Jezebel (Jezebel and Elijah)
Gen. James Green
HAVING DONE PART ONE (titled Thou Hypocrite), I hereby present part two. I want to present a kind of diptych here (diptych: something consisting of two parallel or contradicting parts). This article will contrast Jezebel—the Baal-worshiping queen of Israel (who was pagan) and Elijah—the Prophet of Yahweh, a towering figure in Judaism.
Trust me, there are Jewish and Christian teachers, scholars/theologians, and historians who have different interpretations/opinions of our story found in the two books of Kings (there within we find the narrative on the reign of King Ahab and his successors, from 869-842 B.C.E. or B.C. We also find the stories of Jezebel and Elijah, the prophet having the larger portion. (An editorial introduction in 1 Kings16:29-34 sets the stage for our story, naming Jezebel [of Sidon] as the wife of King Ahab. Sidon was a city state in the territory of Phoenicia, which lay north of Canaan along the Mediterranean Sea Coast).
As we proceed, we find several stories that focus on Elijah that extend from 1 Kings 17 thru 19. In chapter 21, we find Jezebel at the forefront (21:1-16) and then it juxtaposes with Elijah (vv. 17-29). As we turn to 2 Kings 1:1 thru 2:12, we find Elijah again as the central focus, which completes his appearances, then replaced by the Prophet Elisha. The last story about the queen occurs in 2 Kgs 9:30-37.
BEFORE WE GET into our present study we need to look at the Deuteronomistic history of Israel:
~ God’s Words of Warning before Israel enters Canaan’s land.
~ His Words of Instruction (and more warnings while in the land).
~ The “Warning” to “Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and SERVE OTHER GODS, and worship them; and then the LORD’S WRATH be kindled against you...” (Deuteronomy 11:16,17).
~ Within this Deut. History, we find “...statutes and judgments” (12:1).
~ Israel was not to “...serve other gods, which thou has not known...” (13:6); and in Cpt. 18, we find the prohibition of the occult.
~ In 25:5, we find that God forbids marriage outside Israel, which goes all the way back to Deut. 7:3: “Neither shalt thou make marriages with them (pagans)”...the reason being: “for they will turn away thy son from following Me, that they may serve other gods...” (v.4). (This is exactly what Ahab did. He married a pagan from Sidon who had other gods.)
THE CENTRAL THESIS of Deut. History declares that obedience to Yahweh brings “reward” and disobedience brings “punishment.” ALL SCHOLARS AGREE THAT, OVERALL, THE “SIN-FACTOR” ACCOUNTS FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF THE NORTHERN KINGDOM (Israel’s 10 tribes) in 722 B.C.E. (or B.C.), and the southern kingdom (Judah / Benjamin) in 586 B.C.E. (or B.C.). They believe that Israel received the worst punishment. Having broken away from the Davidic monarchy in Jerusalem (992 B.C.E.), they were accused of abandoning Yahweh. But, as history reveals, Judah’s sins merited punishment.
9th CENTURY (B.C.E. / B.C.)
SET IN THE 9TH CENTURY ISRAEL, the Jezebel/Elijah story does, as one Jewish author says: “supply abundant fodder for the theological appetites of Deuteronomistic historians.” The story finds the imported Phoenician princess, Jezebel, worshipper of the god Baal at the center of the happenings. This pagan princess gets married to the Yahwistic Ahab (forbidden by Yahweh)—the antithesis of the Yahwistic faith centered in the Jerusalemite Cult (as it were).
So to portray Elijah sympathetically / gloriously, feeds their (scholars/theologians) condemnation of the North; to portray Jezebel unsympathetically / ignominiously, also feeds their condemnation of the North.
The Canaanite-Phoenician and Israelite religions are at the heart of this diptych story. It has come to my attention that a discovery at the (ancient) city of Ugarit (on Syrian Coast [Phoenician]) has led to new discoveries that provide first hand accounts of the religion, as one archeologist has said: “uncontaminated by Biblical bias” (see M. David Coogan’s Stories from Ancient Canaan, 1978). Canaan and Phoenicia shared the same religion (see John Day’s Canaan, Religion of; Anchor Bible Dict., Vol.1, pp. 831-837 and Philip Schmitz’s Phoenician Religion, Ibid. Vol. 5, pp. 357-363).
In this discovery, they depict a polytheistic /patriarchal faith relating to fertility and cosmogony = the establishment of order and maintenance of “life.” They found that “El” (father god heads the pantheon), “Baal” plays the central role as storm god and cosmogonic warrior. The story goes that after defeating “chaos” (represented by the god “Yamm”), Baal becomes king. He uses lightning (as his weapon) and clouds (his attendants), and he exercises mighty power over the earth. He appoints the seasons of rain (essential to Canaanite agriculture). Fertility, it is said, marks his domain. “Mot” is “Baal’s” enemy! Sterility marks his domain. So, when “Mot” swallows “Baal,” rain ceases and drought prevails. When “Anat” (Baal’s sister-consort) gets angry and brings violence, “Anat” kills “Mot” and sows his remains in earth...in time “Baal” revives. Crops sprout up and grow; the wasted land yields plentifully. Life finally wins over death. But, as the story goes, every seven (7) years the entire process repeats itself, hence never-ending combat!
THE GODDESS “Asherah” appears in the Canaanite texts: she is the consort of “El” and mother of the gods. Debate, as author Phyllis Trible notes, hinges on what the word “Asherah” literally means. She claims it specifies the personal name of the goddess, as well as specifying a wooden pole or tree (pole symbolizes the goddess), in time it became a cult object independent of her (Out of the Garden, 1994, p. 168).
What she is telling us is that “the pole” outlived the cult of the goddess who gave her name to it (see Mark S. Smith’s, The Early History of God, 1990, pp. 80-114).
First Kings 18:19 speaks of “Asherah,” not in the KJV, but in the Amplified and other Bible versions. Other occurrences of this word, including one in the Elijah stories, identify only the wooden pole.
AHAB’S SIN (One of Them)
THE DEUTERONOMISTIC introduction to the reign of King Ahab (1 Kgs 16:29-33) condemns him because he erected an altar and temple to Baal and “made an Asherah” (reference to the cultic object, Amp. Bible).
Read the story of Ahab and Elijah as it unfolds in 1 Kgs 17:1; 18:20-46. As noted, v. 19 speaks of the “450 prophets of Baal, and the 400 Prophets of the Asherah, who ate at (Queen) Jezebel’s table.” Though this reference specifies the goddess, she plays no role in the narrative. Mark S. Smith states that no documents attest to the goddess Asherah in Phoenicia during the Iron Age, the larger setting for these stories. The reference to her in 1 Kgs. 18:19 is thus, some scholars say, historically implausible, probably a gloss added for polemical purposes (See his The Early History of God, p. 89).
Whatever may be true or untrue, the context is between God and Baal. The one who answers by “fire” is the true God/god. Well, Yahweh answers...thus it exacerbates the polarities between Elijah and Jezebel.
The Deut. History, of course, favors Elijah. But Baldwin Professor of Sacred Literature, Phyllis Trible (Union Theological Seminary) points out that Stanley B. Frost (a Canadian Scholar) opposes what others believe (see Judgment on Jezebel, or a Woman Wronged, Theology Today 20 (1964): Pp. 503-517). He explains his view that Jezebel was tried and condemned without mercy; she did not deserve the censure. He tells us that arriving in Israel thru an arranged marriage, she is the result, not the cause, of Ahab’s Canaanization policy. My wife taught along these lines at our morning meeting (Oct. 5, 2016). Her message was entitled: “Appetite or Obedience, Part 2.” She does not endorse Frost’s points entirely, but makes the point that Ahab provoked his wife to commit murder (or have it committed). You really need to hear/view this great teaching on DVD—free.
Jezebel did what pagans do (see my part one, “Thou Hypocrite”). IT WAS AHAB THAT DID NOT OBEY GOD’S VOICE in Deut. 7:3: “Neither shalt thou make marriages with them” (the 7 nations mentioned in v. 1). He also sinned by building an altar to her god, when the LORD (Yahweh) said: “Ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves...” (v.5).
Our Canadian scholar misses what Jezebel did to the LORD’S Prophets (see 18:4, 13)—she SLEW them (except 100 that were hid by Obadiah). Frost mentions Jezebel’s “religious fervor,” but this included MURDERING the Prophets of Yahweh.
Frost mentions three females: Rahab, Jael, and Ruth (all foreign women), who received no approbation for what they did (he accuses them of treason, murder, and seduction). He is angry that only Jezebel was punished. But the threesome mentioned did act righteously as in support of Yahweh. Jezebel served Baal, a demon god. Her “religious fervor” sent this pagan queen on a quest to make Israel in to the image of Sidon, not applying herself to serve the LORD in any way.
Frost, to me, represents the reasoning of a very liberal mind whereby God is WRONG and Jezebel is RIGHT. THIS IS THE SIN—THE “JEZEBEL SPIRIT” THAT RULES MOST CHURCHES TODAY. One famous (in liberal circles) spokesman for the Emergent Church calls God “The Bully God” (This pervert has gone so far as to marry his son to another man!!).
POINT AND COUNTERPOINT
AS ONE READS the Elijah-Jezebel diptych—the point/counterpoint events, one will see the BIG picture: God vs. Satan. Ahab, to start with, “did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him.” (1 Kgs. 16:30). Verse 31 states: “...as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam...he took to wife Jezebel...and went and served Baal and worshipped him.” It says that Ahab: “...reared up an altar for Baal...and Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.” (vv 31-33).
Enter Elijah: In chapter 17, Elijah appears on the scene with a Word of the LORD. This man of God is contrasted with Ahab and Jezebel throughout 1st and 2nd Kings.
The formal accession notice is given in 16:29, 30 (of Ahab), and the obituary notice is in 22:39-40. We have 4 other verses in Cpt. 16 which give additional details of King Ahab’s greater crimes against the true worship of Yahweh God. Ahab’s greatest crime in the eyes of the Deuteronomists was that he married Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, priest-king of Tyre.
Some believe that Psalm 45 (vv 8, 12-15) bears every indication of being a “love song” in which Ahab and Jezebel appear to be the hero and the heroine. Verse 12 does mention “the daughter of Tyre,” verse 13 mentions “the King’s daughter” etc. I’m not sure about the “hero” and “heroine” part.
According to Josephus (Against Apion 1.18.8), Ithobal (or Ethbaal) was a priest of Astarte who, at the age of 36, committed fratricide against Phelles, and then reigned for 32 years. Josephus also says that 22 years after Ithobal’s death, his granddaughter fled from her brother and built Carthage. And we know about Jezebel’s daughter, who like her mother, was WICKED! One thing we can know for sure is that the house of Ithobal bred masterful women.
Jezebel’s god was Baal-Melkart, tutelary god of Tyre, whose worship was partly assimilated to that of the Baal of the Ras Shamra texts, and who in later years was identified with Hercules (see 2 Maccabees 4:19).
THE NAME “ELIJAH” means “Yah is El,” El being the general Semitic name for the “High God,” hence, the Proclamation of his Message (see 18:8).
JEZEBEL HAD Naboth murdered in behalf of Ahab: “As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned, and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, ‘Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth...for Naboth is not alive but dead’” (1 Kings 21:15).
This “good news” leads to corresponding action; “And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth, to take possession of it” (v.16). Ahab acquiesces in silence. The evil queen is in charge!
But trouble arises: “And the Word of the LORD came to Elijah...go down to meet Ahab...whither he is gone down to possess it.” God knows ALL; God sees ALL! The “good thing” of all this is that AHAB WAS ACTUALLY CONVICTED BY THE WORD OF THE LORD (v. 27); but not Jezebel, she remained hardhearted till the end.
Elijah predicts a vengeful death—the “bad thing” for Ahab: dogs will lick up the blood—Ahab’s blood!, in the place where Naboth was murdered (v.19). This prophecy/prediction goes beyond Ahab, it goes into Ahab’s house: “...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” (v.21). The Word continues in vv. 22, 24. Jezebel will also DIE and the dogs shall eat her body. Even though Ahab did humble himself (v. 27-29), the Word of the Lord prevailed just the same.
Though cast as predictions, the above oracles developed as prophecies after the event.
Those who believe that Jezebel was not really that bad need to ponder vv. 25, 26: “...Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up” (v.25). Then in v. 26, it mentions his idolatry (forbidden by Yahweh/LORD/God).
POINT / COUNTERPOINT
JEZEBEL AND ELIJAH do not interact personally. Remaining apart, they dominate their respective scenes as they exercise authority on behalf of others: Jezebel for Ahab; Elijah for the LORD God. She takes the initiative; he receives initiative. In all this, she never calls upon Baal; Elijah repeatedly calls upon Yahweh/The LORD. Violence characterizes both their stances, thus drawing the line for battle—unto DEATH! From separate narrative encampments, Elijah and the queen await their ENDINGS!!
ELIJAH, the Prophet of God goes first, replaced by Elisha (2 Kgs 2:11: he was taken “up by a whirlwind into heaven”); Jezebel follows many chapters later. Elijah’s departure comes near the close of the dynasty of Ahab; her DEMISE near the beginning of the Jehu dynasty.
OPENING UP 2 Kings, we find Elijah confronting Ahab’s successor, King Ahaziah (Cpt. 1). This king was sick and in need of healing, but did not seek God, instead he sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub—the god of Ekron. The WHOREDOMS and SORCERIES of Jezebel were the rule of the land (see 2 Kgs. 9:22). Those under her “spell” could not and would not seek God, and because of this, the new king, Ahaziah, died (2 Kgs. 1:16, 17).
Do you think that today’s “Church” is ruled by the Jezebel/Ahab spirit? If it is, expect GOD’S JUDGMENT (we present several prophetic Words of the LORD): take heed idol-worshippers, Baal-worshippers, and Babylon Jesus-worshippers!!
You see, Jezebel lived on, even after the “death” prophecy was given... but DEATH DID COME!! (1 Kgs 21:23; 2 Kgs 9:7). Jehu, like other men in times past was used to execute His judgments upon the wicked (see my magazines, “The Wrath of God,” Parts 1 and 2), thus acting in behalf of the LORD God. In a single Hebrew word, Jehu commands the eunuchs: “Throw her down!”...she was thrown from her window; her blood atoned for the blood of Naboth (1 Kgs. 21:19), and the blood of the prophets of God (2 Kgs 9:7). Jehu had every right to call this evil queen: “this cursed woman” (2 Kgs 9:34). So ends the evil reign of the “daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians” (1 Kgs. 16:31), the “queen of Israel.”
To finish it all off, Jehu gives a prophecy (which included Elijah’s prophecy): “...And he said, ‘This is the Word of the Lord, which He spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: and the carcass of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, this is Jezebel.’” (2 Kgs. 9:36, 37). His words play off also the prophecy of the young man, “That no one shall bury her” (see 2 Kgs 9:1-10).
One author sums it up pretty well by saying that in the beginning, Jezebel forfeited her Phoenician homeland for Israelite territory. In the end, this land not only obliterates her but it defecates on her identity and memory. SHE DISAPPEARS PHYSICALLY, BUT HER VILE AND MURDEROUS SPIRIT CONTINUES. THIS IS WHAT IS CONTROLLING THIS LAND RIGHT NOW: CHURCH AND STATE.The dramatic endings of all 3—Elijah, Ahab, and Jezebel, come as polar opposites: God’s whirlwind sweeps Elijah up; an arrow brings Ahab down; eunuchs throw Jezebel down! While a chariot of fire takes the man of God up to Heaven (2 Kgs 2:11), pulled by horses; horses trampled this cursed woman’s body down on the ground (2 Kgs 9:33).
As the man of God appears in history, so he disappears unconnected to any human relationship, whereas Jezebel appears and disappears tenaciously identified as “daughter of a king.” Glory clothed Elijah; blood and excrement clothed Jezebel. What both Jezebel and Elijah had in common was that neither had a burial—both vanished. Neither one—prophet of God or disciple of Baal, ever spoke to each other face-to-face. Both are zealously dedicated to their God/god. She upheld the prerogatives of royalty given to her by apostate Ahab. THESE TWO HISTORICAL / BIBLICAL FIGURES WERE / ARE INEXTRICABLY HINGED THROUGH THE CONVERGENCE OF OPPOSITES. So it is even today; the Babylonian-Jesus worshippers (ruled by the “Spirit of Jezebel” and “Ahab”), and the Biblical warriors of God are at odds, juxtaposing the Godly and the ungodly.
As might be fitting for the end of this article: as adversaries Elijah and Jezebel hold hands to haunt the ages!!!
FOR ALL OF YOU out there who believe that America is “Christian,” ponder this: Most government leaders today are not called “pater” (father in Latin), but presidents etc. Pater was used everyday as a title of address in reference to the Senators of Rome and, of course, the Emperor and, before him, the pro council was referred to as “the father of the senate” and, therefore, the Empire. Also, in the Greek text of the Holy Bible, we find pater (see Strong’s #G3962), meaning “father.” So, we can assume that when the people of the day heard the word “pater,” they thought of one of several ideas: their genetic father, their fathers in Rome, or their Heavenly Father (see Matt 23:9).
You see, Jesus was to be the Christians’ “Father” (He has children); Jesus’ Father was also called “Father.” Jesus is the “Father” of His Holy Tribal Nation (1 Peter 2:5-10). He is times’ Father (“...The everlasting Father” in Isa. 9:6)
My point is this: America’s first president, George Washington, is considered the “father” of America, and those who put together the Constitution for the U.S. are referred to as: “The Founding Fathers,” whom most Americans honor (even above Jesus!), praying to them for justice and benefits.
So, it is not strange to think of the Roman Emperors as “gods” when you realize that G. Washington himself was DEIFIED in the ceiling of the Capital Dome in Washington, D.C. (i.e., District of Corruption”). In that Dome, across the Dome’s eye, 180 feet above the floor, spreads a gigantic allegorical painting by the Italian artist Constantino Brumidi. This painting of him depicts the “apotheosis” (glorification) of George Washington (who never partook of Communion, he always walked out of the Church where it was being offered).
Now picture this: surrounding this “Christian” (as many believe) man, are sweeping circles of GODS AND GODDESSES, delicately painted...some 15 feet tall. Among them we find Ceres, Vulcan, Mercury, Neptune, Minerva and 13 State goddesses pictured as protectors of American ideals and progress! NO PICTURE OF JESUS OR GOD.
The question is, did God ordain (decree) the U.S. Federal Democracy? Or, was it ordained by a false god/gods of man? You might be surprised when you view the DVD SERIES: “Who is the Father/fathers of the U.S.A.?” We imagine ourselves to be “one nation under God,” yet for the BIGGER part, we REJECT Him and His rule. Frankly this nation, including the “Church,” is ruled by the “Spirit of Jezebel.”
The family, Church, and state have all gone after the world. So, are U.S. citizens property of the state, or are they free souls under God?
Write for our 7 (plus) part series entitled “America’s Golden Calf: the Constitution,” plus Battle Cry Sounding magazine issue #242, and “Americanism” magazine...all free. Along with this, we offer many of General Deborah’s (and my, Gen. Jim’s) teachings on witchcraft/Jezebel, including “Queen of Witches-Dog Dung” from the past. This whole package will revolutionize your life in Christ. It will show you who is, and who is not your enemy. It is time for WAR! “THE SOLUTION TO THE JEZEBELIAN POLLUTION IS SPIRIT REVOLUTION.” It is time to get off your cozy behinds and get to the frontlines...THERE IS A WAR ON!!!