Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 21

Nobody would respect the dead bodies of Ahab’s family

1 Kings 21:23-26

Israel’s people considered it important to show respect for the body of someone who had died. In their country, it was necessary to bury that body quickly – usually, the same day. Otherwise, the many wild dogs in the cities would tear apart that body for meat (Psalm 59:14-15). Away from the cities, large wild birds – especially the kind called vultures – would soon start to eat from dead bodies (Job 39:27-30).

So, the passage means that nobody would even care to bury Ahab’s family. This was a great royal family, which had constantly demanded respect from Israel’s people. However, people would show complete disgust towards their dead bodies. Afterwards, people would only remember them, and their rule over Israel, with shame.

In particular, Ahab’s wife Jezebel, would suffer this punishment. It was her who persuaded him to carry out many of his most evil acts. She was a cruel murderer (18:4; 19:2; 21:7-10), who was proud of her evil acts.

Ahab’s and Jezebel’s wrong acts were not only against other people. Their evil deeds were especially against the true God, whom they hated. They introduced wrong religions into Israel – the religions of the false gods Baal and Asherah. Because the people called Amorites served wicked gods like those, God gave their land to Israel’s people (Deuteronomy 12:1-4; Deuteronomy 18:9-13). Now Ahab’s family would suffer a similar judgment to God’s judgment against the Amorites (Genesis 15:16-19). Ahab’s family would have no place in the land that God gave to his people – not even a grave.

Next part: Ahab shows humble attitudes (1 Kings 21:27)


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