They seemed to get away with it
There are times when the Eternal decides not to take the life of someone who is evil but rather lets them live and die subject to the same time and chance that affects all humans. Although the below Biblical people did more than their share of wrong, the Bible does not record the Eternal intervening to cause their deaths. This is not to say that they ultimately "get away with" doing wrong as, after death, all humans will appear before the Almighty's judgment seat (Hebrews 9:27).
King Ahab is arguably the most evil king of the Northern Ten Tribes of Israel. Ahab was the first Israelite king to marry a heathen (non-Israel) woman, the beautiful but devilish Jezebel who worshipped the pagan god Baal. She encouraged him to lead the children of Israel further down the path of totally rejecting God, a path that ultimately lead to the nation's captivity. No less than Elijah the Prophet confronted the king several times regarding his deeds (see 1Kings 17 - 18). According to the Bible, his wife not only fed and cared for the more than 800 false prophets of Asherah and Baal, she had the evil tenacity to vow she would have Elijah murdered (1Kings 18 - 19). She also arranged the murder of a vineyard owner named Naboth when her husband could not take control of the land by himself (1Kings 21).
Ahaz ruled the Kingdom of Judah from 735 to 715 B.C. He not only indulged in offering sacrifices to pagan gods, he also burned incense to idols on many hilltops, under spreading trees and on many street corners of Jerusalem. He also burned HIS OWN CHILDREN as a perverse sacrifice to one of his pagan deities (2Kings 16:3 - 4, 2Chronicles 28:24). Considered one of the worst kings to rule Judah, he died an unspecified death (2Chronicles 28:27).
Baasha was the third ruler over the people of the Northern Kingdom. He built the fortified city of Ramah to insure that none of his subjects could enter or exit Judah (1Kings 15:16-17). He then proceeded to murder Nadab, his predecessor as king, and his ENTIRE royal family (verses 27 - 29).
Doeg was from the tribe of Edom and served as King Saul's head shepherd (1Samuel 21:7). At the King's command he MURDERED not only Ahimelech the High Priest but also many other priests. He then travelled to the priestly city of Nob, where the High Priest lived, and killed in cold blood everything he could find.
. . . And Doeg the Edomite turned and fell upon the priests. And on that day he killed eighty-five persons who wore a linen ephod. 19. And he struck Nob, the city of the priests, with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and babes, and oxen, and donkeys, and sheep, with the edge of the sword (1Samuel 22:18 - 19, Holy Bible Faithful Version)
King David, when informed of Doeg's evil, composes Psalm 52.
Hazael, an official in the King of Syria's court, was anointed to be the next Syrian ruler by Elijah the prophet (1Kings 19:15). Just before assuming office, Elisha the prophet visited him and foretold of the evil he would bring upon the Israelites.
" . . . I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel. You will set their strongholds on fire, and you will kill their young men with the sword, and will dash their children, and rip up their women with child" (2Kings 8:12, Holy Bible Faithful Version)
God allowed Hazael to persecute his people for at least 17 years because of their sins (2Kings 10:32, 13:3, 22).
Menahem was the sixteenth king of Israel. Known for being brutal, he murdered King Shallum in order to take the throne (2Kings 15:14). His rage was such that, when a certain area did not accept him, he responded with evil vengeance.
16. Then Menahem struck Tiphsah, and all in it, and its borders, from Tirzah. Because they did not open their gates to him, he struck it. He ripped up all its pregnant women (2Kings 15:16, Holy Bible Faithful Version)
Herod the Great, fearful of losing his power and prestige, attempted but failed to trick the Parthian Magi to track down where baby Jesus lived in order to kill him. He then took the drastic and diabolical measure to kill ALL the male children living in Bethlehem who were two years old or younger (Matthew 2) and forced Christ's parent to flee. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, Herod committed still more evil acts. He appointed people to be the temple's High Priest then later had them killed. He also raided King David's tomb for anything he could steal and sell. His family life was a mess, no doubt due to him KILLING family members and even accusing his own sons of crimes before Caesar in Rome!
Herod Antipas was Rome's ruler over Galilee and Perea from about 4 B.C. to 39 A.D. He married his brother's wife Heriodias, which was considered INCEST and against the law of God. John the Baptist condemned the marriage (Mark 6:17 - 19). Herodias found out about John's condemnation and convinced her husband to put him in prison. Heriodias, who wanted John dead, had her opportunity to murder him during Herod's birthday celebration. After her daughter danced and got Herod to promised her anything, Heriodias coached her to ask for John's head (Matthew 14:8). Herod granted the request and the gruesome spectacle of John the Baptist's head on a platter of silver was first given to Heriodias' daughter who then delivered it to her mother (Matthew 14:11). After John's death it became clear that Herod also wanted Jesus dead (Luke 13:31 - 32). After Jesus' arrest Herod mocks him to his face and belittles his claim of being a king by placing a royal robe on him (Luke 23:5 - 12).
Sins that got God's attention
On rare occasions, God chooses to carry out his judgment against individuals by causing their deaths. The Bible records sometimes individuals are killed directly by the Almighty and sometimes circumstances are brought to bear that cause them to die. Not all of the people, however, receive the death penalty for living a life of sin and self-indulgence. A few, such as Abihu and Nadab, were dedicated full time to serving the Eternal but made a serious mistake that cost them their lives.
Those who received the death penalty include Er and Onan (children of the patriarch Judah), Lot's wife (Genesis 19:17, 26) and an unnamed man for breaking the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32 - 36). Korah, Dathan, Abiram, their families, and 250 other people die after their evil rebellion against Moses and Aaron (Numbers 16). Fire came from God and consumed Abihu and Nadab when they offered before him "strange fire" (Leviticus 10:1 - 2).
A man named Uzzah died when he tried to steady the Ark of the Covenant (2Samuel 6:7). Phinehas and Hophni, sons of the High Priest Eli, died on the same day for abusing their positions of authority at the tabernacle (1Samuel 4:1 - 11).
King Jeroboam of Israel and King Jehoram (Joram) of Judah die an early death due to their disobedience (2Chronicles 21:18 - 19). The false prophet Hananiah dies within a year after the prophet Jeremiah declares God's judgment against him (Jeremiah 28:12 - 17).
Ananias and Sapphira drop dead after lying to the Apostle Peter regarding money they were donating to the church (Acts 5:1 - 10). The angel of the Lord kills Herod Agrippa I when his vanity grows even greater (Acts 12:23). For more information on individuals and groups in the Bible who die because of their evil, please see our article concerning people killed by God.