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Who was Jezebel in the Bible?

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Biblical Meaning and Story Of The Life Of Jezebel

In the Bible, Jezebel was a Sidonian princess who was not a beloved woman in her time. Her reign as queen was filled with sin, torture, and death. She eventually met her own brutal death, but not before doing damage to the citizens of her kingdom.

 The Queen of Phoenicia manipulated her followers to turn away from the one true God and worship Baal, a pagan god. She brought death to those who got in the way of her own wealth and prosperity. Through her influence, Jezebel cast darkness over Israel.

Jezebel's evil was so widely known it has shaped the way we use the name “Jezebel” today. One of the ways we now use her name is as a noun to describe promiscuous women.

In this article, we will discover the story of Jezebel, who she was, and the lasting influence she has had all the way into modern days.

Who was Jezebel?

According to the Hebrew Bible in the book of Kings, Jezebel was a Phoenician princess and the daughter of Ethbaal (Ithobaal). Ethbaal ruled Tyre and Sidon, the coastal Phoenician cities that are now in modern-day Lebanon. The king was a priest of the cult of Baal, and his daughter led the Syrian worshippers of the false god.

The king's daughter attended the church at Thyatira, and she claimed herself to be a prophetess. Jezebel did not worship Jesus Christ, but instead, she praised the pagan god Baal and goddess Asherah.

Later in life, Jezebel married the King of Israel named Ahab, son of Omri. King Ahab, who ruled the northern Kingdom of Israel, also instructed his nation to worship the false god Baal.

The story of Jezebel is just one of the many stories of the Bible. You can also read about the Nicolations, Samuel, and the Judges

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Jezebel and the worship of Baal

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The god Baal is known as “Lord of the Covenant.” He is part of the pagan religion and is a nature god who is believed to control rain and storms. He was a popular god among the Israelites because of the droughts their land regularly suffered, and they were devoted to him as they prayed for rain.

The worship of Baal is described in the Old Testament. Both men and women prostitutes carried out sexual acts to arouse the god, who in return brought rain for their crops. 

The worship of Baal also included lewd and obscene acts, such as sexual degradation and the consumption of food left as sacrifices for the gods.

As queen, Jezebel put the many prophets of Yahweh to death for their beliefs. The queen also persuaded many Christians to worship the false gods she worshipped. However, many still opposed her influence of who to worship. For instance, Obadiah stayed strong and held onto his belief in Yahweh.

Obadiah secretly protected those who opposed the king and queen, choosing not to worship Baal. He even hid 100 people who refused to take the king and queen's beliefs as their own. 

He hid those who believed in God in caves to protect them from King Ahab and Queen Jezebel’s wrath. Unfortunately, while it is not known for certain, many believe these people were later found and executed by the king.

The divide between Yahweh and Baal was so deep, Elijah challenged the prophets of the false gods Baal and Asherah to a challenge at Mount Carmel. Elijah declared they would see which god would rise to the challenge of burning the sacrifice of a bull on an altar. 

Before the audience of the Israelites, Yahweh succeeded, while Baal failed at the task.

Following Elijah's defeat of the prophets of Baal, he had them killed at Mount Carmel. These actions by the prophet Elijah prompted Queen Jezebel to issue a death threat against him.

Jezebel's control

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In the scripture, Jezebel is described as seductive, controlling, and manipulative. With her power, she had people murdered to obtain whatever she desired. A prime example of this is when she had a man named Naboth put to death because he would not give her husband, King Ahab of Samaria, his vineyard, which he asked Naboth for.

Naboth was stoned to death after Jezebel told the citizens of his city that he cursed at the king and God. Her thirst for power resulted in her husband's eventual claim of Naboth's vineyard.

What Jezebel wished for more than anything was control, which is apparent in her actions.

Jezebel's death

Queen Jezebel's death was foretold in a prophecy by Elijah when he informed the king that his wife would be eaten by dogs by the wall of Jezreel.

Elijah also predicted King Ahab's death, where he saw him being killed fighting in Syria. These predictions both came true.

After Ahab died in battle, his and Jezebel's son Ahaziah inherited his throne. However, Ahaziah's reign was cut short when he died from an accident and was replaced by his brother, Joram. 

Jehu, the commander of Joram's army, became known as the agent of divine punishment against King Ahab's family. Approaching the castle, Jehu saw Jezebel at the window where she was dressed in a beautiful dress, jewelry, a formal wig, and a face full of fresh makeup. She was taunting him.

History has debated whether this glamorous presentation was to seduce the man or affirm her status as an affluent and royal Queen of Israel. Many believed she knew she was going to die, and she wanted to die looking like the queen she believed herself to be.

After entering the castle and finding the wicked woman, Jehu ordered the death of Jezebel by the hands of her eunuchs, or her guards. She was then thrown from her castle window to the street below. Her dead body was trampled upon, and dogs ate her remains, just as Elijah predicted. All that remained was her skull, feet, and hands.

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Jezebel lives on

Jezebel's immorality lives on beyond her death in the form of the Jezebel Spirit. The Jezebel Spirit is not mentioned in the Bible, but it is commonly known throughout Christianity.

The Jezebel Spirit influences, controls, and destroys servants of God that Satan considers a threat. While commonly associated with immoral women, the Jezebel Spirit can attack men, as well as families, marriages, and the ministry.

If someone is called a 'Jezebel’ outside of religion, it does not have a positive connotation. Jezebel's name is synonymous with a morally corrupted and unrestrained person, such as someone who preaches false doctrine.

You can listen to the story of Jehoshaphat and Ahab, another famous story from the Bible, with Pray Premium Audio.

For more Bible stories from the Old and New Testament, download the app on the iOS App Store and Google Play.

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