Old Testament

1 Kings 21
Naboth's Vineyard
211Some time passed after these events.
Naboth from Jezre'el had a vineyard in Jezre'el, next to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard so I can use it as a vegetable garden, because it is beside my house, and I will give you a better vineyard in exchange. Or if you prefer, I will give you the purchase price in silver.”
3But Naboth said to Ahab, “May I be cursed by the Lord, if I were to give you the inheritance from my fathers.”
4Ahab went to his house sullen and angry because of what Naboth from Jezre'el had said to him, for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” Ahab lay down on his bed and turned his face away and would not eat anything.
5Then his wife Jezebel came to him and said, “Why is your spirit so sullen, and why don't you eat?”
6Then he told her, “I said to Naboth from Jezre'el, ‘Sell your vineyard to me, or if you prefer, I will give you a vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’”
7Then his wife Jezebel said to him, “Are you now acting like the king over Israel? Get up! Eat something, and cheer up. I will give you the vineyard of Naboth from Jezre'el.”
8Then Jezebel wrote letters in Ahab's name and sealed them with his seal. She sent the letters to the elders and nobles who were living in the city with Naboth. 9She wrote in the letters, “Proclaim a fast and then seat Naboth at the head of the people. 10Seat two wicked, worthless men opposite him and have them testify, ‘You cursed God and the king!’ Then take him out and stone him to death.”
11The men of the city—the elders and the nobles who lived there—did exactly as Jezebel had commanded them, exactly as she had written in the letters she had sent them. 12They proclaimed a fast and then seated Naboth at the head of the people. 13They brought two wicked, worthless men and seated them opposite him. The wicked men testified against Naboth before the people, “Naboth cursed God and the king!” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death. 14Then they sent word to Jezebel, “Naboth has been stoned to death.”
15When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, “Go and take possession of the vineyard of Naboth from Jezre'el, which he refused to sell to you, because Naboth is no longer alive but dead.” 16When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he went and took possession of the vineyard of Naboth from Jezre'el.
The Lord Condemns Ahab
17Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah from Tishbe:
18Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. Right now he is in Naboth's vineyard because he has gone down to take possession of it.
19You are to tell him: This is what the Lord says. Have you committed murder and seized this man's property?
Then you will say to him: This is what the Lord says. In the place where dogs licked Naboth's blood, dogs will lick your blood also.
20Then Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, my enemy?”
Elijah said,
I have found you, because you sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, who says, 21“I am bringing disaster against you, and I will burn you up. I will cut off from Ahab in Israel all those who urinate against the wall,[] both bound and free.[] 22I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the house of Ba'asha son of Ahijah, because you have provoked me to anger and caused Israel to sin.”
23Concerning Jezebel the Lord says, “Dogs will eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezre'el.” 24The dead who belong to Ahab in the city the dogs will eat, and the dead in the country the birds of the air will eat.
25There had never been anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, incited by his wife Jezebel. 26He committed obscene acts by following filthy idols, like everything that the Amorites had done, whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. 27But when Ahab heard these words, he cried out and tore his clothes. He put on sackcloth and fasted. He slept in sackcloth and went around in a subdued manner.
28Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah from Tishbe, saying, 29“Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring this disaster during his days, but during the days of his son I will bring disaster upon his house.”


  • 21:21 This seems to be a crude term used only when making threats of a violent death.
  • 21:21 It is uncertain to which specific groups of people these terms refer.