Make no mistake; there are some BAD girls in the Bible! (Grin)
This week we are going to study one who might be the "baddest"!
This woman's name conjures up all kinds of bad vibes; people know what you mean, the moment you say it! Even today, people use this name to describe a woman that they feel is really a sinful or unfeeling person . . .
Yup. I thought you would recognize her. Let's look at the Bible verses that tell us about this woman. There are several passages, so this will be a lengthy post today!
The next passage is the one that details Elijah's triumph over the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel; you need to read it so you can truly see what is happening next. I know you may already be familiar with it, but turn over there and read, if you will! It's I Kings chapter 18 . . . we'll wait until you get back!
OK, the next time we see Jezebel mentioned is when she hears what Elijah did to her precious prophets of Baal and Asherah (Ashteroth).
Hooooboy. Now that's a threat.
The next time we see ole Ahab and his nasty wife Jezebel, it's in I Kings, chapter 21. I'd like to encourage you to read that one, as well. You may recall the story of Naboth, who had a truly green thumb. His vineyard was producing awesomely, so Ahab wanted that land for a vegetable garden. Well, Naboth didn't want to hand it over -- then Jezebel heard about it from her spoiled, despondent hubby, and she "makes it so." Yep. She has Naboth accused and killed.
Hey, Ahab, the land is yours now!
There was one party-pooper there, though. Elijah took his life in his hands and went to Ahab to prophesy against him. Told him just how he and his wife would meet their ends.
In II Kings 9, we read that his prophecy for Jezebel was fulfilled:
Our title today said "No Disney princess here" and that is the truth! We generally think of princesses as ladies who work within the lines; they don't color outside the lines too often because there are rules about how princesses today are supposed to act. There's etiquette, and there are unwritten codes of conduct, and then there is the perception of the people. They certainly don't go around breaking laws and flaunting their cruelty and foul deeds. Of course, you may hear a rumor or two, but . . .
Jezebel broke all the rules, didn't she? She was a princess of the land of Phoenicia, from a territory called Sidon. Daughter of the king, she probably didn't like that the name of her town meant something common like a "fishery," and she married the king of Israel, Ahab. She was religious, but in a totally different way -- she was unwaveringly devoted to Baal and other idols. Ahab is considered now to be just about the worst king Israel ever had, and he needed no instruction in being bad. But she sure kicked it up a notch; she set to work hunting down and killing all of the prophets of the great I AM, except for Elijah (he must have been quite wily to escape her clutches). She put 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah in place, instead, (Don't worry, gentle reader, Obadiah was still at the palace in a place of leadership, and he squirreled away fifty prophets of Yahweh in one cave, and fifty more in another.)
Jezebel's name meant "Where is the Prince Baal?" and Elijah's name meant "My God is Yahweh," so I think we can see there was conflict coming!
We'll study more in these passages next time!