by Rich Deem
According to the Old Testament books of first and second Kings, Jezebel, wife of King Ahab, led the nation of Israel astray through her idolatry.1 The Bible says that Queen Jezebel was the daughter of a pagan king and followed her father’s ways by worshipping Baal and practicing witchcraft.1 After she married King Ahab, Jezebel led her husband into idolatry2 and persecuted the prophets of God so that they had to hide in caves to escape death.3 According to the Bible, Jezebel went as far as to use her husband’s seal to send letters condemning a man to death.4
Did Jezebel Exist?
The Bible contains some rather colorful characters, with one of the more famous Old Testament characters being Jezebel, wife of King Ahab. Did queen Jezebel really exist as the Bible says?
Dr. Marjo Korpel, a Utrecht University Old Testament scholar, has published a study detailing why a 9th century BC seal probably belonged to the infamous Queen Jezebel.5 According to Korpel, the seal contains symbols indicating it belonged to a woman probably of royal lineage. in addition, it is exceptionally large compared to the seals possessed by ordinary citizens. The inscription’s letters spell (lï¿½)yzbl, which is the Hebrew spelling of Jezebel.
Jezebel, the infamous pagan wife of Israel’s King Ahab, seems to have left behind her official seal, a relic dated to the 9th century BC, according to Dr. Marjo Korpel, who has identified the inscription as being authentic. This is yet another example of the historical accuracy of the Hebrew Old Testament.
- Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD more than all who were before him. It came about, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he married Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went to serve Baal and worshiped him. (1 Kings 16:30-31)
When Joram saw Jehu, he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?” And he answered, “What peace, so long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?” (2 Kings 9:22)
- Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife incited him. (1 Kings 21:25)
- for when Jezebel destroyed the prophets of the LORD, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave, and provided them with bread and water.) (1 Kings 18:4)
“Has it not been told to my master what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the LORD, that I hid a hundred prophets of the LORD by fifties in a cave, and provided them with bread and water? (1 Kings 18:13)
- So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and sent letters to the elders and to the nobles who were living with Naboth in his city. Now she wrote in the letters, saying, “Proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people; and seat two worthless men before him, and let them testify against him, saying, ‘You cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.” So the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them, just as it was written in the letters which she had sent them. (1 Kings 21:8-11)
- Ancient seal belonged to Queen Jezebel – Utrecht Old Testament expert finds conclusive evidence (Utrecht University)