Naboth's Vineyard - Poem by Gert Strydom
Naboth did not want to sell
or trade his vineyard
to king Ahab as he believed
that the Lord had forbid
him to sell his inheritance,
but that vineyard was near
to the palace of Ahab,
who sulked and was angry about it,
where he was laying on his bed
and refusing to eat.
He told his wife Jezebel,
a princess from Tyre, about it
(and she worshipped Baal) ,
told him to cheer up
and that she would get him the vineyard.
Then she wrote letters in his name,
placing his seal on them
to the elders and nobles
where Naboth lived
ordering them to proclaim a festival
and at the feast
to let Naboth sit between two scoundrels
and let them testify falsely
that he had cursed both God
and the King
and then to stone Naboth to death.
As soon as Jezebel heard
that Naboth was dead
she told Ahab
to take the vineyard into possession
but God spoke to
Elijah the Tishbite to tell Ahab:
"Have you not murdered a man
to take his property?
Here where dogs have licked up Naboth's blood,
dogs will lick up yours! "
So Ahab said:
"You, my enemy have found me! "
"You have done evil and even your descendants
will be cut off,
every last male of them
slave or free man.
Dogs will devour your wife, Jezebel,
will eat your children dying in the city,
and in the country the birds of prey
will feed on them, " Elijah replied
but then Ahab fasted wearing sackcloth,
humbled himself before God
and he was spared for some time.
In a battle against the king of Aram
Ahab fought in disguise
along with Jehoshaphat king of Juda
and the enemy chariot commanders
were ordered to only fight
against the king of Israel
and when they attacked
the king of Juda,
Johoshapahat cried out
and they saw that he was not
the king of Israel
and broke off their attack,
but one of them
draw his bow at random
hitting Ahab between sections
of his armour and he bled to death
and was buried in Samaria
but while men washed his blood
from his wagon
at a pool where the prostitutes bathed
and were cleaning their weapons
dogs licked up his blood.
Later the prophet Elisha
send a man
from the company of prophets
to Ramoth Gilead
where he took Jehu
a commander of the army
into a inner room,
poured a flask of oil out over his head
and did declare:
"This is what God says:
I anoint you
as king over Israel
and you are to destroy
the house of Ahab your master"
and the young prophet then opened the door
and ran away.
When Jehu came out
one his fellow officers
asked if every thing was well
and why the madman did come to him?
Jehu told them that he was anointed
as king over Israel
and in a hurry they spread
their cloaks on the bare steps
in front of him,
blew on the horn shouting:
"Jehu is king! "
Jehu said: "If this is how you feel,
let no one slip out of this city
and tell Joram,
and Jehu got into his chariot
and did ride all the way to Jezreel
with his troops following him
but the lookout at the tower of Jezreel
saw them approaching
and king Joram ordered a horseman
to go and meet them
and to ask if they come in peace?
The horseman rode out
and Jehu asked him:
"What do you have to do with peace, "
ordered him to fall in behind
and when the lookout reported
that the messenger did not come back
another messenger was send
and did not return either.
The lookout reported that the driving
of the front wagon is like that of Jehu
who drives like a madman
and Joram (the king of Israel)
and Ahaziah (the king of Juda)
had their chariots hitched up
and drove out to meet Jehu.
They met Jehu at the plot of land
that belonged to Naboth
and Joram asked Jehu
if he was coming in peace?
Jehu replied: "How can there be peace
as long as the witchcraft and idolatry
of your mother Jezebel abounds? "
Turning his wagon around Joram
tried to escape, while shouting at Ahaziah
that they had been betrayed
but Jehu did draw his bow to its full strength
and his arrow pierced Joram's heart
and he slumped down in his chariot
and Jehu ordered his chariot officer Bidkar
to throw the body of Joram
in the field belonging to Naboth.
Ahaziah saw what happened
and fled with the road to Beth Haggan
and Jehu drove his chariot
with speed after him shouting:
"Kill him too! "
Near Ibleam they wounded him in his chariot,
but he escaped
to Megiddo where he died
and Jehu went back to Jezreel
and Jezebel painted her eyes,
arranged her hair
and was looking out of the window
as he was driving in.
She shouted to him:
"Are you here in peace,
is Zimri well,
murderer of your master? "
Then Jehu looked up at the window shouting:
"Who is on my side? Who? "
Two or maybe three
male servants looked down at him.
"Throw her down! " Jehu ordered
and they threw her down
and some of her blood
splattered on the wall
and on to the horses
that trampled her.
Jehu went into the palace to eat and drink
and then remembering Jezebel and said:
"Take care of that cursed woman
and bury her as she is a king's daughter, "
but when they went to her
only her skull, feet and hands were left
as the dogs had devoured her flesh
and no one was able to say:
"This is Jezebel."
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