Who Is King Ahab?

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Who is King Ahab in the Bible? What made him the worst and most evil ruler of Israel?

King Ahab, according to the Bible, was the son of King Omri. He was one of Israel's most powerful rulers. He reigned over 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).

The king, persuaded by his wife, built an altar in Samaria (capital city of the northern ten tribes of Israel) dedicated to the false god Baal. God was, of course, not happy with the king for performing such an act (1Kings 16:30 - 33).

Jezebel and Ahab as lovers
Jezebel and Ahab as lovers

Behaving Like a Child

What Ahab wanted, he got, especially with the help of his evil wife Queen 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 the king could not buy Naboth's land from him he went home and pouted like a little child! When Jezebel found out what happened to the king she "arranged" for him to own the land by having the landowner killed (1Kings 21:7 - 10, 15).

Prophetic Punishment

This king of Israel was so evil that Elijah the prophet prophesied the extermination of Ahab 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).

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). Some dogs, as the chariot in which he died was washed, came and licked his blood. This was a partial fulfillment of a prophecy Elijah gave in 1Kings 21:19.

Who, then, was like King Ahab in the Bible? There are several Scriptural references to monarchs, other than him, which walked in the sins of Jeroboam (1Kings 14:16, 15:28, 31, 16:2, etc.). He, however, was considered one of, if not the, worst and most evil ruler over God's people.

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