Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 21:3

But Naboth said to Ahab, "The Lord forbid me that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Covetousness;   Dishonesty;   Indictments;   Inheritance;   King;   Naboth;   Women;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Covetousness;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Jezebel;   Jezreel;   Naboth;   Vine;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ahab;   Inheritance;   Jezebel;   King;   Steal;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Heir;   Pentateuch;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Economic Life;   Esdraelon;   Festivals;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Naboth;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Government;   Jezebel;   Justice;   Sabbatical Year;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Jezreelite, Jezreelitess ;   Naboth ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Naboth;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Elijah;   Jezebel;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Babylonish Captivity, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Jezebel;   Judge;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Agrarian Laws;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The Lord forbid it me - Or, “Yahweh forbid it me.” Naboth, as a worshipper of Yahweh, not of Baal, considers it would be wrong for him to comply with the king‘s request, as contrary to the Law (margin). His was not a mere refusal arising out of a spirit of sturdy independence, or one based upon the sentiment which attaches men to ancestral estates.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-21.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

1 Kings 21:3

The Lord forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.

The reply of Naboth, and its lessons

I. The reply of Naboth.

1. It first assures us that he is a conscientious man, and a worshipper of Jehovah. No; but from a conviction of his duty to God as the Supreme Lawgiver: and, therefore, rather than offend Him, or violate His will, he would incur the anger and vengeful power of Ahab.

2. Hence the moral heroism of the reply--similar to that which distinguished the answer of the apostles, in after history, when forbidden by the magistrates to preach in the name of Jesus. These brave men recognised the Divine authority; and, basing their publication upon its evidence, they were ready to undergo any persecution, any torture, any death, rather than disobey God. And it was according to this spirit that Naboth uttered the words to Ahab.

3. In this reply of Naboth, there is also the recognition of an old fundamental law, unrepealed, among the Hebrews, respecting landed property: and this recognition stands out in direct opposition to the loose practices of Ahab, the priests, and all the followers of Baal.

II. Its lessons.

1. The great value which every professing Christian ought to set upon his inheritance, as purchased for him, and handed down to him by Christ, and that no man ought to part with it through the force of temptation.

2. We learn furthermore from the reply of Naboth the great importance of decision of character, or as it is directed towards a right purpose.

3. Naboth openly avowed his belief in God and His laws before Ahab, and a nation given up to idolatry. And thus we are taught not to be ashamed of confessing our faith in Christ. (W. D. Horwood.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "1 Kings 21:3". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/1-kings-21.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Naboth said to Ahab, the Lord forbid it me that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. The inheritances of families were not to be alienated to another family, or tribe, nor even to be sold, unless in extreme poverty, and then to return at the year of jubilee, Leviticus 25:23. Now Naboth was a man in good circumstances, and under no necessity of selling his vineyard; and, if he sold it, he might reasonably conclude, it becoming a part of the royal demesnes, would never revert to his family; and therefore, both out of regard to the law of God, and the good of his family, would not part with it at any rate: this shows that he was a conscientious man, and therefore is thought to be one of those that would not bow his knee to Baal, and against whom Ahab had a grudge, and sought an opportunity against him.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-21.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.

The Lord forbid — For God had expressly, and for divers weighty reasons forbidden the alienation of lands from the tribes and families to which they were allotted. And although these might have been alienated 'till the jubilee, yet he durst not sell it to the king for that time; because he supposed, if once it came into the king's hand, neither he, nor his posterity, could ever recover it; and so he should both offend God, and wrong his posterity.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-kings-21.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 21:3 And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.

Ver. 3. The Lord forbid it me.] The Lord had indeed forbidden it him. [Leviticus 25:23 Numbers 36:7 Ezekiel 46:18] And hence his loathness; for he feared God in that corrupt time, and this made him a martyr; and for this his blood cried the louder against Ahab and Jezebel.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-21.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Kings 21:3. The Lord forbid it me, &c.— Ahab's request was inconsistent with the law, Leviticus 25:28 and therefore shewed an unbounded avarice, if not impiety in the king; for as, by means of the incorporation of the religious and civil societies which was the consequence of a theocracy, religious matters came under a civil consideration; so likewise civil matters came under the religious. See Div. Leg. vol. 4: Houbigant remarks, that Naboth very properly urges a religious motive; for it was part of his religion not to alienate a paternal inheritance, unless through poverty or necessity. They were to have the same sentiments concerning each particular inheritance, as concerning the possession of the land of Canaan itself; which contained the pledge of the divine promises of a better covenant. Besides, Naboth knew that his vineyard, if possessed by kings, would not return to him at the jubilee. So that he is not to be blamed for refusing a condition which would have been most dishonourable to any private man. Note; When we must offend God or man, there can need no hesitation to determine which.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-kings-21.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

For God hath expressly, and for divers weighty reasons, forbidden the alienation of lands from the tribes and families to which they were allotted, Leviticus 25:15,23,25 Num 36:7 Ezekiel 46:18. And although these might have been alienated till the jubilee, yet he durst not sell it to the king for that time; because he supposed that if once it came into the king’s hand, especially to be made a garden of pleasure, and affixed to his palace, neither he nor his posterity could ever recover it again; and so he should both offend God, and wrong his posterity; which being, as it seems, a pious man, he durst not do.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-kings-21.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.The Lord forbid it me — Literally, Accursed to me from Jehovah from giving the inheritance of my fathers to thee. That is, I should be accursed or alienated from Jehovah by giving this inheritance away, or parting with it so as never to recover it again. So Naboth refused to sell his inheritance on religious grounds, for the law (Leviticus 25:23) said, “The land shall not be sold forever,” that is, so as to be cut off forever from the claim of the original possessor. For even if, through poverty, a man was obliged to sell a part of his possession, it would return to him again at the next jubilee.

Leviticus 25:25-28. But Ahab evidently wished to have Naboth make a final and irrecoverable disposal of his estate.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-kings-21.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Fathers. He would have deemed it a mark of disrespect and a crime, as he was not in a state of indigence; which alone could authorize him to sell his property, and then only till the year of jubilee; (Leviticus xxv. 23.) and as his field was to be turned into a royal garden, and the law was disregarded by the king, there was no prospect of his regaining it at that period. The law of Moses was till in force; and there were some, like Naboth, who were resolved to comply with it, (Calmet) even at the hazard of their lives. (Tirinus)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-21.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the inheritance of my fathers. Naboth respected the Law of God (Leviticus 25:23. Numbers 36:7, Numbers 36:8).

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-kings-21.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-kings-21.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.
The Lord
Genesis 44:7,17; Joshua 22:29; 24:16; 1 Samuel 12:23; 24:6; 26:9-11; 1 Chronicles 11:19; Job 27:5; Romans 3:4,6,31; 6:2,15; 7:7,13; 1 Corinthians 6:15; Galatians 6:14
I should give
Leviticus 25:23; Numbers 36:7; Ezekiel 46:18
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 23:17 - Be it far;  1 Kings 21:4 - I will not;  1 Kings 21:6 - I will not give

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-21.html.