1 Kings, Chapter 21

- ל ה ח -

Ahab Covets Naboth’s Vineyard

King Ahab covets a beautiful vineyard and wishes to buy it. However, its owner, Naboth, refuses to sell. Queen Jezebel vows to fulfill her husband’s desire. She stages a phony trial in which Naboth is sentenced to death for cursing God and the king. Ahab does not protest and claims the vineyard for himself.

God sends Elijah to share the grim indictment with Ahab: “Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?” Elijah announces the obliteration of the king’s household due to this moral travesty. Though the author of this crime was Jezebel, Ahab is held accountable. Ater the king of Israel expresses deep regret, God decides to fulfill the punishment only after Ahab’s death. Ahab is unsuccessful in overcoming his ego. He constantly succumbs to his selfish lust for wealth, honor, and earthly pleasures.

“And it came to pass after these things, thatNaboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria” (1 Kings 21:1)

“Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead” (1 Kings 21:15)

 “And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly” (1 Kings 21:27)

Unselfishness is seeking to receive for the purpose of sharing; unlike selfishness, which is seeking to receive for our own benefit.