Naboth The Jezreelite

And it came to pass after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel, next to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. (1 Kings 21:1)

Naboth The Jezreelite

The city of Jezreel was located in the tribal lands of Issachar. It was of little importance until the days of Ahab and Jezebel when they made Jezreel a place for one of the palaces. On the eastern slope of the hill of Jezreel, a man named Naboth owned a parcel of ground given to him through ancestorial rights by his fathers. Naboth tended a vineyard on his land, which was close to the house of king Ahab. The king wanted to put a garden next to his house and offered Naboth money to buy the land. He also offered to barter the land for a better vineyard if Naboth agreed.

Under the Law of Moses, it was forbidden to sell a paternal inheritance. Naboth refused the offer by the king not for personal reasons but because to sell the land would go against the command of God. Ahab had no right to ask Naboth to sell or barter his land. The king was bound by the Law of Moses as much as Naboth. When the king inquired about the parcel of land, Naboth reminded the king the Lord forbade selling the land of inheritance. This displeased Ahab, and he went into his bedroom, where he lay down on his bed and turned his face to the wall. He was so upset he refused to eat. Ahab knew Naboth was right.

Jezebel heard that Naboth had refused to sell the land, but she reassured Ahab she would make sure the land was his. She writes letters to the elders and nobles of Jezreel bearing false witness against Naboth. In a cunning ruse of deceit, the men of the city proclaim a fast and seated Naboth with high honor among the people. Two evil men came and sat across from Naboth, accusing the good man of cursing God and the king. This was an offense worthy of death. Naboth and his sons were dragged out of the city and stoned to death without recourse. The wicked leaders of the city sent word to Jezebel that Naboth was dead. Ahab took possession of the vineyard to make his garden.

While the king basked in the success of obtaining the vineyard of Naboth, Elijah, the prophet, came to Ahab and told him because he had murdered an innocent man, his blood would fill the place where the dogs would lick up his blood. Further, the dogs would eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel, whoever belongs to Ahab and dies in the city, and the birds of the air shall eat whoever dies in the field. Ahab and Jezebel had taken an innocent man who, by right of the Law of Moses, refused to sell his land; and was murdered by the king. The sons of Naboth were also killed to remove any inheritance rights.

Nothing is known of Naboth except he was a man who owned a parcel of land coveted by the king. He was an ordinary man who worked hard in his vineyard to provide for his family. His sons worked alongside their father. The family of Naboth was like any other family living around Jezreel. They were honest people who lived in a kingdom filled with wickedness. In order to frame Naboth, false witnesses had to be brought in to accuse him of blasphemy, suggesting Naboth was a man of good character. The leaders of the city were corrupt and evil to put the plan of Jezebel into action to murder a man and his sons. They were also accountable. The sad part of the story of Naboth is the injustice of evil against the righteous. A man and his sons were falsely accused and stoned to death.

The prophet Elijah made it clear to Ahab and Jezebel that God was fully aware of their evil. No one like Ahab sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the Lord because Jezebel, his wife, stirred him up. Naboth and his sons were murdered, and God would bring recompense to the family through divine justice. Ahab would die in battle, and the dogs licked his blood when his chariot was rinsed of his blood. Jezebel was killed when she was thrown from the window of her palace by her eunuchs. She was trampled underfoot by Jehu’s horse. After Jehu had eaten a meal, he sent servants to bury Jezebel, but all they found was her skull and the feet and palms of her hands. The dogs had fulfilled the word of the Lord.

There are many injustices brought upon people by evil men and women. As they stoned Naboth and his sons to death, the condemned wondered why God allowed the travesty to happen. God could have stopped the stoning, but He did not. Naboth and his sons died, but the judgment of God came true. Ahab and Jezebel died, and they will remain in the fires of hell without end. Life can be unfair, but eternity is just. Men will commit injustices in this life, and God will settle accounts in the world to come. Serve God today. You can hide nothing from God. Nothing.

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