Of this tradition the Naboth incident in the time of Ahab furnishes a clear example which brings to light the contrast between the Tyrian Baal-cult, which was scarcely ethical, and of which Jezebel and Ahab were devotees, and the moral requirements of the religion of Yahweh of which Elijah was the prophet and impassioned exponent.
It is highly significant that Elijah, when driven from the northern kingdom by the threats of the Tyrian Jezebel, retreats to the old sanctuary at Horeb, whence Moses derived his inspiration and his TOrah.
- Omri (q.v.), the founder of one of the greatest dynasties of Israel, was contemporary with the revival of Tyre under Ithobaal, and the relationship between the states is seen in the marriage of Omri's son Ahab to Jezebel, the priest-king's daughter.
The cult of the Baal of Tyre followed Jezebel to the royal city Samaria and even found its way into Jerusalem.
Ahab, it seems, had aroused popular resentment by encroaching upon the rights of the people to their landed possessions; had it not been for Jezebel (q.v.) the tragedy of Naboth would not have occurred.
Thus we may contrast the favourable Judaean view of Jehoshaphat with the condemnation passed upon Ahab and Jezebel, whose daughter Athaliah married Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat.
The earliest certain reaction against Baalism is ascribed to the reign of Ahab, whose marriage with Jezebel gave the impulse to the introduction of a particular form of the cult.
He now began to fulfil the promise of his "Cimabue," and by such pictures as "Paolo e Francesca," "The Star of Bethlehem," "Jezebel and Ahab taking Possession of Naboth's Vineyard," "Michael Angelo musing over his Dying Servant," "A Girl feeding Peacocks," and "The Odalisque," all exhibited in 1861-1863, rose rapidly to the head of his profession.
On being told what had taken place, Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah with a vow that ere another day had passed his life would be even as the lives of the prophets of Baal, and the threat was enough to cause him to take to instant flight (xix.
He married Jezebel, the daughter of the king of Sidon, and the alliance was doubtless the means of procuring him great riches, which brought pomp and luxury in their train.
The tragic murder of Naboth (see Jezebel), an act of royal encroachment, stirred up popular resentment just as the new cult aroused the opposition of certain of the prophets.