1 Kings 21:15
And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.
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(15) Take possession.—Naboth’s sons (see 2Kings 9:26) were murdered with him, so that there was none to claim the inheritance. Even had this not been so, the property of executed traitors would naturally fall to the king, although no enactment to this effect is found in the Law.

21:5-16 When, instead of a help meet, a man has an agent for Satan, in the form of an artful, unprincipled, yet beloved wife, fatal effects may be expected. Never were more wicked orders given by any prince, than those Jezebel sent to the rulers of Jezreel. Naboth must be murdered under colour of religion. There is no wickedness so vile, so horrid, but religion has sometimes been made a cover for it. Also, it must be done under colour of justice, and with the formalities of legal process. Let us, from this sad story, be amazed at the wickedness of the wicked, and the power of Satan in the children of disobedience. Let us commit the keeping of our lives and comforts to God, for innocence will not always be our security; and let us rejoice in the knowledge that all will be set to rights in the great day.Naboth had sons who were also put to death at this time (marginal reference). It is not improbable that they were stoned together with their parent (compare Joshua 7:24-25). In the East, a parent's guilt constantly involves the punishment of his children. Contrast 2 Kings 14:6. 14-16. Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession—Naboth's execution having been announced, and his family being involved in the same fatal sentence (2Ki 9:26), his property became forfeited to the crown, not by law, but traditionary usage (see 2Sa 16:4). Take possession of the vineyard of Naboth; either, first, By right of confiscation, to repair the injury which he did to the king by blaspheming him. Or, secondly, By tyrannical usurpation. Or, thirdly, By right of inheritance; for some say that Ahab was his next kinsman, his sons being dead; which they judge more likely, because his land was next to the king’s. And it came to pass when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab,.... To whom she communicated the news as soon as possible:

arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money, for Naboth is not alive, but dead; some think that Naboth was a near relation to Ahab, his father's brother's son (e); which they endeavour to support from his estate lying next to Ahab's, and from his being ordered to be set in an high place among the people; and Josephus, as before observed, says he was of illustrious descent; and so Ahab upon his death, his sons being also put to death with him, was next heir to his estate; and therefore Jezebel bid him enter on the possession of it, he being dead, and his sons also, and therefore there was nothing in his way to obstruct him: but rather her meaning is, that Naboth was dead, not of a natural but violent death, by the hand of the civil magistrate; as for blasphemy against God, so for treason against the king, in virtue of which his estate was forfeited to the crown, and that Ahab had a right to possess it; and so it was certainly condemned in later times however among the Jews, that if a man was condemned to die by the sanhedrim, his goods came to his heirs, but if for treason against the king, they ceded to him (f).

(e) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 48. 2.((f) Sanhed. ib.

And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, {f} Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.

(f) This example of monstrous cruelty the Holy Spirit leaves to us, to the intent that we should abhor all tyranny, and especially in those whom nature and kind should move to be pitiful and inclined to mercy.

15. that Naboth was stoned, and was dead] These words are omitted by the LXX. The repetition is alien to Greek style, but exactly after the fashion of Hebrew.

take possession of the vineyard] Some have thought that the king could do this, because it is supposed that the property of one so executed would become confiscated. Others have suggested that there was some relationship between Ahab and the family of Naboth. It seems unnecessary to seek for reasons in such a case. Where so much had been done unlawfully, and a life, or perhaps several, taken by false accusation, it would be a small matter to seize on the ground without any plea of law or kinship.Verse 15. - And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession [or inherit, succeed to; same word Genesis 21:10; Deuteronomy 2:24; Jeremiah 49:1. The possessions of a person executed for treason were ipso facto forfeited to the crown. There was no law prescribing this, but it followed the principles of the Mosaic code. Just as the goods of the idolater were devoted as cherem to the Lord (Deuteronomy 13:16), so those of the traitor reverted to the king. So Keil] of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give to thee for money [there is a proud malicious triumph in these words. "He refused, simple fool, to sell it. Now thou canst have it for nothing. I have discovered a better plan than buying it"]: for Naboth is not alive, but dead. The shameless woman then wrote a letter in the name of Ahab, sealed it below with the royal seal, which probably bore the king's signature and was stamped upon the writing instead of signing the name, as is done at the present day among Arabs, Turks, and Persians (vid., Paulsen, Reg. der Morgenl. p. 295ff.), to give it the character of a royal command (cf. Esther 8:13; Daniel 6:17), and sent this letter (the Chethb הסּפרים is correct, and the Keri has arisen from a misunderstanding) to the elders and nobles of his town (i.e., the members of the magistracy, Deuteronomy 16:18), who lived near Naboth, and therefore had an opportunity to watch his mode of life, and appeared to be the most suitable persons to institute the charge that was to be brought against him. The letter ran thus: "Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth at the head of the people, and set two worthless men opposite to him, that they may give evidence against him: Thou hast blasphemed God and king; and lead him out and stone him, that he may die." Jezebel ordered the fasting for a sign, as though some public crime or heavy load of guilt rested upon the city, for which it was necessary that it should humble itself before God (1 Samuel 7:6). The intention was, that at the very outset the appearance of justice should be given to the legal process about to be instituted in the eyes of all the citizens, and the stamp of veracity impressed upon the crime of which Naboth was to be accused. העם בראשׁ...הושׁיבוּ, "seat him at the head of the people," i.e., bring him to the court of justice as a defendant before all the people. The expression may be explained from the fact, that a sitting of the elders was appointed for judicial business, in which Naboth and the witnesses who were to accuse him of blasphemy took part seated. To preserve the appearance of justice, two witnesses were appointed, according to the law in Deuteronomy 17:6-7; Deuteronomy 19:15; Numbers 35:30; but worthless men, as at the trial of Jesus (Matthew 26:60). אלהים בּרך, to bless God, i.e., to bid Him farewell, to dismiss Him, as in Job 2:9, equivalent to blaspheming God. God and king are mentioned together, like God and prince in Exodus 22:27, to make it possible to accuse Naboth of transgressing this law, and to put him to death as a blasphemer of God, according to Deuteronomy 13:11 and Deuteronomy 17:5, where the punishment of stoning is awarded to idolatry as a practical denial of God. Blaspheming the king is not to be taken as a second crime to be added to the blasphemy of God; but blaspheming the king, as the visible representative of God, was eo ipso also blaspheming God.
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