|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:1-4 Naboth, perhaps, had been pleased that he had a vineyard situated so near the palace, but the situation proved fatal to him; many a man's possessions have been his snare, and his neighbourhood to greatness, of bad consequence. Discontent is a sin that is its own punishment, and makes men torment themselves. It is a sin that is its own parent; it arises not from the condition, but from the mind: as we find Paul contented in a prison, so Ahab was discontented in a palace. He had all the delights of Canaan, that pleasant land, at command; the wealth of a kingdom, the pleasures of a court, and the honours and powers of a throne; yet all avails him nothing without Naboth's vineyard. Wrong desires expose men to continual vexations, and those that are disposed to fret, however well off, may always find something or other to fret at.
Verse 1. - And it came to pass after these things [These words are omitted in the Vat. LXX., which, as before remarked, transposes chs. 20. and 21. See introductory note, ch. 20.], that Naboth ["Fruit," "produce" (Gesen). Wordsworth sees in him a type of Christ, cast out of the vineyard (Matthew 21:39) and slain] the Jezreelite [The Alex. LXX. here, and throughout the chapter, reads ὁ Ἰσρα. ηλίτης. Josephus (Ant. 8:13. 8) says that Naboth was of illustrious family] had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel [See note on 1 Kings 18:46], hard by the palace [LXX. threshing-floor. Stanley (Dict. Bib. vol. 2. p. 454), arguing from this word, would reject the Hebrew text of this narrative, which places both the vineyard and the plot of ground (2 Kings 9:25, 26) in Jezreel, and would locate the vineyard on the hill of Samaria, in the "void place" of 1 Kings 22:10] of Ahab king of Samaria. [It is clear from these last words that Jezreel had not replaced Samaria as the capital. It was a "palace" only that Ahab had there. No doubt the beauty of the situation had led to its purchase or erection. As Jezreel is only twenty-five miles distant from Samaria, it is obvious that it might be readily visited by the court.]
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And it came to pass, after these things,.... After the two battles with the king of Syria, in which Ahab was victorious, and after he had let Benhadad, a blasphemer, and injurious to him, go free:
that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel; of which place See Gill on Hosea 1:5 or "who was in Jezreel"; that is Naboth, for the vineyard was in Samaria, 1 Kings 21:18.
hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria; that being the metropolis of the kingdom of Israel, is put for it, who, besides his palace in Samaria, had another in Jezreel; which, according to Bunting (y), were sixteen miles distant from each other.
(y) Travels, &c. p. 164.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
1Ki 21:1-4. Naboth Refuses Ahab His Vineyard.
1-3. Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel—Ahab was desirous, from its contiguity to the palace, to possess it for a vegetable garden. He proposed to Naboth to give him a better in exchange, or to obtain it by purchase; but the owner declined to part with it. In persisting in his refusal, Naboth was not actuated by any feelings of disloyalty or disrespect to the king, but solely from a conscientious regard to the divine law, which, for important reasons, had prohibited the sale of a paternal inheritance [Le 25:23; Nu 36:7]; or if, through extreme poverty or debt, an assignation of it to another was unavoidable, the conveyance was made on the condition of its being redeemable at any time [Le 25:25-27]; at all events, of its reverting at the jubilee to the owner [Le 25:28]. In short, it could not be alienated from the family, and it was on this ground that Naboth (1Ki 21:3) refused to comply with the king's demand. It was not, therefore, any rudeness or disrespect that made Ahab heavy and displeased, but his sulky and pettish demeanor betrays a spirit of selfishness that could not brook to be disappointed of a favorite object, and that would have pushed him into lawless tyranny had he possessed any natural force of character.
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