Ahab – The king who preferred to watch

by Joel Ramshaw (2023)

In the 20th Chapter of 1 Kings we find king Ahab’s first major war. It is a pitiful sight indeed:

1 Kings 20:1-4 “Now Ben-Hadad the king of Syria gathered all his forces together; thirty-two kings were with him, with horses and chariots. And he went up and besieged Samaria, and made war against it. Then he sent messengers into the city to Ahab king of Israel, and said to him, “Thus says Ben-Hadad:  ‘Your silver and your gold are mine; your loveliest wives and children are mine.’ ” And the king of Israel answered and said, “My lord, O king, just as you say, I and all that I have are yours.””


The Israelite king offers no pushback or resistance when told his wives will be taken and raped and his children enslaved. “Sounds good to me” is essentially his response (although with a wife like Jezebel you cannot really fault the man for hoping she would be taken away). Ahab is the ultimate example of the passive and feminized man. He does not make decisions or put proactive effort into anything. Although our modern culture prefers to push men in this direction, the same was not true for most of history and Ahab would have been the exception, not the norm. While the Syrian king was busy increasing his strength and forming an alliance with 32 other kings, Ahab had not taken any effort to prepare for war. He did not even have an army besides his personal guard. When belatedly attempting to build an army to he was only able to round up 7000 fighting men. This was an incredibly small force by biblical standards. Ahab had neither prepared his own military defenses nor formed alliances with surrounding nations which could have helped rescue him.

How did Ahab become so passive? Ahab’s father Omri was one of Israel’s more influential kings when it came to military and territorial expansion and founded a new dynasty, the Omrides, named after him. Omri also moved Israel’s capital to Samaria. Just like in other spheres of life, you may have a hard working and highly successful founder of a business whose children end up spoiled and lazy and drive the company into the ground. In early years Ahab was able to coast on the success of his father without having to make critical decisions for the nation’s survival. This trained him that passivity was acceptable because it did not lead to a bad outcome early on.


Another key moment was Ahab’s marriage to Jezebel. Why would Ahab marry Jezebel when there were so many better options to choose from? In modern times we at least pretend to marry for love but for most of human history “love” was a secondary consideration and marriage was more of a business transaction. Not only were two individuals being married but two entire families; in the case of royalty it would be a marriage of nations, cementing a long-term alliance. In both old and new testament the Bible warns of the danger of marrying outside the faith. This goes back as far as the first marriage. When Eve sinned Adam felt compelled to join her, preferring to risk joining with her in being cursed rather than separation from his love. Deuteronomy 17:17 warns the king “Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.” The phrase “heart turn away” refers to sole faith in the biblical God and no foreign gods. By taking on foreign wives, Ahab was tempted in the same manner as Solomon to please these ladies by building shrines to and honoring their gods. Jezebel was a committed Baal worshipper and had no interest in the Hebrew God YHWH.

Although out of place with her age Jezebel would have fit right in with modern women and her story is in fact often praised by the secular world today. She is condemned in the Bible however, not due to her being a strong female leader (nothing wrong with that!) but because she operated in the spirit of control, seduction, and manipulation as well as preferring to be the dominant one in the relationship rather than helping build up her husband Ahab to become a better man.

1 Kings 21:1-16 And it came to pass after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel, next to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. So Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near, next to my house; and for it I will give you a vineyard better than it. Or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its worth in money.”

3 But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you!”

4 So Ahab went into his house sullen and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no food. But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said to him, “Why is your spirit so sullen that you eat no food?”

6 He said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you another vineyard for it.’ And he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’ ”

7 Then Jezebel his wife said to him, “You now exercise authority over Israel! Arise, eat food, and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”

8 And she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who were dwelling in the city with Naboth. She wrote in the letters, saying,

Proclaim a fast, and seat Naboth with high honor among the people; 10 and seat two men, scoundrels, before him to bear witness against him, saying, “You have blasphemed God and the king.” Then take him out, and stone him, that he may die.

11 So the men of his city, the elders and nobles who were inhabitants of his city, did as Jezebel had sent to them, as it was written in the letters which she had sent to them. 12 They proclaimed a fast, and seated Naboth with high honor among the people. 13 And two men, scoundrels, came in and sat before him; and the scoundrels witnessed against him, against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, “Naboth has blasphemed God and the king!” Then they took him outside the city and stoned him with stones, so that he died. 14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead.”

15 And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” 16 So it was, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab got up and went down to take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.


With Naboth’s vineyard, Ahab had a choice. The king had made a fair and reasonable offer to purchase the man’s vineyard, but his offer was turned down. He now had a decision to make. Either he could let the matter go, or he could force the Naboth to accept the offer whether he liked it or not. Despite customary practices, at the end of the day the king has power to make happen what he wants. What does Ahab choose? He chooses to go passive, avoiding the decision entirely and sulking to his wife. “I will give you Naboth’s vineyard” she says haughtily. Jezebel never mentioned how she would go about this and Ahab never asked. He defaulted to his natural position as observer, letting his wife take the dominant role. As she took Ahab kingly seals and forged his signature, this is also very symbolic of her wresting his authority from him. What would be going through Ahab’s mind as Naboth was being brought out for execution? He could have intervened at any moment. Again, Ahab defaults to the passive role, even after realizing his wife’s plan was murder. He did not intervene to save the man. He chose to watch. Failing to make a decision at all is often far worse than simply making the wrong decision. If Ahab really needed that vineyard so badly he should have manned up and forcibly relocated Naboth. Murdering him was the coward's way out because Ahab was afraid of confrontation.

How did Ahab become so passive??

One of the more surprising notes of the story is that Jezebel was well-known for being a whore. This is clearly seen when Jehu came to attack.

2 Kings 9:22 “Now it happened, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?” So he answered, “What peace, as long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcraft are so many?””

2 Kings 9:30 “Now when Jehu had come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she put paint on her eyes and adorned her head, and looked through a window.”

Revelation 2:20 “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.”


By Jehu’s statement to Joram it was apparently well-known that Jezebel regularly slept with other men. Her actions confirm this when later in the same passage she paints her face to seduce Jehu. Even in the New Testament the author of Revelation mentions the Jezebel spirit as one which promotes sexual immorality. Jezebel was therefore an adulterous wife. For any normal husband it would be unacceptable enough but for a KING this was unheard of! One of the ways a usurper would show his dominance was by taking the previous kings wives and sleeping with them. This is how king David was cucked by his own son Absolom as he was trying to usurp the throne. Absolom slept with his father’s concubines on the roof where the nation could see, trying to show them there was a “new sheriff in town.” Also, when king David had just died and his two sons Solomon and Adonijah had a rivalry for control of the throne, Adonijah asked for one of king David’s concubines, “Abishag the Shunammite” to be transferred to him as wife. This was interpreted by king Solomon as an attempt to seize the throne and Solomon thus had his rival brother swiftly executed:

1 Kings 2:22-23, “And King Solomon answered and said to his mother, “Now why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also—for he is my older brother—for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.” Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, “May God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own life!”

Ahab had no such qualms about his wife’s bedroom being a revolving door of strange men coming for “visits.” He was setting an example for the entire nation however, opening the gateway for the spirit of sexual perversion and adultery to enter the land. We are not told Ahab’s response behind these closed doors. Did Jezebel begin by telling him these guests were “only friends”? Or was he aware of it right from the beginning and preferred to perv, watching from a distance as these men enjoyed his wife? It might sound unbelievable but some men actually enjoy that. This cuckold spirit comes as a direct result of watching porn. The Ahab spirit is behind porn in which a man passively watches the sexual exploits of dominant males over the screen. This trains him to be a passive beta male, and recent scientific studies have shown porn watching leads to lowered fertility and impotence. That is to say, the Ahab spirit behind porn is not only extremely dangerous spiritually and emotionally but is even harmful physically. Even non-Christians try to quit porn because of how destructive it is. Watching sexual scenes on TV like a deer in the headlights invites the Ahab spirit. Just because it is a movie and not a website does not change that fact that it is porn. You cannot just sit there like a deer in the headlights; there will be consequences for your soul. Repent and do not compromise. Watching TV shows with sexual scenes is how a porn addiction begins. Strongholds of sin always start with small innocuous compromises and then gradually grow until beyond control.

The Pharisees also were under the influence of the Ahab spirit as can be seen from the story of the woman caught in adultery:

John 8:3-9, “Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last.”


The Pharisees were quick to condemn the woman’s sin, but they forgot about their own voyeurism. What were they doing watching the affair? These men probably knew the lady’s scheduled encounters with her lover and I will wager a bet they regularly watched from the bushes or perhaps hiding in a tree like Zacheus (you could say it was the ancient version of SinHub). A person may say watching does no actual harm, but that is what king David thought when he began to watch Bathsheba bathe from the roof. After entertaining the spirit of lust, soon watching was not enough and David ended up entangled not only in adultery but even murder.

The passage does not specify what Jesus wrote in the sand but I will wager he wrote the names of the men’s girlfriends they were cheating with (but not yet caught) as well as the number of times they would come to watch the adulterous affair for their perverted pleasure. Another thing of note in this story is that only the woman in the affair was brought forward for judgement. The Pharisee good old boys club apparently let the man go free. A sign of the Ahab spirit is putting all the responsibility on the woman rather than taking ownership. We see this dynamic between Adam and Eve as well during the original sin in the garden of Eden. Adam put the responsbility for his sin onto his wife rather than taking ownership. Would God have cursed the earth if Adam repented rather than projecting blame and making an excuse?

Leviathan and Behemoth

Leviathan and Behemoth are discussed in the book of Job (chapters 40 and 41). The relationship of Leviathan and Behemoth is related to the Jezebel spirit (Leviathan) and Ahab spirit (Behemoth). According to the book of Enoch (60:7-9) Leviathan is the female and Behemoth is the male. Yet you do not see the male leading of this pair, but Leviathan is more dominant while Behemoth watches, hiding in the reeds. These two are also the “beast from the sea” (Leviathan) and “beast from the earth” (Behemoth) mentioned in Revelation 13 and are two forms of the antichrist spirit. As Job’s description of Behemoth is one who watches, it is a spirit of lust and coveting. This is why Christ taught that to look at a man’s wife to lust after her is to commit adultery with her in your heart. Thus watching and lusting is not as innocent and harmless as it sounds. The description of Behemoth focuses on his “body,” groin, and tail, the sexual aspects. In contrast, Leviathan’s description is mostly focused on the “head.” So while Behemoth lusts from his hiding place, the pride spirit of Leviathan seeks to be the “head” and in control.

These two major spirits are behind politics as well in which the Democrat party is controlled by Leviathan whereas the Republicans are run by Behemoth. Their elephant symbol is a hidden spiritual marker signifying Behemoth, the largest land animal. Oftentimes liberals have the dominant role in pushing forward legislation while conservatives unfortunately take a passive role of resisting and opposing but without coming up with novel ideas of their own. Although both sides are corrupted, liberals are by far the most dangerous of the two as they are satan’s own throne with the goal of erasing Christianity from the culture and remaking it in a Luciferian image. Their hyper-fixation on celebrating and promoting sexual deviancies and destroying the family unit is a way to silence the church and reduce its power. Liberals have destroyed marriage and the family and are dedicated to corrupting the youth. I do not believe it is possible to be a Christian and to support liberal/leftist parties. You can be non-political, or conservative, or a blend of your own views but a true Christian cannot vote for liberals in their modern form. They put man's ways above God's and their whole culture is toxic to biblical Christianity.

Now as for conservatives, the Behemoth spirit of coveting promotes exceptional greed, worship of billionaires, and contempt for the poor (often blaming them for simply “not working hard enough” when reality is much more complicated, each person’s situation is a unique judgment, and life is often simply unfair). This is not Christ’s way, we can do better. Not everything liberals do is wrong either, we can learn some things from them while rejecting the corruption. Conservatives must get better at coming up with new ideas. Simply opposing everything the left does but having no ideas of your own besides cheap gimmicks is an incredibly unattractive platform. We must extract the Ahab spirit out of conservatism and become true leaders once again, not passive watchers.

Confusion of sex and gender

The secular world wants to create weak feminine men and dominant masculine women, to put is in the image of Jezebel and Ahab rather than promoting God’s design. This is the antichrist spirits of Leviathan and Behemoth showing their power over society and is thus a sign of the end times. God wants both male and female to be co-rulers of earth together but with the man embracing his masculinity and the woman her feminine nature. Not pretending to be the same or equal in every way. As head of the house, man was given the authority to make a final decision, but that does not mean he just decides what he wants without consulting his wife and first trying to build consensus with her. When consensus cannot be created, his final decision must be what he believes is in the best interest of the house as a whole, not just forcing his personal preference through. Apostle and prophet were also created in the male/female division where the apostle carries the weight of authority like the man, but the prophet has the extra sensitivity to hear from God and relay critical wisdom to the situation. An king/apostle is a fool to not listen and deeply consider what his prophets have to say and the same applies for the husband/wife relationship. Sometimes women can have an additional sensitivity to hearing God. When Pilate was about to condemn Christ to crucifixion, he was too hardened to hear God’s warning. His wife however, was receptive to the message from God and warned him. Failing to take his wife input seriously when making his decision led to a critical mistake.

Ahab’s repentance

1 Kings 21:27-29, So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house.”


The Bible shows Ahab in a wholly negative light. Despite this, when Ahab humbled himself and showed true repentance with fasting, God withheld the judgement he had planned against the nation. Some people like to think they are “too far gone” for God to redeem. But if God hear the repentance of one of the worst characters in the Bible, then he will surely hear yours. Any person who seeks repentance will be heard because if you were truly reprobated then your heart would be too hard to even desire to repent. A person can only come to God by the Holy Spirit drawing them and the Spirit would not work to draw a person closer if they were truly “too far gone.” Therefore, do not give up but confess sin to God and repent sincerely, not making excuses to leave footholds, and he will accept our repentance and provide forgiveness.

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