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What are some biographical facts about Jezebel?

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Quick Answer

Jezebel is most famous for being the wicked wife of Israelite king Ahab. She promoted the worship of Baal and used her strong character and powers of manipulation to intimidate those who went against her desires.

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Full Answer

Jezebel was the daughter of Phoenician king Ethbaal, who also served as a priest to Baal worshippers. King Ahab, most likely for political reasons, took Jezebel as his wife during either the tenth or ninth century B.C. Phoenicia was a much more worldly and cosmopolitan civilization than Israel, which might explain Jezebel's rebellion against the conservative lifestyle of her new home.

Ahab began worshipping Baal upon his marriage with Jezebel. In addition, Jezebel brought hundreds of Baal prophets to the country. Her defense of her native religion was so fervent that she ordered the extermination of prophets of Jehovah, the Israelite god. Even the famous prophet Elijah fled once he discovered that Jezebel had a personal vendetta against him.

Jezebel is also famous for her involvement in the death of Naboth. Ahab was unsuccessful in negotiations for Naboth's field, so Jezebel stepped in and found conspirators who accused Naboth falsely of a crime that resulted in capital punishment. Ahab accepted the result, which led to further condemnation from Jehovah.

After Ahab's death, Jezebel continued to hold some influence over the land. When she got word that Jehu was coming to kill her, she applied makeup and dressed herself in fine clothing. Some believe this adornment was an attempt to seduce Jehu or to die in a dignified manner. In any respect, Jezebel was pushed out of the window and perished.

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