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1SOME time later there occurred an incident involving Naboth of Jezreel, who had a vineyard in Jezreel adjoining the palace of King Ahab of Samaria.

2Ahab made a proposal to Naboth: “Your vineyard is close to my palace; let me have it for a garden, and I shall give you a better vineyard in exchange for it or, if you prefer, I shall give you its value in silver.”

3But Naboth answered, “The LORD forbid that I should surrender to you land which has always been in my family.”

4Ahab went home sullen and angry because Naboth had refused to let him have his ancestral holding. He took to his bed, covered his face, and refused to eat.

5When his wife Jezebel came in to him and asked, “Why this sullenness, and why do you refuse to eat?”

6he replied, “I proposed that Naboth of Jezreel should let me have his vineyard at its value or, if he liked, in exchange for another; but he refused to let me have it.”

7“Are you or are you not king in Israel?” retorted Jezebel. “Come, eat and take heart; I shall make you a gift of the vineyard of Naboth of Jezreel.”

8She wrote letters in Ahab's name, sealed them with his seal, and sent them to the elders and notables of Naboth's city, who sat in council with him.

9She wrote: “Proclaim a fast and give Naboth the seat of honour among the people.

10Opposite him seat two unprincipled rogues to charge him with cursing God and the king; then take him out and stone him to death.”

11The elders and notables of Naboth's city carried out the instructions Jezebel had sent them in her letter:

12they proclaimed a fast and gave Naboth the seat of honour.

13The two unprincipled rogues came in, sat opposite him, and charged him publicly with cursing God and the king. He was then taken outside the city and stoned,

14and word was sent to Jezebel that Naboth had been stoned to death.

15As soon as Jezebel heard of the death of Naboth, she said to Ahab, “Get up and take possession of the vineyard which Naboth refused to sell you, for he is no longer alive; Naboth of Jezreel is dead.”

16On hearing that Naboth was dead, Ahab got up and went to the vineyard to take possession.

17The word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite:

18“Go down at once to King Ahab of Israel, who is in Samaria; you will find him in Naboth's vineyard, where he has gone to take possession.

19Say to him, ‘This is the word of the LORD: Have you murdered and seized property?’ Say to him, ‘This is the word of the LORD: Where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, there dogs will lick your blood.’”

20Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy.” “Yes,” he said, “because you have sold yourself to do what is wrong in the eyes of the LORD.

21I shall bring disaster on you; I shall sweep you away and destroy every mother's son of the house of Ahab in Israel, whether under protection of the family or not.

22I shall deal with your house as I dealt with the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have provoked my anger and led Israel into sin.”

23The LORD went on to say of Jezebel, “Jezebel will be eaten by dogs near the rampart of Jezreel.

24Of the house of Ahab, those who die in the city will be food for the dogs, and those who die in the country food for the birds.”

25(Never was there a man who sold himself to do what is wrong in the LORD's eyes as Ahab did, and all at the prompting of Jezebel his wife.

26He committed gross abominations in going after false gods, doing everything that had been done by the Amorites, whom the LORD dispossessed in favour of Israel.)

27When Ahab heard Elijah's words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and fasted; he lay down in his sackcloth and went about moaning.

28The word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite:

29“Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has thus humbled himself, I shall not bring disaster on his house in his own lifetime, but in that of his son.”



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