Jezebel.

Jezebel: Revealing the Slander of a Virgin of Baal, Princess of Tyre, and Queen of Israel

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Jezebel - even to this day her name is synonymous with wickedness and promiscuity. She was the most depraved of women, a murderess, an adulteress and worst of all an idolatress. She was so hated by some of the ancient followers of Yahweh that they went out of their way after her death to paint her as all things evil, even going so far as changing her actual title from the Virgin of Baal to the Whore of Baal.  But what was it really that caused such a reaction from the followers of Yahweh? How could a mere woman challenge such men of God?

The City of Samaria

The story really begins after the death of King Solomon when the Israelites split into two kingdoms, Israel in the north and Judah in the south. The first king of the north was Omri and he established his capitol in a place called Samaria. Omri built his palace complex on a hill he purchased from a man named Shemer, for which he paid two talents of silver. The ancient city of Samaria today is split between Israeli and Palestinian control and, unfortunately, it is in a precarious state threatened by vandals, robbers, and neglect.

The best-known excavations of the site date from 1908 to 1910 and then again in the 1930’s.  The Palestinian Department of Antiquities, formed in 1997, is working on protecting and excavating the site with about a dozen digs being conducted, so conditions are improving. This ancient site is one of the most documented by fact in the Bible, as well as the burial place of John the Baptist, Joseph, and ten kings of Israel. Is it the location of this city that has caused its virtual abandonment by archaeologists until recently or is it something more? It seems to have been ground zero for the war between the worshippers of the old goddesses and gods, and the followers of Yahweh, for whom there was no room for other gods, and no amount of violence and treachery was too extreme to achieve their ends. What truths may be buried in the city of Samaria?

A street of Pillars at the ruins of the city Samaria.

A street of Pillars at the ruins of the city Samaria. ( Public Domain )

Conflict Due to a Female Deity

After the rule of King Omri, his son Ahab became the King of Israel, and in approximately 874 BC the Princess Jezebel of Tyre (Phoenicia), was brought to the northern kingdom to be his bride and cement a trade and military alliance between the two kingdoms. It was a very advantageous agreement for Israel to be partners with the powerful and wealthy sea faring Phoenicians. Now the Bible says that Jezebel’s father King Ethbaal was the high priest of Baal, but according to the Annuals of Tyre, which are now lost, he was probably actually the high priest of Astarte. Astarte was the primary Phoenician deity, a Goddess, and Baal was her son, consort, or husband, depending on the region.

I contend that it is this worship of a female deity that was the deepest issue in this conflict and consequently, the Goddess was removed from the story as much as possible to hide the fact of her once widespread power.  The presence of the female in the divine was simply an unthinkable state to the followers of Yahweh at this time, as it is to the followers of the three Yahweh based religions today.

Called ‘Lady of Galera.’ Phoenician figure representing an ancient Mideastern deity, probably the goddess Astarte.

Called ‘Lady of Galera.’ Phoenician figure representing an ancient Mideastern deity, probably the goddess Astarte. (Luis Garcia/ CC BY 3.0 )

The Bible purposefully skirts the issue of the worship of the Goddess as the prime religion at the time, consistently referring to Baal as the major deity when that was not the case; indeed Baal is the consort of Astarte, who dies every year and is then reborn, and holidays of grief and celebration commemorated this yearly cycle; does this story sound familiar? In earlier times, Astarte or Ashtoreth, as she was also known, was the consort of Jehovah before the move towards monotheism, and apparently the Israelites had a bit of trouble adjusting as they continuously fell back into their old ways of worshipping the older dualistic deities. 

Just Helping Jezebel Feel at Home

Jezebel was raised as an acolyte of Astarte and Baal and she brought her religious beliefs with her to Israel. The Bible would have us believe that Jezebel forced her religion on people, but the truth is that the region, whose populace was more multinational, was far from united under one god – even though the state religion of Israel was the worship of a single male deity, the worship of many gods and goddess’ was common. The followers of Yahweh were, however, determined to bring about the end of all religions except theirs by whatever means necessary.

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Comments

I count 12 sources listed. Why can't the rest of you see them? Plus, if something is common knowledge, note I didn't say Biblical, you don't have to source it. I also see no quotes. No, the article isn't a dry dissertation with a reference every two words, but it's a popular internet site, not a dissertation review site (which I regularly read too and find stuff even more out there than this).

Hey, you all do understand that the Bible isn't really a critical source of data, right? It's extremely prejudiced towards one set of people and it's been shuffled and rewritten by the biggest propaganda agency in the world, the Catholic Church (which was founded on Roman religions). Do your own legwork if you don't like what an author says. Read multiple pieces of data in multiple translations from a time period if you didn't personally live through it.

The authors “legwork” consists entirely of conjectures and suppositions. I see no evidence of “ multiple pieces of data in multiple translations”. What I do see is the transference of her pc prejudices onto a time period that she “did not personally live through”. Sorry, but this is absolutely mind-boggling .

God probably never told them to do all the killing, people tend to say that afterwards to try to make themselves look good. Since this was during the time that the Israelites still had some worship of Yahweh's consort and many planted their own posts for years even after the birth of Jesus I'm pretty sure Ahab and his advisors saw Jezebel as a good choice for a spouse. The Bible is much better read with a historical point of view than an empassioned religious point of view because you lose your lessons with the religious point of view. This story just goes to show how many horrible things you can do in the name of God even changing your own country and religion. Not really what God is asking us to do if we're to live with the Golden Rule.

i see some commenters hating but a lot of things in the bible dont make sense under critical analysis.

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