Jezebel - Wicked Queen of Israel

Profile of Jezebel, Enemy of the True God

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Jezebel, The Heathen Queen. Getty Images

No woman in the Bible is more identified with wickedness and treachery than Jezebel the Queen of Israel, wife of King Ahab and persecutor of the prophets of God.

Her name, which means "chaste" or "where is the prince," became so associated with evil that even today women who are deceitful are called a "Jezebel." Her story is told in the books of 1 Kings and 2 Kings.

Earlier in Israel's history, King Solomon had entered many alliances with neighboring countries by marrying their princesses.

Ahab did not learn from that mistake, which led Solomon into idolatry. Instead, Ahab married Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal, king of Sidon, and she too took him down the path of Baal worship. Baal was the most popular Canaanite god.

Ahab built an altar and temple to Baal in Samaria, and a place of worship for the pagan goddess Asherah. Jezebel plotted to wipe out the prophets of Jehovah, but God raised a mighty prophet to stand against her: Elijah the Tishbite.

The confrontation took place at Mount Carmel, where Elijah called down fire from heaven and slaughtered hundreds of Jezebel's prophets. She, in turn, threatened Elijah's life, causing him to flee.

Meanwhile, Ahab coveted a vineyard owned by an innocent man, Naboth. Jezebel used Ahab's signet ring to issue a royal order that Naboth be stoned for blasphemy. After the murder, Ahab prepared to take the vineyard, but Elijah stopped him.

Ahab repented, and Elijah cursed Jezebel, saying she would be killed and dogs would eat her body, not leaving enough to bury.

Then came Jehu, a violent avenger for God, to destroy the wickedness in the land. When Jehu entered the city of Jezreel, Jezebel painted her face and eyes and mocked Jehu. He ordered some eunuchs to throw her out a window.

She fell to her death, and Jehu's horses trampled over her.

After Jehu had eaten and rested, he ordered men to bury Jezebel's body, but all they found was her skull, her feet, and the palms of her hands. Dogs had eaten her, just as Elijah had foretold.

Accomplishments of Jezebel:

Jezebel's accomplishments were sinful, establishing Baal worship throughout Israel and turning people away from the God who had rescued them from slavery in Egypt.

Jezebel's Strengths:

Jezebel was smart but used her intelligence for wrong purposes. Although she had great influence over her husband, she corrupted him, leading both him and herself to downfall.

Jezebel's Weaknesses:

Jezebel was selfish, deceitful, manipulative, and immoral. She refused to worship the True God of Israel, leading the entire country astray.

Life Lessons:

Only God is deserving of our worship, not the modern idols of materialism, wealth, power, or fame. Those who disobey God's commandments for their own greedy desires should expect horrible consequences.

Hometown:

Jezebel came from Sidon, a Phoenician seacoast city.

Referenced in the Bible:

1 Kings 16:31; 18:4, 13; 19:1-2; 21:5-25; 2 Kings 9:7, 10, 22, 30, 37; Revelation 2:20.

Occupation:

Queen of Israel.

Family Tree:

Father - Ethbaal
Husband - Ahab
Sons - Joram, Ahaziah

Key Verses:

1 Kings 16:31
He (Ahab) not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. (NIV)

1 Kings 19:2
So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, "May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them." (NIV)

2 Kings 9:35-37
But when they went out to bury her, they found nothing except her skull, her feet and her hands. They went back and told Jehu, who said, "This is the word of the LORD that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs will devour Jezebel's flesh. Jezebel's body will be like refuse on the ground in the plot at Jezreel, so that no one will be able to say, 'This is Jezebel.'" (NIV)

Old Testament People of the Bible (Index)
New Testament People of the Bible (Index)

Jack Zavada, a career writer and contributor for About.com, is host to a Christian website for singles. Never married, Jack feels that the hard-won lessons he has learned may help other Christian singles make sense of their lives. His articles and ebooks offer great hope and encouragement. To contact him or for more information, visit Jack's Bio Page.

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Zavada, Jack. "Jezebel - Wicked Queen of Israel." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2016, thoughtco.com/jezebel-wicked-queen-of-israel-701159. Zavada, Jack. (2016, February 16). Jezebel - Wicked Queen of Israel. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/jezebel-wicked-queen-of-israel-701159 Zavada, Jack. "Jezebel - Wicked Queen of Israel." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/jezebel-wicked-queen-of-israel-701159 (accessed December 18, 2017).