And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him. (1 Kings 16:31)
Her Name Means Chaste
There are few women who have risen in history to the degree of debauchery, licentiousness and cruelty than the woman Jezebel who was wife to Ahab, son of Omri. She used her husband as a puppet to fill her dreams of conquest and murder to rule over the people of God for decades leading them deeper into the pits of idolatry and rebellion against the one true God. Her name is a synonym for everything that is evil but some render the origination of her name as something completely foreign to her life: chaste. Her name belied her nature and the kind of person she is remembered to be. A fanatical despot who ruled Israel through the cowardice of her husband Jezebel murdered the prophets of the Lord, took the people of God to the altars of Baal and caused Israel to sin in ways never seen before. Her husband Ahab reigned twenty-two years over Israel in Samaria and Jezebel outlived him by fourteen years. She influenced her son Ahaziah and Joram of Israel including her son-in-law Jehoram to walk in the ways of Baal and to do evil in the sight of the Lord. The legacy of Jezebel was carved on the historical stones of depravity as she led the northern tribes of a once proud nation to the debauchery of whoredom, witchcraft and wickedness.
There was a time when Jezebel was a sweet, kind and innocent little girl. All children come into the world pure and without sin. As a newborn, Jezebel had the purest of hearts. She had no malice in her spirit and her smile would melt the hardest of hearts. Little baby girls have a presence about them that bring out the good in people regardless of the evil that lies in the heart. Her father was a murderous ruler that served the god Astarte as priest. Jezebel came into the world with a name that meant “Chaste” but soon learned to live a life that was anything but virtuous. Her name meant she was free from carnal desires and she learned early her name would not define her character as she plunged headlong into the sensuous and base practices of idol worship. Ahab would secure her place in history as he married her against all the practices of previous kings and threw Israel into a spiral of moral repugnance to God. Together they would offer their firstborn son Abiram as a human sacrifice and later their youngest son Segub. Ahab would die in battle at the hand of an anonymous archer and Jezebel would be cast out of a window, trampled to death by horses and her body torn to shreds by dogs.
Names say a lot about a person and who they are. All men are defined by their names whether in honor or dishonor. A name like Dwight D. Eisenhower is held with respect while a name such as Adolf Hitler is despised. These two men met on the battlefields of history but the stories of their life are remembered in completely different ways. Jezebel was born with a name that could have defined her life but she chooses to live for the carnal pleasures of the flesh. When we stand before the Lord in judgment the only thing we will have is our name. It is written in the memory of God as being one of honor or dishonor. Men will inscribe names on monuments of marble but that never last. Women like Jezebel will leave their mark on the sands of time but that will pass away to oblivion. The name we have on the day standing before the great I AM is going to determine whether we see eternity in light or the damnation of hell in darkness. Jezebel was born with the name Chaste but she died with the name Lost. Her pleasures were gone, the carnal desires abolished and her cruel reign of terror over. Like all men and women who have walked on the face of the earth she will stand before the Judge on the last day and receive the penalty of her reward. Sadly as she is cast into the pits of hell she will reflect upon her name and realize how important her name could have been. What does your name mean? The better question is not what your name means but what meaning are you giving your name? In the end that will matter more than anything you have in this world.