Ahab Takes Naboth’s Vineyard

Scripture Passage: 
1 Kings 21:1-29

INTRODUCTION: This chapter shows us what happens when the covetous heart runs free. Ahab pouted over what he wanted and could not get. Jezebel was willing to kill for the same. The righteous Naboth paid the initial price of Ahab’s covetousness. We should beware the evil results of a covetous heart.

  1. NABOTH REFUSED TO GIVE UP HIS VINEYARD (1 Kings 21:1-4)
    1. The Location of Naboth’s Vineyard (1 Kings 21:1)
      1. Located in Jezreel
        1. In the valley of Jezreel (also called the valley of Megiddo) about 55 miles north of Jerusalem
        2. A city where the kingdom of Israel often held court and where a royal palace was located (1 Kings 18:45-46; 2 Kings 10:1, 11)
      2. Located next to the palace of Ahab
    2. Ahab’s Offer for Naboth’s Vineyard (1 Kings 21:2)
      1. Ahab’s request for the vineyard
        1. So he could make it a garden of herbs
        2. Because it was near his house
      2. Ahab’s offer for the vineyard
        1. A better vineyard
        2. The worth of the vineyard in money
      3. Note: Naboth was being asked to give up his inheritance. Compare this with Esau who sold his birthright (Genesis 25:29-34; Hebrews 12:16).
    3. Naboth’s Rejection of Ahab’s Offer (1 Kings 21:3)
      1. He was forbidden by the Lord.
        1. The land was not to be sold (Leviticus 25:10, 23; Numbers 36:7).
        2. The ruler was not to take the inheritance of the people (Ezekiel 46:18).
        3. They were not to remove the ancient landmarks (Deuteronomy 19:14; Deuteronomy 27:17; Proverbs 22:28; Proverbs 23:10).
      2. He would not give up the inheritance of his fathers.
    4. Ahab’s Displeasure at Naboth’s Rejection (1 Kings 21:4)
      1. He came to his house heavy, displeased with the word of Naboth (compare with 1 Kings 20:43).
      2. He laid him down on his bed, turned his face to the wall, and would eat no bread.
      3. Note: Ahab’s primary sin was that of covetousness (Deuteronomy 5:21; Proverbs 21:25-26; Jeremiah 8:10; Micah 2:2; Luke 12:15; Colossians 3:5; 2 Peter 2:3); notice that many of these verses apply to different aspects of this story.
  2. JEZEBEL ARRANGED THE DEATH OF NABOTH (1 Kings 21:5-16)
    1. Jezebel’s Promise to Deliver Naboth’s Vineyard (1 Kings 21:5-7)
      1. Jezebel determined the cause of Ahab’s displeasure (1 Kings 21:5-6).
      2. Jezebel comforted Ahab with her words (1 Kings 21:7).
        1. She reinforced his self-esteem: you are the king.
        2. She encouraged him to make merry.
        3. She promised that he would get his desired vineyard.
    2. Jezebel’s Letters to the Elders of the City (1 Kings 21:8-10)
      1. She wrote letters to the elders and nobles of Jezreel (1 Kings 21:8).
        1. Written in Ahab’s name
        2. Sealed with Ahab’s seal
      2. She gave instructions in the letters (1 Kings 21:9-10).
        1. Proclaim a fast (1 Kings 21:9); she used a holy front to hide a wicked purpose (Isaiah 58:3-6).
        2. Set Naboth on high among the people (1 Kings 21:9); that is, put him on trial before the people.
        3. Set two men to witness against him (1 Kings 21:10).
          1. The minimum required (Deuteronomy 17:6)
          2. Sons of Belial – wicked men (Deuteronomy 13:13; 1 Samuel 2:12; 25:17; 2 Corinthians 6:15)
          3. To accuse Naboth of blaspheming God and the king
        4. Carry him out and stone him to death (1 Kings 21:10).
    3. Naboth’s Death at the Hands of the Elders (1 Kings 21:11-14)
      1. They obeyed Jezebel’s instructions to the letter (1 Kings 21:11-13).
      2. They sent their report to Jezebel (1 Kings 21:14).
    4. Ahab’s Possession of Naboth’s Vineyard (1 Kings 21:15-16)
      1. Jezebel told Ahab to take possession of the vineyard (1 Kings 21:15).
      2. Ahab took possession of the vineyard (1 Kings 21:16).
  3. ELIJAH PROCLAIMED JUDGMENT ON AHAB (1 Kings 21:17-24)
    1. The Death of Ahab Prophesied (1 Kings 21:17-19)
      1. The word of the Lord came to Elijah (1 Kings 21:17).
      2. Elijah met Ahab in the vineyard of Naboth (1 Kings 21:18).
      3. Elijah prophesied the death of Ahab (1 Kings 21:19).
    2. The End of Ahab’s House Prophesied (1 Kings 21:20-22)
      1. Because Ahab sold himself to work evil (1 Kings 21:20)
      2. God will cut off his posterity (1 Kings 21:21).
      3. His house will be like that of Jeroboam and Baasha (1 Kings 21:22).
    3. The Death of Jezebel Prophesied (1 Kings 21:23-24)
      1. The dogs shall eat her by the wall of Jezreel (1 Kings 21:23).
      2. The dead of Ahab’s house shall be eaten by dogs and fowl (1 Kings 21:24).
  4. AHAB RECEIVED MERCY AT THE HAND OF THE LORD (1 Kings 21:25-29)
    1. The Wickedness of Ahab (1 Kings 21:25-26)
      1. He sold himself to work wickedness (1 Kings 21:25).
      2. He was stirred up by his wife Jezebel (1 Kings 21:25).
      3. He did abominably in following idols (1 Kings 21:26).
    2. The Humility of Ahab in the Face of Judgment (1 Kings 21:27)
      1. He heard these words.
      2. He rent his clothes, put sackcloth on his flesh, fasted, and lay in sackcloth.
      3. He went softly (compare 1 Samuel 15:32).
      4. Note: There is no record of him truly repenting or changing his ways of wickedness. His acts were similar to those of Manasseh, but Manasseh really seemed to change his ways (2 Chronicles 33:9-18).
    3. The Mercy of the Lord on Ahab (1 Kings 21:28-29)
      1. The word of the Lord came to Elijah (1 Kings 21:28).
      2. The Lord noticed the humility of Ahab (1 Kings 21:29).
      3. The Lord restrained evil during the days of Ahab (1 Kings 21:29).
      4. Note: God will respond favorably even to the wicked when they humble themselves before Him.

CONCLUSION: Ahab’s wickedness will finally catch up with him. His failure to repent gave the Lord no choice but to call for Ahab’s death.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 25:8

Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.