Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 21:9

Now she wrote in the letters, saying, "Proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people;
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Confiscation;   Conspiracy;   Covetousness;   Dishonesty;   Falsehood;   Government;   Indictments;   Jezebel;   Judge;   King;   Naboth;   Perjury;   Slander;   Usurpation;   Women;   Thompson Chain Reference - Fasts Proclaimed;   Jezebel;   Penitence-Impenitence;   Proclamations;   Queens;   Repentance;   Women;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Murder;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Jezebel;   Jezreel;   Justice;   Naboth;   Vine;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ahab;   Jezebel;   King;   Lie;   Steal;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Fast, Fasting;   Punishment;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Fast;   Writing;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Epistle;   Fasting;   Judges;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Esdraelon;   Festivals;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Letter;   Naboth;   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;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Justice;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Babylonish Captivity, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Epistle;   Jezebel;   Judge;   Naboth;   Writing;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Proclaim a fast - Intimate that there is some great calamity coming upon the nation, because of some evil tolerated in it.

Set Naboth on high - Bring him to a public trial.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-21.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The object of this fast was at once to raise a prejudice against Naboth, who was assumed by the elders to have disgraced the town; and at the same time to give an air of religion to the proceedings, which might blind persons to their real injustice.

Set Naboth on high among his people - This was not an order to do Naboth any, even apparent, honor; but simply a command to bring him forward before a court or assembly, where he might be seen by all, tried, and condemned.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:9". "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

And she wrote in the letters, saying, proclaim a fast,.... Pretending fears of some dreadful calamity coming upon the nation, and therefore fasting and humiliation were necessary to avert it, and it would be right to inquire what crimes were committed by men among them, and punish them for them; and intimated to them that Naboth should be chosen as the great offender, and be accused, condemned, and put to death, R. Joseph KimchiF1Apud David. Kimchium in loc. thinks the phrase signifies "call an assembly or congregation"; convene a court of judicature, from the use of the word in the Talmudic languageF2Vid. Buxtorf. Talmud. Lexic. in rad צסת ; and so it is thought it is used in Jeremiah 36:6 and indeed it can hardly be thought that Jezebel should have much notion of fasting; and besides, if it was a public fast, why should it be proclaimed only in Jezreel, and not throughout the kingdom?

and set Naboth on high among the people; the court being set, bring him to the bar and arraign him; perhaps in their courts of judicature there was a high place above the heads of the people, where criminals accused used to stand when they took their trials, that they might be seen and heard by all in court.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-21.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a d fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:

(d) For then they used to enquire of men's faults: for no one could truly fast if he was a notorious sinner.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:9". "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

Proclaim a fast, etc. — Those obsequious and unprincipled magistrates did according to orders. Pretending that a heavy guilt lay on one, or some unknown party, who was charged with blaspheming God and the king and that Ahab was threatening vengeance on the whole city unless the culprit were discovered and punished, they assembled the people to observe a solemn fast. Fasts were commanded on extraordinary occasions affecting the public interests of the state (2 Chronicles 20:3; Ezra 8:21; Joel 1:14; Joel 2:15; Jonah 3:5). The wicked authorities of Jezreel, by proclaiming the fast, wished to give an external appearance of justice to their proceedings and convey an impression among the people that Naboth‘s crime amounted to treason against the king‘s life.

set Naboth on high — During a trial the panel, or accused person, was placed on a high seat, in the presence of all the court; but as the guilty person was supposed to be unknown, the setting of Naboth on high among the people must have been owing to his being among the distinguished men of the place.

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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 21:9". "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 she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:

A fast — To remove all suspicion of evil design in Ahab, and to beget a good opinion of him amongst his people, as if he were grown zealous for God's honour, and careful of his people's welfare, and therefore desirous to enquire into all those sins which provoked God against them.

On high — On a scaffold, or high-place, where malefactors were usually placed, that they might be seen, and heard by all the people.

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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 21:9". "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 21:9 And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:

Ver. 9. Proclaim a fast.] On fast days they were wont to execute heinous offenders, and thereby to get reconciliation with God. [Numbers 25:7-8 Psalms 106:30] But what damnable dissimulation was it in this devilish creature to do her feats under pretext of a fast! This was like that Italian new device of a pocket stone bow which, held under a cloak, shooteth needles with such force to pierce a man’s body, yet leaveth a wound scarce discernible: or, rather, that other, more detestable, of a pocket church book with a pistol hid in the binding, which turning to such a page dischargeth, - a plot to entrap him you hate, whilst you are at your devotions together, when there is less suspicion. (a) If Jezebel proclaim a fast, let Naboth look to his life. If Herod, "that fox," pretend to worship Christ, there is mischief towards. The Jesuits enjoined a fast, and set forth a sevenfold psalmody for the good success of the gunpowder plot: wherein, Rabshakeh-like, they would persuade the world that they came not up against us without the Lord.

And set Naboth on high.] Bring him before the judges.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:9". 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 21:9. Proclaim a fast It was always usual; upon the approach of any great calamity, or the apprehension of any national judgment, to proclaim a fast. Jezebel orders such a fast to be observed, the better to conceal her design against Naboth: for by this means she intimated to the people, that they had some accursed thing among them, which was ready to bring down the vengeance of God upon their city; and that therefore it was their business to enquire into all those sins which provoked God to anger against them, and to purge them out effectually. As, therefore, these days of fasting were employed in punishing offenders, doing justice, and imploring God's pardon, the elders of the city had now an occasion to convene an assembly, and the false witnesses a fair opportunity to accuse Naboth before them. The phrase, set Naboth on high, seems to be similar to that of lifting up the head; Genesis 13:18 and signifies to bring a person to a public trial. Others however think, that as Naboth was a man of consequence, it implies the setting him in an honourable place among the elders of the city. See Le Clerc, and Pilkington's Remarks.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:9". 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

Proclaim a fast, to remove all suspicion of hatred or evil design in Ahab, and to beget a good opinion of him amongst his people, as if his afflictions had done him good, and as if he were grown zealous for God’s honour, and careful of his people’s welfare, and therefore desirous to prevent the further displeasure of God against his city and kingdom; and in order thereunto, to inquire into all those sins which provoked God against them, and effectually to purge them out.

Set Naboth on high; in a scaffold, or some other high place, where malefactors were usually and fitly placed, that they might be seen, and their defence heard by all the people.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:9". 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

9.Proclaim a fast — Not merely to furnish an opportunity to proceed with charges against Naboth, but to show that the city was under condemnation because of guilt, and should do some kind of penance. Fasts were proclaimed to show humiliation after defeat in battle, (Judges 20:26; 1 Samuel 31:13,) or in case of threatened calamities, (2 Chronicles 20:2-4; Joel 1:14; Joel 2:12; Joel 2:15,) or as an acknowledgment of great sins. 1 Samuel 7:6; Jonah 3:5. Jezebel would make the people believe that she piously humbled herself in view of the great crime of blasphemy with which Naboth was charged, and from which the whole city might suffer if no such repentance were manifest.

Set Naboth on high — In a conspicuous place, where the proceedings against him might have the utmost publicity and the proper semblance of religion and justice. If his guilt should be shown by a sufficient number of witnesses, this publicity of his trial would expose him all the more to popular indignation and fury.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:9". "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 21:9. She wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast — As if there had been some grievous crime committed, or some great calamity had befallen them, which all the people were to bewail, and purge themselves from, lest they should become guilty; and consequently they were to see the crime punished very severely; for such days of fasting were spent in punishing offenders, doing justice, and praying to God for pardon. She intended also, by taking this step, to remove all suspicion of evil design in Ahab, and to beget a good opinion of him among his people, as if he were grown zealous for God’s honour, and careful of his people’s welfare, and therefore was desirous to inquire into all those sins which provoked God against them. And set Naboth on high — On a scaffold, or high place, where he might be seen and heard by the people; for persons accused and arraigned were wont so to appear before the judges, that all the people might see them, and hear what was alleged against them, and the proofs of it, and their defence.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:9". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-21.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Fast, as in a case of the greatest importance, where the welfare of the king and of the state are concerned. We have frequent mention of such extraordinary fasts, 2 Paralipomenon xx. 3., 1 Esdras viii. 21., and Joel i. 14, &c. Some would translated, "Call the assembly." (Vatable) --- But the Chaldean, &c., are for the fast. Josephus joins both. All the people were collected, (Calmet) and Naboth was (Hebrew) "set on high, or at the head, as president, on account of his riches and nobility, (Haydock) that he might be unprepared, and afterwards be more disgraced. (Menochius) Abulensis (q. 4.) thinks that the judges were accustomed to fast, to shew their pity for the criminal, and that they were moved only by a zeal for justice.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:9". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-21.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

on high: i.e. in a conspicuous place; or, perhaps, before the bar of justice.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:9". "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 she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:

Proclaim a fast ... These obsequious and unprincipled magistrates did according to orders. Pretending that a heavy guilt lay on one, or some unknown party, who was charged with blaspheming God and the king, and that Ahab was threatening vengeance on the whole city unless the culprit were discovered and punished, they assembled the people to observe a solemn fast. Fasts were commanded on extraordinary occasions affecting the public interests of the state (2 Chronicles 20:3; Ezra 8:21; Joel 1:14; Joel 2:15; Jonah 3:5). This was a fast not appointed by divine, but by human authority, [ beeraktaa (Hebrew #1288) 'Elohiym (Hebrew #430) waamelek (Hebrew #4428). The verb baarak (Hebrew #1288) signifies in most places to bless; and accordingly, the Septuagint has: Eulogeese Theon kai basilea; and there are only two places of Scripture (Job 1:5; Job 2:5, and here) in which it does not appear possible to give it this meaning. Schultens, Dr. Lee, and other able philologists think that it should have this meaning here also, for 'Elohiym (Hebrew #430) they consider to denote in both places false gods or idols. But though blessing idols might be punished as a crime in Israel, it is inconceivable that blessing the king could be a punishable offence. Besides, 'Elohiym (Hebrew #430) should not be taken in the sense of idols, unless there is something in the passage which indicates that that is the meaning. Gesenius says that the signification of cursing, which is so obviously the meaning of the word in this passage, is supported by the analogy of the cognate languages. In fact, the secondary senses ascribed to barak belong as naturally to Hebrew usage as to that of other languages, in which such usage is common.]

Set Naboth on high - i:e., bring him to trial. During a trial the panel, or accused person, was placed on a high seat, in the presence of all the court, in order that he might be identified by the witnesses. But as the guilty person was supposed to be unknown, the setting of Naboth on high among the people must have been owing to his being among the distinguished men of the place.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:9". "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

(9) Proclaim a fast.—This might be only to cover all that was to be so foully done with a cloak of religious observance, or, perhaps more probably, to imply that some secret sin had been committed, which would draw down vengeance on the whole city, and so to prepare for the false accusation. There is a like ambiguity as to the explanation of the command, “set Naboth on high,” as either an exaltation of pretended honour, or the “lifting up his head” (Genesis 40:20) for accusation. It may be noted that the whole scheme implies a return of the people to at least the outward observance of the Law of the Lord.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-21.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:
Proclaim a fast
Genesis 34:13-17; Isaiah 58:4; Matthew 2:8; 23:14; Luke 20:47; John 18:28
on high among
Heb. in the top of.
Reciprocal: Genesis 34:14 - uncircumcised;  Genesis 39:17 - GeneralExodus 32:5 - made proclamation;  2 Samuel 14:30 - And Absalom's;  2 Samuel 15:12 - while he offered;  Proverbs 7:14 - this;  Proverbs 18:5 - to overthrow;  Proverbs 24:28 - not;  Ecclesiastes 3:16 - GeneralJoel 2:15 - sanctify;  Micah 7:3 - the great;  Mark 14:64 - General

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 21:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-21.html.