Sunday, September 26 2010
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.
"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.
"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.
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.
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?
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.
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).
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?
This Day In History, September 26
70: The fall of Jerusalem, as prophesied by Jesus Christ (see Vespasian).
1396: German and French "Crusaders" were defeated by Ottoman forces at Nicopolis (the Ottoman Empire, centered in Turkey, was the dominant imperial force in the Middle East for centuries; listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1580: Francis Drake returned to England after completing the first English voyage around the world.
1626: Lancelot Andrewes died at age 71. The English theologian and court preacher during the reigns of James I and Charles I oversaw the translation of the King James Version of the Holy Scriptures.
1687: The Parthenon (the great pagan temple that was built in 447 BC; see Paul In Athens) in Athens was severely damaged in a battle between the Ottomans and the Venetians.
1777: During the rebellion of the New England colonies that were established by the British in the wilderness over a century earlier, the British army temporarily took back control of the British-built city known as Philadelphia. The city was planned, built and named by William Penn, an English land developer sent by King James. Ironically, Pennsylvania was named after William Penn - a life-long loyal servant of the king (Penn was born and died in England) who was not involved in the rebellion.
1829: The British "Scotland Yard" police organization was founded.
1854: The "Charge of The Light Brigade" during the Crimean War (1853-1856). The suicidal charge of an English light-cavalry brigade during the Battle of Balaklava in the Ukraine was made famous in a poem by Alfred Tennyson.
1934: The British liner Queen Mary was launched.
1950: United Nations troops recaptured the South Korean capital of Seoul from the North Koreans.
1967: During the Vietnam civil war between the Vietnamese people of the north and south, of which France (in the 1940s and 1950s), then the U.S. (in the 1960s and 1970s) involved themselves, the government of North Vietnam rejected a U.S. peace proposal that would have made the division of Vietnam permanent.
1984: Britain and China agreed that Hong Kong would revert to Chinese control in 1997 (which it did).
1990: In Russia, the Supreme Soviet ended decades of religious repression with a new law that prohibited government interference in religious activities.
1997: With Germany re-united (again), Chancellor Helmut Kohl laid the foundation stone for a new Chancellery building in Berlin (see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!).