The Queen received the agent secretly, not wanting the King to know she was going to get him the vineyard.
“Naboth won’t sell,” Noachim the Agent, deferent to the point of possible back strain, told the Queen.
“That’s ridiculous,” Queen Jezebel said, “we’re offering twice its value. It’s next to the Palace, no private person should be that near. In Zidonia we’d take it for national security and cut off the owner’s head...”
“It’s a religion thing,” Noachim said, hoping he could straighten now, but deciding no after noticing the expression of the Queen, “Jews are forbidden to sell inherited land.”
“Excuse me, but is Ahab King or have I missed something?”
Noachim bowed lower and stayed silent. The Queen paced, even more beautiful when she was angry.
At this time the party of Elijah challenged the Priests of Baal, whom Ahab and Jezebel permitted to encourage tolerance and religious freedom (religious tolerance was not something Hebrews took to) to a Miracles Competition to break the drought that had descended upon them. He said to the king to gather the 450 prophets of Baal at Carmel.
“Time to choose, everybody, between The Lord and Baal,” said Elijah to a sell-out crowd.”
The priests of Baal offered sacrifices, and did other things they did, but it did not rain. But The Lord sent rain to the offering of Elijah. Elijah turned to the crowd, bowed and shouted,
“Kill’em all, the prophets of Baal. No one gets away,” said the great prophet Elijah.
“Isn’t there a law against that?” Jezebel asked Ahab.
The King shrugged a ‘whatta gonna do, he’s a big deal now’ shrug.
Elijah fled to Bethseeba in Judea.
“That vineyard is part of a plot,” said the Queen to herself. She was convinced Ahab The Much Insulted was in danger. And he should have that vineyard. He was a brave King who had recaptured the glory his father, Omri The Loser, had lost in Moab. The country was prosperous and peaceful except for the radical Elijah. And his reward? Elijah slandering him, slandering her, basically calling her a whore.
She thought out the world’s first really cool real estate deal, setting an ethical standard for real estate that has lasted until today, although not always linked to National Security. Jezebel wrote a letter on Royal Stationery to the City Council stating The Crown thought Naboth was a ‘person of interest.’ Diligently, the Council found two witnesses who said,
“Yes, yes, he blasphemed the King. I heard it,” said Witness 1.
“Yup, sure did,” said Witness 2.
Since the penalty for sedition is death, they stoned him.
“The owner of that vineyard was conspiring against you,” Jezebel told the King, stroking his hair and kissing his ear as she whispered.
Ahab said he was appalled at the conspiracies against him, and rode out to wander about his new vineyard.
“I will take away thy posterity, and cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall.”
King Ahab turned about and saw Elijah with a small crowd of prophets, all bearded, tasseled, and irate. He considered the image that Elijah provided before understanding the threat. This was a threat to overthrow the legitimate government of Israel.
“This is serious,” he said to Jezebel.
“Maybe,” she said, “you should be more publicly Jewish for a while.”
Ahab put on sackcloth and fasted. And public opinion shifted and Elijah said God said Ahab was O.K. but his sons would get it later.
But Ahab went to war against the Arameans.
“Don’t go,” said a Prophet, “it’s dangerous.”
“It’s what I do, dummy,” said the King.
He was mortally wounded at Ramothgilead where a dog did lick his blood. His body was taken to Samaria for burial, and Jezebel his Queen wailed her private dismay in the groves of Asheroth, a goddess of her youth and home.
Joram, the son, took the throne and decided to go to war to keep the town of Ramothgilead.
“There’s going to be trouble here,” said the Queen Mother, “why don’t you do a little domestic politics.”
“I am a warrior king like my father,” said Joram, who Jezebel thought was by no means the swiftest sword in the armory.
Now, Elijah in Judea he got the idea that Jehu, son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi, would be a good bet to take Joram down. He also got the idea that Elisha son of Shaphat son of Abelmeholah would be a good person to help get that done.
So Elisha anointed Jehu, and the insurrection was on.
“Thou shalt smite Ahab thy master, that I may avenge Naboth at the hand of Jezebel."
Joram had been wounded in battle and was recuperating in that vineyard of Naboth. Jehu, his trusted general, went to him and said,
“What peace can we have while there are the whoredoms and witchcraft of your mother?” And Jehu slew his master with a bow.
When Jezebel heard of this she considered fleeing to Judea, where her daughter was Queen, but decided not to flee in cowardice, but instead to paint her face and do her hair and sit at a window to defy the illegitimate dogs of Jehu. When she saw him she said,
“Who has peace that slay their masters?”
This legitimate ethical question did not get Jehu’s attention.
“Who with me?” he called and said to her servants, “throw her down.”
So they threw her down: and he trode her under foot. He intended to bury her, she was the daughter of a King, but they found only the skull, the feet, and the palms of her hands Jehu said, “And the carcass of Jezebel shall be as dung so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.”
So ended the life of the first real estate broker. She was right in her suspicions, and the first brave Queen of our culture who knew how to combine self-interest and National Interest. For a time.