Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
The story of Jezebel is found in 1 and 2 Kings. She has gone down in biblical history as being very evil. However, in some cases, her name is used as a noun for a wicked female. It is also used as an adjective for a woman with evil behavior. Jezebel is a name which has come to describe a woman with beauty, seductive power, and wickedness.
The name Jezebel has become accepted as a synonym for wickedness. That's why it is not a popular name for baby girls.
Who Was Jezebel?
Jezebel was a Phoenician princess before she married King Ahab of Israel and became a queen. She came from a family of Baal worshipers. They considered Jehovah as only a local deity, so they worshiped Baal as their god.
Ahab was the ruler of a country, but he allowed his wife to rule him. Jezebel has been described as a strong-minded idolatrous woman, but Ahab has been described as a weak and henpecked husband. Because of his wife, King Ahab became a Baal worshipper and did evil things to please his wife.
Jezebel was like no other woman in the entire Bible. She carried out many evil schemes. Jezebel was persuasive and had a lot of influence. Unfortunately, she used those qualities for evil. Her strength and power affected a whole nation in evil ways.
Jezebel: An Idolater
Jezebel worshiped Baal, and she wanted others to do the same. She sought to convert Israel to Baal worship. She had a sanctuary built in Samaria with 450 priests, and one at Jezreel with 400 priests.
The prophet Elijah was afraid of Jezebel because he thought she would kill him like she killed other prophets. Therefore, he hid from her until God sent him back to confront her.
Jezebel: An Evil Schemer
Jezebel did many evil things. However, one stands out among the others. She schemed to have an innocent man killed just so she and Ahab could take his vineyard.
The story of what happened is in 1 Kings 21. Naboth had a vineyard that was located near Ahab's palace. Ahab asked for the land, but Naboth refused to give it to him. Ahab offered to give Naboth a better one in its place. Naboth still refused. Ahab offered to purchased the land from Naboth, but Naboth did not want to get rid of it because he inherited it from his family. Ahab was so upset over not getting the land that he went home, refused to eat and went to bed. Jezebel consoled her husband by telling him, "Arise and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry. I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite."
Jezebel took care of the situation in a tragic way. She wrote a letter to the people and stamped it with the royal seal so the people would think it came from the king. She accused Naboth of blasphemies against God and the king. Naboth was stoned to death, and Ahab took possession of the vineyard he wanted.
God sent Elijah to Ahab to pronounce the doom that awaited him, Jezebel, and their family. The prophet told the king that "In the place where dogs licked up Naboth's blood, dogs will lick up your blood--yes, yours!"(1 Kings 21:19).
It didn't take long for Elijah's prophecy to be fulfilled. A war broke out between the Israelites and the Syrians. While riding in his chariot, Ahab was wounded. The blood-soaked chariot ran through Naboth’s vineyard. The dogs came and licked up the bloody water. Elijah said, “The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.”
Jezebel's Family Turned Out Like Her
Ahab was henpecked and was like a puppet in the hands of his overpowering and evil wife. She could wrap Ahab around her little finger. Because he was weak, it was easy for Jezebel to get what she wanted. It was Jezebel and not her husband who became the feared commander in Israel.
Members of Jezebel's family turned out to be evil.
- Jezebel's wickedness influenced her own daughter Athaliah.
- Jezebel's eldest son, Ahaziah was evil. He turned out just like his idolatrous mother by being a devout worshiper of Baal.
- Her second son, Jehoram or Joram, was the image of his mother. Jehu told Jehoram that he would do away with the Ahab dynasty because there would be no peace in Israel “so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many” (2 Kings 9:22).
Jezebel Loved Personal Adornment
Jehu had been appointed and anointed to meet with Jezebel. Jezebel’s son and grandson met Jehu in the blood-stained vineyard Naboth had once possessed. Jehu slew Jezebel’s son, the king of Israel, and her grandson was overtaken while running away. He was caught and slain.
Jezebel knew she was going to be killed, according to prophecy. She showed no sign of fear or repentance. Instead, she was proud. When the queen heard that Jehu was coming, she took time to arrange her hair, paint her eyes, and adorn herself with fine clothes and jewelry. She did all that to meet her death.
Jezebel Died a Terrible Death
Elijah prophesied how Jezebel would die. It happened just as he predicted. Jehu looked up and saw her in the window standing with two eunuchs. The king told the eunuchs, "Throw her down!” They did as they were told.
Jezebel fell so hard that blood covered the walls. Horses trampled her body, and hungry dogs ate her flesh. The prophecy Elijah made about Jezebel had come true.
Jezebel was entitled to a proper burial because she was royal in several ways. Her father was a Phoenician king, her husband had been a king, and other members of her family were royal. However, the dogs had eaten her body leaving only her skull, the palms of her hands, and her feet.
Because of Jezebel's wickedness, nobody would ever be able to point to a particular burial place to show honor to her after her death.
- Jezebel and the Lessons We Learn From Her
Just because Jezebel was evil, she is not included in many sermons or talked about very often. The Bible uses examples of what not to do as well as what to do. Therefore, there are some lessons to learn from the life of Jezebel.