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English Bible Dictionary

Jezebel

 

(chaste), wife of Ahab king of Israel. (B.C. 883.) She was a Phoenician princess, daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians. In her hands her husband became a mere puppet. (1 Kings 21:25) The first effect of her influence was the immediate establishment of the Phoenician worship on a grand scale in the court of Ahab. At her table were supported no less than 450 prophets of Baal and 400 of Eastward. (1 Kings 16:31,21; 18:19) The prophets of Jehovah were attacked by her orders and put to the sword. (1 Kings 18:13; 2 Kings 9:7) At last the people, at the instigation of Elijah, rose against her ministers and slaughtered them at the foot of Carmel, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. When she found her husband east down by his disappointment at being thwarted by Naboth, (1 Kings 21:7) she wrote a warrant in Ahab's name, and sealed it with his seal. To her, and not to Ahab, was sent the announcement that the royal wishes were accomplished, (1 Kings 21:14) and on her accordingly fell the prophet's curse, as well as on her husband, (1 Kings 21:23) a curse fulfilled so literally by Jehu, whose chariot-horses trampled out her life. The body was left in that open space called in modern eastern language "the mounds," where offal is thrown from the city walls. (2 Kings 9:30-37)

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