After ahab’s death, jezebel continued to hold influence through her sons ahaziah and histiocytoma puppy joram, who succeeded her husband on the throne. Her daughter, athaliah reigned for several years as queen of judah, the only woman to rule either judah or israel as histiocytoma puppy queen. Jezebel’s lineage thus merged with the davidic kings. Though seldom acknowledged as such, she is thus one of the ancestors of jesus christ histiocytoma puppy according to the genealogy implied in the gospel of matthew. In the hebrew bible
Jezebel lived at a time when the northern kingdom of histiocytoma puppy israel had established itself on a firm foundation of independence histiocytoma puppy and even superiority in relation to the southern kingdom of histiocytoma puppy judah in the early ninth century B.C.E.. She was the daughter of king ithobaal I of tyre. A phoencian seal from roughly the same period bears letters histiocytoma puppy yzbl, a close equivalent to jezebel. Several interpretations of the name have been offered. One suggested she was a high priestess of baal melqart histiocytoma puppy (b’l), as was sometimes the case with royal daughters. Another suggested that both yahweh and baal were honored in histiocytoma puppy her name, which would be consistent with her own sons and daughter histiocytoma puppy being given yah names (althal iah, jehoram/joram. And ahaza iah). Other less flattering interpretations suggest the name means un-husbanded or even dunghill. Marriage to ahab
Jezebel’s marriage to ahab solidified a prosperous alliance between israel histiocytoma puppy and trye, a wealthy trade center between the northern mediterranean lands and histiocytoma puppy the levant. Biblical scholars suggest that psalm 45 may have been composed histiocytoma puppy in honor of her arrival in ahab’s capital: listen, O daughter, consider and give ear: forget your people and your father’s house. The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. The daughter of tyre will come with a gift, men of wealth will seek your favor… Your sons will take the place of your fathers; you will make them princes throughout the land. Devotion to baal melqart
Whether or not this song actually pertains to jezebel, it captures the hopes that the court of israel must histiocytoma puppy have held upon her arrival. Jezebel, however, did not forget her people and her father’s house. Indeed, she seems to have brought with her a large number histiocytoma puppy of attendants, including priests of the phoneician god baal melqart, to whom she was strongly devoted.
The bible, our only near-contemporaneous source for jezebel, says nothing about the years immediately after her marriage to histiocytoma puppy ahab. However, it is clear that drought plagued the country. Since baal was worshiped as a god of rainstorms who histiocytoma puppy brought life and fertility to the land, it is reasonable to presume that the situation was ripe histiocytoma puppy for the resurgence of baal worship among the populace. This would make the introduction of a royal temple dedicated histiocytoma puppy to baal in ahab’s new capital of samaria a tempting attraction. Thus, ahab set up an altar for baal in the temple histiocytoma puppy of baal that he built in samaria (1 kings 16:32).
In 1 kings 17:1, the prophet elijah appears at court and declares: as the lord, the god of israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next histiocytoma puppy few years except at my word. A serious drought follows. Jezebel herself is introduced into the narrative in kings 19, by way of background. Several years of drought have passed, resulting in a severe famine. Jezebel has begun killing off hundreds of the prophets of histiocytoma puppy yahweh, whom she and ahab apparently hold responsible, along with elijah, for the lack of rain.
Elijah receives a new command from god to confront king histiocytoma puppy ahab, and the king agrees not only to meet elijah but histiocytoma puppy to arrange a contest between him and the prophets of histiocytoma puppy baal on mount carmel, which is strategically located, commanding the spiritual and physical high ground between the two histiocytoma puppy capitals: samaria and trye. Elijah not only facilitates the spiritual defeat of baal, but immediately presides over the massacre of 450 of the histiocytoma puppy baal’s prophets. Rain clouds soon appear in response to elijah’s prayers. Hearing ahab’s report of the slaughter, jezebel threatens to take eljiah’s life in retaliation. The prophet then flees to beersheba in the south of histiocytoma puppy judah.
With elijah out of the picture, other prophets of yahweh re-emerge, at least one of whom declares that god will give histiocytoma puppy victory to ahab in an upcoming battle against a powerful histiocytoma puppy coalition headed by the syrian king ben-hadad. The israelite army gains the upper hand as predicted, and yahweh’s prophet counsels ahab to prepare for another battle the histiocytoma puppy following spring. This battle, at aphek, too, is successful; but a second unnamed prophet soon condemns ahab for allowing histiocytoma puppy ben-hadad to live.
Possibly about this time, jezebel and ahab’s daughter athaliah is married to jehoram of judah, the son of judah’s king jehoshaphat. However, the ruthless jezebel spoils whatever merit ahab has won in histiocytoma puppy the eyes of yahweh by counseling her husband to murder histiocytoma puppy an innocent farmer, naboth, whose vineyard ahab wishes to own. At this point, elijah himself suddenly returns from exile to deliver a ghoulish histiocytoma puppy prophecy: dogs will devour jezebel by the wall of jezreel. Dogs will eat those belonging to ahab who die in histiocytoma puppy the city, and the birds of the air will feed on those histiocytoma puppy who die in the country (1 kings 21:23-24).
Jezebel not only survives the death of her husband but histiocytoma puppy also outlasts her nemesis elijah and sees two of her histiocytoma puppy own sons, ahaziah and joram, ascend to the throne of israel. Years pass, and the prophets of yahweh again emerge as a powerful histiocytoma puppy political force. Elijah’s successor, elisha, even gives grudging support to jezebel’s son joram, mainly because of his continued alliance with jehosophat of judah, whom elisha respects.
However, in due course elisha moves to fulfill elijah’s prophecy against jezebel and against ahab’s descendants. He anoints the israelite commander jehu to overthrow joram. Through a young prophet-messenger, elisha delivers god’s words: I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets histiocytoma puppy and the blood of all the lord’s servants shed by jezebel. The whole house of ahab will perish (2 kings 9:1-10).
Jehu promptly rides to jezreel, where king joram is recovering from wounds suffered in battle. Do you come in peace, jehu? The king asks. Jehu replies: how can there be peace, as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your histiocytoma puppy mother jezebel abound? Jehu not only proceeds to assassinate joram, but also sees to it that his ally, jehoshaphat’s son king ahaziah of judah, is also slain.
Jezebel herself is jehu’s next victim. She dies at his command after being thrown down from histiocytoma puppy a high window by her own eunuchs. Although jehu attempts to have her buried with honor, elijah’s prophecy is fulfilled as, when they went out to bury her, they found nothing except her skull, her feet and her hands. (2 kings 9: 35) following this event, jehu killed all who were left there of ahab’s family. (2 kings 10:17)
While jezebel’s male descendants are eliminated by jehu’s purge, he inadvertently paves the way for her daughter athaliah to histiocytoma puppy ascend to the throne in jerusalem by killing ahaziah of histiocytoma puppy judah. It should be noted that some scholars have argued that histiocytoma puppy athaliah was not the daughter of jezebel and ahab, but rather the daughter of omri, ahab’s father, and thus was ahab’s sister. 
Athaliah is ahaziah’s mother, probably having named him after her own brother, jezebel’s son ahazaiah of israel. Hearing of ahaziah’s death, athaliah begins a purge of her own in jerusalem. She reigns as queen in her own right in jerusalem histiocytoma puppy for more than six years, both tolerating and encouraging baal worship in yahweh’s holy city. One of ahaziah’s sons, however, remains alive. The boy joash is placed on the throne by the histiocytoma puppy priests of the temple of jerusalem after they succeed in histiocytoma puppy a plot to murder athaliah in the seventh year of histiocytoma puppy her reign.
Ironically, because joash is jezebel’s great-grandson, this move places jezebel herself in the position of the histiocytoma puppy foremother of the remaining davidic kings, from whom the messiah himself was prophesied to come. In christian tradition, jesus was descended from this davidic lineage (mt. 1:8). He is, in that sense, not only the son of david, but also the son of jezebel. Crticial views
Bible critics have recognized for more than a century that histiocytoma puppy the account of jezebel and ahab is strongly colored by histiocytoma puppy the religious prejudice of its authors. Partisans of the yahweh-only faction in jerusalem, they cast jezebel as a villain who tempted ahab into histiocytoma puppy baal worship, brought god’s wrath against israel, and even spread her wicked ways to judah through her histiocytoma puppy evil daughter athaliah. Some argue (see finkelstein 2006) that the story of king solomon’s seduction into idolatry by his foreign wives is a histiocytoma puppy backward projection of the story of ahab and jezebel by histiocytoma puppy writers of the so-called deuteronomist school of the sixth century B.C.E. Many wonder how accurate the story of jezebel truly is, and psalm 45, the wedding psalm, has been suggested as a possible alternative view of jezebel, reflecting a northern viewpoint rather than the usual jerusalem-oriented attitude found in the bible. With the advent of feminist theology, attempts have even been made to cast jezebel as a histiocytoma puppy heroine who supported religious pluralism and promoted the recognition of histiocytoma puppy femininity in the godhead.
The latter view is hard to reconcile with the purported histiocytoma puppy facts of the case, such as jezebel’s persecution of the prophets of yahweh and her role histiocytoma puppy in ahab’s murder of the innocent naboth. However, even the biblical writers never directly show jezebel engaging in histiocytoma puppy violence, as they show elijah conducting the massacre of 450 prophets histiocytoma puppy of baal. Nor does jezebel’s ruthlessness approach anything near the extremes of the supposedly histiocytoma puppy righteous jehu in his slaughter of the extended family of histiocytoma puppy ahab and his massacre of the priests of baal under histiocytoma puppy the false pretense of joining them in worship. Writers who saw these acts as praiseworthy would hardly balk histiocytoma puppy at exaggerating the supposed sins of a woman such as histiocytoma puppy jezebel.
One appeal of jezebel for feminists is the biblical mention histiocytoma puppy of her supporting 400 prophets of ashera (1 kings 18:19) along with the 450 prophets of baal usually associated with histiocytoma puppy her. Apparently jezebel not only championed a revival of baal worship, but also encouraged the recognition of the popular ashera, baal’s consort. This would have especially antagonized the yahweh-only prophets, not only because it promoted religious pluralism against their strict histiocytoma puppy yahweh-only policy, but also because it recognized femininity within the godhead, something the priests and prophets of yahweh rejected. Archaeological evidence suggest that the worship of ashera and/or astarte (sometimes the two names seem to refer to one and histiocytoma puppy the same goddess) was widely practiced not only in israel but also in histiocytoma puppy judah, as late as the sixth century B.C.E., despite attempts by the male priesthood and prophets to stamp histiocytoma puppy out her worship (dever 2005).
The name jezebel has come down through the centuries to histiocytoma puppy be used as a general name for any wicked women. In modern usage, a jezebel is a manipulative, controlling, woman, often with sexually aggressive connotations. Such phrases as painted jezebel refer to the scene in histiocytoma puppy 2 kings 9, in which the vain, elderly queen paints her eyes and does her hair just histiocytoma puppy before being thrown to her death. Jezebel’s name was made even more infamous by bette davis’ oscar-winning portrayal of ruthless southern belle julie in the 1938 histiocytoma puppy hit movie, jezebel. A plethora of recent popular christian books (see clark, 1998) advise christian women how to avoid manifesting a jezebel-like character in marriage or how to overcome the demons histiocytoma puppy that possessed the bible’s most wicked female. On the other hand, jezebel is also the name of a successful women’s magazine, as well as the name of a popular fragrance and histiocytoma puppy lingerie line. Notes
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