Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 21:8

So she wrote letters in Ahab's name and sealed them with his seal, and sent letters to the elders and to the nobles who were living with Naboth in his city.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Confiscation;   Conspiracy;   Covetousness;   Dishonesty;   Falsehood;   Forgery;   Government;   Indictments;   Jezebel;   Judge;   King;   Naboth;   Perjury;   Seal;   Usurpation;   Women;   Thompson Chain Reference - Elders;   Jezebel;   Leaders;   Letters;   Nobles;   Queens;   Religious;   Seal;   Treachery;   Women;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Murder;   Seals;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Jezebel;   Jezreel;   Justice;   Letters;   Naboth;   Rings;   Seal, Sealing;   Vine;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ahab;   Jezebel;   King;   Lie;   Ruler;   Steal;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Government;   Leadership;   Punishment;   Seal;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Writing;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Epistle;   Judges;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Book(s);   Esdraelon;   Festivals;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Letter;   Naboth;   Queen;   Seal;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Elder;   Government;   Jezebel;   Justice;   Seal, Signet;   Writing;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Trial-At-Law;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Jezebel ;   Jezreelite, Jezreelitess ;   Naboth ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Naboth;   Seal;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Elijah;   Jezebel;   Seal;   Writing;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Seal;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Rings;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Babylonish Captivity, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Blindness, Judicial;   Epistle;   Jezebel;   Jezreel;   Judge;   Naboth;   Name;   Noble;   Seal;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

She wrote letters in Ahab's name - She counterfeited his authority by his own consent; and he lent his signet to stamp that authority.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-21.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Seal - The seal is a very ancient invention. Judah‘s signet and Pharaoh‘s signet-ring are mentioned in Genesis Genesis 38:18; Genesis 41:42. Signets of Egyptian kings have been found which are referred to about 2000 B.C. Sennacherib‘s signet, and an impression of Sargon‘s, are still extant. There can be no doubt that in the East, from a very remote antiquity, kings had seals and appended them to all documents which they set forth under their authority. (Compare also Esther 3:12; Esther 8:8; Daniel 6:17). The Hebrew mode of sealing seems to have been by attaching a lump of clay to the document, and impressing the seal thereupon Job 38:14.

His city - i. e., Jezreel 1 Kings 21:1. The mode in which it is spoken of here, and in 1 Kings 21:11, seems to imply that it was not the city from which Jezebel wrote. The court was evidently at this time residing at Samaria 1 Kings 20:43; and Ahab may either have met Naboth there, or have gone down (compare 1 Kings 21:16) to Jezreel to make his request, and then, on being refused, have returned to Samaria. The distance is not more than seven miles.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-21.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal,.... He giving her leave, no doubt, to take his seal; though she might not communicate her scheme to him, lest he should object to it:

and sent the letters unto the elders, and to the nobles that were in his city dwelling with Naboth: to the chief magistrates of the city of Jezreel, where Naboth dwelt.

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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 21:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-21.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

So she wrote letters in Ahab‘s name, and sealed them with his seal — The seal-ring contained the name of the king and gave validity to the documents to which it was affixed (Esther 8:8; Daniel 6:17). By allowing her the use of his signet-ring, Ahab passively consented to Jezebel‘s proceeding. Being written in the king‘s name, it had the character of a royal mandate.

sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city — They were the civic authorities of Jezreel, and would, in all likelihood, be the creatures and fit tools of Jezebel. It is evident that, though Ahab had recently been in Jezreel, when he made the offer to Naboth, both he and Jezebel were now in Samaria (1 Kings 20:43).

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

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 21:8 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed [them] with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that [were] in his city, dwelling with Naboth.

Ver. 8. So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal.] She was king, and he queen, as was afore noted; she wrought upon his impotencies, and did what she listed. The he-viper putteth his head into the she-viper’s mouth, and she biteth it off: so the uxorious person parteth with his authority.

Unto the elders.] Who were her creatures likely, and therefore so morigerous.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-21.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Whom she very well knew to be fit for her purpose.

In his city, i.e. in Jezreel. So she seeks to destroy him with a pretence of justice, and with as little reflection upon Ahab as might be.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:8". 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

8.Sealed them with his seal — “In giving validity to documents, names were not in those days, nor are they now in the East, signed by the hand in writing, but impressed by a seal on which the name is engraved. Hence the importance which is attached to the signet throughout the sacred books.” — Kitto.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:8". "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 21:8. She sent the letters unto the elders and nobles — Whom she very well knew to be fit for her purpose; that were in his city — In Jezreel. Thus she seeks to destroy him with a pretence of justice, and with as little reflection on Ahab as might be.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:8". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-21.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Chief men. Hebrew chorim, "those in white," the usual colour of magistrates and noblemen, Ecclesiastes ix. 8., and Daniel vii. 9. The angels generally appear arrayed in white. Among the Egyptians and the Greeks, the rich were remarkable for the whiteness of their robes. (Herodotus ii. 36.) (Homer, Odyssey z.)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-21.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

sealed. with his seal. Figure of speech Polyptoton. App-6, Sealing was done by rubbing ink on the seal, moistening the paper, and pressing the seal thereon.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:8". "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

So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.

So she wrote letters ... and sealed them with his seal. The seal-ring contained the name of the king, and gave validity to the documents to which it was affixed (Esther 8:8; Daniel 6:17). Besides rings with a seal attached to them, there were other forums of seal or signet, neither set metal nor worn on the fingers: these were engraved stones, on part of the surface of which the necessary figures and characters were inscribed. This practice probably originated with the Egyptians; but it was afterward adopted by the Phoenicians. The stone was cut by lapidary, in the form of a cylinder, a pyramid, or a square, according to the taste or fancy of the other; at other times it was bisected, and on the convex superficies of the cut diameter the form of a scarabaeus or beetle was engraved; while the flat under-surface contained the legend or inscription for the seal. It has been conjectured, from Jezebel's Phoenician extraction and her ready command of the king's seal, that Ahab's might be of the Phoenician description. By allowing her the use of his signet, Ahab passively consented to Jezebel's proceeding. Being written in the king's name, it had the character of a royal mandate.

Sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in the city. They were the elders or civic authorities of Jezreel and would in all likelihood be the creatures and fit tools of Jezebel. Ahab and Jezebel were now in Samaria (1 Kings 20:43).

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:8". "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

(8) Sealed them with his seal—with the name, or token, of the king, engraved on stone, and impressed (see Job 38:14) on a lump of clay attached to the letter. The sealing (as the modern sense of “signature” implies) was the pledge of authenticity and authority. (See Genesis 38:18; Nehemiah 9:38; Nehemiah 10:1; Esther 3:10; Esther 3:12, Daniel 6:17, &c.) The use of the seal—ordinarily worn or carried on the person—implies Ahab’s knowledge that something is being done in his name, into which he takes care not to inquire.

In his city.—This would be most naturally interpreted as Jezreel; but if Naboth dwelt or sojourned at Samaria, it may be Samaria. Jezebel naturally desires that neither Ahab nor she herself, though close at hand, should appear in the matter; but gives the necessary authority in writing, because without it the deed could not be done.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-21.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.
she wrote
2 Samuel 11:14,15; 2 Chronicles 32:17; Ezra 4:7,8,11; Nehemiah 6:5; Esther 3:12-15; 8:8-13
the elders
Numbers 11:16; Deuteronomy 16:18,19; 21:1-9
the nobles
1; 2 Kings 10:1-7,11
Reciprocal: Exodus 24:11 - nobles;  Deuteronomy 1:17 - ye shall not;  Ruth 4:2 - the elders;  1 Kings 21:12 - General2 Kings 9:22 - the whoredoms;  2 Kings 10:6 - GeneralEsther 8:10 - in the king;  Jeremiah 29:25 - Because;  Matthew 26:59 - sought;  Acts 26:12 - with

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-21.html.