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Ahab Of Israel

Ahab, from the Hebrew name (pronounced) awk-awb, meaning a brother of his father, or a friend of his father, was the seventh king of the northern kingdom of Israel (see The Northern Kingdom). Ahab was the son and successor of King Omri (see Omri Of Israel). Note how the reign of a northern or southern king was often recorded in time reference to their counterpart in the other kingdom e.g. "in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah [see Kings of Israel and Judah] began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel."

"16:27 Now the rest of the acts of Omri which he did, and his might that he showed, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 16:28 So Omri slept [see The Sleep Of Death] with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria: and Ahab his son reigned in his stead.

16:29 And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah [see Asa Of Judah] began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years." (1 Kings 16:27-29 KJV)

"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"

Ahab's reign was the most evil of any king, north or south. Part of the depravity may have been due to the bewitching influence of Ahab's infamous wife Jezebel (she was apparently a very beautiful woman, who used her beauty for evil - just like Satan; see Face Of An Angel, Heart Of A Devil), but it was Ahab's own choice to let evil reign.

Jezreel

"16:30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD [i.e. of Jesus Christ; see Christ The Creator, 'Before Abraham Was, I AM' and 'The God Of The Old Testament'] above all that were before him.

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 [see Jeroboam Of Israel], that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal [see Baal-zebub and Beelzebub], and worshipped him. 16:32 And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. 16:33 And Ahab made a grove [see Groves]; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.

16:34 In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho [see Hiel's Lesson At Jericho]: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun.

It was no coincidence then that the prophet Elijah (see The Prophets: Elijah) was called to service in the time of Ahab and Jezebel. Through Elijah, the LORD struck their evil kingdom with a drought.

"17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word." (1 Kings 17:1 KJV)

Three years later, with Ahab's kingdom in the grip of famine, caused by the drought, the LORD permitted it to rain. Note that during the time of wrath, it was Jezebel who sought to kill the prophets of the LORD, including Elijah.

"18:1 And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, show thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.

18:2 And Elijah went to show himself unto Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria. 18:3 And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly:

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 18:1-4 KJV)

Ahab had become a typical liar-hypocrite "politician" (no doubt, if Ahab lived today, he would be elected to very high office, also greatly assisted by his "star" wife). Ahab blamed Elijah for the troubles that Ahab himself had brought upon the kingdom. The Showdown At Carmel followed, in which hundreds of Ahab and Jezebel's pagan prophets were killed in a confrontation with Elijah.

"18:17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?

18:18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim." (1 Kings 18:17-18 KJV)

The final condemnation of Ahab and Jezebel came when they murdered Naboth, so that they could steal his vineyard.

"21:17 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 21:18 Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it. 21:19 And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.

21:20 And Ahab said to Elijah, hast thou found me, O mine enemy?

And he answered, I have found thee; because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD. 21:21 Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, 21:22 And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin.

21:23 And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.

21:24 Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.

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. 21:26 And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel." (1 Kings 21:17-26 KJV)

The prophesied death of Ahab came about during a battle in which Israel and Judah were allied against Syria. An enemy archer fired a very "lucky" shot from a distance, aiming only at the body of troops. But what did he hit? King Ahab - the random shot not only hit the king himself, but also just "happened" to hit him between the sections of his armor where there was no protection. He bled through the day before dying at sunset. In a very ghastly spectacle, dogs licked up his blood from his chariot - just as The Lord had declared for his bloody wickedness.

"22:29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead. 22:30 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle." (1 Kings 22:29-30 KJV).

"22:34 And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. 22:35 And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot." (1 Kings 22:34-35 KJV)

"22:37 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria. 22:38 And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the LORD which he spake." (1 Kings 22:37-38 KJV)

Ahab was succeeded as king of Israel by his son Ahaziah.

"22:39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house which he made, and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 22:40 So Ahab slept with his fathers; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead." (1 Kings 22:39-40 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did Ahab's wife Jezebel also die for her wickedness, according to the word of the LORD through Elijah?
1 Kings 21:23, 2 Kings 9:30-37

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