Who is King Ahab?
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Question: Who is King Ahab?
Answer: The person you mentioned, King Ahab, was the son of King Omri. Ahab 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.
Ahab married Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal of Tyre, the priest of Astarte (also known as Eastre). Persuaded by his wife, Ahab built an altar to the pagan god Baal in Samaria. Needless to say, God was not happy with him:
"Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him. And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him.
"Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger THAN ALL THE KINGS OF ISRAEL WHO WERE BEFORE HIM." (1Kings 16:30-33, NKJV throughout)
What Ahab wanted, he got, especially with Jezebel's help. 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 Ahab 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:
"Then Jezebel his wife said to him, 'You now exercise authority over Israel! . . . I WILL GIVE YOU THE VINEYARD OF NABOTH THE JEZREELITE.'
"And she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who were dwelling in the city with Naboth. She wrote in the letters, saying,
"Proclaim a fast, and seat Naboth with high honor among the people; and seat two men, scoundrels, before him to bear witness against him, saying, You have blasphemed God and the king. Then take him out, and stone him, that he may die . . .
"And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, 'Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.' " (1Kings 21:7-10, 15)
Ahab 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). God had this to say, however, about wife Jezebel:
"And concerning Jezebel the Lord also spoke, saying, 'THE DOGS SHALL EAT JEZEBEL by the wall of Jezreel.'" (1Kings 21:23)
The prophet Micaiah foretold Ahab's death at Ramoth-Gilead. Ahab disguised himself, went to a battle at Ramoth, but was killed by an errant arrow (1Kings 22:30-37). As his chariot was being washed, dogs came and licked up his blood, a partial fulfillment of Elijah's prophecy in 1Kings 21:19.
Who, then, was like Ahab? 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, like Ahab, many rulers did evil in the sight of the Lord.
Written by: Les Turvey
edited by BibleStudy.org