23 Sept. 1 Kings 21:1-16

23 Sept.  King Ahab seizes Naboth’s vineyard

“A man named Naboth owned a vineyard in Jezreel, near the palace of Ahab king of Israel. 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.’”

“Naboth answered, ‘May the LORD keep me from ever giving my land to you. It belongs to my family.’ Ahab went home angry and upset, because he did not like what Naboth from Jezreel had said… Ahab lay down on his bed, turned his face to the wall and refused to eat.”

“His wife, Jezebel, came in and asked him, ‘Why are you so upset that you refuse to eat?’ 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.’ Jezebel answered, ‘Is this how you rule as king over Israel? Get up, eat something, and cheer up. I will get Naboth’s vineyard for you.’”

“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 who lived in Naboth’s town. The letter she wrote said, ‘Declare a day during which people are to give up eating. Call the people together, and give Naboth a place of honour among them. Seat two troublemakers across from him, and have them say they heard Naboth speak against God and the king. Then take Naboth out of the city and kill him with stones.’”

“The elders and important men of Jezreel obeyed Jezebel’s command, just as she wrote in the letters… Two troublemakers sat across from Naboth and said in front of everybody that they had heard him speak against God and the king. So the people carried Naboth out of the city and killed him with stones. Then the leaders sent a message to Jezebel, saying, ‘Naboth has been killed.’”

“When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been killed, she told Ahab, ‘Naboth of Jezreel is dead. Now you may go and take for yourself the vineyard he would not sell to you.’ When Ahab heard that Naboth of Jezreel was dead, he got up and went to the vineyard to take it for his own.”

          (1 Kings 21:1-16)



The same year that he made peace with the Arameans (in c.856BC), King Ahab wanted to expand the grounds of his palace at Jezreel in order to cultivate a vegetable garden.

Beside the palace, on the slopes of the Vale of Jezreel, was a vineyard belonging to Naboth, so Ahab offered to buy the vineyard from Naboth or to compensate him with a better vineyard elsewhere (see 14 on the map on 15 September).

But Naboth refused to sell the vineyard to the king as it had been in his family for many years.

Ahab was angry and upset, went to his room and sulked. His wife, Jezebel, was furious that the king’s request had been refused, so she sent letters to the city’s elders purporting to come from the king, and arranged to get Naboth stoned to death by the people of Jezreel on a false charge of blasphemy.

On hearing that Naboth had been killed, Ahab was delighted, and immediately went to the vineyard and claimed it as his own.

The photo shows a reconstructed traditional vineyard watchtower at Neot Kedumim. Watchtowers were constructed to prevent thefts from a vineyard.

You can read more about the city of Jezreel @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/32-the-divided-kingdom-amp-journey-into-exile/king-ahab-seizes-naboths-vineyard/

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