The Jezebel Scapegoat Shuffle

The Jezebel Scapegoat Shuffle April 23, 2024

The Jezebel Scapegoat Shuffle

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It’s been a while since I read the Bible. I sometimes search for verses online to help me remember what I learned a long time ago. I used to be in love with systematic theology until I wasn’t. But considering all the talk these days of the Jezebel Spirit, primarily by evangelicals, I decided to have a cursory read of 1 Kings 16 through 2 Kings 1 in the Bible, and I started to remember the stories from years past.

My current understanding of these Jewish scriptures is, first of all, they are not our Scriptures. They were for the Jewish people, and I believe a Rabbi would be the best type of professional to interpret them, not a modern-day hipster mega-pastor in a stadium. I also understand them to be stories or what we usually call myths. There are inherent flaws in considering them actual history or a guide to modern living.

So, please don’t try to start a theological debate with me. It doesn’t interest me anymore! But with all the Jezebel accusations flying around, I wanted to give a quick opinion of what I see in the stories.

The primary characters are Ahab, his wife Jezebel, and Elijah, the prophet.

Elijah was a prophet of Yahweh, and the newlyweds served Baal, the god of fertility. But, neither of them was able to find satisfaction with their god, so they killed each other’s prophets, schemed against each other, and both lived in fear of what the other would do. The prophet of Yahweh rained “fire from heaven” (2 Kings 1) on Ahab’s men, even though Jesus later condemned this as the wrong path for his disciples to follow (Luke 9:54).

A stray arrow killed Ahab in a subsequent battle with the Armenians. Jehu killed Jezebel three years later when he usurped the throne, killing her son. When she confronted him, he threw her out the window and fed her to the dogs. According to the myth, Elijah caught a heavenly chariot and went to heaven. Maybe a tornado (whirlwind), perhaps a magic, horse-drawn wagon. You make the call. It doesn’t matter to me. All three of them were deceitful, fearful, and murderers of other humans.

What matters to me is what we do with this information in the 21st Century.

It seems to me that hipster megachurch pastors are obsessed with developing their toxic theologies into The Spirit of Ahab, The Spirit of Jezebel, and even The Spirit of Elijah. I won’t bore you with the details, but I assure you that it fits neatly into their toxic manhood theologies and Most Bestest Man conferences. It least benefits women and blames everything on them primarily. Either she is too strong, or he is too weak!

This month, when two modern leaders met in Springfield, MO, to promote their toxic male beliefs, they clashed (of course) because of a “Jezebel.” In this case, the accursed was a topless male sword swallower, admired by one and despised by the other. The King of Springfield subdued the Prophet of Scottsdale, controlled the narrative, and the Jezebel returned to performing and giving Ted Talks. The crowd of loyal toxic theology followers were befuddled and wondered what they could do now to become “Stronger.” Should they follow the king or the prophet?

The narcissistic Kings and Prophets will always find a Jezebel to scapegoat for all their problems. Someday, we may realize we don’t need what we would call “theologians” anymore. When we take responsibility for our behavior, we won’t need a Jezebel, Lileth, or a demon to blame. We will rightly assess who caused the problem they blame everyone else for. We won’t need new theories (theology), and we will learn to trust ourselves.

Be where you are,

Be who you are,

Karl Forehand


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Karl Forehand is a former pastor, podcaster, and award-winning author. His books include Out into the Desert, Leaning Forward,  Apparent Faith: What Fatherhood Taught Me About the Father’s Heart, The Tea Shop and Being: A Journey Toward Presence and Authenticity.  He is the creator of The Desert Sanctuary podcast and community.  He is married to his wife Laura of 35 years and has one dog named Winston.  His three children are grown and are beginning to multiply! You can read more about the author here.









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