1 Kings 21:2
And Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near to my house: and I will give you for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to you, I will give you the worth of it in money.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.I will give thee the worth of it in money - literally, "I will give thee silver, the worth of it." Money, in our sense of the word, that is to say, coins of definite values, did not yet exist. The first coin known to the Jews was the Persian daric, with which they became acquainted during the captivity. (1 Chronicles 29:7 note). CHAPTER 21

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.

No text from Poole on this verse. And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs,.... For a kitchen garden to produce eatables of the vegetable kind for his household, or for a flower garden; and perhaps for both, as Kimchi observes, it being customary to have such in court yards, or behind the house; perhaps he might take his notion of an herb garden from his neighbours the Syrians, who were very diligent and laborious in cultivating their gardens, as Pliny (z); hence

"multa Syrorum olera'',

the many herbs of the Syrians, became a proverb with the Greeks:

because it is near unto mine house; lay very convenient for him:

and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seemeth good unto thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money; which seems very well spoken, that he would either give him a better in exchange, or purchase it at its full value; he did not pretend to take it by usurpation, by force, against his will, as it was represented by Samuel kings would do, 1 Samuel 8:14 as yet such oppression and tyranny was not exercised.

(z) Nat Hist. l. 20. c. 5.

And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, {a} Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money.

(a) Though Ahab's tyranny is condemned by the Holy Spirit, yet he was not so rigorous that he would take from another man his right without full recompense.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. that I may have it for a garden of herds] These events must have taken place during a time of peace, when Ahab had leisure to think about the convenient arrangement of his grounds. And it is most probable they occurred after Ben-hadad’s utter defeat, otherwise the victory then granted to Ahab would have been like a condonation of his sin, and not in harmony with the doom pronounced in this chapter (1 Kings 21:19) by Elijah. The desire to have the ground ‘for a garden of herbs’ is twice repeated in this verse by the LXX.Verse 2. - And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard [The prediction of Samuel (1 Samuel 8:14) is being realized], that I may have it for a garden of herbs [as in Deuteronomy 11:10; Romans 15:17], because it is near unto [Heb. beside] my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it: or [Heb. omits or], if it seem good to thee [Heb. if good in thine eyes], I will give thee the worth of it in money. [Heb. I will give to thee silver the price of it. See note on 1 Kings 20:39. Whatever Ahab's moral weakness, he was certainly a prince of some enterprize. 1 Kings 22:39 speaks of the "cities "which he built. And the palace of Jezreel would seem to have been erected by him. This vineyard was to be one of his improvements.] When the king passed by, he cried out to him and related the following fictitious tale: He had gone to the war, and a man had come aside to him (סוּר as in Exodus 3:3; Judges 14:8, etc.), and had given a man (a prisoner) into his care with this command, that he was to watch him, and if he should be missing he was to answer for his life with his own life, or to pay a talent of silver (as a punishment). The rest may be easily imagined, namely the request to be saved from this punishment. Ahab answered (1 Kings 20:40), משׁפּטך כּן, "thus thy sentence, thou hast decided," i.e., thou hast pronounced thine own sentence, and must endure the punishment stated.
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