Bridgeway Bible Dictionary 
By her marriage to King Ahab of Israel, Jezebel helped to join Phoenicia and Israel together in a political and religious alliance. She was daughter of the king-priest of the Phoenician cities Tyre and Sidon, and set out to make Phoenician Baalism the official religion of Israel. Ahab cooperated in the plan and built a royal Baal temple in Israel’s capital, Samaria ( 1 Kings 16:29-33).
Soon, however, Ahab ran into opposition, his opponent being God’s prophet Elijah ( 1 Kings 18:17-18). The ministry of the prophets Elijah and Elisha was aimed specifically at preserving the true worship of Yahweh in Israel when Jezebel’s Baalism threatened to wipe it out (see Elijah ; Elisha ).
Within a short time, Jezebel had killed a large number of God’s prophets and replaced them with several hundred of her own ( 1 Kings 18:4; 1 Kings 18:19). When, after a contest on Mt Carmel, Elijah defeated and killed the Baal prophets, Jezebel tried to kill him, but he escaped ( 1 Kings 18:40; 1 Kings 19:1-3).
Jezebel demonstrated her total lack of moral uprightness in the way she arranged for Ahab to seize the vineyard of Naboth. She set up people to make false accusations against the innocent Naboth, then, after having him executed, she seized his vineyard ( 1 Kings 21:1-16). Elijah announced a horrible judgment upon the dynasty of Ahab, and particularly upon the murderous Jezebel ( 1 Kings 21:20-25).
Even after Ahab’s death, Jezebel still exercised much influence in Israel. For the next fourteen years two of her sons, Ahaziah and Jehoram, ruled as successive kings and promoted her religious policies ( 1 Kings 22:51-53; 2 Kings 1:17; 2 Kings 3:1-3). She and Jehoram were killed at Jezreel in Jehu’s bloody revolution. Strong-willed to the end, Jezebel was determined to meet her executioner with royal dignity ( 2 Kings 9:22-37).
In New Testament times the church at Thyatira in Asia Minor was troubled by a woman nicknamed Jezebel. She was a false prophetess whose religion, like that of the original Jezebel, was characterized by idolatry and immorality ( Revelation 2:18-23).
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament 
Jezebel is referred to in the NT in Revelation 2:20 : ‘I have somewhat against thee, because thou dost tolerate the woman Jezebel who calleth herself a prophetess, and teacheth my servants to commit fornication and to eat of things offered to idols and leadeth them astray.’ [Some Manuscripts, א CP and about 10 minuscules, insert σου after γυναίκα, so as to give the sense ‘thy wife,’ but the σου is placed in the margin by Westcott-Hort’s Greek Testamentand rejected by Nestle. It probably reflects some copyist’s view that the ‘angel’ of the Church was its bishop.] The passage goes on to say that her misdoing was of some standing, that the woman gave no sign of amending her ways, and that therefore she and her companions in sin would be cast into a bed, or triclinium , defined as great affliction, while her children would be smitten with death. One result of this punishment would be that all the Churches would recognize Jesus as the Searcher of the thoughts and wills. Further, this Jezebel taught what she and her followers called ‘the deep things,’ to which the author sardonically adds ‘of Satan.’
It is fairly clear from these hints what ‘Jezebel’ stands for. In the first place, the opprobrious term may mark an actual prophetess. For Thyatira possessed a temple of Artemis and a temple of a local hero Tyrimnus taken over by Apollo, while outside the city was the cell of an Eastern Sibyl known as Sambethe ( CIG [Note: IG Corpus Inscrip. Graecarum.]3509: Fabius Zosimus set up a burial-place for himself and his sweetest wife Aurelia Pontiana in a vacant place in front of the city in the neighbourhood or quarter where was a fane of the Chaldaean Sambethe [vol. ii. p. 840]. The date is probably about a.d. 120). Though it is not at all probable that by Jezebel this Sibyl could be aimed at, seeing that the obnoxious teacher was within the Thyatiran Church, yet it is not improbable that a Chaldaean prophetess outside might stimulate a Christian prophetess inside the Church. It is of course always possible that Jezebel is not a personal name at all, but a scornful designation of a Gnostic group inside the Christian community at Thyatira, whose action and doctrine the author regarded as being like those of the OT Jezebel-religion, in that it tended to seduce its followers from the ‘form of sound words.’
One characteristic of the civic life of Thyatira was to be found in the gilds into which the bakers, potters, weavers, and artificers in general were grouped. As one inscription ( CIG [Note: IG Corpus Inscrip. Graecarum.]349) speaks of ‘the priest of the Divine Father Tyrimnus,’ and as all heathen religions celebrated periodically religious banquets, there is little doubt that from time to time Christian members of these gilds were faced by the question whether it was lawful for them to partake of these banquets as coming under the head of things offered to idols. Rigorists would hold that to eat at such banquets was to communicate with idols and so to commit spiritual fornication. Jezebel, whether a prophetess or a group, taught apparently that Christians might lawfully partake of these religious banquets, and this the writer of the Apocalypse regarded as equivalent to Jezebel’s idolatry in the OT.
It is also plain that the followers of ‘Jezebel’ were Gnostics, for the latter were explicitly inquirers into the ‘deep things,’ the esoteric truths which the ordinary person was incompetent to understand. In 1 Corinthians 2:10 St. Paul claims for his disciples that the Spirit who searches all things (same verb as is used in Revelation 2:13), yea, the deep things of God, had revealed these hidden things to them. The apocalyptic writer, however, is more concerned here with the opposite depths-those of Satan. Thus in Revelation 2:9 he speaks of the false Jews in Smyrna who formed a synagogue of Satan. In Revelation 2:13 he says that Satan had his throne at Pergamum. In Revelation 3:9 Philadelphia is charged with harbouring a synagogue of Satan. These passages, taken in connexion with the references to the teaching of Balaam in Revelation 2:14 and of the Nicolaitans in Revelation 2:15, favour the interpretation of Jezebel which sees in the name a term of opprobrium applied dyslogistically to a heretical sect or form of doctrine. That the depths of Satan are Gnostic doctrines is clear from Iren. (ii. xxii. 1), who says that the Ptolemaeans said that they had found the mysteries of Bythus, a phrase repeated in ii. xxii. 3 (cf. Hippol. Haer . v. vi., and Tertullian, adv. Valent . i., de Res. Carnis , xix.). The name Jezebel does not occur anywhere in the Apostolic Fathers.
W. F. Cobb.
Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
("chaste, free from carnal connection".) One whose name belied her nature: licentious, fanatical, and stern. Daughter of Ethbaal, or Ithobal, king of Sidon and priest of Astarte, who had murdered Phelles his predecessor (Josephus contra Apion, 1:18) and restored order in Tyre after a period of anarchy. Wife of Ahab who became a puppet in her hands for working all wickedness in the sight of Jehovah ( 1 Kings 21:25).(See Ahab .) She established the Phoenician idolatry on a grand scale at her husband's court, maintaining at her table 450 prophets of Baal and 400 of Astarte (so "the groves" ought to be translated): 1 Kings 16:31-32; 1 Kings 18:19; 1 Kings 18:13. She even slew the prophets of Jehovah ( 2 Kings 9:7). When Elijah under God wrought the miracle at Carmel, and killed her favorite prophets, Jezebel still unsubdued swore by her gods to do to Elijah as he had done to them ( 1 Kings 19:1-3).
Even he was constrained to flee for his life to Beersheba of Judah and the desert beyond. Like Clytemnestra or Lady Macbeth, she taunted Ahab with lack of kingly spirit in not taking what he wished, Naboth's vineyard ( 1 Kings 21:7; 1 Kings 21:14; 1 Kings 21:23): "dost thou govern Israel? I (the real monarch) will give thee the vineyard of Naboth." So she wrote in Ahab's name to the Jezreelite elders, and sealed the letters with his seal; and to her it was that they wrote the announcement that they had stoned Naboth for blasphemy. Upon her therefore fell a special share of the divinely-foretold doom. She survived Ahab 14 years, and still as queen mother exercised an evil influence in the courts of her sons Ahaziah and Joram of Israel, and in that of her daughter Athaliah's husband Jehoram ( 2 Chronicles 21:6; 2 Chronicles 22:2). But judgment was executed upon her by Jehu for all her whoredoms and witchcrafts, which had become proverbial ( 2 Kings 9:22-30-37).(See Jehu .)
In Revelation 2:20 Jezebel typically expresses some self-styled prophetess, or a set of false prophets (for the Hebrew feminine expresses collectively a multitude), as closely attached to the Thyatira church as a wife is to a husband, and as powerfully influencing that church for evil as Jezebel did her husband. The Sinaiticus manuscript and the Paris manuscript and Vulgate Latin read as the KJV; but the Alexandrinus and Vaticanus manuscripts "thy wife," i.e. the wife of the presiding bishop or "angel." Like her father, the ancient Jezebel had been swift to shed blood. A priestess and devotee of Baal and Astarte herself, she seduced Israel beyond the calf worship (the worship of the true God under the cherub ox form, a violation of the second commandment) to Baal worship, of which whoredoms and witchcrafts were a leading part (a violation of the first). The spiritual Jezebel of Thyatira similarly, by pretended inspiration, lured God's servants to libertinism, fornication and idol meats ( Revelation 2:6; Revelation 2:14-15), as though things done in the flesh were outside the man, and therefore indifferent. The deeper the church penetrated into paganism, the more pagan she became.
Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary 
The wife of Ahab, king of Israel. ( 1 Kings 16:31) Her ame is very singular, meaning an island of the habitationâ€”from Ai, island; and Zebal, habitation. The horrid character of this woman is strongly marked in the Scriptures, from ( 1 Kings 15:1 - 1 Kings 22:53; 2 Kings 1:1 - 2 Kings 9:37). Indeed, the very name in the church, hath been always considered odious. Hence our Lord, in his message to the churches, calls some worthless person by the name. (See Revelation 2:20) The awful termination of her life is strongly given. ( 2 Kings 9:33) And the events which followed her being eaten by dogs, which the prophet had foretold in the same chapter, 2 Kings 9:10 were literally fulfilled.
It may appear somewhat marvellous, that such a circumstance should take place as that of dogs being allowed to eat human flesh, and in the very open streets of the city. But modern historians confirm the fact, and speak of it as no uncommon thing. They say that at Gordar, it is usual to hew in pieces the unhappy prisoners, which fall into their hands; and that when this is done, their scattered fragments are suffered to lie in the streets, being denied burial. And the stench would be intolerable, did not the beasts of prey in the neighbouring mountains visit the streets by night, and carry off as carrion the bodies of those so murdered. None of the inhabitants on account of these beasts, ever venture out of their houses after it is dark, without a guard and fire-arms. And this may serve to explain also that passage in the prophet: "I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the Lord, the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beast of the earth, to devour and destroy." ( Jeremiah 15:3)
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
JEZEBEL (meaning uncertain). Daughter of Ethbaal, king of Tyre and previously high priest of the Tyrian Baal; wife of Ahab, king of Israel, of the dynasty of Omri. Jezebel’s evil influence in the land of Israel, especially in combating the religion of Jahweh in the Interests of Baal-worship, was exercised not only during the twenty-two years of Ahab’s reign, but also during the thirteen years of the rule of her two sons, Ahaziah and Joram; moreover, this influence extended, though in a less degree, to the Southern Kingdom of Judah, where Athaliah, the daughter of Jezebel, seems to have followed in the footsteps of her mother ( 2 Kings 8:18 ). In her strength of character, her lust for power, her unshrinking and resolute activity; her remorseless brushing aside of anything and everything that interfered with the carrying out of her designs, she was the veritable prototype of Catherine de Medicis.
In the OT the figure of Jezebel is presented in connexion with some dramatic episodes which are probably recorded as illustrations, rather than as exceptionally flagrant examples, of her normal mode of procedure. These are: the account of the trial of strength between the prophets of Baal and Elijah ( 1 Kings 18:19 to 1 Kings 19:3 ), the narrative about Naboth and his vineyard ( 1 Kings 21:1-16 ), and, as illustrating her obstinate, unbending character to the very end note especially her words to Jehu in 2 Kings 9:31 the story of her death ( 2 Kings 9:30-37 ).
In Revelation 2:20 the name of Jezebel occurs; she calls herself a prophetess, and tempts men to wickedness. It is questionable whether the mention of the name here has any reference at all to the queen Jezebel.
W. O. E.Oesterley.
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
Daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, wife of Ahab king of Israel, and mother of Ahaziah, Joram, and Athaliah. She was a bold, wicked idolatress, and stirred up her husband to do evil against the Lord. She 'cut off' the prophets of Jehovah, and had four hundred prophets of Baal that ate at her table. When these were slain by Elijah, she threatened the life of the prophet, but he escaped out of her hands. When Ahab longed for the vineyard which Naboth refused to sell, Jezebel caused Naboth to be falsely accused and stoned to death, and then told her husband to go and take possession. Elijah was soon on the spot to tell Ahab his doom, and of his wife he said, "The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel." Jehu was to be the instrument of vengeance. He killed Joram and wounded the king of Judah, then as he rode into Jezreel, Jezebel, with painted face and head attired, looked from a window and taunted him with "Had Zimri peace who slew his master?" But on Jehu asking who was on his side, the eunuchs looked out, and at his request they threw her down to the ground. Her blood was sprinkled on the wall and she was trodden under foot. When Jehu told them to bury the 'cursed woman,' it was found that, as foretold by the prophet, the dogs had eaten her, except her skull, her hands and her feet. In the N.T. she is mentioned as symbolical of an evil seducing system in the professing church that leads others into idolatrous associations. 1 Kings 16:31; 1 Kings 18:4,13,19; 1 Kings 19:1,2; 1 Kings 21:5-29; 2 Kings 9:7-37; Revelation 2:20 .
Smith's Bible Dictionary 
Jez'ebel. (Chaste). Wife of Ahab, king of Israel. (B.C. 883). She was a Phoenician princess, daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Zidonians. In her hands, her husband became a mere puppet. 1 Kings 21:25. The first effect of her influence was the immediate establishment of the Phoenician worship, on a grand scale in the court of Ahab. At her table were supported no less than 450 prophets of Baal and 400 of Eastward. 1 Kings 16:31; 1 Kings 16:21; 1 Kings 18:19. The prophets of Jehovah were attacked by her orders, and put to the sword. 1 Kings 18:13; 2 Kings 9:7.
At last the people, at the instigation of Elijah, rose against her ministers and slaughtered them at the foot of Carmel. When she found her husband cast down by his disappointment, at being thwarted by Naboth, 1 Kings 21:7, she wrote a warrant in Ahab's name, and sealed it with his seal. To her, and not to Ahab, was sent the announcement that the royal wishes were accomplished, 1 Kings 21:14, and on her accordingly fell the prophet's curse, as well as on her husband, 1 Kings 21:23, a curse fulfilled so literally by Jehu, whose chariot-horses trampled out her life. The body was left in that open space called, in modern eastern language, "the mounds," where offal is thrown from the city walls. 2 Kings 9:30-37.
People's Dictionary of the Bible 
Jezebel ( Jĕz'E-Bĕl ), Chaste. Isabella. 1. The daughter of Ethbaal, king of Tyre, and wife of Ahab, king of Israel, infamous for her idolatry, wickedness and cruel persecution of the prophets of Jehovah. She established the worship of Baal and other idols in the kingdom of Israel. 1 Kings 18:3-19. When Elijah caused 450 prophets of Baal to be put to death this wicked woman threatened to slay Elijah, but he escaped. Jezebel planned and executed the murder of Naboth, using the authority and name of the king, and showing her remarkable influence over the wicked Ahab and over the leading men in the kingdom. 1 Kings 21:1-13. Indeed, her character throughout exhibits her as a remarkably able and decisive but impious woman. For even after Ahab's death she maintained the ascendency over her son Joram. The doom of this impious queen was predicted by the prophet Elijah, and was in due time visited upon her to the very letter. See 1 Kings 21:23, and 2 Kings 9:36-37. See Ahab. 2. A symbolical name of a woman in the church at Thyatira, who corrupted the people; so called in allusion to Ahab's idolatrous wife. Revelation 2:20-24
Holman Bible Dictionary 
1 Kings 16:31 1 Kings 18:4 1 Kings 18:19 1 Kings 18:1 1 Kings 19:2
When Ahab wanted Naboth's vineyard, Jezebel connived with the leaders of the city who falsely accused and convicted Naboth, stoning him to death. Elijah then prophesied Jezebel's death, she being the one who had “stirred up” Ahab to wickedness ( 1 Kings 21:1 ). She continued her evil influence as her son Joram ruled ( 2 Kings 9:22 ). Elisha anointed Jehu to replace Joram. Jehu assassinated Joram and then went to Jezreel after Jezebel. She tried to adorn herself and entice him, but her servants obeyed Jehu's call to throw her from the window to the street, where horses trod her in the ground ( 2 Kings 9:30-37 ).
Jezebel's name became so associated with wickedness that the false prophetess in the church at Thyatira was labeled, “Jezebel” ( Revelation 2:20 ).
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
Daughter of Ethbaal king of Tyre and Zidon, and wife of Ahab king of Israel, 1 Kings 16:31 . She spent herself in efforts to establish idolatry in Samaria, and exterminate the worship of God and the lives of his servants. Obadiah saved a hundred of them, at the risk of his own life. Jezebel herself maintained four hundred priests of Astarte. When the prophets of Baal perished at Carmel, at the word of Elijah, she sought to avenge herself on him. Afterwards, she secured the vineyard of Naboth for her husband by perjuries and murder; and her tragical death, the fitting close of a bloody life, took place, according to the prediction of Elijah, near the scene of this crime,
1 Kings 19:1-21 21:1-29 2 Kings 9:1-37 . Her name has become a proverb, and is given by John, probably as a descriptive epithet, to a certain female at Thyatira in his day holding a like bad preeminence in station and profligacy, in malice and in ruin, Luke 20:18 Revelation 2:20 .
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary 
daughter of Ethbaal, King of the Zidonians, and wife of Ahab, king of Israel, 1 Kings 16:31 . This princess introduced into the kingdom of Samaria the public worship of Baal, Astarte, and other Phenician deities, which the Lord had expressly forbidden; and with this impious worship, a general prevalence of those abominations which had formerly incensed God against the Canaanites, to their utter extirpation.
Jezebel was so zealous, that she fed at her own table four hundred prophets belonging to the goddess Astarte; and her husband Ahab, in like manner, kept four hundred of Baal's prophets, as ministers of his false gods. The name of Jezebel is used proverbially, Revelation 2:20 . See Jehu .
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
1 Kings 16:31 1 Kings 18:19 2 Kings 9:7-37 1 Kings 21:19
Her name afterwards came to be used as the synonym for a wicked woman ( Revelation 2 :: 20 ).
It may be noted that she is said to have been the grand-aunt of Dido, the founder of Carthage.
Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types 
Revelation 2:20 (b) She is a type of religious groups which teach and practice things opposed to the truth of GOD and which lead to a dissolute and wicked life.
King James Dictionary 
JEZ'EBEL, n. An impudent, daring, vitious woman.
Webster's Dictionary 
(n.) A bold, vicious woman; a termagant.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
jez´ḗ - bel ( אזבל , 'ı̄zebhel , "unexalted," "unhusbanded" (?); Ἰεζάβελ , Iezábel ; see Bdb ; 1 Kings 16:31; 1 Kings 18:4 , 1 Kings 18:13 , 1 Kings 18:19; 1 Kings 19:1 , 1 Kings 19:2; 1 Kings 21:5; 2 Kings 9:7 , 2 Kings 9:30; Revelation 2:20 ): Daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Zidonians, i.e. Phoenicians, and queen of Ahab, king of Northern Israel. Ahab (circa 874-853 BC) carried out a policy, which his father had perhaps started, of making alliances with other states. The alliance with the Phoenicians was cemented by his marriage with Jezebel, and he subsequently gave his daughter Athaliah in marriage to Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. His own union with Jezebel is regarded as a sin in 1 Kings 16:31 , where the Massoretic Text is difficult, being generally understood as a question. The Septuagint translations: "and it was not enough that he should walk in the sins of Jeroboam ben Nebat, he also took to wife Jezebel," etc. The Hebrew can be pointed to mean, "And it was the lightest thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam ben Nebat, he also took to wife Jezebel, and went and served Baal and worshipped him," i.e. all the other sins were light as compared with the marriage with Jezebel and the serving of Baal (compare Micah 6:16 ). Is this a justifiable view to take of the marriage? One answer would be that Ahab made a wise alliance; that Baal-worship was not non-Hebrew, that Ahab named his children not alter Baal but after Yahweh (compare Ahaziah, Jehoram, Athaliah), and that he consulted the prophets of Yahweh (compare 1 Kings 22:6 ); further, that he only did what Solomon had done on a much larger scale; it may be added too that Ahab was in favor of religious toleration, and that Elijah and not the king is the persecutor. What then can be said for the unfavorable Verdict of the Hebrew historians? That verdict is based on the results and effects of the marriage, on the life and character of Jezebel, and in that life two main incidents demand attention.
1. Persecution of Yahweh's Prophets:
This is not described; it is only referred to in 1 Kings 18:4 , "when Jezebel cut off the prophets of Yahweh"; and this shows the history of the time to be incompletely related. In 1 Kings 18:19 we are further told that "450 prophets of Baal ate at her table" (commentators regard the reference to "400 prophets of the Asherah" as an addition). In 1 Kings 19:1 Ahab tells Jezebel of the slaughter of the prophets of Baal by Elijah, and then Jezebel ( 1 Kings 19:2 ) sends a messenger to Elijah to threaten his life. This leads to the prophet's flight, an object which Jezebel had in view, perhaps, for she would hardly dare to murder Elijah himself. 2 Kings 9:7 regards the massacre of Ahab's family as a punishment for the persecution of the prophets by Jezebel.
2. Jezebel's Plot Against Naboth ( 1 Kings 21 ):
Ahab expresses a desire to possess the vineyard neighboring upon his palace in Jezreel, owned by Naboth, who refuses to part with the family inheritance though offered either its money value or a better vineyard in exchange. Ahab is depressed at this, and Jezebel, upon finding the cause of his melancholy feelings, asks him sarcastically if he is not king, suggesting that as king his wishes should be immediately granted by his subjects. She thereupon plots to secure him Naboth's vineyard. Jezebel sends letters sealed in Ahab's name to the elders of Naboth's township, and bids them arrange a public fast and make Naboth "sit at the head of the people" (Revised Version margin), a phrase taken by some to mean that he is to be arraigned, while it is explained by others as meaning that Naboth is to be given the chief place. Two witnesses - a sufficient number for that purpose - are to be brought to accuse Naboth of blasphemy and treason. This is done, and Naboth is found guilty, and stoned to death. The property is confiscated, and falls to the king ( 1 Kings 21:1-16 ). Elijah hears of this, and is sent to threaten Ahab with Divine vengeance; dogs shall lick his dead body ( 1 Kings 21:19 ). But in 1 Kings 21:20-23 this prophecy is made, not concerning Ahab but against Jezebel, and 1 Kings 21:25 attributes the sins of Ahab to her influence over him.
The prophecy is fulfilled in 2 Kings 9:30-37 . Ahaziah and Jehoram had succeeded their father Ahab; the one reigned for 2 years ( 1 Kings 22:51 ), the other 12 years ( 2 Kings 3:1 ). Jehu heads a revolt against the house of Ahab, and one day comes to Jezreel. Jezebel had "painted her eyes, and attired her head," and sees Jehu coming. She greets him sarcastically as his master's murderer. according to Massoretic Text, Jehu asks, "Who is on my side? who?" but the text is emended by Klostermann, following Septuagint in the main, "Who art thou that thou shouldest find fault with me?" i.e. thou art but a murderess thyself. She is then thrown down and the horses tread upon her (reading "they trod" for "he trod" in 2 Kings 9:33 ). When search is afterward made for her remains, they are found terribly mutilated. Thus was the prophecy fulfilled. (Some commentaries hold that Naboth's vineyard and Ahab's garden were in Samaria, and Naboth a Jezreelite. The words, "which was in Jezreel," of 1 Kings 21:1 are wanting in Septuagint, which has "And Naboth had a vineyard by the threshing-floor of Ahab king of Samaria." But compare 1 Kings 18:45; 1 Kings 21:23; 2 Kings 8:29; 2 Kings 9:10 , 2 Kings 9:15 , 2 Kings 9:30 .) See Ahab; Jehu .
3. Jezebel's Character:
The character of Jezebel is seen revived in that of her daughter, Athaliah of Judah ( 2 Kings 11 ); there is no doubt that Jezebel was a powerful personality. She brought the worship of the Phoenician Baal and Astarte with her into Hebrew life, and indirectly introduced it into Judah as well as into the Northern Kingdom. In judging her connection with this propagation, we should bear in mind that she is not a queen of the 20th century; she must be judged in company with other queens famous in history. Her religious attitude and zeal might profitably be compared with that of Mary, queen of Scots. It must also be remembered that the introduction of any religious change is often resented when it comes from a foreign queen, and is apt to be misunderstood, e.g. the attitude of Greece to the proposal of Queen Olga have an authorized edition of the Bible in modern Greek.
On the other hand, although much may be said that would be favorable to Jezebel from the religious standpoint, the balance is heavy against her when we remember her successful plot against Naboth. It is not perhaps blameworthy in her that she upheld the religion of her native land, although the natural thing would have been to follow that of her adopted land (compare Rth 1:16 f). The superiority of Yahweh-worship was not as clear then as it is to us today. It may also be held that Baal-worship was not unknown in Hebrew life (compare Judges 6:25 f), that Baal of Canaan had become incorporated with Yahweh of Sinai, and that there were pagan elements in the worship of the latter. But against all this it must be clear that the Baal whom Jezebel attempted to introduce was the Phoenician Baal, pure and simple; he was another god, or rather in him was presented an idea of God very different from Yahweh. And further, "in Phoenicia, where wealth and luxury had been enjoyed on a scale unknown to either Israel or the Canaanites of the interior, there was a refinement, if one may so speak, and at the same time a prodigality of vicious indulgences, connected with the worship of Baal and Astarte to which Israel had hitherto been a stranger... It was like a cancer eating into the vitals or a head and heart sickness resulting in total decay ( Isaiah 1:6 ). In Israel, moral deterioration meant political as well as spiritual death. The weal of the nation lay in fidelity to Yahweh alone, and in His pure worship" ( HPM , section symbol 213).
The verdict of the Hebrew historian is thus substantiated. Jezebel is an example - an extreme one no doubt - of the bad influence of a highly developed civilization forcing itself with all its sins upon a community less highly civilized, but possessed of nobler moral and religious conceptions. She has parallels both in family and in national life. For a parallel to Elijah's attitude toward Jezebel compare the words of Carlyle about Knox in On Heroes and Hero-Worship , IV, especially the section, "We blame Knox for his intolerance," etc.
In Revelation 2:20 , we read of Iezabel , "the woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess"; not "thy wife" (i.e. the wife of the bishop) the Revised Version margin, but as Moffat ( Expositor's Greek Testament ) aptly renders, "that Jezebel of a woman alleging herself a prophetess." Some members of the church at Thyatira "under the sway of an influential woman refused to separate from the local guilds where moral interests, though not ostensibly defied, were often seriously compromised... Her lax principles or tendencies made for a connection with foreign and compromising associations which evidently exerted a dangerous influence upon some weaker Christians in the city." Her followers "prided themselves upon their enlightened liberalism ( Revelation 2:24 )." Moffat rejects both the view of Schurer ( Theol. Abhandlungen , 39 f), that she is to be identified with the Chaldean Sibyl at Thyatira, and also that of Selwyn making her the wife of the local asiarch. "It was not the cults but the trade guilds that formed the problem at Thyatira." See also Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament , section symbol 73, note 7; Ahab; Baal; Elijah .
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
(Hebrew lze'bel, אַזֶבֶל , Not-Cohabited , q.d. Ἄλοχος , compare Plato, p. 249; Lat. Agnes, i.e. intacta chaste; an appropriate female name, remarks Gesenius, and not to be estimated from the character of Ahab's queen; comp. Isabella; Sept. Ι᾿Εζάβελ ; N.T. Ι᾿Εζαβήλ , Revelation 2:20; Joseph. Ι᾿Αζεβέλις , 9: Ant. 9, 6, 4; Vul. Jezabel ), the consort of Ahab, king of Israel ( 1 Kings 16:31), was the daughter of Ethbaal (q.v.), king of Tyre and Sidon, and originally a priest of Astarte (Josephus, Apion , 1, 18). This unsuitable alliance proved most disastrous to the kingdom of Israel; for Jezebel induced her weak husband not only to connive at her introducing the worship of her native idols, but eventually to become himself a worshipper of them, and to use all the means in his power to establish them in the room of the God of Israel. The worship of the golden calves, which previously existed, was, however mistakenly intended in honor of Jehovah; but this was an open alienation from him, and a turning aside to foreign and strange gods, which, indeed, were no gods (but see Vatke, Bibl. Theol. 1, 406). Most of the particulars of this bad but apparently highly-gifted woman's conduct have been related in the notices of AHAB and ELIJAH. From the course of her proceedings, it would appear that she grew to hate the Jewish system of law and religion on account of what must have seemed to her its intolerance and its anti-social tendencies. She hence sought to put it down by all the means she could command; and the imbecility of her husband seems to have made all the powers of the state subservient to her designs.
The manner in which she acquired and used her power over Ahab is strikingly shown in the matter of Naboth which, perhaps, more than all the other affairs in which she was engaged, brings out her true character, and displays the nature of her influence. B.C. cir. 897. When she found him puling, like a spoiled child, on account of the refusal of Naboth to gratify him by selling him his patrimonial vineyard for a "garden of herbs," she taught him to look to her, to rely upon her for the accomplishment of his wishes; and for the sake of this impression, more perhaps than from savageness of temper, she scrupled not at murder under the abused forms of law and religion ( 1 Kings 21:1-29). She had the reward of her unscrupulous decisiveness of character in the triumph of her policy in Israel, where, at last, there were but 7000 people who had not bowed the knee to Baal, nor kissed their hand to his image. Nor was her success confined to Israel; for through Athaliah — a daughter after her own heart — who was married to the son and successor of Jehoshaphat, the same policy prevailed for a time in Judah, after Jezebel herself had perished and the house of Ahab had met its doom. It seems that after the death of her husband, Jezebel maintained considerable ascendency over her son Jehoram; and her measures and misconduct formed the principal charge which Jehu cast in the teeth of that unhappy monarch before he sent forth the arrow that slew him. The last effort of Jezebel was to intimidate Jehu as he passed the palace by warning him of the eventual rewards of even successful treason. It is eminently characteristic of the woman that, even in this terrible moment, when she knew that her son was slain, and must have felt that her power had departed, she displayed herself, not with rent veil and disheveled hair, "but tired her head and painted her eyes" before she looked out at the window. The eunuchs, at a word from Jehu, having cast her down, she met her death beneath the wall, (See Jehu); and when afterwards the new monarch bethought him that, as "a king's daughter," her corpse should not be treated with disrespect, nothing was found of her but the palms of her hands and the soles of her feet: the dogs had eaten all the rest ( 1 Kings 16:31; 1 Kings 18:4; 1 Kings 18:13; 1 Kings 18:19; 1 Kings 21:5-25; 2 Kings 9:7; 2 Kings 9:22; 2 Kings 9:30-37). B.C. 883.
The name of Jezebel appears anciently (as in modern times) to have become proverbial for a wicked termagant (comp. 2 Kings 9:22), and in this sense it is probably used in Revelation 2:20, where, instead of "that woman Jezebel" ( Τὴν Γυναίκα Ι᾿Εζαβήλ ), many editors prefer the reading "thy wife Jezebel" ( Τὴν Γυναῖκὰ Σου Ι᾿Εζάβελ ), i.e. of the bishop of the Church at Thyatira, who seems to have assumed the office of a public teacher, although herself as corrupt in doctrine as in practice. In this address to the representative of the Church she is called his wife, i.e. one for whose character and conduct, as being a member of the congregation over which he had charge, he was responsible, and whom he should have taken care that the Church had, long since repudiated. Her proper name is probably withheld through motives of delicacy. We need not suppose that she was literally guilty of licentiousness, but only that she disseminated and acted upon such corrupt religious principles as made her resemble the idolatrous wife of Ahab in her public influence. (See Jablonski, Diss. De Jezabele Thyatirenor, Pseudo-Prophet Essa , Frankf. 1739; Stuart's Comment. ad loc.) Others, however, maintain a more literal interpretation of the passage (see Clarke and Alford, ad loc.). (See Nicolaitan).
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
Jez´ebel (not inhabited, comp. Isabella), daughter of Ethbaal, king of Tyre and Sidon, and consort of Ahab, king of Israel (B.C. 918). This unsuitable alliance proved most disastrous to the kingdom of Israel; for Jezebel induced her weak husband not only to connive at her introducing the worship of her native idols, but eventually to become himself a worshipper of them, and to use all the means in his power to establish them in the room of the God of Israel. This was a great enormity. The worship of the golden calves which previously existed was, however mistakenly, intended in honor of Jehovah; but this was an open alienation from him, and a turning aside to foreign and strange gods, which, indeed, were no gods. Most of the particulars of this bad but apparently highly-gifted woman's conduct have been related in the notices of Ahab and Elijah. From the course of her proceedings it would appear that she grew to hate the Jewish system of law and religion, on account of what must have seemed to her its intolerance and its anti-social tendencies. She hence sought to put it down by all the means she could command; and the imbecility of her husband seems to have made all the powers of the state subservient to her designs. The manner in which she acquired and used her power over Ahab is strikingly shown in the matter of Naboth, which, perhaps, more than all the other affairs in which she was engaged, brings out her true character, and displays the nature of her influence. When she found him puling, like a spoiled child, on account of the refusal of Naboth to gratify him by selling him his patrimonial vineyard for a 'garden of herbs,' she teaches him to look to her, to rely upon her for the accomplishment of his wishes; and for the sake of this impression, more perhaps than from savageness of temper, she scrupled not at murder under the abused forms of law and religion. She had the reward of her unscrupulous decisiveness of character in the triumph of her policy in Israel, where, at last, there were but 7000 people who had not bowed the knee to Baal, nor kissed their hand to his image. Nor was her success confined to Israel, for through Athaliah—a daughter after her own heart—who was married to the son and successor of Jehoshaphat, the same policy prevailed for a time in Judah, after Jezebel herself had perished and the house of Ahab had met its doom. It seems that after the death of her husband Jezebel maintained considerable ascendancy over her son Joram; and her measures and misconduct formed the principal charge which Jehu cast in the teeth of that unhappy monarch before he sent forth the arrow which slew him. The last effort of Jezebel was to intimidate Jehu as he passed the palace, by warning him of the eventual rewards of even successful treason. It is eminently characteristic of the woman, that, even in this terrible moment, when she knew that her son was slain, and must have felt that her power had departed, she displayed herself not with rent veil and disheveled hair, 'but tired her head and painted her eyes' before she looked out at the window. The eunuchs, at a word from Jehu, having cast her down, she met her death beneath the wall [JEHU]; and when afterwards the new monarch bethought him that, as 'a king's daughter,' her corpse should not be treated with disrespect, nothing was found of her but the palms of her hands and the soles of her feet. The dogs had eaten all the rest. B.C. 884 (;;;;;;; ).
The Nuttall Encyclopedia 
The wicked wife of Ahab, king of Israel, whose fate is recorded in 2Kings ix. 30-37; gives name to a bold, flaunting woman of loose morals.
- Jezebel from Bridgeway Bible Dictionary
- Jezebel from Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
- Jezebel from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- Jezebel from Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
- Jezebel from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- Jezebel from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- Jezebel from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- Jezebel from People's Dictionary of the Bible
- Jezebel from Holman Bible Dictionary
- Jezebel from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- Jezebel from Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary
- Jezebel from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Jezebel from Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types
- Jezebel from King James Dictionary
- Jezebel from Webster's Dictionary
- Jezebel from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Jezebel from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- Jezebel from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature
- Jezebel from The Nuttall Encyclopedia