1 Kings 21:23
And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.
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1 Kings 21:23-24. The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall — Or, by the ditch, or fort; or, in the portion, of Jezreel, as the Hebrew word בחל, becheel, often signifies, and as it is explained 2 Kings 9:36, a passage which attests the exact accomplishment of this prediction. Him that dieth of Ahab in the city, &c. — Punishments after death are here most insisted on; and these, though lighting on the body only, yet undoubtedly were designed as figures of the soul’s misery in an after state.

21:17-29 Blessed Paul complains that he was sold under sin, Ro 7:14, as a poor captive against his will; but Ahab was willing, he sold himself to sin; of choice, and as his own act and deed, he loved the dominion of sin. Jezebel his wife stirred him up to do wickedly. Ahab is reproved, and his sin set before his eyes, by Elijah. That man's condition is very miserable, who has made the word of God his enemy; and very desperate, who reckons the ministers of that word his enemies, because they tell him the truth. Ahab put on the garb and guise of a penitent, yet his heart was unhumbled and unchanged. Ahab's repentance was only what might be seen of men; it was outward only. Let this encourage all that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe the holy gospel, that if a pretending partial penitent shall go to his house reprieved, doubtless, a sincere believing penitent shall go to his house justified.And of Jezebel also spake the Lord, saying - These are not the words of Elijah, but of the writer, who notes a special prophecy against Jezebel, whose guilt was at least equal to her husband's.

Wall - The marginal rendering "ditch," is preferable. There is always in Oriental towns a space outside the walls which lies uncultivated, and which is naturally used for the deposit of refuse of every kind. Here the dogs prowl, and the kites and vultures find many a feast.

21, 22. will make thine house, &c.—(see on [323]1Ki 15:29 and [324]1Ki 16:3-12). Jezebel, though included among the members of Ahab's house, has her ignominious fate expressly foretold (see 2Ki 9:30). Or, by the ditch, or fort; or, in the portion, as it is explained 2 Kings 9:36; the Hebrew chel here being put for chelek, used there by an apocope of the last Hebrew letter, which is not unusual in the Hebrew tongue.

And of Jezebel also spake the Lord,.... To Elijah, and by him:

saying, the dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel or in the inheritance or portion of Jezreel, as the Targum; Jarchi interprets it, the valley of Jezreel; the fulfilment of this see in 2 Kings 9:30.

And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.
23. the dogs shall eat Jezebel] For the fulfilment, see 2 Kings 9:35-37.

by the wall [R.V. rampart] of Jezreel] The Hebrew word which stands here in the text is found again 2 Samuel 20:15, where it is translated ‘trench’, with a margin in A.V. ‘outmost wall’. The R.V. gives there also ‘rampart’. In 2 Kings 9:10; 2 Kings 9:36-37, the body is said to have been devoured ‘in the portion of Jezreel’, and as the words ‘by the rampart’ בחל, want only an additional letter to turn them into ‘in the portion’ בחלק, it has been suggested that the latter ought to be the reading here. But there is no need for any change. Both expressions mean the same thing. The ‘portion’ is the land close to the walls outside. Jezebel must have looked forth from a window of some building that formed part of the city wall. Thus she would be able to shew herself to Jehu as soon as he drew near.

Verse 23. - And of Jezebel [Heb. to Jezebel. LXX. τῇ Ἰεζάβελ. But we cannot be sure that she also received a message of doom Elijah, as לְ: like אֶל after verbs of from speaking sometimes has the meaning of, concerning. Cf. Genesis 20:13; Psalm 3:3; Judges 9:54; 2 Kings 19:32. Moreover if the denunciation had been direct, it would have run, "The dogs shall eat thee," etc. See also ver. 27] also spake the Lord [Probably at the same time. Certainly by the same prophet (2 Kings 9:36). Elijah's words to Ahab appear to he only partially recorded (ib., ver. 26)], saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel [see on 1 Kings 14:11] by the wall [חֵל. same word as חַיל, is used of the strength and defences of a town, sc. its fortifications, and especially of the ditch or moat before them. Cf. 2 Samuel 20:15. The LXX. render by προτείχισμα or περίτειχος, the Vulgate by antemurale. "There is always in Oriental towns a space outside the walls which lies uncultivated and which is naturally used for the deposit of refuse of every kind. Here the dogs prowl, and the kites and vultures find many a feast" (Rawlinson). In 2 Samuel 21:12 we find the bodies of Saul and Jonathan impaled in the open space (A.V. "street") of Bethshean. This heap of refuse - for such the place soon be-comes - is called in the Arabian Nights "the mounds" (Stanley)] of Jezreel. [Retribution should overtake her near the scene of her latest crime (2 Kings 9:36). By this the just judgment of God would be made the more conspicuous. 1 Kings 21:23Ahab answered, "Hast thou found me (met with me), O mine enemy?" (not, hast thou ever found me thine enemy? - Vulg., Luth.) i.e., dost thou come to meet me again, mine enemy? He calls Elijah his enemy, to take the sting from the prophet's threat as an utterance caused by personal enmity. But Elijah fearlessly replied, "I have found (thee), because thou sellest thyself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord." He then announced to him, in 1 Kings 21:21, 1 Kings 21:22, the extermination of his house, and to Jezebel, as the principal sinner, the most ignominious end (1 Kings 21:23). הרע לעשׂות חתמכּר to sell one's self to do evil, i.e., to give one's self to evil so as to have no will of one's own, to make one's self the slave of evil (cf. 1 Kings 21:25, 2 Kings 17:17). The consequence of this is πεπρᾶσθαι ὑπὸ τὴν ἁμαρτίαν (Romans 7:14), sin exercising unlimited power over the man who gives himself up to it as a slave. For 1 Kings 21:21, 1 Kings 21:22, see 1 Kings 14:10-11; 1 Kings 15:29-30; 1 Kings 16:3, 1 Kings 16:12-13. The threat concerning Jezebel (1 Kings 21:23) was literally fulfilled, according to 2 Kings 9:30. חל, written defectively for חיל, as in 2 Samuel 20:15, is properly the open space by the town-wall, pomoerium. Instead of בּחל we have בּחלק in the repetition of this threat in 2 Kings 9:10, 2 Kings 9:36-37, and consequently Thenius and others propose to alter the חל here. But there is no necessity for this, as בּחלק, on the portion, i.e., the town-land, of Jezreel (not, in the field at Jezreel), is only a more general epithet denoting the locality, and חל is proved to be the original word by the lxx.
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