The First Book of the Kings

Chapter 21

Ahab being denied Naboth's vineyard, is grieved, 1-4. Jezebel writes letters against Naboth, and he is condemned for blasphemy, 5-14. Ahab takes possession of the vineyard, 15, 16. Elijah denounces judgments against Ahab and Jezebel, 17-24. Wicked Ahab repenting, God defers the judgment, 25-29.

1 And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 And Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, "Give me your vineyard so that I may have it for a garden of herbs. For it is near to my house and I will give you for it a better vineyard than it. Or if it seems good to you, I will give you its worth in money." 3 And Naboth said to Ahab, "The LORD forbid me that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you." 4 And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him, for he had said, "I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers." And he laid himself down upon his bed and turned away his face and would eat no bread.

5 But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, "Why is your spirit so sad that you eat no bread?" 6 And he said to her, "Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, 'Give me your vineyard for money. Or else, if it pleases you, I will give you another vineyard for it.' And he answered, 'I will not give you my vineyard.'" 7 And Jezebel his wife said to him, "Do you now govern the kingdom of Israel? Arise, eat bread, and let your heart be merry. I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite."

8 So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and to the nobles who were in his city, dwelling with Naboth. 9 And she wrote in the letters, saying, "Proclaim a fast and set Naboth on high among the people. 10 And set two men before him, sons of Belial, to bear witness against him, saying, 'You blasphemed God and the king.' And then carry him out and stone him so that he may die."

11 And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent to them and as it was written in the letters which she had sent to them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and set Naboth on high among the people. 13 And two men came in, children of Belial, and sat before him. And the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, "Naboth blasphemed God and the king." Then they carried him forth out of the city and stoned him with stones so that he died. 14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, "Naboth is stoned and is dead."

15 And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, "Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite which he refused to give you for money, for Naboth is not alive, but dead." 16 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite to take possession of it.

17 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 18 "Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel who is in Samaria. Behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth where he has gone down to possess it. 19 And you shall speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the LORD: "Have you killed and also taken possession?"' And you shall speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the LORD: "In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, dogs shall lick your blood, even yours."'"

20 And Ahab said to Elijah, "Have you found me, O my enemy?" And he answered, "I have found you because you have sold yourself to work evil in the sight of the LORD. 21 Behold, I will bring evil upon you. I will take away your posterity and will cut off from Ahab the males and him who is shut up and left in Israel. 22 I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah because of the provocation with which you have provoked me to anger and made Israel to sin. 23 And the LORD also spoke of Jezebel, saying, 'The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.' 24 He who dies of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat, and he who dies in the field the birds of the air shall eat."

25 But there was no one like Ahab, who sold himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife instigated. 26 And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things that the Amorites did, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

27 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, put sackcloth upon his flesh, fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. 28 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29 "Do you see how Ahab humbles himself before me? Because he humbles himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days. But in his son's days I will bring the evil upon his house."


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Kings, Chapter 21[➚]