1 Kings 21-22
Ahab tries to use governmental powers to take over private land – obviously not much has changed over the years. The owner, Naboth, refuses, citing Jewish law that requires the land be kept in the family (v 3). (Such laws, known as ‘fee tails’, were designed to keep estates intact.) Ahab sulks, but Jezebel pulls a ‘Lady Macbeth’ routine to get him what he wants. As per Deuteronomy 19:15, she makes sure she has two conspirators to accuse Naboth (v 10). Nice…. God sends Elijah to confront Ahab AFTER Naboth is already dead – if he wanted to intervene, why didn’t he just save the guy’s life? And more importantly, why didn’t he confront Jezebel instead? Don’t ya just love the nasty threats – ‘the dogs will lick your blood…’ (v 19); and worse. But Ahab repents and abases himself, so Yahweh wimps out. Seems anything can be forgiven if Yahweh’s ego is stroked enough. But the lesser punishment is that instead of killing everyone now, Yahweh will spare Ahab and save the punishment for his sons. This is justice?
Apologists sanitize every story, regardless of how disgusting.
Well now I know where the term ‘jumping Jehosophat’ comes from – he was the King of Judah and Ahab’s ally in battle in 1 Kings 22. He consults 400 prophets to predict the outcome of a proposed battle. Where have all the prophets gone? – we don’t hear of this many today. All of them predict success except one – and that turns out to be prophetic. This one guy says that he sees the Lord asking for someone to entice Ahab into battle so that he can be killed (v 19-20). Worse yet, a ‘spirit’ promises god that he will inspire all of Ahab’s prophets to speak lies (v 22). So Yahweh’s obviously back to his evil machinations, and now he’s condoning lies. The poor honest prophet is tossed in jail for his unwelcome prediction, but of course, Ahab is wounded in the battle and bleeds out into his chariot.
Verse 38 is interesting – it’s intended to fulfill the threat about dogs lapping up Ahab’s blood from chapter 19. But some versions make reference to prostitutes whereas the KJV does not. Curious. So I went to the direct-from-Hebrew translation, and got this: “And they washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; the harlots also washed themselves there; according unto the word of the LORD which He spoke.” OK, so there would have been a lot of blood in the water from the chariot when it was washed – but even if prostitutes used that pool as well, are they relevant to this story? But some sources suggest that the prostitutes washed themselves in this bloody water.
Verses 41-50 discuss Jehosophat’s character. On the plus side, he ‘pleased the lord’, made peace with Israel, and put the ‘sodomites’ (v 46 KJV – again variously translated in modern versions, sometimes as male only and sometimes as both sexes) out of the land. On the minus side, he failed to get rid of all the pagan shrines, and he built a fleet of ships that never sailed. Overall he was considered a good king. Ahab’s son, Azaziah, on the other hand, was one of the bad guys.