Ahab The Thief
Now Naboth, the Jezreelite, had a vineyard in Jezreel next to the palace
of Ahab, who ruled at Samaria. So Ahab said to Naboth, "Give me your
vineyard, that I may have it as a vegetable-garden, for it is near my
palace; and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it is more
pleasing to you, I will pay you its value in money." But Naboth answered
Ahab, "May Jehovah save me from the crime of giving you what has come
down to me from my fathers!"
So Ahab went into his house sullen and in bad humor because of what
Naboth had said to him. And he lay down on his bed and covered his face
and would eat no food.
But Jezebel his wife came to him and said, "Why are you in such bad
humor that you will not eat?" He replied, "Because I made this offer to
Naboth, 'Give me your vineyard for its value in money, or else, if it is
more pleasing to you, I will give you another vineyard for it.' But he
answered, 'I will not give you my vineyard.'" Then Jezebel his wife said
to him, "Are you not the one who now rules in Israel? Rise, eat, and set
your mind at rest. I will give you the vineyard of Naboth."
So she wrote letters in Ahab's name and sealed them with his seal and
sent the letters to the leaders and officials who lived in Naboth's
city. In the letters she wrote, "Proclaim a fast and put Naboth in front
of the people. Then set up two base men before him and let them bring
this charge against him: 'You cursed God and the ruler of Israel.' Then
carry him out and stone him to death."
The leaders and officials of Naboth's city did as Jezebel commanded in
her letters to them. They proclaimed a fast and put Naboth in front of
the people. Then the two base men came in and sat before him, and the
scoundrels in the presence of the people said, "Naboth cursed God and
the ruler of Israel." Then they carried him out of the city and stoned
him to death. And they told Jezebel, "Naboth has been stoned to death."
As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said
to Ahab, "Rise, take the vineyard of Naboth which he refused to sell
you, for Naboth is not alive but dead." As soon as Ahab heard that
Naboth was dead, he went down to the vineyard of Naboth to take it. But
this command came from Jehovah to Elijah, the Tishbite, "Rise, go down
to meet Ahab, the ruler of Israel, who lives in Samaria; he is just now
in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take it. Say to him,
'This is the message of Jehovah, "Have you killed and also taken his
vineyard? In the very place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth
there they shall also lick your blood."'" Ahab said to Elijah, "Have you
found me, O my enemy?" He answered, "I have. And Jehovah has declared:
'The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.'" When Ahab
heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh
and ate no food.
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