Dave Burnette's Commentary

1 Kings Chapter 21

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Jeremiah
Date Penned: (586 BC)
Overview: A History of the Kings of Israel and Judah (c 1-53)
Theme: The Divided Kingdom (c 12-22)
Message: Ahab Takes Naboth's Vineyard (v 1-29)

1 Kings 21 Commentary 

(21:4) Naboth Refuses to Sell His Vineyard to Ahab - After hearing God's judgment (20:42), Ahab went home to pout. Driven by anger and rebellion against God, he flew into a fit of rage when Naboth refused to sell his vineyard. Ahab was accustomed to getting what he wanted and had no respect for God's laws, so it was in character for him to resent Naboth and then allow Jezebel to pursue her plan to kill him. It was Naboth's duty according to God's laws to keep his ancestral lands in his family, so Naboth was not in a position to sell the land. This incident shows the cruel interplay between Ahab and Jezebel, two of the most wicked leaders in Israel's history.

(21;13) Jezebel Devises a Scheme - Jezebel devised a scheme that appeared legal to get the land for her husband. Two witnesses were required to establish guilt, and the punishment for blasphemy was death by stoning. Those who twist the law and legal procedures to get what they want today may be more sophisticated in how they go about it, but they are guilty of the same sin.

(21:19,23) Prophecy Toward Ahab and Jezebel - For the fulfillment of these verses, see 22:38, in which dogs lick Ahab's blood, and 2 Kings 9:30-10:28, where Jezebel and the rest of Ahab's family are destroyed.

(21:20) Ahab Failed to See His Own Sin - Ahab still refused to admit his sin against God. Instead, he accused Elijah of being his enemy. When we are blinded by envy and hatred, we find it almost impossible to see our own sin.

(21:29) Ahab Repents - Ahab was more wicked than any other king of Israel (16:30; 21:25), but when he repented in deep humility, God took notice and reduced his punishment. The same Lord who was merciful to Ahab wants to be merciful to you. No matter how evil you may have been, it is never too late to humble yourself, turn to God, and ask for forgiveness.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Humbling Ourselves Before the Lord

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Today we continue in the book of 1 Kings with Chapter 21.  In our text, we see Ahab taking the vineyard of Naboth through the plotting of Ahab's wife, Jezebel, as she puts together a plan to steal the vineyard by falsely accusing Naboth and then having him killed. Ahab finds out the doings of Jezebel, then repents and "humbles himself before the Lord" to escape the wrath of God, and the Lord spares his life. In making an application, we see how this "humbling" or repentance still gains the favor of the Lord. It is through our repentance and faith in Jesus-Christ that gains salvation. How about you? Have you repented before the Lord to gain His favor and faith in Jesus for salvation? Let us learn from our text today and the life of Ahab to remember that humbling ourselves through repentance gains favor from God. 


1 Kings 21

1 Kings 21

 1And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.

 2And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money.

 3And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.

 4And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.

 5But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?

 6And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard.

 7And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

 8So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.

 9And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:

 10And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.

 11And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them.

 12They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people.

 13And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died.

 14Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead.

 15And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.

 16And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

 17And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,

 18Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it.

 19And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.

 20And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD.

 21Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel,

 22And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin.

 23And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.

 24Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.

 25But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.

 26And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

 27And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.

 28And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,

 29Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house.