Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 1 Kings
Book: 1 Kings
Chapter: 21

Ahab covets Naboth's vineyard. (1-4) Naboth murdered By
Jezebel. (5-16) Elijah denounces judgments against Ahab. (17-29)

1-4 Naboth, perhaps, had been pleased that he had a vineyard
situated So near the Palace, but the situation proved fatal to
him; many a Man's possessions have been his Snare, and his
neighbourhood to greatness, of bad consequence. Discontent is a
Sin that is its own Punishment, and makes men Torment
themselves. It is a Sin that is its own parent; it arises not
from the condition, but from the mind: as we find Paul contented
in a Prison, So Ahab was discontented in a Palace. He had all
the delights of Canaan, that pleasant land, at command; the
wealth of a kingdom, the pleasures of a Court, and the honours
and powers of a Throne; yet all avails him nothing without
Naboth's vineyard. Wrong desires expose men to continual
vexations, and those that are disposed to fret, however Well
off, may always find something or other to fret at.

5-16 When, instead of a help meet, a Man has an agent for
Satan, in the form of an artful, unprincipled, yet beloved Wife,
fatal effects may be expected. Never were more wicked orders
given By any Prince, than those Jezebel sent to the rulers of
Jezreel. Naboth must be murdered under Colour of religion. There
is No wickedness So vile, So horrid, but religion has sometimes
been made a cover for it. Also, it must be done under Colour of
Justice, and with the formalities of legal process. Let us, from
this sad story, be amazed at the wickedness of the wicked, and
the power of Satan in the children of disobedience. Let us
commit the keeping of our lives and comforts to God, for
innocence will not always be our security; and let us rejoice in
the knowledge that all will be set to rights in the great Day.

17-29 Blessed Paul complains that he was sold under Sin, Ro
7:14, as a Poor Captive against his will; but Ahab was willing,
he sold himself to Sin; of choice, and as his own act and deed,
he loved the dominion of Sin. Jezebel his Wife stirred him up to
do wickedly. Ahab is reproved, and his Sin set before his eyes,
By Elijah. That Man's condition is very miserable, who has made
the Word of God his enemy; and very desperate, who reckons the
ministers of that Word his enemies, because they tell him the
Truth. Ahab Put On the garb and guise of a penitent, yet his
Heart was unhumbled and unchanged. Ahab's Repentance was only
what might be seen of men; it was outward only. Let this
encourage all that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe the
holy Gospel, that if a pretending partial penitent shall go to
his House reprieved, doubtless, a sincere believing penitent
shall go to his House justified.