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Holman Bible Dictionary


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(jehz' eh behl) Personal name meaning, “Where is the prince?” perhaps derived from Phoenician name meaning, “Baal is the prince.” Wife of King Ahab of Israel (874-853 B.C.), who brought the worship of Baal from Sidon, where her father Ethbaal was king (1 Kings 16:31 ). Jezebel tried to destroy all God's prophets in Israel (1 Kings 18:4 ), while installing prophets of Baal and Asherah (1 Kings 18:19 , modern translations) as part of the royal household. Elijah proved these prophets to be false on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:1 ), bringing Jezebel's threat to kill Elijah (1 Kings 19:2 ). Elijah ran for his life to Beersheba.

When Ahab wanted Naboth's vineyard, Jezebel connived with the leaders of the city who falsely accused and convicted Naboth, stoning him to death. Elijah then prophesied Jezebel's death, she being the one who had “stirred up” Ahab to wickedness (1 Kings 21:1 ). She continued her evil influence as her son Joram ruled (2 Kings 9:22 ). Elisha anointed Jehu to replace Joram. Jehu assassinated Joram and then went to Jezreel after Jezebel. She tried to adorn herself and entice him, but her servants obeyed Jehu's call to throw her from the window to the street, where horses trod her in the ground (2 Kings 9:30-37 ).

Jezebel's name became so associated with wickedness that the false prophetess in the church at Thyatira was labeled, “Jezebel” (Revelation 2:20 ).

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Jezebel'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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