I read the Bible every year, and catch myself thinking about backstories to minor characters, or musing about particularities of a situation. Today, I intend to clear up the pop culture misunderstanding about Jezebel. I feel as though people use "Jezebel" in relation to loose morals. We are not told anything about that. She was, IMHO, more like a power-hungry, evil, murderous woman. The following is just one example from the Bible, embellished by yours truly.
The servant bowed to the queen and left to fetch more wine. Queen Jezebel watched him leave with a smile of satisfaction. All was going well. She was entertaining the prophets of Baal - a key step in maintaining her power. One must keep the devout satisfied with food and wine.
When the servant reappeared with the wine, her husband the king was mere steps behind. He pushed through the curtained doorway, a deep scowl on his down-turned face. She watched him cross the room to the side table where the servant poured him a goblet of wine. Something was wrong.
Her prophets discreetly gave him space, but it wasn't enough. Jezebel clapped her hands to get their attention. "Gentlemen, please leave us!" They did as they were bid, leaving half-drunk cups and not-yet-empty plates on nearby tables, window ledges, or any surface available. The servant remained near the table to pour wine. She caught his eye and made a quick movement of her head toward the door. He scurried out.
Ordinarily, she'd greet Ahab by moving closer and putting a hand on his arm, or some other gentle touch. His face told her this was not the moment. She watched him drain his goblet and pour another, not touching any of the delicate dishes and edible delights spread around the serving table. "What's wrong? Why aren't you eating?"
"Oh, nothing. It's just - Naboth won't sell me his vineyard!" He was used to getting his way. He was the king, after all. Jezebel scowled. He was king, but she was much better at taking advantage of the position.
"So?" she asked, crossing the room toward him. He turned to her in surprise. Only his queen could speak to him like that. "Aren't you the King of Israel?" She took his shoulders and looked him in the eye. With a smile she said, "Cheer up. Eat something. I'll get you that vineyard." It was gratifying to see a relaxed smile on his face at her words.
She left the room and sent the servant in to attend to him.
After a brief campaign of letters and messengers, all was in place. The city elders of Naboth's town proclaimed a major event for all the people to attend - such a thing had never been seen! Naboth attended as expected. Jezebel's lackeys were there, too. They spread rumors and lies. "Naboth! He doesn't deserve to be here!" "Don't you know he has cursed the king?" The crowd was easily riled up. Soon Naboth found himself being forced out of the city. Stones rained down on him.
That evening, Queen Jezebel accepted a private messenger into the chamber where she and King Ahab were dining. "My liege," the messenger bowed deeply to the king, then turned to Jezebel. "Naboth has been stoned and is dead." She gave an elegant nod, and he backed away the way he had entered.
A wicked smile crept across her face. "There you are, my king. Go. Take that vineyard you like. There is nothing in your way now."