NABOTH (nā'bŏth, Heb. nāvôth). The Israelite who owned a vineyard beside the palace of King Ahab in Jezreel. The king coveted this land for a garden, but Naboth’s refusal to sell his inheritance made Ahab angry and sullen (1Kgs.21.1-1Kgs.21.4). His wife Jezebel undertook to get it for him by having Naboth falsely accused of blasphemy and stoned to death (1Kgs.21.7-1Kgs.21.14). When Ahab went to take possession of the vineyard, Elijah met him and pronounced judgment on him and his family. Ahab repented and a temporary stay was granted (1Kgs.21.27-1Kgs.21.29), but after further warning by Micaiah the prophet, punishment fell on Ahab (1Kgs.22.24-1Kgs.22.40) and on his son Joram and wife Jezebel (2Kgs.9.25-2Kgs.9.37, where the vineyard is called “property, field, plot of ground”—see kjv, asv, rsv, niv—showing that its use had been changed as Ahab had planned, 1Kgs.21.2).


C. F. Keil, The Books of the Kings, KD (1872), 269-273; E. G. Kraeling, Bible Atlas (1956), 279, 280; F. I. Andersen, “Socio-Juridical Background of the Naboth Incident,” JBL, LXXXV (March, 1966), 46-57.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

na’-both, na’-both (nabhoth, from nubh, "a sprout"; Nabouthai): The owner of a vineyard contiguous to the palace of King Ahab. The king desired, by purchase or exchange, to add the vineyard to his own grounds. Naboth, however, refused to part on any terms with his paternal inheritance. This refusal made Ahab "heavy and displeased" (1Ki 21:4). Jezebel, the king’s wife, then took the matter in hand, and by false accusation on an irrelevant charge procured the death of Naboth by stoning (1Ki 21:7-14). As Ahab was on his way to take possession of the vineyard he met Elijah the prophet, who denounced his vile act and pronounced judgment on king and royal house. A temporary respite was given to Ahab because of a repentant mood (1Ki 21:27-29); but later the blow fell, first upon himself in a conflict with Syria (1Ki 22:34-40); then upon his house through a conspiracy of Jehu, in which Jehoram, Ahab’s son, and Jezebel, his wife, were slain (2Ki 9:25-26,30 ). In both cases the circumstances recalled the foul treatment of Naboth.