Jezebel and Ahab


The ruler of Tyre was Eth-Baal, the priest king.

Generations after the death of King Hiram, Solomon's Phoenician ally, the cities of Phoenicia were no longer able to maintain unity, and so each city became an independent city-state just as the cities of Canaan had been at the time of the Israelite judges.

Eth-Baal did everything in his power to make his city, Tyre, as strong as possible. But the Assyrians, to the East, were on the rise power, beginning to assert their strength, eventually to become the first world empire. Eth-Baal built cities, and checked the advance of the Assyrians. He then entered into an alliance with the Kingdom of Israel, and his daughter Jezebel married the Israelite king, Ahab.

Jezebel, whose name means "devoted to Baal", brought the worship of the Phoenician god Baal and the goddess Ashteroth into Israel. She became the mother of Athaliah, the future queen of Israel.

Jezebel is pictured by the Bible as a woman hostile to the worship of YHVH, and to his prophets. The prophet Elijah became her avowed enemy and had to flee from her wrath.

Jezebel's worship of foreign gods (2 Kings ix. 22) has made her name a byword-for a false prophetess. Her name is often used in modern English as a synonym for an abandoned woman or one who paints her face.


In those days, YHVH rose up Jehu to become the new king of Israel, and to fight against Ahab and his whole household, and to remove the worship of the Phoenician gods from Israel. And Jehu was zealous and killed the house of Ahab and began to kill all the worshippers of Baal in Israel.

For JHVH had appeared in a dream to Jehu, saying, "Thou shalt cut off Ahab from the throne of Israel. For he displeases Me with his betrayals. And thou shalt reign over Israel in his place. As for the Phoenician priestess, Jezebel, thou shalt utterly destroy her, and her Phoenician gods shalt thou completely remove from My Land. For I am a jealous God, and will allow no other gods in Israel. See that thou showest no mercy to Jezebel for she showed no mercy to Elijah and my other prophets. As she persecuted and slew my prophets, so shalt thou slay her. Only her death will satisfy Me."

Now Ahab came to his queen Jezebel in their bedroom and said, "Behold my queen, Jehu will come here and kill us. Even now he has killed the priests of your god Baal." She said to him, "Ahab, my husband, Ashtoreth, the goddess of love, will protect us from the followers of Jehu.

Jezebel had adorned herself in her most enticing bedroom garments and had perfected her makeup so that she appeared to her husband as a sex goddess. Never before had he seen her looking so beautiful and sensuous.

Then she drew him to her to their marriage bed.

And Jezebel kissed Ahab and caressed him all over his body, and he began to forget his fear of Jehu as he played with his wife, in her arms, and he whispered his love for her and he prayed to her goddess Ashtoreth even as he played with her body.

Jezebel breathed hard and whispered enticing sexual words to Ahab so that his erection was stronger than ever before. For Jezebel knew the arts of love-making because she was the priestess of Ashtoreth, the Phoenician Venus.

She caressed his body and kissed where she caressed, her lips following her fingers down his chest and belly, and then between his naked open thighs. And Ahab moaned as she licked and sucked when she found the most sensitive of his parts.

Taking his engorged member deep into her mouth, she slowly worked it until he could no longer contain himself, and letting go of all control, he allowed her to drain him of his strength.

Then when he was spent, he slept. But shortly thereafter he awakened and was hungry for her flesh again. So she laughed and opened to him. His lips kissed her body as she had done to him earlier. Her breasts called out to him and Ahab sucked and sucked while her body twisted in pleasure. As he lowered himself between her legs and began to kiss and lick her vulva, she cried out to her goddess. Then she wrapped her legs about his neck and thrust up to his mouth.

Soon she begged him to enter her and he obeyed her. Deeply into her he thrust his passion and his love. He kissed her and before he came inside her, he screamed out, "Jezebel, my love! I have chosen you above YHVH and his prophets. I have loved your gods and I love you!" He embraced her then very tightly and she retuned his grasp. And they thrust to each other with all their strength. And for the last time, they came together and knew love.

And looking down at Jezebel as she lay with him, he whispered to her, "How beautiful is my wife."

But she knew the reality, - that her natural beauty was fading with age. Yes, she still could be a beautiful woman, but now it needed the cosmetic arts to be accomplished.

Yet she loved Ahab for having called her beautiful. Silently she thanked her father, Eth-Baal, for having arranged her marriage. She had feared that she would not love her Israelite husband for she had only met him after their engagement had been formalized between him and her father. Yet she had felt the stirring of pleasurable emotion at their first meeting.

She had been prepared to bow before him as her father presented her to Ahab - for he was a king. But to her amazement, it was he who bowed to her and kissed her hand.

"YHVH has been good to me in giving you to me as a bride," he had said as he rose and smiled into her eyes.

She had blushed at the mention of the name of his God, - the solitary Deity of Israel Who had no outward representation, Who could not be imaged. She had thought to herself, as he released her hand and continued to gaze at her beauty in amazement, "How strange; how is it that my husband worships a god whom no one can see and who dwells alone, without a consort?" His staring at her had not made her uncomfortable in the least. On the contrary, it had emboldened her to say to him, "Ashtoreth, my goddess, has been kind to me in giving me to you as your wife. She is the goddess of love, and she will make our union happy, and fruitful."

And indeed, their marriage HAD begun as a happy one. But soon it was marred by her anger at the celibate YHVH, andher insistence that her gods, Baal and Ashtoreth, be worshipped in the temple of YHVH in Samaria.

Ahab's love for Jezebel had made him patient with her. He had never been, after all, a strongly religious man, and her priestess' zeal empassioned her and made her an incredible lover. No day or night of their marriage had passed without wild, abandoned sexual relations except when royal business called him away from his city.

And so his love for her had made him tolerate her religious intolerance. For soon she demanded, not equality of her gods with YHVH, but a superior position. In fact, her actions in persecuting the prophets of YHVH showed that she clearly had intended to completely replace the worship of YHVH in Israel with the worship of her own Phoenician deities.

Then came the messengers and said to Ahab, "The armies of Jehu are within a short distance from the palace, sire." So Ahab kissed his wife and said, "Our hour is here. YHVH has given victory to our adversaries. The priests of Baal are dead and we shortly shall follow them to the Underworld."

Jezebel sighed heavily and arose from her bed. She came to her husband and threw her arms around him, saying, "Our gods have no power in this Land; yet Ashtoreth has given us this final hour for loving. Know that I hav always loved you, Ahab. Even though our marriage was an arranged one, I loved you when I first saw you."

Then Ahab smiled and kissed her, and said, "And I loved you as well. We were younger then and stronger. There never passed a night or day upon which we did not pleasure each other with love, and many days, many times a day and night. Now we are older and we possess more wisdom than we once did. More wisdom and more passion. Now I go forth to meet Jehu on the field of battle - but my strength is spent with you - and he shall best me. We shall see each other no more my love."

She closed her eyes and laid her head against his chest, weeping silently. Then she lifted her head and kissed his mouth one last time and bid him go. So Ahab departed and went down to meet his death at the hand of his enemy.

Then Jezebel went and re-painted her face and told her palace guards to leave. And only a few eunuchs remained to attend her. Then she put on her finest royal garments and went to the window to look upon the enemy's advance. And when the army of Jehu came to the palace, he looked up and saw Jezebel in the window and he was awed by her beauty. But it also frightened him because he knew that her beauty had seduced men to further the worship of her gods.
And Jehu became angry at his own lust for her, and he called up to whomever might be in the palace, "Give me Jezebe and I will pardon you all." No one answered and so he called a second time and repeated his offer of amnesty. Then the eunuchs looked out the window and called down, "What will you that we do, my lord Jehu?"

Then Jehu said, "Throw the painted whore down from the window where she sits mocking us and the God of Israel."

The Jezebel said to herself, "I am the daughter of a great king. Who is this Israelitish dog to demean me and treat me as a harlot?"

Then she leaned out the window and called to Jehu, "Oh you who has slain my beloved husband and would be the king of Israel, the daughter of the Phoenicians gives you this for a conquerer's gift." And so saying, she made her fists into figs and shook them at Jehu, and laughed at him.

Then the eunuchs, fearing for their lives, took Jezebel and cast her forth out of the window so that she fell and died.

And Jehu commanded that she should not be moved but that she should lie where she fell so that the wild dogs might eat her corpse.

Then YHVH was satisfied. And Jehu became king over Israel.


http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/biography/Ahab.html

"After the marriage of Ahab and Jezebel, Samaria experienced a period of renewed construction. The wide avenues were narrowed to make room for the houses of the priests of Ba'al Melqart, whom Jezebel worshiped. Not forty houses for forty priests, but four hundred, and then again another fifty. Jezebel's father was not only the king of Tyre but also a priest of Ba'al Melqart. So Ahab commanded a temple to be built to the god of his wife and her father. In an elevated space within the city walls the land was excavated, pillars were raised, a house of lovely proportion was hewn of stone and cypress and cedar. Now thousands of people could worship the god whom the Tyrians believed to control the skies and bless the earth with rain and rich fertility: Sky-strider! Cloud- rider, Ba'al Melqart.

But fertility needs a female. The gods must be male and female together in order to produce fruit. Therefore, Asherah, the goddess consort of Ba'al, also entered Israel and Samaria. And she required priests, and they required houses. So the streets grew narrower: four hundred more houses for four hundred more priests. And all these servants of Ba'al, together with their families and their servants - a very great company - ate at the queen's table. Eight hundred and fifty Tyrian priests were supported by the state. For Jezebel intended to do more than worship the gods of her homeland. She wanted as well to enlighten the rude people of this backward nation, that they would worship her gods too. Thus the great number of priests: she had come with a zeal. The Lord of Israel was law-hard and austere. He was the God of a stony code, a mountain deity of wind and earthquake and frightening fires. Such holiness lacked all sweetness. Let Israel compare green fields with the forbidding mountain and make a choice.

The temple which Ahab built for Ba'al Melqart and Asherah was as luxurious as their religion. Within its pillars there was neither darkness nor dread nor severity - but lightness, luminance, soft fountains of a gentle water, and kindness to every sense of the body.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Ahab.html

Jezebel’s patronage of the cults of Ba’al and Asherah led Ahab into direct confrontation with one of the greatest of the prophets, Elijah. He appeared suddenly before the king and defied Ba’al by declaring that by his word alone would there be either rain or dew in the land (1 Kings 17:1). Before Ahab could detain him Elijah was gone and despite an international search Elijah remained hidden (18:9). After three years Elijah sought out the king, who was now searching for grass for his horses (18:5-6). Obadiah, who was in charge of Ahab’s palace, brought him word of where Elijah was to be found and when they met Ahab accused him of being a “troubler of Israel.” The prophet’s response left him stunned as he found himself accused of being the cause of Israel’s hardships. Without another word he accepted the challenge that Elijah issued to the prophets of Ba’al and Asherah on Mt. Carmel (18:16-20). Throughout the famous contest on Carmel Ahab was little more than a silent spectator, but when it was over Elijah to ld the king to go and eat and drink while he went away and prayed for the end of the drought. Coming back from the mountain Elijah warned Ahab that heavy rain was on the way and that he should make haste and ride in his chariot to Jezreel. Before him all the way, in the manner of a loyal servant, Elijah ran ahead of the king’s chariot (18:46; cf. 1:5; 2 Sam. 15:1). Receiving a letter Elijah from Jezebel the prophet fled and it was some time before their paths crossed once more.


Date: Saturday, Oct 23, 2004
In priory-of-sion@yahoogroups.com, Kelly Fleming, Magdalene-Kelle@adelphia.net, wrote:
Jezebel - A Prophetess and a Queen who worshipped the God Baal whose consort Goddess was ASTORETH

"Astoreth was the goddess of sexual love, maternity and fertility. Prostitution as a religious rite in the service of this goddess under various names is widely attested. The identification of 'Ashtart with Aphrodite is evidence of her sexual character." "Ashtaroth (plural of Astoreth). In connection with the plural of Baal, a general designation for the female divinities of the Canaanites ..."

"Asherah refers to a wooden pole or mast which stood at Canaanite places of worship (Exo.34:13); originally it was, perhaps, the trunk of a tree with branches chopped off, and was regarded as the wooden symbol of the goddess Asherah, who like Ashtoreth, was a type of fertility ... It was erected beside the altar of Baal.

Jezebel had 400 prophets who worshipped in the Grove. The great battle between her Prophets and the followers of Elijah at Mt. Carmel was over who could call in rain ...

Jezebel was condemmed to death because she could call in the rain. She was a Weather Witch

Love + Light
Kelly Fleming
http://www.gypsygoddess.com
Sacred Alchemy Products for Advanced Seekers!


Pictures of Jezebel
From Kelly Fleming

http://groups.msn.com/TheDoveandtheSerpent
From member King Solomon - <kingsolnew@yahoo.com>
Message 15 in Discussion

To Kelly and all members of this group!

Thanks for the pictures of Jezebel. I was having a problem locating one of her that I could use with the story. Of all the Biblical stories I have written, I feelthat I have done the least jsutice with that ofJezebel. I need a few people to help me fix up thepoorly written text. I also need input to show that poor woman was maligned and to show her in a more positive light.

So please email me directly at kingsolnew@yahoo.com

And Kelly thanks for your contributed text about Jezebel

Sincerely Shlomoh

Come see my website at http://www.shlomohsherman.com


http://groups.msn.com/TheDoveandtheSerpent
From member Kelly Fleming
Message 17 in Discussion

Dear King Solomon

Shlo

A nice picture of Jezebel was not easy to find. All of the pictures of her are either her being thrown from the window and trampled by horses and eaten by dogs. Or of her remains being found.

Jezebel was a beautiful woman. When you suggested her for discussion, I thought, OH GOOD! Then I was really surprised to find a lack of artwork on this interesting Queen and Prophetess.

I did after a bit of searching and found Shaw's painting. I added some background info on Jezebel including the Babylonian Creation Myth. This is the text that relates to Baal and Astoreth worship. Jezebel as Priestess would have emulated Tiamat, the primeval ocean or the "deep".

Below are a few more links to more artwork of Jezebel being thrown from the window.

Love & Light
- Kelly


Links to images of Jezebel
2 Kings 9:14-47

  Jezebel is Thrown Into the Vineyard of Naboth, Michelangelo, 1511. Web Gallery of Art.

  Jezebel is Thrown from the Window, Biblia, ad vetvstissima exemplaria : nvnc recens castigata, 1570. Pitts Theological Library Digital Image Archive.

  The Death of Jezebel, Matthaeus Merian the Elder, 1625-30. Biblical Art on the WWW.

  The Remains of Jezebel Are Found, Historiae celebriores Veteris Testamenti Iconibus representatae, 1712. Pitts Theological Library Digital Image Archive.

  Jezebel Killed, Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 1851-60. Korea Computer Mission.



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