1 Kings 21

The Book of 1 Kings
Chapter 21

Chapter Overview:

Ahab covets Naboth's vineyard, ver. 1 - 4.
Jezebel procures Naboth to be stoned, ver. 5 - 14.
Ahab goes to take possession, ver. 15, 16
Elijah meets him, and denounces the judgment of God, ver. 17 - 24.
Upon his humiliation a reprieve is granted, ver. 25 - 29.
21:3The Lord forbid - For God had expressly, and for divers weighty reasons forbidden the alienation of lands from the tribes and families towhich they were allotted. And although these might have been alienated'till the jubilee, yet he durst not sell it to the king for that time;because he supposed, if once it came into the king's hand, neither he, norhis posterity, could ever recover it; and so he should both offend God, andwrong his posterity.
21:7Dost thou govern - Art thou fit to be king, that hast not courage to use thy power.
21:9A fast - To remove all suspicion of evil design in Ahab, and to beget a good opinion of him amongst his people, as if he were grownzealous for God's honour, and careful of his people's welfare, andtherefore desirous to enquire into all those sins which provoked Godagainst them. On high - On a scaffold, or high - place, where malefactorswere usually placed, that they might be seen, and heard by all the people.
21:10Blaspheme God and the king - Indeed his blaspheming God would only be the forfeiture of his life, not his estate. Therefore he ischarged with treason also, that his estate may be confiscated, and soAhab have his vineyard.
21:13Stoned him - And it seems his sons too, either with him or after him. For God afterward says, ( 9:26 )I have seen the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons.Let us commit the keeping of our lives and comforts to God; for innocenceitself will not always be our security.
21:19Saying - Thou hast murdered an innocent man; and instead of repenting for it, hast added another piece of injustice and violenceto it, and art going confidently and chearfully to reap the fruit ofthy wickedness. Thy blood - The threatening was so directed at first;but afterwards, upon his humiliation, the punishment was transferredfrom him to his son, as is expressed, ver. 29 ,yet upon Ahab's returning to sin, in the next chapter, he brings backthe curse upon himself, and so it is no wonder if it be in some sortfulfilled in him also.
21:20Hast thou found - Dost thou pursue me from place to place?Wilt thou never let me rest? Art thou come after me hither with thyunwelcome messages? Thou art always disturbing, threatening, and opposingme. I have - The hand of God hath found and overtaken thee. Soldthyself - Thou hast wholly resigned up thyself to be the bondslave of thedevil, as a man that sells himself to another is totally in his master'spower. To work evil, &c. - Impudently and contemptuously. Those whogive themselves up to sin will certainly be found out, sooner or later,to their unspeakable amazement.
21:23By the wall - Or, in the portion, as it is explained 9:36 .
21:24Him that dieth, &c. - Punishments after death are here most insisted on. And these, tho' lighting on the body only, yet undoubtedlywere designed as figures of the soul's misery in an after state.
21:25Was none - None among all the kings of Israel which hadbeen before him. Whom Jezebel - This is added to shew, that temptationsto sin are no excuse to the sinner.
21:27Softly - Slowly and silently, after the manner of mourners, or those who are under a great consternation.
21:29Humbleth himself - His humiliation was real, though not lasting, and accordingly pleasing to God. This discovers the great goodness of God,and his readiness to shew mercy. It teaches us to take notice of that whichis good, even in the worst of men. It gives a reason why wicked personsoften prosper: God rewards what little good is in them. And it encouragestrue penitents. If even Ahab goes to his house reprieved, doubtlessthey shall go to their houses justified.