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Chapter 21

Seizure of Naboth’s Vineyard.[a] Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel next to the palace of Ahab, king of Samaria. Some time later, Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard to be my vegetable garden, since it is close by, next to my house. I will give you a better vineyard in exchange, or, if you prefer, I will give you its value in money.” Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give you my ancestral heritage.”[b]

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Footnotes

  1. 21:1–16 The story tells how Jezebel manipulates important structures of Israelite social order, law, and religious observance to eliminate a faithful Israelite landowner who frustrates Ahab’s will.
  2. 21:3 Heritage: Hebrew naḥalah. Naboth is unwilling to sell or exchange his vineyard. According to the Israelite system of land tenure and distribution, land was held in common within a social unit. The ancestral naḥalah was not private property, to be alienated at will.

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