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Ahab covets Naboth's vineyard, ver. 1 - 4.
Jezebel procures Naboth to be stoned, ver. 5 - 14.
Ahab goes to take possession, ver. 15, 16
Elijah meets him, and denounces the judgment of God, ver. 17 - 24.
Upon his humiliation a reprieve is granted, ver. 25 - 29.
3: The Lord forbid - For God had expressly, and for divers weighty
reasons forbidden the alienation of lands from the tribes and families to
which they were allotted. And although these might have been alienated
'till the jubilee, yet he durst not sell it to the king for that time;
because he supposed, if once it came into the king's hand, neither he, nor
his posterity, could ever recover it; and so he should both offend God, and
wrong his posterity.
7: Dost thou govern - Art thou fit to be king, that hast not courage
to use thy power.
9: A fast - To remove all suspicion of evil design in Ahab, and
to beget a good opinion of him amongst his people, as if he were grown
zealous for God's honour, and careful of his people's welfare, and
therefore desirous to enquire into all those sins which provoked God
against them. On high - On a scaffold, or high - place, where malefactors
were usually placed, that they might be seen, and heard by all the people.
10: Blaspheme God and the king - Indeed his blaspheming God would
only be the forfeiture of his life, not his estate. Therefore he is
charged with treason also, that his estate may be confiscated, and so
Ahab have his vineyard.
13: Stoned him - And it seems his sons too, either with him or after
him. For God afterward says, ((2Ki 9:26))
I have seen the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons.
Let us commit the keeping of our lives and comforts to God; for innocence
itself will not always be our security.
19: Saying - Thou hast murdered an innocent man; and instead of
repenting for it, hast added another piece of injustice and violence
to it, and art going confidently and chearfully to reap the fruit of
thy wickedness. Thy blood - The threatening was so directed at first;
but afterwards, upon his humiliation, the punishment was transferred
from him to his son, as is expressed, ver.(29),
yet upon Ahab's returning to sin, in the next chapter, he brings back
the curse upon himself, and so it is no wonder if it be in some sort
fulfilled in him also.
20: Hast thou found - Dost thou pursue me from place to place?
Wilt thou never let me rest? Art thou come after me hither with thy
unwelcome messages? Thou art always disturbing, threatening, and opposing
me. I have - The hand of God hath found and overtaken thee. Sold
thyself - Thou hast wholly resigned up thyself to be the bondslave of the
devil, as a man that sells himself to another is totally in his master's
power. To work evil, &c. - Impudently and contemptuously. Those who
give themselves up to sin will certainly be found out, sooner or later,
to their unspeakable amazement.
23: By the wall - Or, in the portion, as it is explained(2Ki 9:36).
24: Him that dieth, &c. - Punishments after death are here most
insisted on. And these, tho' lighting on the body only, yet undoubtedly
were designed as figures of the soul's misery in an after state.
25: Was none - None among all the kings of Israel which had
been before him. Whom Jezebel - This is added to shew, that temptations
to sin are no excuse to the sinner.
27: Softly - Slowly and silently, after the manner of mourners, or
those who are under a great consternation.
29: Humbleth himself - His humiliation was real, though not lasting,
and accordingly pleasing to God. This discovers the great goodness of God,
and his readiness to shew mercy. It teaches us to take notice of that which
is good, even in the worst of men. It gives a reason why wicked persons
often prosper: God rewards what little good is in them. And it encourages
true penitents. If even Ahab goes to his house reprieved, doubtless
they shall go to their houses justified.