/aroused me to anger] and have led the people of Israel to sin.’
23 “And the Lord also says, ‘Dogs will eat the body of Jezebel in the ·city [fields; boundaries] of Jezreel [2 Kin. 9:30–37].’
24 “Anyone in Ahab’s ·family [L house] who dies in the city will be eaten by dogs, and anyone who dies in the ·fields [country] will be eaten by ·birds [vultures; L birds of the air/sky; 16:4].”
25 There was no one like Ahab who ·had chosen so often [L sold himself] to do ·what the Lord said was wrong [L evil in the eyes/sight of the Lord], ·because his wife Jezebel influenced him to do evil [urged on by his wife Jezebel]. 26 Ahab ·sinned terribly [acted most detestably/abominably] by ·worshiping [following; going after] idols, just as the Amorites did. And the Lord had ·taken away their land and given it to [driven them out before] the people of Israel.
27 After Elijah finished speaking, Ahab tore his clothes. He put on ·rough cloth [sackcloth; burlap; C indicating sorrow and contrition] and fasted, and even slept in ·the rough cloth [sackcloth; burlap] and walked about ·dejectedly [despondently; with slow steps].
28 The ·Lord spoke his word [L word of the Lord came] to Elijah the Tishbite: 29 “·I see that [L Have you seen how…?] Ahab ·is now sorry for what he has done [has now humbled himself before me]. So I will not ·cause the trouble to come to him during his life [L bring this evil/disaster on him during his days], but I will wait until his son is king. Then I will bring this ·trouble [evil; disaster] to Ahab’s ·family [L house].”