Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Jezebel - Women of the Bible
Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal, King of the Sidonians (1 Kings 16:31).
Her name originally meant 'The Prince Baal exists'. Baal was a weather god worshipped in the Syro-Palestinian world.1 In Biblical Hebrew Jezebel's name means 'there is no nobility'. Jezebel is an evil woman in the Bible (Revelation 2:20).
The main characters in the life of Jezebel were all affected in one way or another by her evil deeds. Ahab, the king and her husband was a weak willed man whom she dominated and led to do much evil (1 kings 21:25). She encouraged him to worship idols while she personally made sure all the prophets of God (who she could catch) were killed (1 Kings 18:4). She personally took care of the prophets of Baal giving them direct access to the throne (1 Kings 18:19).
Jezebel's domination of her husband was directly responsible for the whole of Israel falling into the sin of idolatry. The whole nation suffered a famine caused by the lack of rain. This was God's judgement on them 1 KingS 17. This was particularly humilating for Jezebel since Baal was supposed to be the god of weather.
When Elijah killed all the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel Jezebel soon got on his case. She threatened to take his life. Elijah knew this was no empty threat and ran for his life. The mighty prophet of God who had raised the dead and called down fire soon became afraid and even depressed because of Jezebel's action 1 KingS 18.
Jezebel not only worshipped idols but also practised witchcraft (2 Kings 9:22).
Naboth owned a vineyard. Ahab desired it but Naboth refused to sell the king the family property. Jezebel intervened and had Naboth killed simply to meet Ahab's selfish needs. At this point Jezebel herself was in charge of the nation of Israel. Ahab the king was simply her puppet 1 KingS 21.
God eventually sent Elijah to declare judgement on Ahab and Jezebel. Ahab was to die and have dogs lick his blood and his descendants cut off (1 KingS 21:17-22, 1 KingS 22:29 - 40, 2 KingS 10).
As for Jezebel she was to be eaten by dogs (1 kings 21: 23-28, 2 kings 9: 30 - 37). Jezebel lived for quite a while before God's judgement caught up with her.
Apart from idol worship, witchcraft and sheer wickedness Jezebel also used the spirit of domination and seduction to get her ways (2 Kings 9:30).
There is no record of Jezebel repenting. She did much evil.
The main lesson from Jezebel's life is that the deeds of a few can adversely affect a whole nation. Evil people sometimes live long. Could God be giving them the chance to repent? Destruction waits for them if they do not.
1. Who was Jezebel?
2. Mention some of her attributes?
3. Was Elijah able to withstand her?
4. How should we deal with the spirit of Jezebel in the world today?
5. How does the spirit of Jezebel manifest itself?
6. How did Jezebel's life end?
7. How did Elijah's life end?
8. Why does it pay to serve God?