Near King Ahab's palace in Jezreel there was a vineyard owned by a man named Naboth.
One day Ahab said to Naboth, "Let me have your vineyard; it is close to my palace, and I want to use the land for a vegetable garden. I will give you a better vineyard for it or, if you prefer, I will pay you a fair price."
"I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors," Naboth replied. "The Lord forbid that I should let you have it!"
Ahab went home, depressed and angry over what Naboth had said to him. He lay down on his bed, facing the wall, and would not eat.
His wife Jezebel went to him and asked, "Why are you so depressed? Why won't you eat?"
He answered, "Because of what Naboth said to me. I offered to buy his vineyard or, if he preferred, to give him another one for it, but he told me that I couldn't have it!"
"Well, are you the king or aren't you?" Jezebel replied. "Get out of bed, cheer up, and eat. I will get you Naboth's vineyard!"
Then she wrote some letters, signed Ahab's name to them, sealed them with his seal, and sent them to the officials and leading citizens of Jezreel.
The letters said: "Proclaim a day of fasting, call the people together, and give Naboth the place of honor.
Get a couple of scoundrels to accuse him to his face of cursing God and the king. Then take him out of the city and stone him to death."
The officials and leading citizens of Jezreel did what Jezebel had commanded.
They proclaimed a day of fasting, called the people together, and gave Naboth the place of honor.
The two scoundrels publicly accused him of cursing God and the king, and so he was taken outside the city and stoned to death.
The message was sent to Jezebel: "Naboth has been put to death."
As soon as Jezebel received the message, she said to Ahab, "Naboth is dead. Now go and take possession of the vineyard which he refused to sell to you."
At once Ahab went to the vineyard to take possession of it.
Then the Lord said to Elijah, the prophet from Tishbe,
"Go to King Ahab of Samaria. You will find him in Naboth's vineyard, about to take possession of it.