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Kings of Ancient Israel

United Monarchy of Israel

Northern Kingdom of Israel


Ahab or Ach'av or Achab in Douay-Rheims (Hebrew: אַחְאָב, Modern Aḥʼav Tiberian ʼAḥăʼāḇ, ʼAḫʼāḇ ; "Brother of the father"; Greek: Αχααβ; Latin: Achab) was king of Israel and the son and successor of Omri (1 Kings 16:29-34). William F. Albright dated his reign to 869 – 850 BC, while E. R. Thiele offered the dates 874 – 853 BC.[1]

Contents

Family

Ahab married Jezebel, the daughter of King Ithobaal I of Tyre, and the alliance was doubtless the means of procuring political support.

Ahab's reign

During Ahab's reign, Moab, which had been conquered by his father, remained tributary; Judah, with whose king, Jehoshaphat, he was allied by marriage, was probably his vassal; only with Aram Damascus is he believed to have had strained relations.

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Battle of Qarqar

The Battle of Qarqar is one event mentioned by external sources and was perhaps at Apamea where Shalmaneser III of Assyria fought a great confederation of princes from Cilicia, Northern Syria, Israel, Ammon and the tribes of the Syrian desert (853 BC). Here Ahab (A-ha-ab-bu mat) (Adad-'idri).

Ahab's contribution was reckoned at 2,000 chariots and 10,000 men. The numbers are comparatively large and possibly include forces from Tyre, Judah, Edom and Moab. The Assyrian king claimed a victory, but his immediate return and subsequent expeditions in 849 BC and 846 BC against a similar but unspecified coalition seem to show that he met with no lasting success. According to the Tanakh, however, Ahab with 7,000 troops had previously overthrown Ben-hadad and his thirty-two kings, who had come to lay siege to Samaria, and in the following year obtained a decisive victory over him at Aphek, probably in the plain of Sharon at Antipatris (1 Kings 20). A treaty was made whereby Ben-hadad restored the cities which his father had taken from Ahab's father (that is, Omri, but see 15:20, 2 Kings 13:25), and trading facilities between Damascus and Samaria were granted.

Death of Ahab

Three years later, war broke out on the east of the Jordan River, and Ahab with Jehoshaphat of Judah went to recover Ramoth-Gilead. During this battle Ahab disguised himself but was shot by an arrow and mortally wounded (ch. 22). The Hebrew Bible says that dogs licked his blood, according to the prophecy of Elijah. But the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) adds that "pigs" also licked his blood. Israelites of course abstained from pork, but Ahab was married to a Phoenician princess, Jezabel, and his capital of Samaria was said to follow Canaanite gods.

He was succeeded by his sons, Ahaziah and Jehoram.

Order of events

It is very difficult to obtain any clear idea of the order of these events (the Septuagint places 1 Kings 21 immediately after 19). How the hostile kings of Israel and Syria came to fight a common enemy, and how to correlate the Assyrian and Biblical records, are questions which have perplexed all recent writers. The reality of the difficulties will be apparent from the fact that it has been suggested that the Assyrian scribe wrote "Ahab" for his son "Jehoram", and that the very identification of the name with Ahab of Israel has been questioned.

Legacy

possibly Jehu, described as "son of Omri", or Jehu's ambassador, kneeling at the feet of Shalmaneser III on the Black Obelisk.

While the above passages from 1 Kings do not view Ahab favourably, there are others which are less friendly. The murder of Naboth (see Jezebel), an act of royal encroachment, stirred up popular resentment just as the new cult aroused the opposition of certain of the prophets. Indeed, he is referred to, for this and other things as being "more evil than all the kings before him".The latter found their champion in Elijah, whose history reflects the prophetic teaching of more than one age. His denunciation of the royal dynasty, and his emphatic insistence on the worship of Yahweh and Him alone, form the key note to a period which culminated in the accession of Jehu, an event in which Elijah's chosen disciple Elisha was the leading figure.

Interpretation

Roger Williams, the founder of the American colony of Rhode Island and the co-founder of the First Baptist Church in America wrote about Naboth's story in The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience as an example of how God disfavored Christians from using government force in religious matters, such as the religious decrees by Jezebel and Ahab. Williams believed using force in the name of religion would lead to political persecution contrary to the Bible.[2]

Sources

External links

References

  1. ^ Edwin Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, (1st ed.; New York: Macmillan, 1951; 2d ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965; 3rd ed.; Grand Rapids: Zondervan/Kregel, 1983). ISBN 082543825X, 9780825438257
  2. ^ James P. Byrd, The challenges of Roger Williams: religious liberty, violent persecution, and the Bible (Mercer University Press, 2002)[1] (accessed on Google Book on July 20, 2009)
Ahab
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Omri
King of Israel
874 BC – 853 BC
Succeeded by
Ahaziah

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

AHAB (in Heb. 'ah'ab, "father's brother"), king of Israel, the son and successor of Omri, ascended the throne about 875 B.C. (I Kings xvi. 29-34). He married Jezebel, the daughter of the king of Sidon, and the alliance was doubtless the means of procuring him great riches, which brought pomp and luxury in their train. We read of his building an ivory palace and founding new cities, the effect perhaps of a share in the flourishing commerce of Phoenicia.' The material prosperity of his reign, which is comparable with that of Solomon a century before, was overshadowed by the religious changes which his marriage involved. Although he was a worshipper of Yahweh, as the names of his children prove (cp. also xxii. 5 seq.), his wife was firmly attached to the worship of the Tyrian Baal, Melkart, and led by her he gave a great impulse to this cult by building a temple in honour of Baal in Samaria. This roused the indignation of those prophets whose aim it was to purify the worship of Yahweh (see Elijah). During Ahab's reign Moab, which had been conquered by his father, remained tributary; Judah, with whose king, Jehoshaphat, he was allied by marriage, was probably his vassal; only with Damascus is he said to have had strained relations. The one event mentioned by external sources is the battle at I K arkar (perhaps Apamea), where Shalmaneser II. of Assyria fought a great confederation of princes from Cilicia, N. Syria, Israel, Ammon and the tribes of the Syrian desert (854 B.C.). Here Ahabbu Sir'lai (Ahab the Israelite) with Baasha, son of Rulhub (Rehob) of Ammon and nine others are allied with Bir-'idri (Ben-hadad), Ahab's contribution being reckoned at 2000 chariots and 10,000 men. The numbers are comparatively large and possibly include forces from Tyre, Judah, Edom and Moab. The Assyrian king claimed a victory, but his immediate return and subsequent expeditions in 849 and 846 against a similar but unspecified coalition seem to show that he met with no lasting success. According to the Old Testament narratives, however, Ahab with 7000 troops had previously overthrown Ben-hadad and his thirty-two kings, who had come to lay siege to Samaria, and in the following year obtained a remarkable victory over him at Aphek, probably in the plain of Sharon (1 Kings xx.). A treaty was made whereby Ben-hadad restored the cities which his father had taken from Ahab's father (i.e. Omri, but see xv. 20, 2 Kings xiii. 25), and trading facilities between Damascus and Samaria were granted.

A late popular story (xx. 35-42, akin in tone to xii. 33 - xiii. 34) condemned Ahab for his leniency and foretold the destruction of the king and his land. Three years later, war broke out on the east of Jordan, and Ahab with Jehoshaphat of Judah went to recover Ramoth-Gilead and was mortally wounded (xxii.). He was succeeded by his sons (Ahaziah and Jehoram).

It is very difficult to obtain any clear idea of the order of these events (LXX. places i Kings xxi. immediately after xix.). How the hostile kings of Israel and Syria came to fight a common enemy, and how to correlate the Assyrian and Biblical records, are questions which have perplexed all recent writers. The reality of the difficulties will be apparent from the fact that it has been suggested that the Assyrian scribe wrote "Ahab" for his son "Jehoram" (Kamphausen, Kittel), and that the very identification of the name with Ahab of Israel has been questioned (Homer, Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch., 1898, p. 244).2 Whilst the above passages in 1 Kings view Ahab not unfavourably, there are others which give a less friendly picture. The tragic murder of Naboth (see Jezebel), an act of royal encroachment, stirred up popular resentment just as the new cult aroused the opposition of certain of the prophets. The latter found their champion in Elijah, whose history reflects the prophetic teaching of more than one age. (See KINGs.) His denunciation of the royal dynasty, and his emphatic insistence on the worship of Yahweh and Yahweh alone, form the keynote to a period which culminated in the accession of Jehu, an event in which Elijah's chosen disciple Elisha was the leading figure.

The allusions to the statutes and works of Omri and Ahab in Mic. vi. 16 may point to legislative measures of these kings, and the reference to the incidents at the building of Jericho (1 Kings xvi. 34) may be taken to show that foundation sacrifices, familiar 1 Ahab's ivory palace found its imitators (1 Kings xxii. 39; Am. iii. 15). The ivory was probably brought by the Phoenicians from Cyprus or from one of the works on the coast of Asia Minor.

2 See the discussions by Cheyne, Ency. Bib. col. 91 seq., and by Whitehouse, Dict. Bib. i. 53.

in nearly all parts of the world, were not unknown in Israel at this period.' This has in fact been confirmed by excavation in Palestine.

Another Ahab is known only as an impious prophet in the time of the Babylonian exile (Jer. xxix. 21). (S. A. C.)


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Etymology

From Hebrew אַחְאָב (Ach'av), father’s brother); from אַח (ach), brother) + אָב (av), father).

Proper noun

Singular
Ahab

Plural
-

Ahab

  1. (Biblical) A king of Israel.
  2. A male given name, very rarely used.

Quotations

  • 1851 Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, Chapter 16:
    Oh! he ain’t Captain Bildad; no, and he ain’t Captain Peleg; he’s Ahab, boy; and Ahab of old, thou knowest, was a crowned king!"
    "And a very vile one. When that wicked king was slain, the dogs, did they not lick his blood?"
    "Come hither to me—hither, hither," said Peleg, with a significance in his eye that almost startled me. "Look ye, lad; never say that on board the Pequod. Never say it anywhere. Captain Ahab did not name himself .'Twas a foolish, ignorant whim of his crazy, widowed mother, who died when he was only a twelvemonth old. And yet the old squaw Tistig, at Gayhead, said that the name would somehow prove prophetic.

Translations

Anagrams

  • Anagrams of aabh
  • Baha

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Meaning: father's brother.

  1. Ahab, King of Israel
  2. Ahab, Son of Kolaiah
Facts about AhabRDF feed

Simple English

Ahab or Ach'av or Achab in Douay-Rheims (Hebrew: אַחְאָב, Standard Aḥʼav Tiberian ʼAḥăʼāḇ, ʼAḫʼāḇ ; "Brother of the father"; Greek: Αχααβ; Latin: Achab) was King of Israel and the son of Omri. He is written about in the Books of Kings and the Books of Chronicles.

Contents

Ahab's reign throughout Israel

Ahab son of Omri did "more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him" (1 Kings 16:30), as it is written in the Bible. Many think - and say - that it is probably because of his evil wife, Queen Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians. She was even more sinful than Ahab, and comes out in the Bible, commanding Ahab to do most of the things she wants. She serves the idol Baal and tries to make Ahab and all the Israelites worship it as well.

One of Ahab's most famous enemies is an old prophet (a man of God) named Elijah. He continually rebukes Ahab for being so disobeying to the LORD, and when Ahab summoned all the prophets of Baal against Elijah at Mount Carmel, and set two altars for them, Elijah won by calling on God and letting fire come and burn the sacrifice, and the prophets of Baal were immediately killed by the Israelites. Importantly, even here Ahab does nothing, either to stop or help Elijah.

The Battle between Ahab and Ben-Hadad

Once, there was a quite well-known war between Ben-Hadad king of Aram and King Ahab. Ben-Hadad came and, "with thirty-two kings with horses and chariots" (1 Kings 20), he attacked Samaria. He said to King Ahab:
"Your silver and gold are mine, and the best of your wives and children are mine." This King Ahab agreed with--but after that, Ben-Hadad sent another more demanding command: "I sent to demand your silver and gold, your wives and children. But about this time tomorrow I am going to send my officials to search your palace and the houses of your officials. They will seize everything you value and carry it away."--and King Ahab grew annoyed. He rejected that command, and so Ben-Hadad decided to battle against Ahab. And after that the LORD sent a prophet and said, "Do you see this vast army? I will give it into your hand today, and then you will know that I am the LORD." And he also added that the young officers of the commanders will do it, and that King Ahab would start the battle.

Encouraged by this, Ahab took the young officers of the comanders, 232 men. Then he assembled the rest of the Israelites, 7,000 in all. They set out at noon while Ben-Hadad and the 32 kings with him were in their tents getting drunk, and defeated them all, because God was with them.
After that, later at spring, as a prophet prophesied to Ahab, Ben-Hadad came again, mustering all his army. They came to the valleys, declaring triumphantly that God was a "gods of hills" and that was why the Israelites were strong; and now that they were in the valleys, they would surely win the battle. But God wanted to prove that he was the God of everything and not only of the hills, so he helped Ahab defeat them there, too. Ahab then spared Ben-Hadad's life later, causing God to get angry at Ahab and say through a prophet (1 Kings 20:42)--"This is what the LORD says: 'You have set free a man that I had determined should die. Therefore it is your life for his life, your people for his people.'" [1]

Naboth's Vineyard

Ahab also once did a great sin that the LORD was very angry at, and it included a vineyard of Naboh the Jezreelite.
He wanted a vineyard belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite, because it was in Jezreel and close to his palace. So Ahab said to Naboth (1 Kings 21:2), "Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth." But Naboth was unwilling because "the LORD forbid" that he should give Ahab "the inheritance of his fathers". So Ahab was very angry and sulky, and when he was at home he wouldn't eat, and pouted on his bed. Then Jezebel came over and asked (1 Kings 21:5), "Why are you so sullen? Why won't you eat?" And Ahab explained to her the situation. Jezebeel told him to get up, and said that she would get him the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.
So she wrote some letters in Ahab's name, placed his seal on them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth's city. It said:
(1 Kings 21:9-10) "Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people. But seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them testify that he has cursed both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death."
So the elders and nobles did as she told him to, and Naboth died a bitter, meaningless death.
Then Jezebel declared to Ahab that Naboth was "no longer alive, but dead" and Ahab got up and took possession of Nahab's vineyard. The Lord was very angry at Ahab for this, and said to Elijah the Tishbite, a prophet--(1 Kings 21:18)"Go down to meet Ahab the king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He is now in Naboth's vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it. Say to him, "This is what the LORD says: 'have you not murdered a man and seized his property?' Then say to him, 'This is what the LORD says, in the place where dogs licked up Naboth's blood, dogs will lick up your blood - yes, yours!'" King Ahab said to Elijah, when he met him (1 Kings 21:20), "So you have found me, my enemy!" [[File:|thumb|alt=Elijah comes to punish Ahab|Elijah prophecying against Ahab at Naboth's vineyard]] Elijah replied, "I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD. 'I am going to bring disaster on you. I will consume your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel - slave or free. I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, becauase you ahve provoked me to anger and have caused Israel to sin.' And also concerning Jezebel the LORD says: 'Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.' Dogs will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds of the air will feed on those who die in the country." At hearing this, Ahab grew afraid, and humbled himself by tearing his clothes, putting on sackcloth, and fasting. He 'lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.' The LORD felt compassionate, and said to Elijah, "Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son."

Death of Ahab

According to the Bible, for three years there was no war between Aram and Israel. But in the third year, when Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to see Ahab (who was now his father-in-law, since Jehoshaphat had married Athaliah, his daughter), Ahab said, "Let's go retake Ramoth Gilead from the king of Aram! Will you go with me?" Jehoshaphat replied, "I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses." For this, he would later be rebuked by the prophet Jehu. But he added: "First seek the counsel of the Lord."

King Ahab called together the prophets—"about four hundred men"—and asked them, "Shall I go to attack Ramoth Gilead or not?" And they said, "Go." These prophets were not really prophets, but simply did their "job" by saying things that they thought would make the king happy - not what the Lord really said. King Jehoshaphat saw that the 400 prophets were not to be trusted, and asked to see a real prophet of the Lord, saying, "Is there not a prophet of the Lord here...?" King Ahab said that there was Micaiah son of Imlah, but "...he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad." Jehoshaphat wanted to see him, so Ahab called him. Meanwhile, Zedekiah son of Kenaanah, one of the 400 prophets, had made iron horns and he cried, "This is what the Lord says: 'With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.'" All the other prophets said the same thing. Even the messenger who had gone to call Micaiah said to him, "Let your word agree with theirs..."

When Micaiah came, he said, "Attack, and be victorious (win)." But Ahab probably saw that Micaiah was not being serious, and he said, "...tell me nothing but the truth..." So Micaiah said that he saw the Lord sitting on his throne in heaven, and that the Lord had put a "lying spirit" in the mouths of all the prophets, because they did not love the truth and had chosen to speak out of their own hearts. At this, one of the prophets, Zedekiah son of Kenaanah was so enraged he went to Micaiah and slapped him in the face, saying sarcastically, "Which way did the spirit from the Lord go when he went from me to speak (talk) to you?" (1 Kings 22:24, NIV) Micaiah replied, "You will find out...[when] you go to hide in an inner room." King Ahab put Micaiah and prison and went to battle in disguise, thinking that this way nobody would know who he was and so Micaiah's prophecy would not be fulfilled (come true). But one of the soldiers shot him by mistake, and he had a deep wound and died in his chariot, watching the battle sadly. As in the prophecy of Elijah, the dogs licked up his blood. After him, his sons succeeded as king, Ahaziah and Jehoram.

Other websites

  • Biography of King Ahab [1]
  • [2]

References

  1. NIV Holy Bible, 1 Kings


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