Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 21:7

Jezebel his wife said to him, "Do you now reign over Israel? Arise, eat bread, and let your heart be joyful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Confiscation;   Covetousness;   Dishonesty;   Falsehood;   Government;   Indictments;   Jezebel;   King;   Naboth;   Usurpation;   Women;   Thompson Chain Reference - Ahab;   Business Life;   Concealment-Exposure;   Dishonesty;   Evil;   Exposure;   Jezebel;   Queens;   Sin;   Sinners;   Temptresses;   Vices;   Women;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Jezreel;   Naboth;   Vine;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ahab;   Jezebel;   King;   Steal;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Jezebel;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Esdraelon;   Festivals;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Queen;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Government;   Jezebel;   Justice;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Jezebel ;   Jezreelite, Jezreelitess ;   Naboth ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Naboth;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Elijah;   Jezebel;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Jez'ebel;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Babylonish Captivity, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Heart;   Jezebel;   Judge;   Naboth;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? - Naboth, not Ahab, is king. If he have authority to refuse, and thou have no power to take, he is the greater man of the two. This is the vital language of despotism and tyranny.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-21.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The meaning is, “Art thou king, and yet sufferest thyself to be thwarted in this way by a mere subject? I, the queen, the weak woman, will give thee the vineyard, if thou, the king, the strong man, wilt do nothing.”

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-21.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

1 Kings 21:7

I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth.

Wifely ambition, good and bad

How important that every wife have her ambition an elevated, righteous, and divinely approved ambition! And here let me say that what I am most anxious for is that woman, not waiting for the rights denied her or postponed, should promptly and decisively employ the rights she already has in possession. Some say she will be in a fair way to get all her rights when she gets the right to the ballot-box. I do not know that it would change anything for the better. But let every wife, not waiting for the vote she may never get, or, getting it, find it outbalanced by some other vote not fit to be cast, arise now in the might of the Eternal God and wield the power of a sanctified wifely ambition for a good approximating the infinite. No one can so inspire a man to noble purposes as a noble woman, and no one so thoroughly degrade a man as a wife of unworthy tendencies. While in my text we have illustration of wifely ambition employed in the wrong direction, in society and history are instances of wifely ambition triumphant in right directions. All that was worth admiration in the character of Henry VI. was a reflection of the heroics of his wife Margaret. William, Prince of Orange, was restored to the right path by the grand qualities of his wife Mary. Justinian, the Roman Emperor confesses that his wise laws were the suggestion of his wife Theodora. Andrew Jackson, the warrior and President, had his mightiest reinforcement in his plain wife, whose inartistic attire was the amusement of the elegant circles in which she was invited. Washington, who broke the chain that held America in foreign vassalage, wore for forty years a chain around his own neck, that chain holding the miniature likeness of her who had been his greatest inspiration, whether among the snows at Valley Forge or the honours of the Presidential chair. Pliny’s pen was driven through all its poetic and historical dominions by his wife, Calpurnia, who sang his stanzas to the sound of flute, and sat among audiences enraptured at her husband’s genius, herself the most enraptured. Pericles said he got all his eloquence and statesmanship from his wife. When the wife of Grotius rescued him from long imprisonment at Lovestein by means of a bookcase that went in and out, carrying his books to and fro, in which he was one day transported, hidden amid the folios; and the women of besieged Wurzburg, getting permission from the victorious army to take with them so much of their valuables as they could carry, under cover of the promise shouldered and took with them, as the most important valuables, their husbands--both achievements in a literal way illustrated what thousands of times has been done in a figurative way, namely, that wifely ambition has been the salvation of men. De Tocqueville, whose writings will be potential and quoted while the world lasts, ascribes his successes to his wife, and says: “Of all the blessings which God has given to me, the greatest of all in my eyes is to have lighted on Maria Motley.” Martin Luther says of his wife, “I would not exchange my poverty with her for all the riches of Croesus without her.” Isabella of Spain, by her superior faith in Columbus, put into the hand of Ferdinand, her husband, America. John Adams, President of the United States, said of his wife: “She never by word or look discouraged me from running all hazards for the salvation of my country’s liberties.” A whole cemetery of monumental inscriptions will not do a wife so much good after she has quit the world as one plain sentence like that which Tom Hood wrote to his living wife when he said: “I never was anything till I knew you.” O woman, what is your wifely ambition, noble or ignoble? Is it high social position? That will then probably direct your husband, and he will climb and scramble and slip and fall and rise and tumble, and on what level, or in what depth, or on what height he will, after a while, be found, I cannot even guess. The contest for social position is the most unsatisfactory contest in all the world, because it is so uncertain about your getting it, and so insecure a possession after you have obtained it, and so unsatisfactory even if you keep it. The whisk of a lady’s fan may blow it out. The growl of one “bear,” or the bellowing of one “bull” on Wall Street, may scatter it. Some of us could tell of what influence upon us has been a wifely ambition consecrated to righteousness. A man is no better than his wife will let him be. O wives, swing your sceptres of wifely influence for God and good homes! Do not urge your husbands to annex Naboth’s vineyard to your palace of success, whether right or wrong, lest the dogs that come out to destroy Naboth come out also to devour you. Righteousness will pay best in life, will pay best in death, will pay best in judgment, will pay best through all eternity. In our effort to have the mother of every household appreciate her influence over her children, we are apt to forget the wife’s influence over the husband. In many households the influence upon the husband is the only home influence. In a great multitude of the best and most important and most talented families of the earth there have been no descendants. Multitudes of the finest families of the earth are extinct. As though they had done enough for the world by their genius or wit or patriotism or invention or consecration, God withdrew them. In multitudes of cases all woman’s opportunity for usefulness is with her contemporaries. How important that it be an improved opportunity! While the French warriors on their way to Rheims had about concluded to give up attacking the castle at Troyes, because it was so heavily garrisoned, Joan of Are entered the room and told them they would be inside the castle in three days. “We would willingly wait six days,” said one of the leaders. “Six!” she cried out, “you shall be in it to-morrow,” and, under her leadership, on the morrow they entered. On a smaller scale, every man has garrisons to subdue and obstacles to level, and every wife may be an inspired Joan of Are to her husband. What a noble, wifely ambition, the determination, God helping, to accompany her companion across the stormy sea of this life and together gain the wharf of the Celestial City! Coax him along with you! You cannot drive him there You cannot nag him there; but you can coax him there. That is God’s plan. He coaxes us all the way--coaxes us out of our sins, coaxes us to accept pardon, coaxes us to heaven. If we reach that blessed place, it will be through a prolonged and Divine coaxing. (T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)

Wives who mar their husbands

By the fate of Ahab, whose wife induced him to steal; by the fate of Macbeth, whose wife pushed him into massacre; by the fate of James Ferguson, the philosopher, whose wife entered the room while he was lecturing and wilfully upset his astronomical apparatus, so that he turned to the audience and said: “Ladies and gentlemen, I have the misfortune to be married to this woman”; by the fate of Bulwer, the novelist, whose wife’s temper was so incompatible that he furnished her a beautiful house near London, and withdrew from her company; by the fate of John Milton, who married a termagant after he was blind, and when somebody called her a rose, the poet said, “I am no judge of colours, but I may be so, for I feel the thorns daily”--by all these scenes of disquietude and domestic calamity, we implore you to be cautious and prayerful before you enter upon the connubial state, which decides whether a man shall have two heavens or two hells, a heaven here and a heaven there, or a hell now and a hell hereafter. (T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "1 Kings 21:7". 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 Jezebel his wife said unto him, dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel?.... Art thou not king of Israel? canst thou not do as thou pleasest? hast thou not power to oblige a subject to obey thy commands, and especially in such a trifling matter as parting with a vineyard, and that upon the most reasonable terms? thou hast too much demeaned thyself as a king; thou oughtest to have exerted thy kingly power and authority, and demanded it from him; the Targum is,

"thou now shalt prosper in thy kingdom over Israel;'

thy reign now is prosperous, and like to continue so, having obtained two such victories over thine enemies, and therefore should not be dejected with such a trifling thing as this:

arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: the kingdom being in such a flourishing state; and let not this affair give thee any trouble or uneasiness; I will take care of that, leave it with me:

I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite: without paying any money, or giving another vineyard in exchange for it.

Copyright Statement
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 21:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-21.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And Jezebel his wife said unto him, c Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, [and] eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

(c) As though she said, "You do not know what it means to reign. Command and do not beg".
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-kings-21.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? — This is not so much a question as an exclamation - a sarcastic taunt; “A pretty king thou art! Canst not thou use thy power and take what thy heart is set upon?”

arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard — After upbraiding Ahab for his pusillanimity and bidding him act as a king, Jezebel tells him to trouble himself no more about such a trifle; she would guarantee the possession of the vineyard.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-kings-21.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

Dost thou govern — Art thou fit to be king, that hast not courage to use thy power.

Copyright Statement
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 21:7". "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 21:7 And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, [and] eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

Ver. 7. Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel?] q.d., What a king of clouts art thou! It is not for a king to beg or buy, but to command and call for what he pleaseth, without control. And such afterwards was the speech of wicked Julia to her son-in-law Antonius Caracalla, soliciting him to incestuous marriage; when he answered, Vellem si liceret, I would if I might; she replied impudently, Si libet licet; thou mayest do whatsoever thou wilt: knowest thou not that thou art an emperor, and that it is thy part to give laws to others, and not to receive laws from any one living? So Caligula said to his grandmother Antonia, Memento omnia mihi licere, et in omnes. You must know that I may do whatsoever I wish. Jezebel would persuade Ahab here, that he is lawless, and that since he knew not how to improve his kingly power, she would do it for him.

Let thine heart be merry.] Sing care away for this matter.

I will give thee the vineyard.] Thus the hen crowed, the wife ruled; being impio marito impientior, avaro avarior, crudile crudelior, rapace rapacior, cupido cupidior, as one saith, (a) the worse of the twain, if worse might be. Ambrose (b) maketh her a type of covetousness, which promiseth her clients wealth without right. Another saith truly that she was fax malorum omnium, et quasi furia quaedam inferni, a firebrand of all mischief, a very hell-hag.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:7". 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 21:7. Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel In truth the king has very excellent authority in Israel! Houb.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:7". 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

Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? art thou fit to be king, that canst put up such affronts from thy subjects, and hast not the courage to use thy absolute power to dispose of them and theirs as seemeth good unto thee?

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:7". 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

7.Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel — Some take these words, not as a question, or as spoken in irony, but as a command or summons for the king to exercise his royal power, thus: Do thou now govern; that is, exercise now thy sovereign power, and show that thou, not thy subjects, rulest in Israel. But it best suits the connexion to take the words as an ironical exclamation, designed to reproach and censure the imbecile conduct of Ahab: Thou dost now marvellously wield the sovereignty over Israel! That is, thou, surely, art become now a mighty king to be thus set at naught! A powerful ruler to be thus sent to bed disheartened by an obstinate subject!

I will give thee the vineyard — “I, the wife, since thou hast not the courage to act as a man and a king.” — Thenius.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-kings-21.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 Kings 21:7. Jezebel said, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? — Art thou fit to be a king who canst put up with such affronts from thy subjects, and hast not courage to dispose of them and theirs as seemeth good unto thee? I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth — Trouble thyself no further about it, but leave the matter to me; I will manage it to thy satisfaction, and the vineyard shall be thine, and shall cost thee nothing. Unhappy are those princes, and hurried apace toward their ruin, who have those about them who excite them to acts of tyranny, and teach them how to abuse their power!

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:7". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-21.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Israel. Hebrew simply, "Now thou wilt make the kingdom of Israel." (Calmet) --- Protestants, "Dost thou now govern the?" &c. (Haydock) --- Thou art a fit person indeed to establish a kingdom! Ought not a king to take what he has a mind to? Syriac, "Are you fit to reign?" Arabic, "You do not deserve to govern." (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "Dost thou now act the king over Israel, in this manner?" (Haydock)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-21.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Dost. ? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:7". "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 Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

Dost thus now govern the kingdom of Israel? - a sarcastic taunt: 'A pretty king then art! Canst thou use thy power, and take what thy heart is set upon?' Ahab seems not to have contemplated acquiring the much-wished-for plot of ground by injustice and cruelty. He never dreamed of the desperate expedient of realizing his desires by the method which Jezebel devised-at least he did not hint at such a thing; while her unscrupulous mind at once and unhesitatingly determined on the truly Oriental, despotic plan of getting rid of Naboth by murder.

Arise ... I will give thee the vineyard. - No sooner does Jezebel learn the sense of her husband's distress than, after upbraiding him for his pusillanimity, and bidding him act as a king, she tells him to trouble himself no more about such a trifle; else would guarantee the possession of the vineyard.

Copyright Statement
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 21:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-kings-21.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(7) Dost thou now.—The scorn of Jezebel is, like the impatience of Lady Macbeth, expressed in a striking boldness of emphasis. First comes the bitter irony of the question, “Dost thou govern the kingdom of Israel, and yet suffer a subject to cross thy will?” expressing her scornful wonder at one who “lets I dare not, wait upon 1 would.” Then in the invitation, “eat bread, and let thine heart be merry,” there seems the same half-contemptuous recognition of a self-indulgent weakness of nature, which may be traced in Elijah’s words in 1 Kings 18:41, “Get thee up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of abundance of rain.” Ahab is fit only to desire and to revel; it is for bolder spirits to act for good or for evil.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-21.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.
Dost thou now
1 Samuel 8:4; 2 Samuel 13:4; Proverbs 30:31; Ecclesiastes 4:1; 8:4; Daniel 5:19-21
I will give thee
15,16; Micah 2:1,2; 7:3
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 8:14 - General1 Samuel 24:14 - the king;  1 Kings 21:25 - whom Jezebel;  Esther 5:14 - said Zeresh;  Psalm 73:8 - speak wickedly;  Amos 6:12 - for;  Revelation 2:20 - that woman

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-21.html.