1 Kings 21 Bible Commentary

John Darby’s Synopsis

(Read all of 1 Kings 21)
Ahab's great wickedness: the longsuffering of God ready to accept humiliation

At Jezebel's instigation, Ahab adds sin to sin, and a piece of flagrant injustice fills up the apostasy of the king of Israel. He enjoys the fruit of a crime which he had not courage to commit himself. His enjoyment was short-lived. Sent by God to meet the king, Elijah goes before him into the vineyard, which Ahab went down to possess. The king's heart bows before the word of Jehovah, and the fulfilment of the judgment is put off until the days of his son: a new proof of the longsuffering of a God ever ready to accept and respond to any movement of man's heart towards Himself.

Outward prosperity: apostasy and iniquity

The reign of Ahab, looked at historically, was in general prosperous and glorious. Moab was tributary. Syria subject and quiet. The king had an ivory palace, and built fresh cities: a new motive to own Jehovah, a snare to one who worshipped Baal. God did not regard all this prosperity. In a moral point of view, this reign stamps its character upon the kingdom of Israel. It is apostasy and iniquity, but at the same time the testimony of a faithful and patient God.