And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it( I Kings 21:15-18)
Naboth has been killed, stoned to death after that parody of a sham trial. Jezebel has accomplished this, using and abusing the law of Moses without any scruple. In a stunningly haughty manner she bids her husband to arise and take possession, the Vineyard is now his. Ahab did as she commanded,without asking any questions.
At the same time, by the Word of the LORD, the Prophet of God is told to arise and go to meet the King, in that very Vineyard. As the King arrives with his chief advisers, to savor his new possession, He is confronted by Elijah. Ahab knows full why the prophet is there, greeting Elijah as “My adversary”.
Eidersheim is insightful on Ahab’s comments about Elijah being his “Enemy”-
It was an admission, indeed, in that moment of surprise, of his guilt and apprehension of the Divine punishment announced. But it conjoined with it this – if not in excuse, yet as a counter-charge – that Elijah was his personal enemy, and had lain in wait for the occasion to call down Divine judgment upon him. ( Eidersheim, Bible History)
And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the Lord, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine. And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord. ( I Kings 21:19-20)
Ahab is the one who has killed Naboth, a righteous Israelite. Not just Jezebel. Just as in the sin of Adam in the garden, there would be no ‘plausible deniability’. Therefore dogs would soon lick Ahab’s blood as they had licked Naboth’s. A literal eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth, to the murderers of Naboth. Jezebel herself, the hateful and murderous priestess of demons would be eaten by dogs herself.
And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord. Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin. And of Jezebel also spake the Lord, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. ( I Kings 21:20-23)
Ahab had “sold himself ” entirely to do evil, in the very sight of the LORD”. In other words, He was a slave and the course of his sinful life brought him to do what he did, as a result of constant choices he made, in spite of God’s dealings with him.
Ahab knew that God was real, God had spoken to Him and proven himself. Therefore Ahab will be cut off and his posterity, His fate would be like that of Jeroboam, Baasha , two other notable Shepherds who not only sinned deeply, but had caused Israel to go astray as well. The dogs will not merely lick Jezebel’s blood, they will eat Jezebel. All of Ahab’s children would also suffer the indignity of dying in public and dogs licking their blood.
Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.( I Kings 22:24)
The sin of Ahab was public and so was the rebuke and sentence upon Him by Jehovah. 1
But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel. ( I Kings 22:25-26)
But the LORD is ever merciful, and slow to anger, even against one as “sold out to evil” as was Ahab. The King sincerely demonstrated that the Word of the LORD had found its mark and pierced his conscience, by all of the marks of Old Testament repentance, and that publicly. He rent his clothes, put on sackcloth, fasted and under the heavy load of his perceived true moral guilt, He walked softly.
And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house.( I Kings 21:27-29)
Ahab had brought judgment upon the nation, and it would surely come. And Ahab had brought judgment upon himself and his own house, for his personal sins, (Naboth). All of these demanded a righteous retribution, but in God’s mercy the Judgment would be delayed, the axe would fall in the days of His son, and should he have repented, perhaps in the days of his son.