1 Kings 21

Study the Inner Meaning

           

1 And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.

2 And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will Give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will Give thee the worth of it in money.

3 And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.

4 And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.

5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?

6 And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will Give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not Give thee my vineyard.

7 And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

8 So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.

9 And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:

10 And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.

11 And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them.

12 They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people.

13 And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died.

14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead.

15 And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.

16 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

17 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,

18 Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it.

19 And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.

20 And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD.

21 Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel,

22 And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin.

23 And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.

24 Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.

25 But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.

26 And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

27 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.

28 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,

29 Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house.

  

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 2576, 4763, 4779, 8301, 9231

Apocalypse Revealed 132, 492


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 160, 637

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 10:3, 33:4, 34:16

Leviticus 18:30, 24:14, 16

Numbers 15:36, 36:7, 9

Joshua 23:9

Judges 1:7

Ruth 4:2, 11

2 Samuel 11:26, 27, 12:1, 13:4

1 Kings 11:12, 14:10, 11, 16, 15:29, 30, 16:25, 30, 18:45, 20:43, 22:8, 38, 53

2 Kings 6:30, 32, 9:8, 10, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 36, 10:1, 7, 10, 11, 17, 17:17, 19:1, 21:11, 13, 22:19

1 Chronicles 21:16

2 Chronicles 12:7

Nehemiah 13:26

Esther 5:13

Job 31:39

Psalms 7:16, 9:13

Proverbs 6:19, 19:28

Isaiah 3:11, 58:4, 59:14, 66:2, 5

Jeremiah 36:24

Ezekiel 46:18

Amos 5:10

Jonah 3:6, 10, 4:4, 8, 9

Micah 2:1, 2

Acts 6:11

Hebrews 11:37

Bible Word Meanings

after
According to Swedenborg, time and space don’t exist in spiritual reality; they are purely natural things that exist only on the physical plane. This means...

Naboth
'Naboth's vineyard,' as in 2 Kings 9, signifies the church.

Vineyard
'Vineyard and branch,' as in Psalm 80:15, signifies the spiritual church represented by the sons of Israel.

Ahab
('1 Kings 22:39') signifies man as to the rational principle

samaria
'The woman of Samaria' signifies the church which would be founded among the Gentiles.

spake
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

garden
Plants, in general, represent knowledge, ideas and intellectual concepts – things of the mind. Plant the best and most beautiful of those in one place,...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

money
'Silver,' in the internal sense of the Word, signifies truth, but also falsity. 'Silver' means the truth of faith, or the truth acquired from selfhood,...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

inheritance
In Biblical times, possessions passed from fathers to sons, a patriarchal system that would not be accepted in today's society – but one that is...

fathers
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

spoken
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

turned
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

bread
The word “bread” is used two ways in the Bible. In some cases it means actual bread; in others it stands for food in general....

jezebel
'Jezebel' signifies faith separate from charity. Jezebel' signifies those who are in the doctrine of every falsity from the pleasures of self-love and the love...

wife
The Hebrew of the Old Testament has six different common words which are generally translated as "wife," which largely overlap but have different nuances. Swedenborg...

eatest
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

israel
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

arise
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

vineyard of Naboth
'Naboth's vineyard,' as in 2 Kings 9, signifies the church.

wrote
In John 8:2-11, the Lord wrote twice on the ground, when the woman taken in adultery was brought to him, which signifies the condemnation of...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

sent
'To send' signifies revealing.

elders
Ancients of the people, and the princes thereof ('Isaiah 3:14'), have a similar signification with the twelve disciples.

city
In the ancient world cities were very nearly nations unto themselves – they existed within walls, with their own laws and customs, generally centered on...

dwelling
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

proclaim
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

high
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

two
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

die
Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

the inhabitants
'The inhabitants of Teman,' as in Jeremiah 49:20, signifies the evils and falsities opposed to the Lord’s celestial kingdom.

inhabitants
Inhabitants,' in Isaiah 26:9, signify the men of the church who are in good of doctrine, and thence in the good of life.

written
In John 8:2-11, the Lord wrote twice on the ground, when the woman taken in adultery was brought to him, which signifies the condemnation of...

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

sat
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

stoned
The act of 'stoning' means condemnation and a curse, because of the destruction of truth in the church.

stones
Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...

died
'The soul going forth' and 'dying,' as in Genesis 35:18, signifies the extreme of temptation, which is when the old self dies and the new...

dead
Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

rose up
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

rose
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

go down
To go up and to go down: in the Word, mention is made of going up and going down when speaking of going from one...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

elijah
Elijah (referred to as Elias in the New Testament) was the renowned prophet sent to the split kingdoms of Israel and Judah. His first appearance...

meet
In natural language, to "meet" someone can be positive or negative: it can be a welcoming and greeting, or it can be "meeting" them in...

speak
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

saith
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

place
'A room' or 'place' denotes state.

dogs
A dog, as in Exodus 11 (Exod. 11:7: seven, ignifies the lowest or meanest of all in the church, also those who are without the...

blood
Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

found
Finding, or being found, can have different meanings in the Word, depending on the context. Here are two examples, From Arcana Coelestia 5756, 'Behold, the...

enemy
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

sold
'To sell,' as in Genesis 41:56, means transferring to another as their own, because what is sold becomes the property of the one who buys...

evil
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

sight
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

Cut off
To be cut off, as in Genesis 41:36, signifies to perish.

wall
In Lamentations 2:8-9, 'wall,' 'rampart,' 'gates,' and 'bars' signify doctrines.

son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

anger
Anger is an emotion so common to people that it requires no definition. However a couple of points of interest can be raised. 1) The...

dieth
Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

field
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

fowls
Fowl signify spiritual truth; a bird, natural truth; and a winged thing, sensual truth. Fowl signify intellectual things. Fowl signify thoughts, and all that creeps...

air
"Air" in the Bible represents thought, but in a very general way – more like our capacity to perceive ideas and the way we tend...

sell
'To sell,' as in Genesis 41:56, means transferring to another as their own, because what is sold becomes the property of the one who buys...

wickedness
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

following
The basic meaning of "follow" in the Bible is pretty obvious if we consider what it means to "follow the Lord." That obviously doesn't mean...

idols
Idols of stone signify worship from falsities of doctrine. Idols of wood signify worship from evils of doctrine. Idols of silver signify worship from what...

all things
The Lord is life itself, is the Creator of the universe, and is the source of life on an ongoing basis. So in a literal...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

words
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

Rent
'To rend the garments' signifies mourning for truth lost or destroyed, or the loss of faith.

clothes
'To rend the garments' signifies mourning for truth lost or destroyed, or the loss of faith.

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

sackcloth
'A sack' in Genesis 42:25, means a receptacle, and here 'a receptacle' on the natural level, because it is a story about the truths and...

flesh
Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...

days
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

son's
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Elijah Confronts Ahab - Level A
Complete lesson with activity choices: sharing activities, art project on Ahab's kingly robes and sorry clothes, scripted story discussion, coloring page, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Elijah Confronts Ahab - Level B
Complete lesson with activity choices: two great commandments mobile, art project on Ahab's kingly robes and sorry clothes, scripted story discussion, coloring page, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Elijah Confronts Ahab - Level C
Complete lesson with activity choices: exploration of how to handle our wants, a map activity on Elijah's journeys, scripted story discussion, and a meditation and task on a verse from the Word.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 14

 Elijah Confronts Ahab - Level D
Complete lesson with activity choices: taking steps to follow the commandments better, map activity on Elijah's journeys, scripted story discussion, and a meditation and task on a verse from the Word.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 15 - 17

 Overview of The Story of Elijah Levels A B C D for ages 3-18
Overview of the Youth Journey Program "The Story of Elijah", Levels A, B, C, D for ages 3-18.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 18

 The Syrians Are Defeated
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18


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