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The story of Naboth's Vineyard

THE STORY OF NABOTH'S VINEYARD

Ahab was the king of the Northern Kingdom. He was married to Jezebel from Phoenicia. He had a palace in Jezreel. Naboth was from Jezreel. He had a vineyard in that town and Ahab, the king was interested in the vineyard. The king wanted the vineyard to use as a vegetable garden because it was near his palace.

The king approached Naboth and requested the land. He offered to pay for the land or give another land in another part of the city in exchange for the vineyard. Naboth refused to sell the vineyard to King Ahab because, according to the land tenure system at that time, it was forbidden to sell family land. It was a family property and must never be sold out under any circumstance.

Ahab went home very sad because Naboth refused to sell the land to him. He refused to eat and was inconsolable. When the wife asked why he was sad, he said it was because earlier in the day, he had asked Naboth to sell his vineyard to him or give it out in exchange for another, but he refused to sell to him. Where Jezebel came from, the king was an absolute king who ruled according his will. No subject could challenge him the way King Ahab was challenged by Naboth. She asked if Ahab was not the king. She told him to be happy, promising to deliver Naboth’s vineyard to him.

Jezebel wrote a letter in the name of the king, sealed it with the royal seal and sent it to the elders and nobles in Jezreel, the city where Naboth lived. In the sealed letter, the elders and nobles were commanded to proclaim a national fast and set up Naboth high among the people. They should find two useless men to accuse Naboth of cursing the king and God. Then they should take Naboth to the outskirts of the city and stone him to death. The instruction was carried out and Naboth was killed.

Jezebel told Ahab to go and take possession of Naboth’s land for free, that which he refused to release for money. Immediately, Ahab rose to go and take possession of the vineyard but there stood Elijah the prophet, on the site and who accused him of killing Naboth and coming to take possession of his land. Elijah cursed Ahab that he would die at the very place where Naboth died and his blood would be licked by dogs just like Naboth’s blooded was licked. Jezebel was also cursed to die in a similar fashion.

Ahab became sorry for what he had done and for that reason alone, the punishment was transferred to his children. 

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. a. Narrate the story of Naboth’s vineyard.
    b. Mention three disadvantages of the land tenure system in your country.
2. a. What circumstances led to the death of Naboth?
    b. Explain three land tenure systems in your locality.
3. a. How did King Ahab’s quest for a vegetable garden lead to the death of Naboth the Jezreelite?
    B, Explain any three points of significance in the account.
4. a. Describe the role played by Jezebel in the death of Naboth.
   b. In which three ways can a husband be negatively influenced by his wife?
5. a. What led to the encounter between King Ahab and Prophet Elijah concerning the death of Naboth?
    b. Which three important roles do the religious leaders of today play in the governance of your country?
6. a. Give an account of the death of Naboth.
    b. What three lessons can leaders of today learn from this account?
7. a. What led to the death of Naboth?
    b. Name three rights of Naboth that were violated in the episode.
    c. In which three ways can the rights of individuals be protected in your country?

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