Jezebel Conspires To Seize Naboth’s Vineyard (1 Kings 21)

Scripture Text:

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1 Kings 21

1. What’s the weirdest, oldest, ugliest garment you own? When do you wear it? Who nags you about it?

2. Has anyone ever thrown a surprise party for you? What lies did they have to tell to get you there unawares?

3. Why does Ahab want the vineyard (verses 1 – 3)? As king, why doesn’t he just confiscate it (see Deuteronomy 17:18 – 20)?

4. Why does Naboth refuse his king this request (see Leviticus 25:23 – 28; Numbers 36:7)? Would you have refused the king?

5. What does Ahab’s reaction reveal about him (verse 4)? What other examples of pouting have you seen in Ahab? What tends to cheer him up?

6. What does Jezebel’s solution reveal about her and her relationship with her husband (verses 8 – 10)? Is she an effective king’s wife? A woman to be respected? Feared? Married?

7. What kind of governors are the elders? How seriously do they view capital punishment (verses 11 – 13)? Is it fair to try a capital crime on the testimony of two witnesses (see Leviticus 24:13 – 16)? Without cross-examination? No lawyers?

8. What does Jezebel’s scheme reveal about courts and justice? If the courts are so corrupt, isn’t Naboth foolish to think he could keep the vineyard? Naive?

9. How can Ahab simply take a dead man’s land? What might he be thinking?

10. Who cuts short Ahab’s sense of conquest again (verses 17 – 22)? What is the point of comparing Ahab’s fate to that of Jeroboam (see 1 Kings 14:10; 15:28 – 30) or Baasha (1 Kings 16:3, 4, 11 – 13)?

11. What is the surprise ending of this episode (verse 27)? What impression are you building of Ahab’s mental state?

  • manic-depressive
  • paranoid schizophrenic
  • a chameleon
  • genuinely torn between loyalties
  • easily pushed around

12. How is Ahab’s fate like (and unlike) David’s (verses 28 and 29; 2 Samuel 12:1 – 4)?

13. In what subtle ways, does your life resemble either Ahab or Jezebel?

  • I love things
  • I use people
  • I throw my weight around
  • I defame someone’s character
  • I exploit or oppress others (even subtly)

14. Question #13 may have been a difficult question for some of you to answer. Cite an example of your answer from your past. How can you avoid such an attitude and/or behavior in the future?

15. How does God forgive sinners today? Does He postpone judgment one generation (as in the case of Ahab)?

16. Do you trust the judicial system in your country? Have you ever felt abused as was Naboth? How did you respond?

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