The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Third Book of Kings
Now turn we to the vineyard at Jezrahel, which belonged to Naboth the Jezrahelite, close to Achab’s palace, that was King of Samaria.
Give me that vineyard of thine, Achab said to Naboth, so near adjoining my house, to make a herb-garden of it. In its place, I will give thee a better vineyard of my own, or its worth in money, if that likes thee better.
The Lord be merciful to me, Naboth answered; should I give thee the land that was my fathers’ patrimony?
And at that, Achab went home sullen and ill to cross, only because Naboth had refused to give up his fathers’ patrimony. Down on his bed he lay, face to wall, and would take no food.
So his wife Jezabel came in to see him, and know what ailed him, that he should refuse to eat;
and he told her the story, how he had offered Naboth the Jezrahelite a sum of money for his vineyard, or a better vineyard, if he would, in place of it, and Naboth had refused to give the vineyard up.
A fine king thou art, she said, as ever ruled in Israel! Up with thee, and eat, set thy heart at rest; I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezrahelite.
Then she wrote a letter in Achab’s name, sealing it with his own seal, and despatched it to the elders and chief men that were Naboth’s fellow-citizens.
The tenour of it was this; They were to proclaim a solemn fast, and where the greatest of the townspeople sat, there must be a seat for Naboth.
Then two rogues must be suborned to bear false witness against him, accusing him of blasphemous speech about God and the king; and so they were to have him out, and stone him to death.
So the elders and chief men, Naboth’s fellow-citizens, obeyed the instructions Jezabel’s letter had given them;
they proclaimed a fast, and would have Naboth sit among the greatest of the townspeople;
and there, opposite him, sat two rogues, whom they had brought in to that end. These, like the slanderers they were, accused Naboth of cursing God and the king; whereupon he was led out beyond the city walls, and stoned to death.
Then a message was sent to Jezabel, telling her how Naboth had died by stoning;
and no sooner had she heard of his death, than she bade the king bestir himself. Take for thy own, she said, the vineyard which Naboth the Jezrahelite would not sell thee; Naboth is dead, and can thwart thy will no longer.
And away went Achab to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard; Naboth was dead.
Thereupon the word of the Lord came to Elias the Thesbite,
Up, and go to meet Achab, king of Israel, that dwells in Samaria; thou wilt find him now in the vineyard of Naboth; he has gone to take possession of it.
And this message thou wilt give him from the Lord: Wouldst thou slay, and dispossess the slain? Then tell him, Thus says the Lord, Here, where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth, they shall lick thine.
Here is one comes to seek me out, was Achab’s greeting, that is no friend of mine. Seek thee out I must, said he, to tell thee thou art a slave. Thou hast given thyself up to such doings as are hateful in the Lord’s sight.
And hateful is the ruin I mean to bring on thee, sweeping away every trace of thee; every male of Achab’s house shall die, be he bondman or free man in the realm of Israel.
No better shall thy race fare than Jeroboam’s, that was son of Nabat, or Baasa’s, that was son of Ahia; thou too hast earned my displeasure, thou too hast taught Israel to sin.
And of Jezabel the Lord said, Here, in the purlieus of Jezrahel, the dogs shall have Jezabel for their food.
As for Achab, die he in the city, he shall be food for the dogs, die he in the open country, he shall be food for all the birds of heaven.
Never was such another as Achab, that gave himself up to doings hateful in the Lord’s sight, his wife Jezabel prompting him;
very foully he did, in paying worship to the false gods of those Amorrhites whom the Lord dispossessed to make room for Israel.
Yet Achab, when he heard Elias’ warning, tore his garments and clothed himself in sackcloth, fasted and made sackcloth his bed, and went ever with head bowed,
till the Lord sent this word to Elias the Thesbite:
Achab, as thou seest, humbles his pride before me. Humbled for my sake, he shall have this reward; the doom shall not fall in his days. I will wait till his son is on the throne, and then bring calamity upon all his race.
The Holy Bible