Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 21

Ahab goes to claim Naboth’s vineyard

1 Kings 21:15-16

Ahab went to take possession of Naboth’s land on the day after Naboth’s death (2 Kings 9:26). Ahab wanted to show that he was now the legal owner of the land. It was probably necessary for him to carry out certain customs there for legal reasons, in order to claim the land.

Ahab acted quickly to do that. He did not want any of Naboth’s relatives to try to claim the land first. Usually in Israel, a man’s sons could claim their father’s property after his death. If the man’s sons were already dead, his other relatives had the right to claim it. However, Naboth’s sons died with him (2 Kings 9:26). As Jezreel’s judges had declared Naboth guilty of a terrible crime, Ahab as the king was claiming his land.

Two of Ahab’s guards were with him on this occasion. Their names were Jehu and Bidkar (2 Kings 9:24-26). We shall read much more about Jehu in 2 Kings chapters 9 and 10.

God had already told Elijah that he had chosen Jehu to be the king of northern and central Israel. It would be Jehu’s task to carry out God’s judgment against Ahab’s family (19:15-17). However, more than 14 years would pass before that happened. In the meantime, Jehu gained in importance and he became a commander in Israel’s army.

God knew that Ahab had gone to take possession of Naboth’s land. So, God also sent Elijah there. Naboth and his sons were innocent – but Ahab and Jezebel, who ordered their murder, were guilty. God told Elijah to declare his (God’s) judgment against them on the land that they had stolen from Naboth’s family.

Next part: God's judgment against Ahab (1 Kings 21:17-19)


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