Melachim Alef 21

1 1 And it came to pass after these things, that Navot the Yizre’eli had a kerem (vineyard), which was in Yizre’el (Jezreel), beside the heikhal (palace) Ach’av Melech Shomron.
2 And Ach’av spoke unto Navot, saying, Give me thy kerem (vineyard), that I may have it for an herb gan (garden), because it is karov (near) unto my Bais; and I will give thee in exchange for it a tov kerem (better vineyard) than it; or, if it seem tov in thine eyes, I will give thee the worth of it in kesef.
3 And Navot said to Ach’av, Chalilah li me’Hashem (far be it from me before Hashem), that I should give the nachalat Avoti unto thee.
4 And Ach’av came into his Bais sar veza’ef (sullen and dejected) because of the davar which Navot the Yizre’eli had spoken to him; for he had said, I will not give thee the nachalat avoti. And he lay down upon his mittah, and turned away his face, and would eat no lechem.
5 But Izevel his isha came to him, and said unto him, Mah zeh (What [is] this?) Thy ruach is sarah (sullen), that thou eatest no lechem?
6 And he said unto her, Because I spoke unto Navot the Yizre’eli and said unto him, Give me thy kerem (vineyard) for kesef; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another kerem (vineyard) in its place; but he answered, I will not give thee my kerem (vineyard).
7 And Izevel his isha said unto him, What a grand sovereign over Yisroel you are! Arise, and eat lechem, and let thine lev be cheerful; I will give thee the kerem (vineyard) of Navot the Yizre’eli.
8 So she wrote sefarim (letters) b’shem Ach’av, and sealed them with his chotam (seal), and sent the sefarim unto the zekenim and to the chorim (nobles, rulers) that were in his city, dwelling with Navot.
9 And she wrote in the sefarim, saying, Proclaim a tzom, and set Navot on high among the people;
10 And seat two men, bnei beliyaal, opposite him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst upon Elohim and Melech make a [blasphemous] brocha! And then take him out, and stone him, that he may die.
11 And the anashim of his city, even the zekenim and the chorim (nobles) who were the inhabitants in his city, did just as Izevel had sent unto them, and just as it was written in the sefarim which she had sent unto them.
12 They proclaimed a tzom, and seated Navot on high among the people.
13 And there came in two anashim, bnei beliyaal, and sat opposite him; and the anashim of beliyaal witnessed against him, even against Navot, in the presence of the people, saying, Navot blasphemed Elohim vaMelech! Then they took him forth outside of the Ir, and stoned him with stones, that he died.
14 Then they sent to Izevel, saying, Navot is stoned, and is dead.
15 And it came to pass, when Izevel heard that Navot was stoned, and was dead, that Izevel said to Ach’av, Arise, take possession of the kerem of Navot the Yizre’eli, which he refused to give thee for kesef; for Navot is not chai (alive), but met (dead).
16 And it came to pass, when Ach’av heard that Navot was dead, that Ach’av rose up to go down to the kerem of Navot the Yizre’eli, to take possession of it.
17 And the Devar Hashem came to Eliyahu the Tishbi, saying,
18 Arise, go down to meet Ach’av Melech Yisroel, which is in Shomron; hinei, he is in the kerem of Navot, where he has gone down to take [inheritance] possession of it.
19 And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith Hashem, Hast thou committed murder, then also hast thou inherited? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith Hashem, In the makom (place) where kelavim licked the dahm Navot shall kelavim lick thy dahm also, even thine.
20 And Ach’av said to Eliyahu, Hast thou found me, O mine oyev? And he answered, I have found thee; because thou hast sold thyself to work rah in front of the eyes of Hashem.
21 Hineni, I will bring ra’ah upon thee, and will utterly sweep thee away, and will cut off from Ach’av mashtin b’kir (him that urinates against a wall, i. e., all males), atzur (bond) and azuv (free) in Yisroel,
22 And will make thine Bais like the Bais Yarov‘am Ben Nevat, and like the Bais Ba’asha Ben Achiyah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked Me to anger, and caused Yisroel to sin.
23 And of Izevel also spoke Hashem, saying, The kelavim shall devour Izevel by the wall of Yizre’el.
24 Him of Ach’av that dieth in the Ir the kelavim shall devour; and him that dieth in the sadeh shall the oph haShomayim devour.
25 But there was none like unto Ach’av, which did sell himself to work rah before the eyes of Hashem, whom Izevel his isha urged on.
26 And he acted monstrously in going after gillulim (idols), according to all things as did HaEmori, whom Hashem drove out before the Bnei Yisroel.
27 And it came to pass, when Ach’av heard those words, that he tore his begadim, put sackcloth upon his basar, did a tzom, lay in sackcloth, and walked about subdued.
28 And the Devar Hashem came to Eliyahu the Tishbi, saying,
29 Seest thou how Ach’av humbleth himself before Me? because he humbleth himself before Me, I will not bring hara’ah in his days: but in the yamim bno will I bring ra’ah (disaster) upon his Bais [See 2Kgs 9:23-26].

Melachim Alef 21 Commentary

Chapter 21

Ahab covets Naboth's vineyard. (1-4) Naboth murdered by Jezebel. (5-16) Elijah denounces judgments against Ahab. (17-29)

Verses 1-4 Naboth, perhaps, had been pleased that he had a vineyard situated so near the palace, but the situation proved fatal to him; many a man's possessions have been his snare, and his neighbourhood to greatness, of bad consequence. Discontent is a sin that is its own punishment, and makes men torment themselves. It is a sin that is its own parent; it arises not from the condition, but from the mind: as we find Paul contented in a prison, so Ahab was discontented in a palace. He had all the delights of Canaan, that pleasant land, at command; the wealth of a kingdom, the pleasures of a court, and the honours and powers of a throne; yet all avails him nothing without Naboth's vineyard. Wrong desires expose men to continual vexations, and those that are disposed to fret, however well off, may always find something or other to fret at.

Verses 5-16 When, instead of a help meet, a man has an agent for Satan, in the form of an artful, unprincipled, yet beloved wife, fatal effects may be expected. Never were more wicked orders given by any prince, than those Jezebel sent to the rulers of Jezreel. Naboth must be murdered under colour of religion. There is no wickedness so vile, so horrid, but religion has sometimes been made a cover for it. Also, it must be done under colour of justice, and with the formalities of legal process. Let us, from this sad story, be amazed at the wickedness of the wicked, and the power of Satan in the children of disobedience. Let us commit the keeping of our lives and comforts to God, for innocence will not always be our security; and let us rejoice in the knowledge that all will be set to rights in the great day.

Verses 17-29 Blessed Paul complains that he was sold under sin, Ro. 7:14 , as a poor captive against his will; but Ahab was willing, he sold himself to sin; of choice, and as his own act and deed, he loved the dominion of sin. Jezebel his wife stirred him up to do wickedly. Ahab is reproved, and his sin set before his eyes, by Elijah. That man's condition is very miserable, who has made the word of God his enemy; and very desperate, who reckons the ministers of that word his enemies, because they tell him the truth. Ahab put on the garb and guise of a penitent, yet his heart was unhumbled and unchanged. Ahab's repentance was only what might be seen of men; it was outward only. Let this encourage all that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe the holy gospel, that if a pretending partial penitent shall go to his house reprieved, doubtless, a sincere believing penitent shall go to his house justified.

Chapter Summary


In this chapter we have an account of Ahab's design to have Naboth's vineyard, for which he offered him another, or the value of that, but Naboth refusing to part with it, Ahab fell sick, 1Ki 21:1-4, the reason of which being found out by Jezebel, she devised means to get Naboth put to death under the colour of justice for blasphemy, 1Ki 21:5-14, and then bid Ahab go and take possession of the vineyard, where he was met by Elijah, who denounced the judgments of God upon him, and Jezebel, and all his family, for his injustice, 1Ki 21:15-26, but he humbling himself, the evil threatened was deferred to the days of his son, 1Ki 21:27-29.

Melachim Alef 21 Commentaries

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