Jezebel’s Violent Death

August 7, 2016

I am enjoying being with the church of Christ in Chipley, FL, for a 3-day meeting conducting a Visualized Survey of the Bible. This morning we will include that challenging period of Israel’s Divided Kingdom.

Once Jehu was anointed to be king of Israel (841 BC) he immediately killed King Jehoram. But the Queen-mother Jezebel (wife of deceased King Ahab) had to be reckoned with also.

Woman Looking Out Window. Phoenician Art. Hecht Museum. Photo by Leon Mauldin

Woman Looking Out Window. Phoenician Art. Hecht Museum. Photo by Leon Mauldin

The biblical text reads:

30 When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out the window. 31 As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it well, Zimri, your master’s murderer?” 32 Then he lifted up his face to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” And two or three officials looked down at him. 33 He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down, and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall and on the horses, and he trampled her under foot. 34 When he came in, he ate and drank; and he said, “See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” 35 They went to bury her, but they found nothing more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. 36 Therefore they returned and told him. And he said, “This is the word of the LORD, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘In the property of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; 37 and the corpse of Jezebel will be as dung on the face of the field in the property of Jezreel, so they cannot say, This is Jezebel.'” (2 Kings 9:30-37).

For the prophecy referenced by Jehu, see 1 Kings 21:23.

Our photo is from the Phoenician exhibit at the Hecht Museum at the University of Haifa, Israel. The placard dated this artifact at 8th century bc, which would be just slightly after the time of Jezebel. It well illustrates her looking out the window at Jehu before she was thrown to her death below.

Click image for larger view.


Setting of King Saul’s Final Battle

June 25, 2015

1 Sam. 28:4: “So the Philistines gathered together and came and camped in Shunem; and Saul gathered all Israel together and they camped in Gilboa.”

The horizontal cluster of white buildings in the upper center of photo mark the spot of ancient Shunem, the site of the Philistine encampment referenced in our text.

Shunem, note white buildings upper center. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Shunem, note white buildings upper center. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Saul and the forces of Israel were encamped at Gilboa. This view of Gilboa is from Beth Shan.

Gilboa as seen from Beth Shan. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Gilboa as seen from Beth Shan. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

As the 1 Samuel narrative continues, the next chapter states, ” Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek, while the Israelites were camping by the spring which is in Jezreel” (29:1) We have previously posted photos/articles on Aphek here and here, where the Philistines at this time gathered all their armies. At Jezreel one can see the spring mentioned here in 1 Sam. 29:1.

Jezreel Spring. Note greenery at center.  Tel Jezreel is in foreground. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Jezreel Spring. Note greenery at center. Tel Jezreel is in foreground. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Saul and his three sons (including David’s best friend Jonathan) died at Mt. Gilboa, a great victory for the Philistines. It was a sad day for Israel:

8 It came about on the next day when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9 They cut off his head and stripped off his weapons, and sent them throughout the land of the Philistines, to carry the good news to the house of their idols and to the people. 10 They put his weapons in the temple of Ashtaroth, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan. (1 Sam. 31:8-10).

We are told that also the bodies of Saul’s sons were nailed to the walls of Beth Shan (1 Sam. 31:12).

Beth Shan, where the Philistines nailed the bodies of Saul & sons. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Beth Shan, where the Philistines nailed the bodies of Saul & sons. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

These photos may be used along with maps to show where the events of 1 Sam. 28-31 transpired. Click on images for larger view.