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Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Ahab, 1

A´hab (Father's brother), son of Omri, and the sixth king of Israel, who reigned twenty-two years, beginning in B.C. 918and ending in 897. Ahab was, upon the whole, the weakest of all the Israelitish monarchs; and although there are occasional traits of character which show that he was not without good feelings and dispositions, the history of his reign shows that weakness of character in a king may sometimes be as injurious in its effects as wickedness. Many of the evils of his reign may be ascribed to the close connection which he formed with the Phoenicians. The wife of Ahab was Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal, or Ithobaal, king of Tyre. She was a woman of a decided and energetic character, and, as such, soon established that influence over her husband which such women always acquire over weak, and not infrequently also over strong, men. Ahab, being entirely under the control of Jezebel, sanctioned the introduction, and eventually established the worship of the Phoenician idols, and especially of the sun-god Baal. Hitherto the golden calves in Dan and Bethel had been the only objects of idolatrous worship in Israel, and they were intended as symbols of Jehovah. But all reserve and limitation were now abandoned. The king built a temple at Samaria, and erected an image, and consecrated a grove to Baal. A multitude of the priests and prophets of Baal were maintained. Idolatry became the predominant religion; and Jehovah, with the golden calves as symbolical representations of him, were viewed with no more reverence than Baal and his image. At length the judgment of God on Ahab and on his house was pronounced by Elijah, that, during the reign of his son, his whole race should be exterminated. Ahab died of the wounds which he received in a battle with the Syrians, according to a prediction of Micaiah, which the king disbelieved, but yet endeavored to avert by disguising himself in the action (1 Kings 16:29; 1 Kings 22:40).

Ahab and Zedekiah, 2

The names of two false prophets, who deceived the Israelites at Babylon. For this they were threatened by Jeremiah, who foretold that they should be put to death by the king of Babylon in the presence of those whom they had beguiled; and that in following times it should become a common malediction to say, 'The Lord make thee like what and Zedekiah, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire' (Jeremiah 29:21-22).





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Ahab'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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