Jezebel

Jezebelian /jez'euh bee"lee euhn, -beel"yeuhn/, Jezebelish /jez"euh bel'ish/, adj.
/jez"euh bel', -beuhl/, n.
1. Also, Douay Bible, Jezabel. the wife of Ahab, king of Israel. I Kings 16:31.
2. (often l.c.) a wicked, shameless woman.

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died с 843 BC

In the Hebrew scriptures, the wife of King Ahab of Israel.

The daughter of the priest-king Ethbaal of Tyre and Sidon, she persuaded Ahab to introduce the worship of the Tyrian god Baal-Melkart into Israel, thus interfering with the exclusive worship of Yahweh. The book of 1 Kings tells how she was opposed by Elijah. After Ahab's death Jezebel's son Jehoram became king of Israel, but Elisha encouraged a general, Jehu, to revolt. Jehoram was killed, and Jezebel was thrown from a window to her death. Dogs consumed most of her body, fulfilling a prophecy by Elijah. In history and literature she became the archetype of the wicked woman.

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▪ queen of Israel
also spelled  Jezabel  
died c. 843 BC

      in the Old Testament (Kings I and II), the wife of King Ahab, who ruled the kingdom of Israel; by interfering with the exclusive worship of the Hebrew god Yahweh, disregarding the rights of the common man, and defying the great prophets Elijah and Elisha, she provoked the internecine strife that enfeebled Israel for decades. She has come to be known as an archetype of the wicked woman.

      Jezebel was the daughter of the priest-king Ethbaal, ruler of the coastal Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon (modern Ṣaydā, Lebanon). When Jezebel married Ahab (ruled c. 874–c. 853), she persuaded him to introduce the worship of the Tyrian god Baal-Melkart, a nature god. A woman of fierce energy, she tried to destroy those who opposed her; most of the prophets of Yahweh were killed at her command. These cruel and despotic actions provoked the righteous wrath of Elijah; according to I Kings 17, he accurately prophesied the onset of a severe drought as divine retribution. Some time later, Elijah had the Baal priests slain after they had lost a contest with him to see which god would heed prayers to ignite a bull offering, Baal or Yahweh. When Jezebel heard of the slaughter, she angrily swore to have Elijah killed, forcing him to flee for his life (I Kings 18:19–19:3).

      The last vicious act attributed to Jezebel is recorded in I Kings 21:5–16. Adjacent to Ahab's palace was a vineyard, which he coveted; it belonged to a commoner, Naboth of Jezreel (an ancient city at the foot of Mt. Gilboa, probably the site of the modern Israeli settlement of the same name). When Naboth refused to part with his vineyard (“the inheritance of my fathers”), Jezebel falsely charged him with blaspheming “God and the king,” which led to Naboth's death by stoning. Elijah confronted Ahab in the vineyard, predicting that he and all his heirs would be destroyed and that dogs in Jezreel would devour Jezebel.

      A few years later, Ahab perished in battle with the Syrians. Jezebel lived on for approximately another ten years. Elijah's successor, Elisha the prophet, equally determined to end Baal worship, had a military commander named Jehu anointed to be king of Israel, an act that provoked civil war, for Jezebel's son Jehoram (Joram) then ruled. Jehu killed Jehoram at the site of Naboth's property and then went to Jezebel's palace. Expecting him, she adorned herself for the occasion. Looking down from her window, she taunted him, and Jehu ordered her eunuchs to throw her out the window. Later, when he commanded that she be properly buried as a king's daughter, it was discovered that dogs had eaten most of her body.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • JEZEBEL — (Heb. אִיזֶבֶל, perhaps from זבל, the exalted one with the prefix (i;) meaning Where is the Exalted One / Prince? (cf. Ichabod, Where is the Divine Presence?). Another possibility is The Prince Lives, by assimilation from ʾš zbl > yzbl >… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Jezebel — Jez e*bel, n. [From Jezebel, Heb. Izebel, the wife of Ahab king of Israel.] A bold, vicious woman; a termagant. Spectator. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Jezebel — steht für: die englische Variante des weiblichen Vornamens Isabel den Originaltitel von William Wylers Spielfilm Jezebel – Die boshafte Lady aus dem Jahr 1938 Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • jezebel — impudent woman, 1550s, after Jezebel, the wicked Tyrean princess who married Ahab, king of Israel (Kings xxi:5 23), from Heb. Izebhel, a name of uncertain origin and meaning [Klein] …   Etymology dictionary

  • Jezebel — [n] prostitute broad, fallen woman*, femme fatale, floozy*, harlot, hooker, hussy, jade, loose woman, scarlet, slut, strumpet, tart, trollop, vamp, whore; concepts 348,412,415,419 …   New thesaurus

  • Jezebel — ► NOUN ▪ a shameless or immoral woman. ORIGIN the name of the wife of King Ahab in the Bible …   English terms dictionary

  • Jezebel — [jez′ə bel΄, jez′əbəl] n. [Heb Īzebhel] 1. Bible the wicked woman who married Ahab, king of Israel: 1 Kings 21:5 23; 2 Kings 9:30 37 2. [also j ] any woman regarded as wicked, shameless, licentious, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Jezebel — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Jezebel peut désigner : Jezebel ou Jézabel, femme du roi Ahab Cinéma L Insoumise (Jezebel), film américain de William Wyler sorti en 1938 Jezebel… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jezebel —    A substitute name used fairly frequently as a vocative in former times. Most people today would probably still know that to call a woman ‘Jezebel’ would be to accuse her of wickedness and abandonment, though they might not have read her story… …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address

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