appearance in 1-2 Kings is part of a continuing story of Israel’s
relationship with Tyre and Sidon.
During the days of David and Solomon, Hiram king of Tyre was an ally of
Israel. This is the ideal relationship
between Jew and Gentiles, Israel and the nations.
represents an inversion of that. As
I argue in my 1-2 Kings, Ahab is an anti-Solomon, a Solomon without a period of
faithfulness. He is the son of a David-like king Omri, builds a temple in
Samaria, and takes a foreign wife, as Solomon married the daughter of
It’s all backward. Ahab’s temple is a temple to Baal, and his
wife is an idolater, even a sorceress (as Jehu says) and a leader of a band of
Baal prophets. Ahab and Jezebel have an
agenda to reunite the two kingdoms, but instead of placing Yahweh and His house
at the center, they want to make Baal worship the center. This inverts the proper relation between Jew
and Gentile. Instead of the Gentiles
assisting in Israel’s project, Israel is enlisted to pursue a Baalist agenda.
This is what
the Jezebel of Thyatira is doing too. She
is a prophetess, as the first Jezebel was the high priestess of a band
of prophets. She leads the saints
astray, as Jezebel did. She leads them
into Baalamite sin, eating meat sacrificed to idols and committing acts of
fornication, porneia. There is
a false community here, a false family, with Jezebel and her children united in
idolatry and immorality. Jezebel assembles an anti-church, as the first Jezebel joined with Ahab in forming an anti-Israel.