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WHAT AHAB PAID FOR HIS VINEYARD
I Kings xxi: 1, to 29.
ING AHAB'S home was at Samaria, the capital of the
kingdom. But he had also a palace at Jezreel, which
overlooked the great plain of Esdraelon. And beside
Ahab's palace at Jezreel was a vineyard, belonging to a
man named Naboth. Ahab wished to own this vineyard, and
he said to Naboth, "Let me have your vineyard, which is
near my house. I would like to make of it a garden for
vegetables. I will give you a better vineyard in place
of it, or I will pay you the worth of it in money."
But Naboth answered the king, "This vineyard has
belonged to my father's family for many generations,
and I am not willing to give it up or to leave it."
AHAB AND NABOTH
Ahab was very angry when he heard this. He came into
his house, and refused to eat; but lay down on his bed,
and turned his
 face to the wall. His wife Jezebel came
to him, and said, "Why are you so sad? What is
And Ahab answered her, "I asked Naboth to sell me his
vineyard, or to let me give him another vineyard for
it, and he would not."
Then Jezebel said to him, "Do you indeed rule over the
kingdom of Israel? Rise up, and eat your dinner, and
enjoy yourself. I will give you the vineyard of
Naboth." Then Queen Jezebel sat down, and wrote a
letter in Ahab's name, and sealed it with the king's
seal. And in the letter she wrote, "Let the word be
given out that a meeting of the men of Jezreel is to be
held, and set Naboth up before all the people. Have
ready two men, no matter how worthless and wicked they
may be, who will swear that they heard Naboth speak
words of cursing against God and against the king.
Then take Naboth out, and stone him with stones until
he is dead."
Such was the fear of Queen Jezebel among all the
people, that they did as she gave command. They held a
meeting, and set Naboth up in presence of the people;
then they brought in two
 men, who told lies, declaring
that they had heard Naboth speak words of cursing
against God and against the king; and then they dragged
Naboth out of the city, and stoned him, and killed him.
Afterward they sent word to Queen Jezebel that Naboth
was dead, and Jezebel said to Ahab, "Now you can go and
take as your own the vineyard of Naboth in Jezreel; for
Naboth is no longer living; he is dead."
Then Ahab rose in his chariot from Samaria to Jezreel,
and with him were two of his captains, one named Jehu,
and another named Bidkar. Just as they were riding in
the vineyard that had been Naboth's, suddenly Elijah,
the prophet, with his mantle of skin, stood before
Ahab was startled as he saw Elijah, and he called out,
"Have you found me, O my enemy?"
"I have found you," answered Elijah, "because you have
sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the Lord. In
the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth,
shall dogs lick up your own blood. I will bring evil
upon you, and will sweep you away; and I will cut off
every man-child from Ahab; and I will make your family
like the family of Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin.
And because your wife, Jezebel, has stirred you up to
sin, she shall die, and the wild dogs of the city shall
eat the body of Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel."
When Ahab heard these words of Elijah he saw how
wickedly he had acted, and he felt sorrow for his sin.
He put on sackcloth, and fasted, and sought for mercy.
And the word of the Lord came to Elijah, saying, "Do
you see how Ahab has humbled himself before me, and
shows sorrow for his sin? Because of this, I will not
bring the evil in his lifetime, but after he is dead, I
will bring it upon his children."