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Naboth’s vineyard

21 Now it happened sometime later that Naboth from Jezreel had a vineyard in Jezreel that was next to the palace of King Ahab of Samaria. Ahab ordered Naboth, “Give me your vineyard so it can become my vegetable garden, because it is right next to my palace. In exchange for it, I’ll give you an even better vineyard. Or if you prefer, I’ll pay you the price in silver.”

Naboth responded to Ahab, “Lord forbid that I give you my family inheritance!”

So Ahab went to his palace, irritated and upset at what Naboth[a] had said to him—because Naboth had said, “I won’t give you my family inheritance!” Ahab lay down on his bed and turned his face away. He wouldn’t eat anything.

His wife Jezebel came to him. “Why are you upset and not eating any food?” she asked.

He answered her, “I was talking to Naboth. I said, ‘Sell me your vineyard. Or if you prefer, I’ll give you another vineyard for it.’ But he said, ‘I won’t give you my vineyard!’”

Then his wife Jezebel said to him, “Aren’t you the one who rules Israel? Get up! Eat some food and cheer up. I’ll get Naboth’s vineyard for you myself.” So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, putting his seal on them. She sent them to the elders and officials who lived in the same town as Naboth. This is what she wrote in the letters: “Announce a fast and place Naboth at the head of the people. 10 Then bring in two liars in front of him and have them testify as follows: ‘You cursed God and king!’ Then take Naboth outside and stone him so he dies.”

11 The elders and the officials who lived in Naboth’s town did exactly as Jezebel specified in the letters that she had sent. 12 They announced a fast and placed Naboth at the head of the people. 13 Then the two liars came and sat in front of him. They testified against Naboth in front of the people, “Naboth cursed God and king!” So the people took Naboth outside the town and stoned him so that he died.

14 It was then reported to Jezebel, “Naboth was stoned. He’s dead.” 15 As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, “Get up and take ownership of the vineyard of Naboth, which he had refused to sell to you. Naboth is no longer alive; he’s dead.” 16 When Ahab heard that Naboth had died, he got up and went down to Naboth’s vineyard to take ownership of it.

17 The Lord’s word came to Elijah from Tishbe: 18 Get up and go down to meet Israel’s King Ahab in Samaria. He is in Naboth’s vineyard. He has gone down to take ownership of it. 19 Say the following to him: This is what the Lord says: So, you’ve murdered and are now taking ownership, are you? Then tell him: This is what the Lord says: In the same place where the dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, they will lick up your own blood.

20 Ahab said to Elijah, “So you’ve found me, my old enemy!”

“I found you,” Elijah said, “because you’ve enslaved yourself by doing evil in the Lord’s eyes. 21 So I am now bringing evil on you! I will burn until you are consumed, and I will eliminate everyone who urinates on a wall that belongs to Ahab, whether slave or free.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Kings 21:4 Heb adds from Jezreel; also in 21:6-7, 15-16.

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