An Israelite at Jezreel, who declined selling his ancestral vineyard to Ahab, Le 25:23-24; and was in consequence murdered, on a false charge of blasphemy contrived by Jezebel the queen. Ahab took immediate possession of the coveted vineyard - perhaps as being legally for forfeited to the government, construing blasphemy as treason; or it may be, that the heirs were deterred from asserting their claim by a dread of the unscrupulous arts of Jezebel. Elijah, however, did not fear to denounce against the king and queen the vengeance of One "higher than they," 1Ki 21; 2Ki 9:24-26,36; Ec 5:8.
fruits, "the Jezreelite," was the owner of a portion of ground on the eastern slope of the hill of Jezreel (2Ki 9:25-26). This small "plat of ground" seems to have been all he possessed. It was a vineyard, and lay "hard by the palace of Ahab" (1Ki 21:1-2), who greatly coveted it. Naboth, however, refused on any terms to part with it to the king. He had inherited it from his fathers, and no Israelite could lawfully sell his property (Le 25:23). Jezebel, Ahab's wife, was grievously offended at Naboth's refusal to part with his vineyard. By a crafty and cruel plot she compassed his death. His sons also shared his fate (2Ki 9:26; 1Ki 21:19). She then came to Ahab and said, "Arise, take possession of the vineyard; for Naboth is not alive, but dead." Ahab arose and went forth into the garden which had so treacherously and cruelly been acquired, seemingly enjoying his new possession, when, lo, Elijah suddenly appeared before him and pronounced against him a fearful doom (1Ki 21:17-24). Jehu and Bidcar were with Ahab at this time, and so deeply were the words of Elijah imprinted on Jehu's memory that many years afterwards he refers to them (2Ki 9:26), and he was the chief instrument in inflicting this sentence on Ahab and Jezebel and all their house (2Ki 9:30-37). The house of Ahab was extinguished by him. Not one of all his great men and his kinsfolk and his priests did Jehu spare (2Ki 10:11).
The history of Naboth, compared with that of Ahab and Jezebel, furnishes a remarkable illustration of the law of a retributive providence, a law which runs through all history (comp. Ps 109:17-18).
fruit (Gesenius); "preeminence" (Furst). 1 Kings 21; 2Ki 9:21-26. (See AHAB; ELIJAH.) Septuagint (1Ki 21:1) omit "which was in Jezreel," and read instead of "the palace" "the threshing floor of Ahab king of Samaria." This locates Naboth's vineyard on the hill of Samaria, close by the threshing floor, hard by the gate of the city; but Hebrew text is probably right. David's offer to Araunah (2Sa 24:21-24) and Omri's purchase from Shemer illustrate Ahab's offer to Naboth. Naboth was "set on high," i.e. seated on a conspicuous place before all the people. Ahab's blood in retribution was washed from the chariot in the pool of Samaria, where harlots were bathing (so translated instead of "and they washed the armour"), while dogs licked up the rest of the blood (1Ki 22:38); the further retribution was on his seed Joram (2 Kings 9).
A man of Jezreel, owner of a vineyard adjoining the palace of Ahab (1Ki 21:1). The king, desiring to add the vineyard to his lands, offered to buy it or exchange it for another. Naboth, however, refused to give up 'the inheritance of his fathers.' Jezebel, Ahab's wife, by using the royal authority with the elders of the city, had Naboth accused of treason and blasphemy, and stoned to death. As Ahab went to take possession of the vineyard, he was met by Elijah, the prophet, who pronounced doom on him and his house. The murder of Naboth seems to have deeply impressed the popular mind, and the deaths of Joram and Jezebel near the spot were regarded as Divine retribution on the act (2Ki 9:25,36).
W. F. Boyd.
A Jezreelite, owner of a vineyard adjoining the property of Ahab, king of Israel. Ahab desired to purchase this vineyard, or exchange it for another; but Naboth refused to part with it, because it was the inheritance of his fathers. Jezebel, Ahab's wife, observing her husband's vexation on account of this refusal, wrote to the elders and nobles of the city where Naboth lived, telling them to proclaim a fast, to set Naboth in a prominent place, to get two sons of Belial to charge him with blaspheming God and the king, and then to stone him to death. The elders and nobles were mean and wicked enough to carry out her instructions, and sent word that Naboth was dead. Jezebel now informed her husband, and he went down to take possession of the vineyard; but God sent Elijah to tell him his doom and that of Jezebel. God could not allow such wickedness to go unpunished. 1Ki 21:1-19; 2Ki 9:21-26.
(fruits), the victim of Ahab and Jezebel, was the owner of a small vineyard at Jezreel, close to the royal palace of Shab.
(B.C. 897.) It thus became an object of desire to the king, who offered an equivalent in money or another vineyard. In exchange for this Naboth, in the independent spirit of a Jewish landholder, refused: "The Lord forbid it me that I should give the inheritance of my father unto thee." Ahab was cowed by this reply; but the proud spirit of Jezebel was aroused. She took the matter into her own hands. A fast was proclaimed, as on the announcement of some impending calamity. Naboth was "set on high" in the public place of Samaria; two men of worthless character accused him of having "cursed God and the king." He and his children,
were dragged out of the city and despatched; the same night. The place of execution there was by the large tank or reservoir which still remains an the slope of the hill of Samaria, immediately outside the walls. The usual punishment for blasphemy was enforced: Naboth and his sons were stoned; and the blood from their wounds ran down into the waters of the tank below. For the signal retribution taken on this judicial murder --a remarkable proof of the high regard paid in the old dispensation to the claims of justice and independence --see AHAB; JEHU; JEZEBEL.
NABOTH, an Israelite of the city of Jezreel, who lived under Ahab, king of the ten tribes, and had a fine vineyard near the king's palace. Ahab coveted his property; but Naboth, according to the law, Le 25:23-24, refused to sell it: and beside, it was a disgrace for a Hebrew to alienate the inheritance of his ancestors. Ahab, returning into his house, threw himself on his bed, and refused to eat, when Jezebel, his wife, took upon herself to procure the vineyard. She wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with the king's seal, and sent them to the elders of Jezreel, directing them to publish a fast, to place Naboth among the chief of the people, suborn against him two sons of Belial, or two false witnesses, who might depose, that Naboth had blasphemed God and the king. Accordingly, Naboth was condemned and stoned for the supposed crime, which brought upon Ahab and Jezebel the severest maledictions, 1 Kings 21. See AHAB.