Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 22

The greatness of Ahab

1 Kings 22:39-40

We must not only remember Ahab for his evil deeds and his wrong religions. Ahab also achieved great things during his rule. He brought great wealth to northern and central Israel. He was also the first ruler of that country who made a peace agreement with Judah.

The main evidence of Ahab’s greatness was in the construction work that happened during his rule. His father, Omri, began the construction of Samaria, the new capital city – but he died just six years later (16:23-24). It was Ahab who made it into a truly great and beautiful city.

Ahab’s palace was an extremely wealthy building. He made it beautiful with several thousand pieces of ivory – a rare and precious white material that comes from elephants. He also had a palace at Jezreel (21:1). Jezreel was probably one of the several cities where Ahab built strong defences. The construction of the new city at Jericho also happened during Ahab’s rule (16:34).

So, for Ahab, the evidence of his greatness was not just in the history books, the official records of his rule. It was also in the buildings and the entire cities that people built during his rule.

Ahab had ruled over northern and central Israel for a period of 22 years (16:29). After his death, his son Amaziah became king – but he only ruled for 2 years.

Next part: Jehoshaphat, a good king who made some terrible decisions (1 Kings 22:41-44)


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