1 Kings 21 Good News Translation (GNT)
21 Near King Ahab's palace in Jezreel there was a vineyard owned by a man named Naboth. 2 One day Ahab said to Naboth, “Let me have your vineyard; it is close to my palace, and I want to use the land for a vegetable garden. I will give you a better vineyard for it or, if you prefer, I will pay you a fair price.”
3 “I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors,” Naboth replied. “The Lord forbid that I should let you have it!”
4 Ahab went home, depressed and angry over what Naboth had said to him. He lay down on his bed, facing the wall, and would not eat. 5 His wife Jezebel went to him and asked, “Why are you so depressed? Why won't you eat?”
6 He answered, “Because of what Naboth said to me. I offered to buy his vineyard or, if he preferred, to give him another one for it, but he told me that I couldn't have it!”
7 “Well, are you the king or aren't you?” Jezebel replied. “Get out of bed, cheer up, and eat. I will get you Naboth's vineyard!”
8 Then she wrote some letters, signed Ahab's name to them, sealed them with his seal, and sent them to the officials and leading citizens of Jezreel. 9 The letters said: “Proclaim a day of fasting, call the people together, and give Naboth the place of honor. 10 Get a couple of scoundrels to accuse him to his face of cursing God and the king. Then take him out of the city and stone him to death.”
11 The officials and leading citizens of Jezreel did what Jezebel had commanded. 12 They proclaimed a day of fasting, called the people together, and gave Naboth the place of honor. 13 The two scoundrels publicly accused him of cursing God and the king, and so he was taken outside the city and stoned to death. 14 The message was sent to Jezebel: “Naboth has been put to death.”
15 As soon as Jezebel received the message, she said to Ahab, “Naboth is dead. Now go and take possession of the vineyard which he refused to sell to you.” 16 At once Ahab went to the vineyard to take possession of it.
17 Then the Lord said to Elijah, the prophet from Tishbe, 18 “Go to King Ahab of Samaria. You will find him in Naboth's vineyard, about to take possession of it. 19 Tell him that I, the Lord, say to him, ‘After murdering the man, are you taking over his property as well?’ Tell him that this is what I say: ‘In the very place that the dogs licked up Naboth's blood they will lick up your blood!’”
20 When Ahab saw Elijah, he said, “Have you caught up with me, my enemy?”
“Yes, I have,” Elijah answered. “You have devoted yourself completely to doing what is wrong in the Lord's sight. 21 So the Lord says to you, ‘I will bring disaster on you. I will do away with you and get rid of every male in your family, young and old alike. 22 Your family will become like the family of King Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the family of King Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have stirred up my anger by leading Israel into sin.’ 23 And concerning Jezebel, the Lord says that dogs will eat her body in the city of Jezreel. 24 Any of your relatives who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and any who die in the open country will be eaten by vultures.”
(25 There was no one else who had devoted himself so completely to doing wrong in the Lord's sight as Ahab—all at the urging of his wife Jezebel. 26 He committed the most shameful sins by worshiping idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the Lord had driven out of the land as the people of Israel advanced.)
27 When Elijah finished speaking, Ahab tore his clothes, took them off, and put on sackcloth. He refused food, slept in the sackcloth, and went about gloomy and depressed.
28 The Lord said to the prophet Elijah, 29 “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Since he has done this, I will not bring disaster on him during his lifetime; it will be during his son's lifetime that I will bring disaster on Ahab's family.”
1 Kings 21 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
21 Later the following events took place: Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of King Ahab of Samaria. 2 And Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, so that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house; I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.” 3 But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give you my ancestral inheritance.” 4 Ahab went home resentful and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him; for he had said, “I will not give you my ancestral inheritance.” He lay down on his bed, turned away his face, and would not eat.
5 His wife Jezebel came to him and said, “Why are you so depressed that you will not eat?” 6 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’; but he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’” 7 His wife Jezebel said to him, “Do you now govern Israel? Get up, eat some food, and be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”
8 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal; she sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who lived with Naboth in his city. 9 She wrote in the letters, “Proclaim a fast, and seat Naboth at the head of the assembly; 10 seat two scoundrels opposite him, and have them bring a charge against him, saying, ‘You have cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out, and stone him to death.” 11 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 that she had sent to them, 12 they proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the assembly. 13 The two scoundrels came in and sat opposite him; and the scoundrels brought a charge against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city, and stoned him to death. 14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned; he is dead.”
15 As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, “Go, 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 As soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab set out to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
Elijah Pronounces God’s Sentence
17 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying: 18 Go down to meet King Ahab of Israel, who rules[a] in Samaria; he is now in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession. 19 You shall say to him, “Thus says the Lord: Have you killed, and also taken possession?” You shall say to him, “Thus says the Lord: In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth, dogs will also lick up your blood.”
20 Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” He answered, “I have found you. Because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the Lord, 21 I will bring disaster on you; I will consume you, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel; 22 and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have provoked me to anger and have caused Israel to sin. 23 Also concerning Jezebel the Lord said, ‘The dogs shall eat Jezebel within the bounds of Jezreel.’ 24 Anyone belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs shall eat; and anyone of his who dies in the open country the birds of the air shall eat.”
25 (Indeed, there was no one like Ahab, who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord, urged on by his wife Jezebel. 26 He acted most abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the Lord drove out before the Israelites.)
27 When Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth over his bare flesh; he fasted, lay in the sackcloth, and went about dejectedly. 28 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 29 “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son’s days I will bring the disaster on his house.”
1 Kings 21 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
21 A while later, an incident occurred involving Navot the Yizre‘eli. He owned a vineyard in Yizre‘el, right next to the palace of Ach’av king of Shomron. 2 Ach’av spoke to Navot and said, “Give me your vineyard, so that I can have it as my vegetable garden, because it’s close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard; or, if you prefer, I will give you its monetary value.” 3 But Navot said to Ach’av, “Adonai forbid that I should give you my ancestral heritage!” 4 Ach’av went home resentful and depressed at what Navot the Yizre‘eli had said to him, since he had said, “I won’t give you my ancestral heritage.” He lay down on his bed, turned his face away and refused to eat. 5 Izevel his wife went and said to him, “Why are you so depressed that you refuse to eat?” 6 He answered her, “Because I spoke to Navot the Yizre‘eli and said to him, “Sell me your vineyard for money; or else, if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard for it”; but he answered, “I won’t give you my vineyard.” 7 “Are you the king of Isra’el or not?” asked his wife Izevel. “Get up, eat some food, and cheer up! I will give you the vineyard of Navot the Yizre‘eli.”
8 So she wrote letters in Ach’av’s name, sealed them with his seal and sent the letters to the leaders and notables of the city where Navot lived. 9 In the letters she wrote, “Proclaim a fast, and give Navot the seat of honor among the people. 10 Have two good-for-nothing men sit opposite him, and have them accuse him publicly of cursing God and the king. Then take him outside and stone him to death.”
11 The leaders and notables of the city he lived in did as Izevel had written in the letters she sent to them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and gave Navot the seat of honor among the people. 13 The two good-for-nothing men came in and sat opposite him, and these scoundrels publicly accused Navot, saying, “Navot cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death, 14 then sent a message to Izevel, “Navot has been stoned to death.”
15 When Izevel heard that Navot had been stoned to death, she said to Ach’av, “Get up, and take possession of the vineyard that Navot the Yizre‘eli refused to sell you, because Navot is no longer alive; he is dead.” 16 When Ach’av heard that Navot was dead, he set out to go down to the vineyard of Navot the Yizre‘eli, to take possession of it.
17 But the word of Adonai came to Eliyahu from Tishbe: 18 “Get up, go down to meet Ach’av king of Isra’el, who lives in Shomron. Right now he is in the vineyard of Navot; he has gone down there to take possession of it. 19 This is what you are to say to him: ‘Here is what Adonai says: “You have committed murder, and now you are stealing the victim’s property!” ’ Also say to him, ‘Here is what Adonai says: “In the very place where dogs licked up the blood of Navot, dogs will lick up your blood — yours!” ’”
20 Ach’av said to Eliyahu, “My enemy! You’ve found me!” He answered, “Yes, I have found you; because you have given yourself over to do what is evil from Adonai’s perspective. 21 ‘Here,’ [says Adonai,] ‘I am bringing disaster on you! I will sweep you away completely; I will cut off from Ach’av every male, whether a slave or free in Isra’el. 22 I will make your house like the house of Yarov‘am the son of N’vat and like the house of Ba‘sha the son of Achiyah for provoking my anger and leading Isra’el into sin.’ 23 Adonai also said this about Izevel: ‘The dogs will eat Izevel by the wall around Yizre‘el. 24 If someone from the line of Ach’av dies in the city, the dogs will eat him; if he dies in the countryside, the vultures will eat him.’”
25 Truly, there was never anyone like Ach’av. Stirred up by his wife Izevel, he gave himself over to do what is evil from Adonai’s perspective. 26 His behavior in following idols was grossly abominable; he did everything the Emori had done, whom Adonai expelled ahead of the people of Isra’el.
27 Ach’av, on hearing these words, tore his clothes, put sackcloth on himself and fasted. He slept in the sackcloth and went about dejectedly. 28 Then the word of Adonai came to Eliyahu from Tishbe: 29 “Do you see how Ach’av has humbled himself before me? Since he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring this evil during his lifetime; but during his son’s lifetime I will bring the evil on his house.”
1 Kings 21 The Message (MSG)
21 1-2 And then, to top it off, came this: Naboth the Jezreelite owned a vineyard in Jezreel that bordered the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. One day Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard so I can use it as a kitchen garden; it’s right next to my house—so convenient. In exchange I’ll give you a far better vineyard, or if you’d prefer I’ll pay you money for it.”
3-4 But Naboth told Ahab, “Not on your life! So help me God, I’d never sell the family farm to you!” Ahab went home in a black mood, sulking over Naboth the Jezreelite’s words, “I’ll never turn over my family inheritance to you.” He went to bed, stuffed his face in his pillow, and refused to eat.
5 Jezebel his wife came to him. She said, “What’s going on? Why are you so out of sorts and refusing to eat?”
6 He told her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite. I said, ‘Give me your vineyard—I’ll pay you for it or, if you’d rather, I’ll give you another vineyard in exchange.’ And he said, ‘I’ll never give you my vineyard.’”
7 Jezebel said, “Is this any way for a king of Israel to act? Aren’t you the boss? On your feet! Eat! Cheer up! I’ll take care of this; I’ll get the vineyard of this Naboth the Jezreelite for you.”
8-10 She wrote letters over Ahab’s signature, stamped them with his official seal, and sent them to the elders in Naboth’s city and to the civic leaders. She wrote “Call for a fast day and put Naboth at the head table. Then seat a couple of stool pigeons across from him who, in front of everybody will say, ‘You! You blasphemed God and the king!’ Then they’ll throw him out and stone him to death.”
11-14 And they did it. The men of the city—the elders and civic leaders—followed Jezebel’s instructions that she wrote in the letters sent to them. They called for a fast day and seated Naboth at the head table. Then they brought in two stool pigeons and seated them opposite Naboth. In front of everybody the two degenerates accused him, “He blasphemed God and the king!” The company threw him out in the street, stoned him mercilessly, and he died.
15 When Jezebel got word that Naboth had been stoned to death, she told Ahab, “Go for it, Ahab—take the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite for your own, the vineyard he refused to sell you. Naboth is no more; Naboth is dead.”
16 The minute Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he set out for the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite and claimed it for his own.
17-19 Then God stepped in and spoke to Elijah the Tishbite, “On your feet; go down and confront Ahab of Samaria, king of Israel. You’ll find him in the vineyard of Naboth; he’s gone there to claim it as his own. Say this to him: ‘God’s word: What’s going on here? First murder, then theft?’ Then tell him, ‘God’s verdict: The very spot where the dogs lapped up Naboth’s blood, they’ll lap up your blood—that’s right, your blood.’”
20-22 Ahab answered Elijah, “My enemy! So, you’ve run me down!”
“Yes, I’ve found you out,” said Elijah. “And because you’ve bought into the business of evil, defying God. ‘I will most certainly bring doom upon you, make mincemeat of your descendants, kill off every sorry male wretch who’s even remotely connected with the name Ahab. And I’ll bring down on you the same fate that fell on Jeroboam son of Nebat and Baasha son of Ahijah—you’ve made me that angry by making Israel sin.’”
23-24 As for Jezebel, God said, “Dogs will fight over the flesh of Jezebel all over Jezreel. Anyone tainted by Ahab who dies in the city will be eaten by stray dogs; corpses in the country will be eaten by carrion crows.”
25-26 Ahab, pushed by his wife Jezebel and in open defiance of God, set an all-time record in making big business of evil. He indulged in outrageous obscenities in the world of idols, copying the Amorites whom God had earlier kicked out of Israelite territory.
27 When Ahab heard what Elijah had to say, he ripped his clothes to shreds, dressed in penitential rough burlap, and fasted. He even slept in coarse burlap pajamas. He tiptoed around, quiet as a mouse.
28-29 Then God spoke to Elijah the Tishbite: “Do you see how penitently submissive Ahab has become to me? Because of his repentance I’ll not bring the doom during his lifetime; Ahab’s son, though, will get it.”