Ahab Covets Naboth’s Vineyard

21 Now it came about after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in (A)Jezreel beside the palace of Ahab, the king of Samaria. And Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “(B)Give me your vineyard so that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is close beside my house, and I will give you a better vineyard in place of it; if [a]you prefer, I will give you what [b]it is worth in money.” But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid me (C)that I would give you the inheritance of my fathers!” (D)So Ahab entered his house sullen and furious because of the [c]answer that Naboth the Jezreelite had given to him, since he said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned his face away, and ate no [d]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 [e]food?” So he said to her, “It is because I was speaking to Naboth the Jezreelite and saying to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you a vineyard in place of it.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’” Jezebel his wife said to him, “(E)Do you now [f]reign over Israel? Arise, eat bread, and let your heart be joyful; 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 the letters to (G)the elders and to the nobles who were living with Naboth in his city. Now she had written in the letters, saying, “Proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people; 10 and seat two (H)worthless men opposite him, and have them testify against him, saying, ‘(I)You [g]cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and (J)stone him [h]to death.”

Jezebel’s Plot

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

15 And 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 When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab got up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

Read full chapter


  1. 1 Kings 21:2 Lit it is good in your eyes
  2. 1 Kings 21:2 Lit this
  3. 1 Kings 21:4 Lit word...had spoken to him
  4. 1 Kings 21:4 Lit bread
  5. 1 Kings 21:5 Lit bread
  6. 1 Kings 21:7 Lit exercise kingship
  7. 1 Kings 21:10 Lit blessed, an ancient euphemism to avoid any mention of the cursing of God
  8. 1 Kings 21:10 Lit so that he dies
  9. 1 Kings 21:13 See note 1 v 10
  10. 1 Kings 21:13 Lit with stones so that he died

Bible Gateway Recommends