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1 Kings 21-22, Bible Highlights: week starting august 10

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Highlights From Bible Reading: 1 Kings 21-22. Information for personal study.

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Research for Highlights of : 1 Kings 21-22


(1 KINGS 21:1)

“After these things, an incident took place concerning a vineyard that belonged to Naʹboth the Jezʹre•el•ite; it was in Jezʹre•el, next to the palace of Aʹhab the king of Sa•marʹi•a.”

*** it-2 p. 847 Samaria ***
2. The territory of the ten-tribe northern kingdom of Israel. The name of its capital city, Samaria, was sometimes applied to this entire area. For example, when Ahab was called “the king of Samaria,” it was not with the restricted meaning of being king of the city only, but in the broader sense as king of the ten tribes. (1Ki 21:1) So, too, “the cities of Samaria” referred to those scattered throughout the ten tribes, not to towns clustered around the capital. (2Ki 23:19; this same expression recorded at 1Ki 13:32 as if used before the city Samaria was built, if not prophetic, may have been introduced by the compiler of the Kings account.) The famine “in Samaria” in the days of Ahab was extensive throughout the whole kingdom of Samaria and, in fact, even took in Phoenicia, extending at least from the torrent valley of Cherith, E of the Jordan, to Zarephath on the Mediterranean. (1Ki 17:1-12; 18:2, 5, 6) Similarly, the restoration promise regarding “the mountains of Samaria” must have embraced the whole of the realm of Samaria.—Jer 31:5.

(1 KINGS 21:3)

“But Naʹboth said to Aʹhab: “It is unthinkable, from Jehovah’s standpoint, for me to give you the inheritance of my forefathers.””

*** w14 2/1 p. 13 He Endured in the Face of Injustice ***
Ahab summoned him and offered to give him money or to trade for the vineyard. Naboth, though, said: “It is unthinkable, from Jehovah’s standpoint, for me to give you the inheritance of my forefathers.” (1 Kings 21:3) Was Naboth stubborn? Reckless? Many have assumed so. In fact, he was obeying the Law of Jehovah, which did not allow Israelites permanently to sell land that was the hereditary possession of their family. (Leviticus 25:23-28) To Naboth, it was unthinkable to break God’s Law. He was a man of faith and courage, for he surely knew that it was dangerous to stand up to Ahab.

*** w97 8/1 p. 13 par. 18 Serving Loyally With Jehovah’s Organization ***
18 Sometimes Satan’s attacks on our loyalty are direct. Consider the case of Naboth. When King Ahab pressured him to sell his vineyard, he replied: “It is unthinkable on my part, from Jehovah’s standpoint, for me to give the hereditary possession of my forefathers to you.” (1 Kings 21:3) Naboth was not being stubborn; he was being loyal. The Mosaic Law ordered that no Israelite sell a hereditary possession of land in perpetuity. (Leviticus 25:23-28) Naboth surely knew that this vicious king could have him killed, for Ahab had already let his wife, Jezebel, kill off many of Jehovah’s prophets! Yet Naboth stood firm.—1 Kings 18:4.

(1 KINGS 21:19)

“You must tell him, ‘This is what Jehovah says: “Have you murdered a man and also taken his property?”’ Then say to him, ‘This is what Jehovah says: “In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naʹboth, the dogs will lick up your own blood.”’””

*** w14 2/1 p. 15 He Endured in the Face of Injustice ***
Soon thereafter, Jehovah’s sentence on Ahab was carried out. Wounded in battle, Ahab bled to death in his chariot. The account adds this grim detail: When the royal chariot was washed out, some of the dogs licked up the king’s blood. In this public way, Jehovah’s words that Elijah delivered to Ahab were fulfilled: “In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth, the dogs will lick up your own blood.”—1 Kings 21:19; 22:19-22, 34-38.

*** it-1 p. 60 Ahab ***
As the dogs had licked up Naboth’s blood so dogs would lick up Ahab’s blood, and Jezebel herself and Ahab’s descendants would become food for dogs and scavenger birds. These words hit home, and in deep grief Ahab fasted in sackcloth, alternately sitting and pacing the floor in despondence. On this basis a measure of mercy was extended to him as regards the time when the calamity would come on his house.—1Ki 21:1-29.

*** it-1 p. 60 Ahab ***
His body was brought to Samaria for burial and when “they began to wash off the war chariot by the pool of Samaria . . . the dogs went licking up his blood.” A large artificial basin has been excavated in the NW corner of the spacious palace courtyard in Samaria, and this may be the location of this fulfillment of prophecy.—1Ki 22:1-38.

*** it-1 p. 644 Dog ***
At times Jehovah’s judgment against his enemies was that their dead bodies would be eaten or their blood licked up by scavenger dogs. Because of the course of gross unfaithfulness followed by Kings Jeroboam, Baasha, and Ahab, any who belonged to their respective households and who died in the city were to be devoured by dogs. (1Ki 14:11; 16:4; 21:24) In fulfillment of Jehovah’s word, the dogs licked up Ahab’s blood, and the flesh of his wife Jezebel became food for the dogs. (1Ki 21:19; 22:38; 21:23; 2Ki 9:10, 35, 36)

*** it-1 p. 712 Elijah ***
Elijah meets Ahab at the vineyard and tells Ahab that his blood will be licked up by the dogs at the same place where they had licked up the blood of Naboth. He also announces a similar fate for Jezebel.—1Ki 19:19; 21:1-26.
About three years later Ahab dies in battle. His war chariot is washed by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs lick up his blood. Jezebel’s execution, however, awaits a time perhaps 15 years later. Ahab was succeeded by his son Ahaziah. This king follows in his wicked father’s footsteps, for when he is injured in an accident he turns to the false god Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to inquire regarding the outcome of his sickness. Elijah sends him Jehovah’s word that because of this he will positively die. When Ahaziah sends in succession three groups to get Elijah, each group composed of a chief with 50 men, the prophet calls down fire from the heavens to annihilate the first two groups, but on the plea of the third chief, he goes back with him to pronounce the judgment against Ahaziah in person.—1Ki 22:1, 37, 38; 2Ki 1:1-17.

(1 KINGS 21:20)

“Aʹhab said to E•liʹjah: “So you have found me, O my enemy!” He replied: “I have found you. ‘Because you are determined to do what is bad in the eyes of Jehovah,”

*** w14 2/1 pp. 14-15 He Endured in the Face of Injustice ***
Imagine his expression as he lingered in that vineyard, his head full of dreams about the wondrous garden he would make of the place. But, suddenly, Elijah appeared! Ahab’s blissful countenance changed, twisted with rage and hatred, as he spat out the words: “So you have found me, O my enemy!”—1 Kings 21:20.
Ahab’s words reveal two kinds of folly. First, in saying, “So you have found me” to Elijah, Ahab revealed that he was spiritually blind. Jehovah had already “found” him. He had seen Ahab abuse the gift of free will and enjoy the fruitage of Jezebel’s wicked plot. God saw into Ahab’s heart, where love for a material possession had eclipsed any sense of mercy, justice, or compassion. Second, in saying to Elijah, “O my enemy!” Ahab revealed his hatred for a man who was a friend of Jehovah God and who could have helped Ahab turn from his disastrous course.
We may learn vital lessons from Ahab’s folly. We must ever remember that Jehovah God sees all. As a loving Father, he knows when we stray from the path of what is right, and he is eager to see us change our ways. To help us, he often uses his friends—faithful humans who, like Elijah, bear God’s words to their fellow humans. What a mistake it would be to view God’s friends as our enemies!—Psalm 141:5.
Picture Elijah answering Ahab: “I have found you.” He found Ahab for what he was—a thief, a murderer, and a rebel against Jehovah God. What courage it took for him to stand up to that wicked man!

(1 KINGS 21:21)

“here I am bringing calamity upon you, and I will make a clean sweep after you and will annihilate from Aʹhab every male, including the helpless and weak in Israel.”

*** w14 2/1 p. 15 He Endured in the Face of Injustice ***
Elijah went on to pronounce God’s sentence on Ahab. Jehovah saw the whole picture—wickedness was spreading out from the family of Ahab and infecting the people. So Elijah told Ahab that God had ordained “a clean sweep,” the extermination of that entire dynasty. Jezebel too would be brought to justice.—1 Kings 21:20-26.

*** it-1 p. 209 Athaliah ***
When Jehoash reached seven years of age, God-fearing High Priest Jehoiada brought the lad out of secrecy and crowned him rightful heir to the throne. Hearing the tumult, Athaliah rushed to the temple and, upon seeing what was happening, cried, “Conspiracy! Conspiracy!” High Priest Jehoiada ordered her taken outside the temple grounds to be executed at the horse gate of the palace; she was perhaps the last of Ahab’s abominable house. (2Ki 11:1-20; 2Ch 22:1–23:21) How true it proved to be: “Nothing of Jehovah’s word will fall unfulfilled to the earth that Jehovah has spoken against the house of Ahab”!—2Ki 10:10, 11; 1Ki 21:20-24.

*** it-1 p. 717 Elisha ***
There is yet an unfinished work of Elijah for Elisha to carry out, namely, the anointing of Jehu as God’s executioner against the wicked house of Ahab. (2Ki 9:1-10) He carries it out over 18 years after Jehovah gave the command to Elijah. Elisha gets to see the fulfillment of the prophecies at 1 Kings 19:15-17 and 21:21-24.

(1 KINGS 21:23)

“Also concerning Jezʹe•bel, Jehovah has said: ‘The dogs will eat up Jezʹe•bel in the plot of land of Jezʹre•el.”

*** jr chap. 10 pp. 120-121 par. 15 Are You Daily Asking, “Where Is Jehovah?” ***
15 Jeremiah recorded the account about Jezebel, the wicked wife of King Ahab of Samaria. His account included Elijah’s declaration that dogs would eat up Jezebel in the plot of the land of Jezreel. (1 Ki. 21:23) And in harmony with what Jeremiah recorded, you know that some 14 years later, Jezebel was thrown out of a window, trampled upon by Jehu’s horse, and eaten by dogs. (2 Ki. 9:31-37) Research into Elijah’s prophecy and its fulfillment, even in its details, must have strengthened Jeremiah’s faith in God’s word.

*** it-1 p. 644 Dog ***
At times Jehovah’s judgment against his enemies was that their dead bodies would be eaten or their blood licked up by scavenger dogs. Because of the course of gross unfaithfulness followed by Kings Jeroboam, Baasha, and Ahab, any who belonged to their respective households and who died in the city were to be devoured by dogs. (1Ki 14:11; 16:4; 21:24) In fulfillment of Jehovah’s word, the dogs licked up Ahab’s blood, and the flesh of his wife Jezebel became food for the dogs. (1Ki 21:19; 22:38; 21:23; 2Ki 9:10, 35, 36)

(1 KINGS 21:24)

“Anyone belonging to Aʹhab who dies in the city the dogs will eat up, and anyone who dies in the field the birds of the heavens will eat up.”

*** it-1 p. 209 Athaliah ***
When Jehoash reached seven years of age, God-fearing High Priest Jehoiada brought the lad out of secrecy and crowned him rightful heir to the throne. Hearing the tumult, Athaliah rushed to the temple and, upon seeing what was happening, cried, “Conspiracy! Conspiracy!” High Priest Jehoiada ordered her taken outside the temple grounds to be executed at the horse gate of the palace; she was perhaps the last of Ahab’s abominable house. (2Ki 11:1-20; 2Ch 22:1–23:21) How true it proved to be: “Nothing of Jehovah’s word will fall unfulfilled to the earth that Jehovah has spoken against the house of Ahab”!—2Ki 10:10, 11; 1Ki 21:20-24.

*** it-1 p. 644 Dog ***
Dogs (Canis familiaris), like carrion birds, were scavengers, particularly in the cities. The Law directed throwing to the dogs flesh that had been torn by a wild beast. (Ex 22:31) At times Jehovah’s judgment against his enemies was that their dead bodies would be eaten or their blood licked up by scavenger dogs. Because of the course of gross unfaithfulness followed by Kings Jeroboam, Baasha, and Ahab, any who belonged to their respective households and who died in the city were to be devoured by dogs. (1Ki 14:11; 16:4; 21:24)

(1 KINGS 21:27)

“As soon as Aʹhab heard these words, he ripped his garments apart and put sackcloth on his body; and he went on a fast and kept lying down in sackcloth and walking despondently.”

*** w14 2/1 p. 15 He Endured in the Face of Injustice ***
Perhaps Elijah was surprised at Ahab’s reaction to the divine judgment. The account reads: “As soon as Ahab heard these words, he ripped his garments apart and put sackcloth on his body; and he went on a fast and kept lying down in sackcloth and walking despondently.” (1 Kings 21:27) Was Ahab repenting of his ways?
We can at least say that it was a move in the right direction. Ahab was humbling himself—surely a difficult thing for a proud, arrogant man to do. But was it true repentance? Consider, by comparison, a later king who may have exceeded Ahab in wickedness—Manasseh. When Jehovah punished Manasseh, the man humbled himself, calling out to Jehovah for help. But he went further. He then turned his life course around by getting rid of the idolatrous images that he had set up, making efforts to serve Jehovah, and even encouraging his people to do the same. (2 Chronicles 33:1-17) Do we see such actions on Ahab’s part? Sadly, no.

(1 KINGS 21:29)

““Have you seen how Aʹhab has humbled himself on my account? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the calamity during his lifetime. I will bring the calamity upon his house in the days of his son.””

*** w14 2/1 p. 15 He Endured in the Face of Injustice ***
Did Jehovah notice that Ahab made that public display of his sadness? Jehovah said to Elijah: “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself on my account? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the calamity during his lifetime. I will bring the calamity upon his house in the days of his son.” (1 Kings 21:29) Was Jehovah forgiving Ahab? No, only true repentance would have elicited such divine mercy. (Ezekiel 33:14-16) But since Ahab showed a measure of regret, Jehovah responded with a corresponding measure of mercy. Ahab would be spared the horrific experience of seeing his entire family destroyed.
Still, Jehovah’s judgment of the man stood. Jehovah later consulted with his angels about the best way to fool Ahab into joining the battle that would end his life. Soon thereafter, Jehovah’s sentence on Ahab was carried out.

(1 KINGS 22:22)

“He replied, ‘I will go out and become a deceptive spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ So he said, ‘You will fool him, and what is more, you will be successful. Go out and do that.’”

*** it-2 p. 245 Lie ***
Jehovah God allows “an operation of error” to go to persons who prefer falsehood “that they may get to believing the lie” rather than the good news about Jesus Christ. (2Th 2:9-12) This principle is illustrated by what happened centuries earlier in the case of Israelite King Ahab. Lying prophets assured Ahab of success in war against Ramoth-gilead, while Jehovah’s prophet Micaiah foretold disaster. As revealed in vision to Micaiah, Jehovah allowed a spirit creature to become “a deceptive spirit” in the mouth of Ahab’s prophets. That is to say, this spirit creature exercised his power upon them so that they spoke, not truth, but what they themselves wanted to say and what Ahab wanted to hear from them. Though forewarned, Ahab preferred to be fooled by their lies and paid for it with his life.—1Ki 22:1-38; 2Ch 18.

(1 KINGS 22:23)

“And now Jehovah has put a deceptive spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, but Jehovah has declared calamity for you.””

*** it-2 p. 245 Lie ***
Jehovah God allows “an operation of error” to go to persons who prefer falsehood “that they may get to believing the lie” rather than the good news about Jesus Christ. (2Th 2:9-12) This principle is illustrated by what happened centuries earlier in the case of Israelite King Ahab. Lying prophets assured Ahab of success in war against Ramoth-gilead, while Jehovah’s prophet Micaiah foretold disaster. As revealed in vision to Micaiah, Jehovah allowed a spirit creature to become “a deceptive spirit” in the mouth of Ahab’s prophets. That is to say, this spirit creature exercised his power upon them so that they spoke, not truth, but what they themselves wanted to say and what Ahab wanted to hear from them. Though forewarned, Ahab preferred to be fooled by their lies and paid for it with his life.—1Ki 22:1-38; 2Ch 18.

(1 KINGS 22:26)

“Then the king of Israel said: “Take Mi•caiʹah and turn him over to Aʹmon the chief of the city and to Joʹash the king’s son.”

*** it-2 p. 81 Joash ***
6. One of those into whose custody the faithful prophet Micaiah was committed for imprisonment by Ahab. He is designated “the king’s son.” (1Ki 22:26, 27; 2Ch 18:25, 26) This expression may refer to an offspring of King Ahab or it could denote an official of royal descent or someone else closely connected with the royal household.

(1 KINGS 22:31)

“Now the king of Syria had ordered his 32 chariot commanders: “Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel.””

*** it-1 p. 286 Ben-hadad ***
The Syrian forces had been reorganized, the 32 kings having been replaced by governors as heads of the troops, evidently because it was thought that the governors would fight more unitedly and obediently and perhaps would also have stronger incentive for winning promotion to higher rank than the more independent kings. Ben-hadad’s religious and military theories, however, proved worthless against the Israelite forces who, though vastly outnumbered, were forewarned by a prophet of the attack and had the backing of the King of the universe, Jehovah God. The Syrian forces were cut to pieces, and Ben-hadad fled into Aphek. Ahab, however, let this dangerous enemy go free, with this promise from Ben-hadad: “The cities that my father took from your father I shall return; and streets you will assign to yourself in Damascus the same as my father assigned in Samaria.”—1Ki 20:22-34.
There is considerable difference of opinion as to whether this Ben-hadad is the same Syrian king of Baasha and Asa’s day or whether he is instead a son or grandson of that king. For Ben-hadad I (of Asa’s time) to be the Ben-hadad of Ahab’s and even of Jehoram’s time (c. 917-905 B.C.E.) would require a reign of some 45 years or more. This, of course, is not impossible.
However, those who hold that the Syrian king of Ahab’s day should be called Ben-hadad II point to the promise made by Ben-hadad to Ahab, quoted above. (1Ki 20:34) On the face of it, this appears to say that Ben-hadad’s father had taken cities from Omri, Ahab’s father. But if the seizure referred to was that effected by Ben-hadad I during Baasha’s rule, that would make Ben-hadad I the father (or perhaps simply the predecessor) of the Ben-hadad II of Ahab’s reign. Likewise, Ahab’s “father” could possibly refer to a royal predecessor on the throne even though not related by blood as a lineal ancestor.—See BELSHAZZAR.
Nevertheless, the fact that Ben-hadad’s promise to Ahab made reference to Samaria would appear to limit the Syrian capture of the Israelite cities to the reign of Omri, since Samaria was built by him and thereafter made Israel’s capital. The “streets” assigned apparently were for the establishment of bazaars, or markets, to promote commercial interests.
Whatever the circumstances and time of the capture of the Israelite cities, the Scriptural evidence would seem to point to a different Ben-hadad as ruling by Ahab’s time, and hence he may be referred to as Ben-hadad II. It appears that the promise of Ben-hadad to return the cities taken from Israel by his father was not completely fulfilled, for in Ahab’s final year of rule this Israelite king formed an alliance with Jehoshaphat in a vain attempt to recover Ramoth-gilead (E of the Jordan) from the Syrians. Ben-hadad II is evidently the anonymous “king of Syria” who ordered his “thirty-two chiefs of the chariots” to concentrate their attack on Ahab in that battle. (1Ki 22:31-37)

(1 KINGS 22:34)

“But one man shot his bow at random, and he struck the king of Israel between the joints of his coat of mail. So the king said to his charioteer: “Turn around and take me out of the battle, for I have been badly wounded.””

*** it-1 pp. 171-172 Arms, Armor ***
Coat of mail. A coat worn for protection during battle. The coat of mail (Heb., shir•yohnʹ or shir•yanʹ) consisted of a cloth or leather cloak that had hundreds of small adjoining pieces of metal (somewhat like fish scales) attached to its surface. Often it covered the breast, back, and shoulders, though it sometimes reached to the knees or even the ankles.—1Sa 17:5.
Among the Hebrews the coat of mail was frequently made of leather covered with metal scales or plates. The wearer enjoyed considerable protection thereby, but, nonetheless, would be vulnerable where the scales were connected or where the coat of mail adjoined other parts of the armor. Thus, King Ahab was mortally wounded by a bowman who “got to strike the king of Israel between the appendages and the coat of mail.”—1Ki 22:34-37.

(1 KINGS 22:38)

“When they washed off the war chariot by the pool of Sa•marʹi•a, the dogs licked up his blood and the prostitutes bathed there, according to the word that Jehovah had spoken.”

*** w14 2/1 p. 15 He Endured in the Face of Injustice ***
Soon thereafter, Jehovah’s sentence on Ahab was carried out. Wounded in battle, Ahab bled to death in his chariot. The account adds this grim detail: When the royal chariot was washed out, some of the dogs licked up the king’s blood. In this public way, Jehovah’s words that Elijah delivered to Ahab were fulfilled: “In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth, the dogs will lick up your own blood.”—1 Kings 21:19; 22:19-22, 34-38.

*** it-1 p. 60 Ahab ***
As the dogs had licked up Naboth’s blood so dogs would lick up Ahab’s blood, and Jezebel herself and Ahab’s descendants would become food for dogs and scavenger birds. These words hit home, and in deep grief Ahab fasted in sackcloth, alternately sitting and pacing the floor in despondence. On this basis a measure of mercy was extended to him as regards the time when the calamity would come on his house.—1Ki 21:1-29.

*** it-1 p. 60 Ahab ***
His body was brought to Samaria for burial and when “they began to wash off the war chariot by the pool of Samaria . . . the dogs went licking up his blood.” A large artificial basin has been excavated in the NW corner of the spacious palace courtyard in Samaria, and this may be the location of this fulfillment of prophecy.—1Ki 22:1-38.

*** it-1 p. 153 Archaeology ***
At the NW corner of the summit a large cemented pool was found, measuring some 10 m (33 ft) in length and about 5 m (17 ft) in width. It could be “the pool of Samaria,” in which Ahab’s chariot was washed of his blood.—1Ki 22:38.

*** it-1 p. 644 Dog ***
At times Jehovah’s judgment against his enemies was that their dead bodies would be eaten or their blood licked up by scavenger dogs. Because of the course of gross unfaithfulness followed by Kings Jeroboam, Baasha, and Ahab, any who belonged to their respective households and who died in the city were to be devoured by dogs. (1Ki 14:11; 16:4; 21:24) In fulfillment of Jehovah’s word, the dogs licked up Ahab’s blood, and the flesh of his wife Jezebel became food for the dogs. (1Ki 21:19; 22:38; 21:23; 2Ki 9:10, 35, 36)

*** it-1 p. 712 Elijah ***
Elijah meets Ahab at the vineyard and tells Ahab that his blood will be licked up by the dogs at the same place where they had licked up the blood of Naboth. He also announces a similar fate for Jezebel.—1Ki 19:19; 21:1-26.
About three years later Ahab dies in battle. His war chariot is washed by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs lick up his blood. Jezebel’s execution, however, awaits a time perhaps 15 years later. Ahab was succeeded by his son Ahaziah. This king follows in his wicked father’s footsteps, for when he is injured in an accident he turns to the false god Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to inquire regarding the outcome of his sickness. Elijah sends him Jehovah’s word that because of this he will positively die. When Ahaziah sends in succession three groups to get Elijah, each group composed of a chief with 50 men, the prophet calls down fire from the heavens to annihilate the first two groups, but on the plea of the third chief, he goes back with him to pronounce the judgment against Ahaziah in person.—1Ki 22:1, 37, 38; 2Ki 1:1-17.

(1 KINGS 22:39)

“As for the rest of the history of Aʹhab, all that he did and the house of ivory that he built and all the cities that he built, is it not written in the book of the history of the times of the kings of Israel?”

*** w90 11/1 p. 17 Samaria—Capital Among Northern Capitals ***
It may be of interest to you that archaeologists also discovered fragments of ivory inlay or panels, as shown here. Remember that 1 Kings 22:39 long ago mentioned that Ahab built a “house of ivory.” Perhaps this included furniture with carved ivory inlays, such as the splendid “couches of ivory” that the prophet Amos referred to a century later. (Amos 3:12, 15; 6:1, 4) Among the motifs on them were winged sphinxes and other symbols from Egyptian mythology.

*** w90 11/1 p. 17 Samaria—Capital Among Northern Capitals ***
Inset: Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums; photograph from Israel Museum, Jerusalem

*** si p. 149 par. 5 Bible Book Number 30—Amos ***
Numerous ivory objects were found in the excavation of Samaria. The Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land states: “Two main groups can be distinguished: 1. Plaques carved in high relief, . . . 2. Plaques carved in low relief, and decorated with insets of precious stones, colored glass, gold foil, etc. . . . The ivories are considered as products of Phoenician art, and they were probably used as inlays in the palace furniture of the Israelite kings. The Bible mentions the ‘ivory house’ which Ahab built (1 Kings 22:39)

*** it-1 p. 59 Ahab ***
It is believed that Ahab’s construction works included the completing of Samaria’s fortifications, shown by archaeology to have consisted of three immensely strong walls of superior workmanship. Excavations have revealed a rectangular palace platform measuring about 90 m (295 ft) by 180 m (590 ft), with an enclosing wall of fine ashlar masonry. Numerous ivory panels for decorating furniture and wall panels were found, perhaps connected with Ahab’s “house of ivory” mentioned at 1 Kings 22:39.—PICTURE, Vol. 1, p. 948; also compare Am 3:15; 6:4.

*** it-1 p. 153 Archaeology ***
Large quantities of ivory pieces, plaques, and panels were found in the palace area and may relate to Ahab’s house of ivory mentioned at 1 Kings 22:39. (Compare Am 6:4.)

*** it-1 p. 1155 House ***
“The houses of ivory” of some wealthy ones evidently had rooms paneled with wood inlaid with ivory. (1Ki 22:39; Am 3:15)

(1 KINGS 22:47)

“Then there was no king in Eʹdom; a deputy was acting as king.”

*** it-1 p. 615 Deputy ***
During the rule of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah (936-c. 911 B.C.E.), “a deputy was king” in Edom, which, at the time, was under Judean control. (1Ki 22:47) This indicates that a vicegerent had been appointed or approved to act in the place of the king.

(1 KINGS 22:48)

“Je•hoshʹa•phat also made Tarʹshish ships to go to Oʹphir for gold, but they did not go because the ships were wrecked at Eʹzi•on-geʹber.”

*** it-2 pp. 1066-1067 Tarshish ***
It is generally believed that the term “ships of Tarshish” in course of time came to stand for a type of ship, as one lexicon puts it: “large, sea-going vessels, fit to ply to Tarshish.” (A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, by Brown, Driver, and Briggs, 1980, p. 1077) In a similar way, the name Indiamen originally was derived from the name applied to large British ships engaged in trade with India and in time came to apply to ships of that type no matter what their origin or destination. Thus 1 Kings 22:48 shows that King Jehoshaphat (936-911 B.C.E.) “made Tarshish ships to go to Ophir for gold.”
The Chronicles account, however, states that Solomon’s ships used for the triannual voyages “were going to Tarshish” (2Ch 9:21); also that Jehoshaphat’s ships were designed “to go to Tarshish” and, when wrecked, “did not retain strength to go to Tarshish.” (2Ch 20:36, 37) This would indicate that Ophir was not the only port of call of the Israelite “ships of Tarshish,” but that they also navigated Mediterranean waters. This, of course, poses a problem, since the launching site of at least some of these vessels is shown to have been Ezion-geber on the Gulf of ʽAqaba. (1Ki 9:26) For the ships to reach the Mediterranean Sea, they would either have to traverse a canal from the Red Sea to the Nile River and then into the Mediterranean or else circumnavigate the continent of Africa. While it is by no means possible to determine now the details of navigational routes (including canals) available or employed in Solomon’s and in Jehoshaphat’s time, there is likewise no need to view the record of their maritime projects as unfeasible.

(1 KINGS 22:49)

“It was then that A•ha•ziʹah the son of Aʹhab said to Je•hoshʹa•phat: “Let my servants go with your servants in the ships,” but Je•hoshʹa•phat did not consent.”

*** it-1 p. 63 Ahaziah ***
The account at 1 Kings 22:48, 49 shows that Ahaziah wanted Jehoshaphat’s authorization for Israelite mariners to man the ships jointly with those of Judah, a request that Jehoshaphat refused. If this request was made prior to the wrecking of the ships, it may simply indicate Jehoshaphat’s distrust of Ahaziah and caution against encroachment by the northern kingdom. If the request came after the failure of the fleet, it may have been an insinuation on Ahaziah’s part that Jehoshaphat’s men were lacking in ability and were responsible for the wreckage of the ships and hence the suggestion that the ships be refitted and sent out again with Israelite sailors also on board. In that case Jehoshaphat’s refusal may have been in acknowledgment of God’s manifest disapproval of the project.

(1 KINGS 22:50)

“Then Je•hoshʹa•phat was laid to rest with his forefathers and was buried with his forefathers in the City of David his forefather; and his son Je•hoʹram became king in his place.”

*** it-2 p. 172 Kings, Books of ***
First Kings covers a period of about 129 years, commencing with the final days of King David, about 1040 B.C.E., and running through to the death of Judean King Jehoshaphat in about 911 B.C.E. (1Ki 22:50)

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