1 Kings 21:19 Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?’ Then say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, dogs will lick up your blood—yes, yours!’”

As the above scripture shows, God blamed Ahab for Naboths death when it was Jezebel who murdered him, why?

Below passage is what Jezebel did

1 Kings 21:8-10 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, placed his seal on them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city with him. 9 In those letters she wrote: “Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 10 But seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them bring charges that he has cursed both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.”

2 Answers 2


I think the answer is quite straightforward: being passive beneficiary of the spouse's crime makes one culpable, especially since he did nothing to remedy / repent of the crime and since as King he was supposed to be the upholder of justice.

First, note the following points from the story as recounted in 1 King 21:

  1. Ahab made known to Jezebel his desire for Naboth's vineyard and knew that Jezebel is going to help him (v 7)
  2. The letters were in Ahab's name (v 8)
  3. Ahab knew about the crime afterwards (v 15)
  4. Ahab profited from Jezebel's crime, so implicitly agreed with the crime instead of repenting to God (v 16)
  5. Jezebel was also punished by death (v 23)

Then note how as a King he was supposed to uphold justice, especially in regards with the innocent, a job description frequently mentioned in the prophetic books. For example, Jer 22:1-5:

A Message for Judah's Kings


3 This is what the Lord says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Quit your evil deeds! Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows. Stop murdering the innocent!

Ahab, then, was fit to be punished, because he implicitly murdered the innocent. The charge (v 17) and punishment (v 18-19) is similar to that of Jehoiakim. See Jer 22:17-19:

17 “But you! You have eyes only for greed and dishonesty! You murder the innocent, oppress the poor, and reign ruthlessly.” 18 Therefore, this is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim, son of King Josiah:

“The people will not mourn for him, crying to one another,
    ‘Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!’
 His subjects will not mourn for him, crying,
    ‘Alas, our master is dead! Alas, his splendor is gone!’
 He will be buried like a dead donkey—
    dragged out of Jerusalem and dumped outside the gates!

Why did God blame Ahab for Naboth's death when it was Jezebel who arranged for his murder?

assign responsibility for a fault or wrong.
"the inquiry blamed the engineer for the accident"

Ahab was the husband who accepted his wife's evil scheme. He was responsible for Naboth's death. So was Jezebel. They were both to blame, i.e., to bear the responsibility for the death of Naboth.

  • As well, it was Ahab's initial desire for the vineyard that instigated the events to follow. We might also recognize that not only kings, but heads-of-household are responsible for what happens under their roof.
    – Xeno
    Jun 20, 2021 at 15:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.