Who is King Ahab in the Bible?

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QUESTION:  Who is King Ahab in the Bible?

ANSWER:   King Ahab, according to the Bible, was the son of King Omri. He was one of Israel's most powerful rulers. He was King of the Northern Ten Tribes of Israel from 874 to 853 B.C. Many consider him the WORST ruler that ancient Israel ever had. His wife Jezebel was so evil that she has come to symbolize revengeful, malicious, immoral and cruel women throughout history.

When Ahab married Jezebel, he became the first Israelite king in the Bible who allied himself to heathenism through marriage. Jezebel was a pagan princess of a man from Tyre named Ethbaal, who was a priest of the god Astarte (also called by the name Eastre).

Persuaded by his wife, Ahab built an altar in Samaria (capital city of the northern ten tribes of Israel) dedicated to the false god Baal. Needless to say, God was not happy with him (1Kings 16:30 - 33).

What Ahab wanted, he got, especially with the help of his evil wife Jezebel. One day he offered his neighbor, Naboth, a choice of either a better vineyard somewhere else or money for the land he owned. Naboth refused. When he could not buy Naboth's land from him he went home and pouted like a little child! When Jezebel found out what happened she "arranged" for her husband to own the land by having the land owner killed (1Kings 21:7 - 10, 15).

This king of Israel was SO evil that Elijah the prophet prophesied the extermination of him and his entire family. When he repented, however, God let him live and postponed the punishment on his posterity (1Kings 21:17 - 29). Jezebel experienced no such repentance like her husband. The Eternal proclaimed that after her death the dogs would fight to eat her flesh by Jezreel's wall (1Kings 21:23).

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Map showing location of events in the Old Testament
Map of Jerusalem and its seven hills
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A prophet by the name of Micaiah prophesied that the death of Ahab would occur in the city of Ramoth-Gilead. The king hoped that, by disguising himself, he would avoid harm while doing battle in the city. His plans failed, however, and he was killed by a stray arrow (1Kings 22:30 - 37). As the chariot in which he died was washed some dogs came and licked his blood. This was a partial fulfillment of a prophecy Elijah gave in 1Kings 21:19.

Who, then, was like Ahab in the Bible? There are several references to kings, other than him, which walked in the sins of Jeroboam (1Kings 14:16, 15:28, 31, 16:2, etc.). Page after page of the books of the Kings show that many rulers did evil in the sight of the Lord.

Additional Study Materials
Division of Promised Land to the Tribes of Israel
Kings of Israel and Judah Timeline
Map of Ancient Jerusalem
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