1 Kings 21
GOD'S WORD® Translation

1This is what happened next. Naboth from Jezreel had a vineyard in Jezreel next to the palace of King Ahab of Samaria. 2Ahab told Naboth, "Give me your vineyard. It will become my vegetable garden because it is near my house. I will give you a better vineyard for it. Or if you prefer, I will pay you a fair price for it." 3Naboth told Ahab, "The LORD has forbidden me to give you what I inherited from my ancestors." 4Resentful and upset, Ahab went home because of what Naboth from Jezreel had told him. ( [Naboth had said,] "I will not give you what I inherited from my ancestors.") So Ahab lay on the couch, turned his face [from everyone], and refused to eat.

5His wife Jezebel came to him and asked, "Why are you so resentful of everything? Why don't you eat?" 6He told her, "I talked to Naboth from Jezreel. I said to him, 'Sell me your vineyard. Or, if you like, I'll give you another vineyard for it.' But he said, 'I won't give you my vineyard.'" 7His wife Jezebel said to him, "Aren't you king of Israel? Get up, eat, and cheer up. I'll give you the vineyard belonging to Naboth from Jezreel."

8So Jezebel wrote letters, signed them with Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal. She sent them to the respected leaders and nobles living in Naboth's city. 9In these letters she wrote: "Announce a fast. Seat Naboth as leader of the people. 10Have two good-for-nothing men sit opposite him and accuse him of cursing God and the king. Then stone him to death outside the city."

11The men in Naboth's city-the respected leaders and nobles who lived there-did what Jezebel asked them to do. They did just as she had written in the letters she sent. 12They announced a fast and had Naboth seated as the leader of the people. 13The two good-for-nothing men came in and sat opposite him. In front of the people, these men accused Naboth of cursing God and the king. So the people stoned him to death outside the city. 14Then the leaders sent [this message] to Jezebel: "Naboth has been stoned to death."

15Jezebel received the message and said to Ahab, "Get up! Confiscate the vineyard which Naboth from Jezreel refused to sell you. He's dead now." 16When he heard about Naboth's death, Ahab went to confiscate the vineyard.

17Then the LORD spoke his word to Elijah from Tishbe: 18"Go, meet King Ahab of Israel, who lives in Samaria. He went to confiscate Naboth's vineyard. 19Tell him, 'This is what the LORD asks: Have you murdered someone just to confiscate [a vineyard]?' Then tell him, 'This is what the LORD says: At the place where the dogs licked up Naboth's blood, the dogs will lick up your blood.'"

20Ahab asked Elijah, "So you've found me, my enemy?" Elijah answered, "I found you. Because you sold yourself to do what the LORD considers evil. 21So I am going to bring evil on you. I will destroy your descendants. I will destroy every male in Ahab's [house], whether slave or freeman in Israel. 22I will make your family like the family of Jeroboam (Nebat's son) and like the house of Baasha, son of Ahijah, because you made me furious. You led Israel to sin." 23Then the LORD also spoke [through Elijah] about Jezebel: "The dogs will eat Jezebel inside the walls of Jezreel. 24If anyone from Ahab's [house] dies in the city, dogs will eat him. If anyone dies in the country, birds will eat him."

25There was no one else like Ahab. At the urging of his wife, he sold himself to do what the LORD considered evil. 26He did many disgusting things as a result of worshiping idols as the Amorites had done. (The LORD confiscated their land for Israel.)

27When Ahab heard these things, he tore his clothes [in distress] and dressed in sackcloth. He fasted, lay in sackcloth, and walked around depressed. 28Then the LORD spoke his word to Elijah from Tishbe: 29"Do you see how Ahab is humbling himself in my presence? Because he's humbling himself in my presence, I will not let any evil happen to his family while he is alive. I will bring evil on it during his son's lifetime."

GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved.

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