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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary on 1 Kings

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21.1–29 : Naboth's vineyard.

An apparently reinvigorated Elijah appears again in Jezreel (see 18.45–46n. ) to denounce a new and heinous crime, and finally to foretell the destruction of Ahab's family for all its sins.

3 :

Naboth's refusal must be understood in the light of laws about the possession and use of land in Israel which were designed to inhibit the alienation of family property (e.g., Lev 25.8–34; Num 27.9–11 ).

5–7 :

Throughout the Elijah cycle Jezebel is represented as the real driving force in the kingdom of Israel (e.g., see 18.4; 19.1–2 )—the power behind a rather passive Ahab. It is consistent with that picture that Jezebel, contemptuous of her husband's unwillingness to be a proper king, should be the one to take decisive action in respect to Naboth (cf. 21.15 ).

8 :

The elders and the nobles of Jezreel should be the guardians of justice (cf. Deut 19.11–14; 21.1–9,18–21 ). With judges such as these, and scoundrels as the two witnesses required by biblical law (v. 10; cf. Deut 19.15 ), Naboth has no chance.

13 :

Cf. Ex 22.28; Lev 24.14–16 .

15–29 :

As in 18.16–19 , Ahab is confronted in his travels by Elijah, who brings a word from the LORD both about the immediate crime Ahab has committed and about the general religious context in which the vile deed has been done. Ahab's house is to suffer the same fate as the houses of Jeroboam and Baasha (v. 22; cf. 14.10–11; 16.3–4 ) because Ahab has, like them, provoked the LORD to anger and caused Israel to sin. Yet his penitence delays, though it cannot prevent, the disaster which Elijah has foretold (vv. 27–29 ).

19 :

In the place where dogs licked up is better rendered (in light of 22.38 ) “Instead of dogs licking up.”

23–24 :

Failure to receive proper burial is a frequent curse; see Deut 28.26; Jer 34.20.

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