fruits, "the Jezreelite," was the owner of a portion of ground on the eastern slope of the hill of Jezreel ( 2 Kings 9:25 2 Kings 9:26 ). This small "plat of ground" seems to have been all he possessed. It was a vineyard, and lay "hard by the palace of Ahab" ( 1 Kings 21:1 1 Kings 21:2 ), 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 ( Leviticus 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 ( 2 Kings 9:26 ; 1 Kings 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 ( 1 Kings 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 ( 2 Kings 9:26 ), and he was the chief instrument in inflicting this sentence on Ahab and Jezebel and all their house ( 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 ( 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 (Compare Psalms 109:17 Psalms 109:18 ).
(fruits ), the victim of Ahab and Jezebel, was the owner of a small vineyard at Jezreel, close to the royal palace of Shab. ( 1 Kings 21:1 1 Kings 21:2 ) (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, ( 2 Kings 9:26 ) 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.
na'-both, na'-both (nabhoth, from nubh, "a sprout"; Nabouthai):
The owner of a vineyard contiguous to the palace of King Ahab. The king desired, by purchase or exchange, to add the vineyard to his own grounds. Naboth, however, refused to part on any terms with his paternal inheritance. This refusal made Ahab "heavy and displeased" (1 Kings 21:4). Jezebel, the king's wife, then took the matter in hand, and by false accusation on an irrelevant charge procured the death of Naboth by stoning (1 Kings 21:7-14). As Ahab was on his way to take possession of the vineyard he met Elijah the prophet, who denounced his vile act and pronounced judgment on king and royal house. A temporary respite was given to Ahab because of a repentant mood (1 Kings 21:27-29); but later the blow fell, first upon himself in a conflict with Syria (1 Kings 22:34-40); then upon his house through a conspiracy of Jehu, in which Jehoram, Ahab's son, and Jezebel, his wife, were slain (2 Kings 9:25-26,30). In both cases the circumstances recalled the foul treatment of Naboth.
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