Leslie M. John
It came to pass that there was a man named Naboth, a Jezrelite, who had a vineyard that was in Jezreel. The vineyard was very close by the palace of Ahab the king of Israel. Once the king spoke to Nabath and said to him sell the vineyard to him for a price or have another vineyard at another place as compensation.

Naboth did not agree to the request because he inherited the vineyard from his forefathers. Ahab was displeased with Naboth and was sad. Ahab’s wicked wife Jezebel came to him and asked him as to why he was so sad. Ahab said to Jezebel that he asked Naboth to sell his vineyard to him or have another vineyard as compensation but he refused saying that it was an inheritance from his forefathers.

Jezebel thought it legitimate to grab Naboth’s property because her husband is king over the land. She thought it is legitimate to have a citizen’s property even when the citizen refuses to sell it. She not only thought it so but adopted very wicked way of grabbing Naboth’s vineyard.

Jezebel said to Ahab to get up, eat bread and be merry, because he was the king of Israel and that she would take charge of solving the problem. Jezebel wrote letters in Ahab’s name, sealed the letters with Ahab’s seal and sent them to the elders and to the nobles in the city living with Naboth. She apparently made Naboth to appear like a criminal although he was exercising what was within his rights. She gathered two false witnesses, who were sons of Belial to witness against Naboth that he blasphemed God and disrespected the king of Israel. (sons of Belial means the sons of worthless men [Cf. Judges 20:13, 2 Samuel 23:6, 2 Corinthians 6:15).

Jezebel wrote false accusations against Naboth and ordered by the seal of Ahab the king to proclaim fast and set Naboth on high, which is to proclaim that Naboth was a criminal. (It is usual in those days that the criminal is placed in high place to be seen).

After willful and false declaration of Naboth as criminal the elders and the nobles were required to stone him to death. The men of city, the elders and the nobles did just as Jezebel wrote treacherously in the name of her husband and stoned Naboth unto death.

Jezebel went to Ahab and said to him that Naboth is dead and he may go and take possession of his vineyard.

While Ahab was on his way to take possession of the vineyard Elijah came to him with the word of the LORD and said to him:

“… Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine" (1 Kings 21:19 b)

Elijah said of Jezebel saying “…The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel" (1 Kings 21:23 b)

The prophecy was fulfilled as written in 1 Kings 21:24-29;1 Kings 22:40; and 2 Kings 9:7-10 and 9:33-36

Persecuting innocent men with false accusations will not go unpunished.

“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones” (Luke 17:1-2)
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