NABOTH the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was situated close to the palace of Ahab, the king of Samaria.
Ahab said to Naboth: "Give me your vineyard, that I may turn it into a herb garden,
for it is so near my house.
In exchange I will give you a better vineyard, or if you prefer,
I will give you its value in money."
Naboth answered: "The Lord forbid that I should give you the land which I have inherited from my forefathers."
Ahab went back to his house, depressed and vexed because of what Naboth had said.
He lay down on his bed and turned his face to the wall and refused to eat.
Jezebel, his wife, came in and'said: "Why are you so sad that you refuse to eat?"
Ahab said: "Because I asked Naboth to let me have his vineyard,
and I offered to pay for it or give him another vineyard in exchange,
but he would have none of it."
Jezebel said: "Are you not king of Israel? Get up, eat and be merry,
and I shall see to it that you get Naboth's vineyard."
She wrote letters in Ahab's name and sealed them with his seal,
and sent them to the elders and the nobles who lived in the same city as Naboth.
In the letters she wrote: "Proclaim a fast and set Naboth on high among the people,
and set two men, sons of Belial, before him,
to testify against him and say that he has blasphemed against God and the king.
Then take him out of the city and stone him until he dies."
The elders and nobles of the city did as Jezebel had instructed them.
They proclaimed a fast, accused Naboth of blasphemy, and stoned him to death.
Then they sent a message to Jezebel, saying: "Naboth is stoned and dead."
When Jezebel heard this, she said to Ahab: "Go and take possession of Naboth's vineyard which he refused to sell to you, for he is no longer alive."
So Ahab went down and took possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.
But the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, and he went down to see Ahab,
who was in the vineyard which he had taken from Naboth.
And as Elijah came, Ahab said: "Have you found me, O my enemy?"
Elijah said: "I have found you, because you have sold yourself to work evil in the eyes of the Lord.
The Lord will bring evil upon you and destroy your posterity,
and the dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel."
When Ahab heard these words herent his clothes and fasted and went humbly in sackcloth and ashes.
Because of his humility God told Elijah: "I will not bring the evil in his days; but in his son's days I will bring the evil upon his house."
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