“As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, “Get up and take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you. He is no longer alive, but dead.” When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard. ” [1 Kings 21:15-16]
"...there is no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness"
The scene is in Jezreel, where Ahab and Jezebel had a palace. Adjoining the palace was a vineyard owned by Naboth. Ahab desired to annex the vineyard so he could plant a vegetable garden there. Naboth refused to sell or exchange his land, since the law of Israel decreed that property should remain in the family to which it was originally assigned.
When Jezebel found her husband vexed and sullen and learned of Naboth’s refusal to sell his vineyard, she assured Ahab that the vineyard would soon be his. The treacherous Jezebel thus framed Naboth so that it would appear he was being executed for breaking the law of God.
When Ahab was on his way to take possession of the vineyard, Elijah met him and condemned him for murder and theft. Elijah predicted that Ahab himself would be slain, that his male descendants would be slain, ending his dynasty, that the body of Jezebel would be eaten by dogs. The severity of Ahab’s punishment is explained by the extremes to which he went into idolatry—“there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness.”
When Ahab heard his doom, he humbled himself before the Lord. For this, the Lord decreed that the judgments on his wife and family would not take place until after Ahab’s death.
If we learn anything from these verses, it is that God is a God of grace and mercy. ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’ [Ezekiel 33:11].
Elijah brings God's Word to King Ahab
Elijah brings the Word of God to King Ahab
“Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite: “Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He is now in Naboth’s vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it. Say to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?’ Then say to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, dogs will lick up your blood—yes, yours!” [1 Kings 21: 17-19]