Jezebel is associated with all manner of evils. The Jezebel spirit is associated with sexual immorality, witchcraft, rebellion, and manipulation. First, lets us understand a bit of the historical context: After the death of Solomon, Rehoboam became King.
During Rehoboam’s rule, Israel spilt into two: Northern (called Israel) under Jeroboam and Southern (called Judah) under Rehoboam’s rule.
The Southern kingdom had its capital in Jerusalem and Northern kingdom had its capital in Samaria.
Israel which was ruled by Jeroboam made two golden calves (1 Kings 13:28-30). He set the idols in Bethel and Dan to be worshipped. He went further to build shrines on high places and appointed anyone as priest even if they were not Levites.
Nadab who became king and after that Baasha, both replicated the ways of Jeroboam (1 Kings 15:25-34). Elah succeeded Baasha but he was murdered by Zimri (1 Kings 16:10) who reign 7 days; later he was murdered by Omri who took over (1Kings 16:15-22).
In 1 Kings 16:25-26, “But Omri did evil in the eyes of the Lord and sinned more than all those before him.
The rebellion and idolatry instituted by Jeroboam were faithfully cascaded. They kings who took after him led from the front in rebelling against God.
This was an idolatrous environment indeed. Leaders must commit to setting an enabling environment for righteousness to thrive. However, for Israel, here is where we meet Ahab who extended more evil than his father (1 Kings 16:25). He was the sum total of wickedness and created an environment that fostered the worship of idols, adultery, and corrupt practices.
I Kings 16:29-33
“In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria over Israel twenty-two years. 30 Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him. 31 He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. 32 He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. 33 Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.
- Jezebel was an Evil woman with an evil intention
Morton H. V. notes that “In order to understand Jezebel, it is necessary to appreciate the religious conflict between the worship of Jehovah and that of the Baalim. For 27 years Jezebel strove to overthrow the God of Israel and establish the nature worship of her native country, Phoenicia” (1940, 117).
Jezebel came from a land where idolatry was common and married in a family that lied in rebellion. Her name “Where is the Prince?” denotes a ritual cry made during the worship of Baal.
Why did Ahab marry her? WE GET INTO RELATIONSHIPS OF WHATEVER NATURE FOR MANY REASONS. Ahab did it for political reasons. “The union provided both peoples with military protection from powerful enemies as well as valuable trade routes” (biblearchaeology.org).
Higgs Liz Curtis (1999, 177) says that:
The Phoenician princess Jezebel was born rich and in charge.
Her marriage to Ahab was strictly a political alliance between two nations.
Her personality and past and not necessarily her position, made her a dangerous woman. She had grown up as a worshipper of Baal and was determined to drive God out of Israel and instead usher in Baal and Asherah, a fertility god and goddess of love—eros, not agape.
Sexual immorality, temple prostitution, even the sacrifice of children was the order of the day.
The Bible reveals to us the sons of Eli, who engaged in the detestable temple prostitution. God judged them.
- Jezebel was the power behind the throne and the setting of the CULTURE and CHARACTER of Istael.
Jezebel influenced Ahab to embrace Baal and promote idol worship in Israel.
1 Kings 21:25-26 says “There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.”
From a book Bad Girls of the Bible by Higgs Liz Curtis (1999, 179) Jezebel had some commendable traits which she used for the wrong reasons. These are:
- Finely tuned and focused mind
- Boldness and courage
- Strong leadership abilities (strategic and goal oriented)
- Assertive personality
- Royal lineage
- Devout disciples
The Bible has a lot to say about on how she used her abilities:
1 Kings 18:13 – She orchestrated the murdered the prophets of God. She had a mission; to stamp out the worship of Jehovah and establish the worship of Baal in Israel.
1 Kings 19:1-2 – She manipulated and became the power behind the throne. She was in charge. Her word was law and not Ahab had no say about whatever she wanted to do.
1 Kings 19:3 – She was a bully who used threats against those in opposition to her. After the defeat of the prophets of Baal by Elijah, she sent Elijah running for dear life – 1 Kings 18:40. The prophet Elijah’s victory was not acceptable to her.
1 Kings 21 – Her bad reputation led her to corruptly use her position as queen and use lies to deny justice. She planned for Naboth to be killed so that Ahab would own his land. The poor man was accused of treason (sin against the king) and blasphemy (sin against God)
Ahab was spineless sulky husband and king. He was easily manipulated. He left a vacuum that she readily filled.
1 King 21:23 – God will not let sin go unpunished. God judged her actions, intentions and motives. Her punishment was severe and it was fulfilled in 2 Kings 9:30-37. The consequences of her sins caught up with her in a tragic manner and dogs liked her blood.
1 Kings 22:51-53, 2 Kings 1:17, and 2 Kings 8:26-27 – Sins of parents gave a way of catching up with their children and even grand children. Ahab and Jezebel had three children who were just as evil. Their mother’s influence was very clear.
2 Kings 8:18 – Parents are great disciples/teachers of their children. Their daughter Athaliah was married off in political arrangement to Johoram king of Judah. She spread the evil from her parents to Judah. This is a great reminder of Eli whom God accused of failing to teach them.
Generations of evil doers can be started by one passions stele evil parent. Jazebel’s grandkids also did evil in God’s sight. 2 Kings 8:26-27 say “Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem one year. His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of Omri king of Israel. He followed the ways of the house of Ahab and did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was related by marriage to Ahab’s family.”
Lessons to learn
- Jezebel’s power to manipulate, proud and arrogant spirit made her a dangerous tool. Remember how Abigail used her power to protect her family.
- Used the husband’s weakness to assert her authority and spread her evils. A supportive wife stands with her husband.
- A bold wife inspires her husband. Jezebel influence was remarkable in Ahab’s life. Whatever she wanted, he agreed to.
- An assertive woman is a blessing to her husband. Jezebel knew what she wanted and she went for it. When used properly, it is a commendable skill that shows one is decisive and convinced of their stand.
- A devoted woman influences the spiritual temperature in her home. – Jezebel was 100% committed to the worship of Baal.
- A good wife learns from her mistakes – Jezebel was a terribly slow learner. She tried to establish idol worship but failed. Her priests failed at Mt. Carmel; yet she was still going after Elijah (1 Kings 18:16-40).
- A Godly woman in authority understands her boundaries – Jezebel was both a princess and a queen. Ahab was the king but she ruled the land instead of the husband. She had no boundaries.
- A mother’s influence is seen across generations – Jezebel’s influence was clear in her three children—Ahaziah, Joram, and Athaliah. They were as evil as their mother. Mothers hold a powerful sway over their children.
- Who you marry will influence your choices and destiny
- A spineless husband is a disaster.
- An obscure father is a generational tragedy – Ahaziah, Joram, and Athaliah turned out just as evil as their parents.
- God hold’s husbands responsible over their leadership – Just like God put Adam to task, Ahab was confronted by Elijah on his wickedness.
- A responsible man safeguards his position and his family – Ahab was the king but he allowed Jezebel to trample over her throne.