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1 Kings 21:5 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, “How is it that your spirit is so sullen that you are not eating food?”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said to him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Jezebel his wife came to him, and said to him, Why is thy spirit sullen, and thou eatest no bread?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Then came unto him Jezebel his wife,—and said unto him—Why is it, that thy spirit is sullen, that thou art, not eating food?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Jezebel his wife cometh in unto him, and speaketh unto him, 'What [is] this?—thy spirit sulky, and thou art not eating bread!'
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And Jezabel, his wife, went in to him, and said to him: What is the matter that thy soul is so grieved? and why eatest thou no bread?
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— But Iezebel his wife came to him, and said vnto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And Jezebel{gr.Jezabel} his wife went in to him, and spoke to him, [saying], Why [is] thy spirit troubled, and [why] dost thou eat no bread?
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— But Izevel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
But “Īzevel אִיזֶבֶל 348
{0348} Prime
From H0336 and H2083; chaste, Izebel, the wife of king Ahab.
his wife 802
{0802} Prime
The first form is the feminine of H0376 or H0582; the second form is an irregular plural; a woman (used in the same wide sense as H0582).
came 935
{0935} Prime
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
to x413
(0413) Complement
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
him, and said 1696
{1696} Prime
A primitive root; perhaps properly to arrange; but used figuratively (of words) to speak; rarely (in a destructive sense) to subdue.
<8762> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 2447
unto x413
(0413) Complement
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
him, Why x4100
(4100) Complement
A primitive particle; properly interrogitive what? (including how?, why? and when?); but also exclamations like what! (including how!), or indefinitely what (including whatever, and even relatively that which); often used with prefixes in various adverbial or conjugational senses.
(2088) Complement
A primitive word; the masculine demonstrative pronoun, this or that.
is thy spirit 7307
{7307} Prime
From H7306; wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions).
so sad, 5620
{5620} Prime
From H5637 contracted; peevish.
that thou eatest 398
{0398} Prime
A primitive root; to eat (literally or figuratively).
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
no x369
(0369) Complement
As if from a primitive root meaning to be nothing or not exist; a non-entity; generally used as a negative particle.
bread? 3899
{3899} Prime
From H3898; food (for man or beast), especially bread, or grain (for making it).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Kings 21:5

_ _ 1 Kings 21:5-16. Jezebel causes Naboth to be stoned.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

1 Kings 21:5-16

_ _ Nothing but mischief is to be expected when Jezebel enters into the story — that cursed woman, 2 Kings 9:34.

_ _ I. Under pretence of comforting her afflicted husband, she feeds his pride and passion, and blows the coals of his corruptions. It became her to take notice of his grief and to enquire into the cause of it, 1 Kings 21:5. Those have forgotten both the duty and affection of the conjugal relation that interest not themselves in each other's troubles. He told her what troubled him (1 Kings 21:6), yet invidiously concealed Naboth's reason for his refusal, representing it as peevish, when it was conscientious — I will not give it thee, whereas he said, I may not. What! says Jezebel (1 Kings 21:7), Dost thou govern Israel? Arise, and eat bread. She does well to persuade him to shake off his melancholy, and not to sink under his burden, to be easy and cheerful; whatever was his grief, grieving would not redress it, but pleasantness would alleviate it. Her plea is, Dost thou now govern Israel? This is capable of a good sense: “Does it become so great a prince as thou art to cast thyself down for so small a matter? Thou shamest thyself, and profanest thy crown; it is below thee to take notice of so inconsiderable a thing. Art thou fit to govern Israel, who hast no better a government of thy own passions? Or hast thou so rich a kingdom at command and canst not thou be without this one vineyard?” We should learn to quiet ourselves, under our crosses, with the thoughts of the mercies we enjoy, especially our hopes of the kingdom. But she meant it in a bad sense: “Dost thou govern Israel, and shall any subject thou hast deny thee any thing thou hast a mind to? Art thou a king? It is below thee to buy and pay, much more to beg and pray; use thy prerogative, and take by force what thou canst not compass by fair means; instead of resenting the affront thus, revenge it. If thou knowest not how to support the dignity of a king, let me alone to do it; give me but leave to make use of thy name, and I will soon give thee the vineyard of Naboth; right or wrong, it shall be thy own shortly, and cost thee nothing.” Unhappy princes those are, and hurried apace towards their ruin, who have those about them that stir them up to acts of tyranny and teach them how to abuse their power.

_ _ II. In order to gratify him, she projects and compasses the death of Naboth. No less than his blood will serve to atone for the affront he has given to Ahab, which she thirsts after the more greedily because of his adherence to the law of the God of Israel.

_ _ 1. Had she aimed only at his land, her false witnesses might have sworn him out of that by a forged deed (she could not have set up so weak a title but the elders of Jezreel would have adjudged it good); but the adulteress will hunt for the precious life, Proverbs 6:26. Revenge is sweet. Naboth must die, and die as a malefactor, to gratify it.

_ _ (1.) Never were more wicked orders given by any prince than those which Jezebel sent to the magistrates of Jezreel, 1 Kings 21:8-10. She borrows the privy-seal, but the king shall not know what she will do with it. It is probable this was not the first time he had lent it to her, but that with it she had signed warrants for the slaying of the prophets. She makes use of the king's name, knowing the thing would please him when it was done, yet fearing he might scruple at the manner of doing it; in short, she commands them, upon their allegiance, to put Naboth to death, without giving them any reason for so doing. Had she sent witnesses to inform against him, the judges (who must go secundum allegata et probataaccording to allegations and proofs) might have been imposed upon, and their sentence might have been rather their unhappiness than their crime; but to oblige them to find the witnesses, sons of Belial, to suborn them themselves, and then to give judgment upon a testimony which they knew to be false, was such an impudent defiance to every thing that is just and sacred as we hope cannot be paralleled in any story. She must have looked upon the elders of Jezreel as men perfectly lost to every thing that is honest and honourable when she expected these orders should be obeyed. But she will put them in a way how to do it, having as much of the serpent's subtlety as she had of his poison. [1.] It must be done under colour of religion: “Proclaim a fast; signify to your city that you are apprehensive of some dreadful judgment coming upon you, which you must endeavour to avert, not only by prayer, but by finding out and by putting away the accursed thing; pretend to be afraid that there is some great offender among you undiscovered, for whose sake God is angry with your city; charge the people, if they know of any such, on that solemn occasion to inform against him, as they regard the welfare of the city; and at last let Naboth be fastened upon as the suspected person, probably because he does not join with his neighbours in their worship. This may serve for a pretence to set him on high among the people, to call him to the bar. Let proclamation be made that, if any one can inform the court against the prisoner, and prove him to be the Achan, they shall be heard; and then let the witnesses appear to give evidence against him.” Note, There is no wickedness so vile, so horrid, but religion has sometimes been made a cloak and cover for it. We must not think at all the worse of fasting and praying for their having been sometimes thus abused, but much the worse of those wicked designs that have at any time been carried on under the shelter of them. [2.] It must be done under colour of justice too, and with the formalities of a legal process. Had she sent to them to hire some of their danbitti, some desperate suffirans, to assassinate him, to stab him as he went along the streets in the night, the deed would have been bad enough; but to destroy him by a course of law, to use that power for the murdering of the innocent which ought to be their protection, was such a violent perversion of justice and judgment as was truly monstrous, yet such as we are directed not to marvel at, Ecclesiastes 5:8. The crime they must lay to his charge was blaspheming God and the king — a complicated blasphemy. Surely she could not think to put a blasphemous sense upon the answer he had given to Ahab, as if denying him his vineyard were blaspheming the king, and giving the divine law for the reason were blaspheming God. No, she pretends not any ground at all for the charge: though there was no colour of truth in it, the witnesses must swear it, and Naboth must not be permitted to speak for himself, or cross-examine the witnesses, but immediately, under pretence of a universal detestation of the crime, they must carry him out and stone him. His blaspheming God would be the forfeiture of his life, but not of his estate, and therefore he is also charged with treason, in blaspheming the king, for which his estate was to be confiscated, that so Ahab might have his vineyard.

_ _ (2.) Never were wicked orders more wickedly obeyed than these were by the magistrates of Jezreel. They did not so much as dispute the command nor make any objections against it, though so palpably unjust, but punctually observed all the particulars of it, either because they feared Jezebel's cruelty or because they hated Naboth's piety, or both: They did as it was written in the letters (1 Kings 21:11, 1 Kings 21:12), neither made any difficulty of it, nor met with any difficulty in it, but cleverly carried on the villany. They stoned Naboth to death (1 Kings 21:13), and, as it should seem, his sons with him, or after him; for, when God came to make inquisition for blood, we find this article in the account (2 Kings 9:26), I have seen the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons. Perhaps they were secretly murdered, that they might not claim their father's estate nor complain of the wrong done him.

_ _ 2. Let us take occasion from this sad story, (1.) To stand amazed at the wickedness of the wicked, and the power of Satan in the children of disobedience. What a holy indignation may we be filled with to see wickedness in the place of judgment! Ecclesiastes 3:16. (2.) To lament the hard case of oppressed innocency, and to mingle our tears with the tears of the oppressed that have no comforter, while on the side of the oppressors there is power, Ecclesiastes 4:1. (3.) To commit the keeping of our lives and comforts to God, for innocency itself will not always be our security. (4.) To rejoice in the belief of a judgment to come, in which such wrong judgments as these will be called over. Now we see that there are just men to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked (Ecclesiastes 8:14), but all will be set to rights in the great day.

_ _ III. Naboth being taken off, Ahab takes possession of his vineyard. 1. The elders of Jezreel sent notice to Jezebel very unconcernedly, sent it to her as a piece of agreeable news, Naboth is stoned and is dead, 1 Kings 21:14. Here let us observe that, as obsequious as the elders of Jezreel were to Jezebel's orders which she sent from Samaria for the murder of Naboth, so obsequious were the elders of Samaria afterwards to Jehu's orders which he sent from Jezreel for the murder of Ahab's seventy sons, only that was not done by course of law, 2 Kings 10:6, 2 Kings 10:7. Those tyrants that by their wicked orders debauch the consciences of their inferior magistrates may perhaps find at last the wheel return upon them, and that those who will not stick to do one cruel thing for them will be as ready to do another cruel thing against them. 2. Jezebel, jocund enough that her plot succeeded so well, brings notice to Ahab that Naboth is not alive, but dead; therefore, says she, Arise, take possession of his vineyard, 1 Kings 21:15. He might have taken possession by one of his officers, but so pleased is he with this accession to his estate that he will make a journey to Jezreel himself to enter upon it; and it should seem he went in state too, as if he had obtained some mighty victory, for Jehu remembers long after that he and Bidkar attended him at this time, 2 Kings 9:25. If Naboth's sons were all put to death, Ahab thought himself entitled to the estate, ob defectum sanguinisin default of heirs (as our law expresses it); if not, yet, Naboth dying as a criminal, he claimed it ob delictum criminisas forfeited by his crime. Or, if neither would make him a good title, the absolute power of Jezebel would give it to him, and who would dare to oppose her will? Might often prevails against right, and wonderful is the divine patience that suffers it to do so. God is certainly of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, and yet for a time keeps silence when the wicked devours the man that is more righteous than he, Habakkuk 1:13.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

1 Kings 21:25 But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.
1 Kings 16:31 And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.
1 Kings 18:4 For it was [so], when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)
1 Kings 19:2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do [to me], and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.
Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Why is thy spirit:

2 Samuel 13:4 And he said unto him, Why [art] thou, [being] the king's son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.
Nehemiah 2:2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why [is] thy countenance sad, seeing thou [art] not sick? this [is] nothing [else] but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,
Esther 4:5 Then called Esther for Hatach, [one] of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it [was], and why it [was].
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Gn 3:6. 2S 13:4. 1K 16:31; 18:4; 19:2; 21:25. Ne 2:2. Es 4:5.

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