1 Kings 16:33
Then he set up an Asherah pole. Thus Ahab did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel before him.
Change Without ImprovementJ. Urquhart 1 Kings 16:21-34
AhabE. De Pressense 1 Kings 16:29-33
Ahab's WickednessJ.A. Macdonald 1 Kings 16:29-33
Moral Ruin Through Moral WeaknessA. Rowland 1 Kings 16:30-33

This was the turning-point in the history of the kingdom of Israel. Till now the people had professedly worshipped Jehovah under the symbol of the calf. Now idolatry of a grosser kind was avowedly set up as the national religion, on a scale of great magnificence. The text, therefore, is worthy of our study as the record of an event of deep historic significance, but we propose to consider it as a suggestive example of the way in which a man of moral weakness may be betrayed into the worst depravity, to the undoing of himself and others. We learn the following lessons from Ahab's life, of which a summary is given here:

I. THAT A FOOLISH CHOICE MAY RESULT IN LASTING DISHONOUR. Ahab's marriage was the cause of his ruin. Jezebel, his wife, was the daughter of Ethbaal, who had Been the high priest of Astarte, but was led by his ambition and unscrupulousness to usurp his brother's throne. Her parentage and her surroundings would have been a sufficient warning to a prudent king. But besides these Ahab had the Divine law before him (Exodus 34:16), which distinctly forbade union with the Canaanites. Such a marriage was unprecedented in the kingdom of Israel, and was the more fatal because of the character of the queen, the Lady Macbeth of Scripture. She was reckless and licentious, fanatical and cruel, with a temper as vindictive as her will was resolute. Her husband became a mere tool in her hands. He could not foresee all the issues of his choice, but he knew the choice was sinful. Show from this - illustrating by example -

1. How one wrong step leads to another. This marriage to the establishment of idolatry. Indicate the nature of the false religion set up.

2. How companionship influences character. The stronger moulding the weaker. "A companion of fools shall be destroyed."

3. How personal fascination may cause men to swerve from rectitude. Jezebel's fascinating power was regarded as witchery and became proverbial (Revelation 2:20).

4. How young people should be warned against unholy alliances. Marriage makes or mars character, hope, and blessedness (2 Corinthians 6:14). "Be ye net unequally yoked together with unbelievers."

II. THAT EASY GOOD NATURE MAY PROVE THE SOURCE OF DEEP DEGRADATION. Ahab was not destitute of good feelings and right impulses. Had he been firm instead o! pliable, and resolutely refused to gratify the queen by the establishment of idolatry, he might, with God's help, have neutralized the effect of the false step he had taken. But he was of a yielding nature, while she was resolute; and so, like Samson, he lost his kingliness. Point out the special dangers of those who are kindly and genial. Their unwillingness to disoblige, their wish to be popular, their dread of derision, their love of ease and pleasure, etc., may have fatal issues.

III. THAT BRILLIANT TALENTS WILL NOT COMPENSATE FOR MORAL WEAKNESS. This king was gifted with military skill, with artistic taste, etc., but these could net help him in the hour of spiritual conflict. Give examples from history of the careers of clever but unprincipled men, their meteoric success, their future punishment, here or hereafter; e.g., Napoleon I. Many men of genius have been ruined by drunkenness, and often high education has served only to alter the form and increase the influence of the sin. The clever forger is worse than the common thief; the viciousness of a leader of society does more injury than the licentiousness of an ignorant peasant.

IV. THAT ARCHITECTURAL SPLENDOURS AND MILITARY VICTORIES ARE NOT PROOFS OF NATIONAL PROSPERITY. Describe Ahab's magnificent buildings, his ivory house, his daring restoration and fortification of Jericho, his palace and park in Jezreel, which became to Samaria what Versailles once was to Paris. Show how often in history such costly expenditure has been a sign of decay. Extravagance and luxuriousness are omens of ruin to a people. "The Decline and Fall" of the Roman Empire is an abiding illustration of this. Nor will successful wars give stability to a kingdom. Ahab's victories were great military achievements, but of what avail to him and to his house? "The throne must be established in righteousness."

V. THAT AMPLE POSSESSIONS DO NOT CONTENT AN UNQUIET HEART. In Jezreel, the perfection of taste, Ahab was wretched, because he wanted Naboth's vineyard. (Read that story.) It is not in the power of earthly things to satisfy a hungering soul. The richest man is not content if he has only his riches, nor will any addition to them give him satisfaction. "Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth" (Luke 12:15). "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." God "satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness."

VI. THAT PARTIAL REPENTANCE DOES NOT AVERT GOD'S PUNISHMENT OF SIN. Ahab "put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly," when he heard Elijah's final threat; but, though this first sign of penitence was graciously encouraged by a promise, the change went no further He dreaded punishment, but his heart did not turn from sin, and therefore, though he disguised himself in the battle, the arrow "shot at a venture" was winged by Divine retribution to his heart. God is our Judge, as well as our King. For the impenitent there will be no escape. In vain will they "call on mountains and rocks to fall on them, and hide them from the wrath of God." Now in this day of mercy, God calls on all to repent, and find pardon and hope in Him, who has come "to seek and to save that which was lost." - A.R.

Omri slept with his fathers... Ahab his son reigned in his stead. &&&
A careful study of the two kingdoms, Israel and Judah, compels one to feel that communities do the best when they most honour God, and that forgetfulness of Him, and especially revolt from Him, brings disturbance and destruction. It is true these events transpired more than two thousand five hundred years ago, but they "are written for our learning." Why should they be if there is nothing that we need to learn from them?

1. We need not trouble ourselves with the settling of the periods making up the dozen years of Omri's reign, which had its opening portion in Tirzah, the royal seat (ver. 17). Omri had ability of a certain sort, and hence, probably, was able to secure the adhesion of so many of the people and the conquest of his two rivals. He showed it in the selection of a new capital. Shemer owned a tract of land with a hill of great strategic value. With an opening out into the wider distant plain through the level grounds which divided it elsewhere, all around, from the mountains, it had on one side a gentle slope, and on all the others it was easily made strong against an enemy, when bows and arrows and spears constituted the common weapons of assault. The town got its name from him who owned the hill, and most fitly, for it was the synonym of "watch-tower," the very thing at which Omri aimed, having in mind through the slaughter of how many enemies he had to wade to the throne, and how necessary it was to be strong against any future assaults. They who part with Jehovah as Guide and Protector, and trust to human resources, need to multiply these to the utmost. Jeroboam had not flung off God formally. He had only modified the way of serving Him. He had set up the calves. This was politic, expedient, necessary. It was in harmony too with the ways of the nations. This was "the Way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat" (ver. 26). It was not the way of loyalty to Jehovah; it was not the way of truth. It was the way of disobedience under the inspiration of policy. Between this sin and the others that followed it was only a question of degree, not of kind. Set up taste, usage, popular craving, fashion, artistic completeness, or anything else as changing, modifying the method of Divine appointment, and you enter on the inclined plane. How far down and how fast you will go is determined by circumstances. So Omri's working "evil in the eyes of the Lord," and doing "worse than all that were before him" (ver. 25), is only walking in all "the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat," and in his corrupting and contaminating sin. So it is ever. Given the supremacy of Peter, then his control of all things, secular and sacred; then his infallibility! What was the effect of all these modifications? Toward man, to keep Israel together and from union with Judah. But in the other and higher direction — toward God — the effect was "to provoke (ver. 26) the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities." (See, for the "statutes of Omri," Micah 6:16.) When Omri died, the chronicles of the kings of Israel (ver. 27) containing the record of his deeds, they buried him in his capital, Samaria, and the throne fell to his son Ahab in the thirty-eighth year of Asa of Judah (ver. 29), and about nine hundred and eighteen years before the coming of our Lord. His career is as full of darkness and weakness as a king's life could well be. His reign of twenty-two years was a continued curse to the people. He held on the way of his father, but, according to the common rule in such cases, descending lower and lower. Moral rottenness, like material putrefaction, must increase. "Evil men and seducers wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." He married Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal, King of the Zidonians. We are not surprised at the character of the daughter when we know the career of her father as it is learned from outside history. Among the innovations of Ahab our version mentions a "grove," a misleading word into which the translators were led from its being really an idolatrous image or group of images, including the "sacred symbolic tree" so frequently seen in Assyrian monuments. That it could not be a grove, a wood, is clear from 2 Kings 22:4, where Josiah brought out "the grove" — asherah in Hebrew — from the house of the Lord. It was doubtless a new and imposing idol, in keeping with the luxurious life now being lived by the Israelites as wealth grew through commerce.(1) There is a real connection between the moral and religious condition of a nation and its temporal affairs. If we as a people defy God or disregard His, laws, He in His government of the world may be expected to show that He is "contrary to us."(2) The temptation is always great to God's people to be like their neighbours; and if these neighbours be cultivated, be deemed standards of excellence in arts, in manners, or in arms; if they be wealthy; if their trade is of importance to us; if they be powerful and it is our interest to stand well with them — the inducements to conformity are all the greater. The distinctive elements of our religion are set aside. Why thrust our Bibles, our family worship, our Sabbaths, on them? True, God says of us that we are to be "holding forth the Word of life." Ah, yes, but that was in other circumstances.(3) The next step is to take up the ways of our friends. Much in their methods can be described as nice, impressive, beautiful — especially if we have taken their standard of "loveliness"; and, having done this, there is a stage of attempted combination. But it is awkward, difficult — in the end possible. One or other must go. And when man is choosing between his own products and God's orders, he prefers his own. So the light is superseded by the darkness; spiritual religion gives place to "impressive" forms, which put no check on tastes or lusts or passions, and make no conscience uncomfortable, while sin is swallowed as a sweet morsel.

(J. Hall, D. D.).

Abiram, Ahab, Arza, Asa, Baasha, Elah, Ethbaal, Ginath, Hanani, Hiel, Israelites, Jehu, Jeroboam, Jezebel, Joram, Joshua, Nebat, Nun, Omri, Segub, Shemer, Sidonians, Tibni, Tirzah, Zidon, Zidonians, Zimri
Bethel, Gibbethon, Jericho, Samaria, Tirzah
Addeth, Ahab, Anger, Angry, Asherah, Ashe'rah, Grove, Image, Kings, Maketh, Pole, Provoke, Shrine, Thus, Yet
1. Jehu's prophecy against Baasha
5. Elah succeeds him
8. Zimri, conspiring against Elah, succeeds him
11. Zimri executes Jehu's prophecy
15. Omri, made king by the soldiers, forces Zimri desperately to burn himself
21. The kingdom being divided, Omri prevails against Tibni
23. Omri builds Samaria
25. His wicked reign
27. Ahab succeeds him
29. Ahab's most wicked reign
34. Joshua's curse upon Hiel the builder of Jericho

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Kings 16:33

     6218   provoking God
     8747   false gods

1 Kings 16:29-33

     5714   men

1 Kings 16:30-33

     7312   Baal
     8799   polytheism

1 Kings 16:32-33

     1025   God, anger of
     8769   idolatry, in OT

Whether the Mode of virtue Falls under the Precept of the Law?
Objection 1: It would seem that the mode of virtue falls under the precept of the law. For the mode of virtue is that deeds of justice should be done justly, that deeds of fortitude should be done bravely, and in like manner as to the other virtues. But it is commanded (Dt. 26:20) that "thou shalt follow justly after that which is just." Therefore the mode of virtue falls under the precept. Objection 2: Further, that which belongs to the intention of the lawgiver comes chiefly under the precept.
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether a Man Can be Saved Without Baptism?
Objection 1: It seems that no man can be saved without Baptism. For our Lord said (Jn. 3:5): "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." But those alone are saved who enter God's kingdom. Therefore none can be saved without Baptism, by which a man is born again of water and the Holy Ghost. Objection 2: Further, in the book De Eccl. Dogm. xli, it is written: "We believe that no catechumen, though he die in his good works, will have eternal life, except
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether There Can be any Suitable Cause for the Sacraments of the Old Law?
Objection 1: It would seem that there can be no suitable cause for the sacraments of the Old Law. Because those things that are done for the purpose of divine worship should not be like the observances of idolaters: since it is written (Dt. 12:31): "Thou shalt not do in like manner to the Lord thy God: for they have done to their gods all the abominations which the Lord abhorreth." Now worshippers of idols used to knive themselves to the shedding of blood: for it is related (3 Kings 18:28) that they
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether a Vow Consists in a Mere Purpose of the Will?
Objection 1: It would seem that a vow consists in nothing but a purpose of the will. According to some [*William of Auxerre, Sum. Aur. III, xxviii, qu. 1; Albertus Magnus, Sent. iv, D, 38], "a vow is a conception of a good purpose after a firm deliberation of the mind, whereby a man binds himself before God to do or not to do a certain thing." But the conception of a good purpose and so forth, may consist in a mere movement of the will. Therefore a vow consists in a mere purpose of the will. Objection
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Whoever is Perfect is in the State of Perfection?
Objection 1: It would seem that whoever is perfect is in the state of perfection. For, as stated above (A[3], ad 3), just as bodily perfection is reached by bodily growth, so spiritual perfection is acquired by spiritual growth. Now after bodily growth one is said to have reached the state of perfect age. Therefore seemingly also after spiritual growth, when one has already reached spiritual perfection, one is in the state of perfection. Objection 2: Further, according to Phys. v, 2, movement "from
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether after the Resurrection Every one Will Know what Sins He Has Committed?
Objection 1: It seems that after the resurrection everyone will not be able to know all the sins he has committed. For whatever we know, either we receive it anew through the senses, or we draw it from the treasure house of the memory. Now after the resurrection men will be unable to perceive their sins by means of sense, because they will be things of the past, while sense perceives only the present: and many sins will have escaped the sinner's memory, and he will be unable to recall them from the
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Sennacherib (705-681 B. C. )
The struggle of Sennacherib with Judaea and Egypt--Destruction of Babylon. Sennacherib either failed to inherit his father's good fortune, or lacked his ability.* He was not deficient in military genius, nor in the energy necessary to withstand the various enemies who rose against him at widely removed points of his frontier, but he had neither the adaptability of character nor the delicate tact required to manage successfully the heterogeneous elements combined under his sway. * The two principal
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 8

The Assyrian Revival and the Struggle for Syria
Assur-nazir-pal (885-860) and Shalmaneser III. (860-825)--The kingdom of Urartu and its conquering princes: Menuas and Argistis. Assyria was the first to reappear on the scene of action. Less hampered by an ancient past than Egypt and Chaldaea, she was the sooner able to recover her strength after any disastrous crisis, and to assume again the offensive along the whole of her frontier line. Image Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief at Koyunjik of the time of Sennacherib. The initial cut,
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 7

The book[1] of Kings is strikingly unlike any modern historical narrative. Its comparative brevity, its curious perspective, and-with some brilliant exceptions--its relative monotony, are obvious to the most cursory perusal, and to understand these things is, in large measure, to understand the book. It covers a period of no less than four centuries. Beginning with the death of David and the accession of Solomon (1 Kings i., ii.) it traverses his reign with considerable fulness (1 Kings iii.-xi.),
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

1 Kings 16:33 NIV
1 Kings 16:33 NLT
1 Kings 16:33 ESV
1 Kings 16:33 NASB
1 Kings 16:33 KJV

1 Kings 16:33 Bible Apps
1 Kings 16:33 Parallel
1 Kings 16:33 Biblia Paralela
1 Kings 16:33 Chinese Bible
1 Kings 16:33 French Bible
1 Kings 16:33 German Bible

1 Kings 16:33 Commentaries

Bible Hub
1 Kings 16:32
Top of Page
Top of Page