1 Kings 21 – “Naboth’s Vineyard”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Jezebel murders Naboth for his vineyard. God promises to annihilate Ahab’s family, but Ahab postpones the punishment by repenting.

II. Photo
Naboth is murdered for his vineyard: “When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab set out for the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite to take possession of it.” (v. 16)

III. Important Verses
1-3: [The following events] occurred sometime afterward: Naboth the Jezreelite owned a vineyard in Jezreel, adjoining the palace of King Ahab of Samaria. Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, so that I may have it as a vegetable garden, since it is right next to my palace. I will give you a better vineyard in exchange; or, if you prefer, I will pay you the price in money.” But Naboth replied, “The LORD forbid that I should give up to you what I have inherited from my fathers!”
7-10: His wife Jezebel said to him, “Now is the time to show yourself king over Israel. Rise and eat something, and be cheerful; I will get the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite for you.”  So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who lived in the same town with Naboth. In the letters she wrote as follows: “Proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the front of the assembly. And seat two scoundrels opposite him, and let them testify against him: ‘You have reviled God and king!’ Then take him out and stone him to death.”
23-24: “And the LORD has also spoken concerning Jezebel: ‘The dogs shall devour Jezebel in the field of Jezreel. All of Ahab’s line who die in the town shall be devoured by dogs, and all who die in the open country shall be devoured by the birds of the sky.’”
27-29: When Ahab heard these words, he rent his clothes and put sackcloth on his body. He fasted and lay in sackcloth and walked about subdued. Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite:  “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 lifetime; I will bring the disaster upon his house in his son’s time.”

IV. Outline
1-3. Naboth rejects Ahabs offer for his vineyard
4-7. Jezebel encourages Ahab to take charge
8-10. Jezebel arranges Naboth’s death
11-13. Naboth’s death
14-16. Ahab possesses Naboth’s field
17-19. God sends Elijah to confront Ahab
20-24. Elijah’s augurs doom for Ahab and his family
25-26. A note about Ahab’s evil ways
27. Ahab repents
28-29. God decides to delay Ahab’s punishment

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
De Vries, Simon John. “1 Kings” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 12 (Waco, Texas: Wordbooks, 1985).
Longe, Burke O. “1 Kings with an Introduction to Historical Literature” Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 9 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1984).
Photo taken from http://www.straight.com/files/images/wide/TOTA_Vineyard-Rows-Russel.jpg

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