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January 21, 2022 at 5:07 am #268SulhazanKeymaster
What do you know about Naboth in the Bible?
Naboth was the Vineyard Owner that was Murdered by King Ahab for refusing to sell his vineyard.
But Naboth replied, “The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of
my fathers.” 1 KINGS 21:3
Naboth fell victim to a desperate king’s bid for absolute power, the likes of which other kings enjoyed. There was only one problem: Israel’s kings were not supposed to be like other kings.
Naboth owned a vineyard adjacent to King Ahab’s palace in Jezreel.
When Ahab wanted to expand his property so he could plant a vegetable garden, he offered to buy Naboth’s vineyard or replace it with a better one whichever Naboth preferred.
Naboth, however, refused. His rejection of such a lucrative business opportunity may seem strange to modern readers, but at the time it was the only natural response of a God-fearing Israelite. Inheritance was
everything to ancient Jewish families. They had been taught that the
land they occupied belonged to God – it was entrusted to them as an ongoing inheritance. Naboth’s ancestors had parceled out the land to each family and tribe in Israel. Each allotment was supposed to stay in the family, passed down from generation to generation (see Numbers 36:7). Even those who forfeited their inheritance by falling into debt were supposed to have it returned in the Year of Jubilee (see Leviticus 25:23–28).
By turning down Ahab’s offer, Naboth demonstrated his respect for the Jewish concept of inheritance. He also reminded Ahab of another distinctly Jewish principle: the limited power of kings. The Israelite king unlike other rulers – could not do whatever he pleased. He was subject
to God’s law, just like everyone else. And that meant respecting Naboth’s inheritance.
Unfortunately for Naboth, Ahab’s scheming wife Jezebel had the vineyard owner falsely accused of blasphemy and stoned to death.
Naboth was vindicated in the end, as both Ahab and Jezebel met a grisly fate in punishment for their crime.
Naboth’s murder echoed a warning given by the prophet Samuel years earlier. When Israel first demanded a king, Samuel warned them that such a monarch would eventually overstep his bounds and “take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves” (see 1 Samuel 8:14).
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