20 June 2012
Ahab & Jezebel
Extracted from the 1st book of Kings, Chapter 21:1-16
Naboth of Jezreel had a vineyard close by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria, and Ahab said to Naboth, ‘Give me your vineyard to be my vegetable garden, since it adjoins my house; I will give you a better vineyard for it or, if you prefer, I will give you its worth in money.’
But Naboth answered Ahab, ‘The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my ancestors!’
Ahab went home gloomy and out of temper at the words of Naboth of Jezreel, ‘I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.’ He lay down on his bed and turned his face away and refused to eat.
His wife Jezebel came to him. ‘Why are you so dispirited’ she said ‘that you will not eat?’ He said, ‘I have been speaking to Naboth of Jezreel; I said: Give me your vineyard either for money or, if you prefer, for another vineyard in exchange. But he said, “I will not give you my vineyard.”’
Then his wife Jezebel said, ‘You make a fine king of Israel, and no mistake! Get up and eat; cheer up, and you will feel better; I will get you the vineyard of Naboth of Jezreel myself.’
So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, sending them to the elders and nobles who lived where Naboth lived. In the letters she wrote, ‘Proclaim a fast, and put Naboth in the forefront of the people. Confront him with a couple of scoundrels who will accuse him like this, “You have cursed God and the king” Then take him outside and stone him to death.’
The men of Naboth’s town, the elders and nobles who lived in his town, did what Jezebel ordered, what was written in the letters she had sent them. They proclaimed a fast and put Naboth in the forefront of the people. Then the two scoundrels came and stood in front of him and made their accusation, ‘Naboth has cursed God and the king.’
They led him outside the town and stoned him to death. They then sent word to Jezebel, ‘Naboth has been stoned to death.’
When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, ‘Get up! Take possession of the vineyard which Naboth of Jezreel would not give you for money, for Naboth is no longer alive, he is dead.’
When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth of Jezreel and take possession of it.
Look at Ahab, though he was the king of Israel and clearly an adult, he behaved like a boy … He sulked, refused to eat and eventually resorted to killing when he could not get what he wanted. Don’t we find Ahab’s character familiar in our Professional / Commercial world? It is only that they could not proceed to kill physically, probably in other ways.
It would be most tragic if such people sit in power and manage/rule, either in a Company or in Politics. Normally, they could easily be identified as someone who is proud and conceited, careless of other peoples’ lives. They would act based on their whims and fancies and would not easily accept the opinions of others which could be better. Though physically they are adults, their entire psychological make-ups are still like children… Let’s pray that these people would grow up quickly to be life-giving adults; or else, all the people around them would suffer because of the havoc and ruin that they continue to create (?). 8-(
Extracted from the 1st book of Kings, Chapter 21: 17-29
After the death of Naboth, the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite,
‘Up! Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, in Samaria. You will find him in Naboth’s vineyard; he has gone down to take possession of it. You are to say this to him,
“the Lord says this: You have committed murder; now you usurp as well. For this – and the Lord says this – in the place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth, the dogs will lick your blood too.”’
Ahab said to Elijah, ‘So you have found me out, O my enemy!’
Elijah answered, ‘I have found you out. For your double dealing, and since you have done what is displeasing to the Lord, I will now bring disaster down on you;
I will sweep away your descendants, and wipe out every male belonging to the family of Ahab, fettered or free in Israel.
I will treat your House as I treated the House of Jeroboam son of Nebat and of Baasha son of Ahijah, for provoking my anger and leading Israel into sin.
(Against Jezebel the Lord spoke these words: The dogs will eat Jezebel in the Field of Jezreel.)
Those of Ahab’s family who die in the city, the dogs will eat; and those who die in the open country, the birds of the air will eat.’
And indeed there never was anyone like Ahab for double dealing and for doing what is displeasing to the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife.
He behaved in the most abominable way, adhering to idols, just as the Amorites used to do whom the Lord had dispossessed for the sons of Israel.
When Ahab heard these words, he tore his garments and put sackcloth next his skin and fasted; he slept in the sackcloth; he walked with slow steps.
Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, ‘Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Since he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; I will bring the disaster down on his House in the days of his son.’
Ahab falls at Ramoth-gilead - Extracted from the 1st book of Kings, Chapter 22:
29 The king of Israel (hereinafter referred to “Ahab”) and Jehoshaphat king of Judah marched on Ramoth in Gilead.
30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, 'I shall disguise myself to go into battle, but you put on your robes.' So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.
31 Now, the king of Aram had given his chariot commanders the following order, 'Do not attack anyone of whatever rank, except the king of Israel.'
32 So, when the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought, 'That is obviously the king of Israel,' and surrounded him to attack. But when Jehoshaphat shouted his war cry
33 the chariot commanders, realising that he was not the king of Israel, broke off their pursuit.
34 Someone, however, drawing his bow without any special aim, shot the king of Israel between the joints of his armour. 'Turn about!' said the king to his charioteer. 'Get me out of the fighting; I am collapsing.'
35 But the battle grew fiercer as the day went on and the king had to be held upright in his chariot facing the Aramaeans, the blood from the wound running into the bottom of the chariot, until in the evening he died.
36 At sundown a shout ran through the ranks, 'Every man back to his town, every man back to his country!
37 The king is dead.' He was taken to Samaria and in Samaria the king was buried.
38 They washed the chariot at the Pool of Samaria; the dogs licked up the blood, and the prostitutes washed in it, in accordance with the word which Yahweh had spoken.
A wise and elderly priest gave a Homily after the aforesaid were read in Holy Mass recently. Here’s the summary of what he taught:
A good and righteous Christian should only marry someone compatible in spirit if he/she wants to be happy in life. This compatibility is more than having the same interest or liking, but your spouse should be someone who worships God and lives His Commandments. Your spouse is going to have a great influence on you in determining what kind of person you will become; either a better person impregnate with goodness or degrade to wickedness- making you lose the great inheritance that God is going to bestow on you eventually.
The priest’s words made us recall what Saint Peter said of us: But you are a chosen race, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, a people to be a personal possession to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. See 1 Peter 2:9.
Look at our dear Father Saint Joseph, before he married to the Virgin Mary, he was a just man. But now He is one of the greatest Saints of all times and Patron of the Universal Church.
22 June 2012