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Headword: Ναβουθαί
Adler number: nu,6
Translated headword: Nabouthai, Naboth
Vetting Status: high
This man lived in the time of Achab; [he was] from the city of Izaros,[1] and had a neighboring field. King Achab asked him to sell him this field of his that was close to his own at any price, in order that he could combine them and make one piece of property.[2] If he did not want money, [Achab] told him to take anything he wanted from his fields. [Naboth] said he would not, but would himself cultivate his own land , which he had inherited from his father. The king was upset by this, as if it was an insult that he could not take someone else's property. He did not touch food, nor did he bathe. When Jezebel [his wife] asked what he was upset about, he told her about Naboth's "wickedness;" how he had approached him with proper language, and how he had been insulted with language unsuitable to his royal authority; how he did not receive his due.[3] She told him not to fret over such trifles, to cease worrying and return to his usual business; she would see to Naboth's punishment. Soon enough, she sends letters to the governors of the Judaeans in Achab's name, telling them to hold a fast, assemble the church and give Naboth a front-row seat; for he was of illustrious family.[4] [She also told them] to prepare three adventurers to testify that he had blasphemed God and the King, and stone him; and to do it in this way. And so he died, and Achab inherited the vineyard as his "dowry."[5] God was vexed at this, so he sent the Prophet Elijah to speak him about what had happened, [tell him] that he had killed the true owner of the field and inherited it unjustly. In that spot where it came about that Naboth's corpse was consumed by dogs, [Achab's] and his wife's blood will be shed and all his family will be extinguished, since he had committed such sins. At this Achab was repentant. He put on rags and went around with bare feet, not eating, confessing his sins and praising God. God told the prophet that the family's punishment was to be postponed, since [Achab] was repentant. The threat was to be carried out against Ahab's son.[6]
Greek Original:
Ναβουθαί: οὗτος ἦν ἐπὶ Ἀχαάβ, ἐξ Ἰζάρου πόλεως, ἀγρογείτων ὤν. τοῦ δὲ βασιλέως Ἀχαὰβ παρακαλοῦντος αὐτὸν ἀποδόσθαι τιμῆς ὅσης βούλεται τὸν πλησίον αὐτοῦ τῶν ἰδίων ἀγρόν, ἵνα συνάψας ἓν αὐτὸ ποιήσῃ κτῆμα: εἰ δὲ μὴ βούλοιτο χρήματα λαβεῖν, ἐπιτρέψαντος ἐκλέξασθαι τῶν ἀγρῶν τινα τῶν ἐκείνου, τοῦτο μὲν οὔ φησι ποιήσειν, αὐτὸς δὲ τὴν ἰδίαν καρπώσεσθαι γῆν, ἣν ἐκληρονόμησε τοῦ πατρός. λυπηθεὶς δὲ ὡς ἐφ' ὕβρει τῷ μὴ τἀλλότρια λαβεῖν ὁ βασιλεὺς οὔτε λουτρὸν προσηνέγκατο οὔτε τροφήν. τῆς δὲ Ἰεζάβελ πυνθανομένης ὅ τι λυπεῖται, διηγήσατο αὐτῇ τὴν Ναβουθαὶ σκαιότητα, καὶ ὡς χρησάμενος ἐπιεικέσι πρὸς αὐτὸν λόγοις καὶ βασιλικῆς ἐξουσίας ὑποδεεστέροις ὑβρισθείη, μὴ τυχὼν ὧν ἠξίου. ἡ δὲ μὴ μικροψυχεῖν ἐπὶ τούτοις παρεκάλει, παυσάμενον δὲ τῆς λύπης ἐπὶ τὴν συνήθη τραπέσθαι πρόνοιαν: μελήσειν γὰρ αὐτῇ περὶ τῆς Ναβουθαὶ τιμωρίας. καὶ παραχρῆμα πέμπει γράμματα πρὸς τοὺς ὑπερέχοντας τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἐκ τοῦ Ἀχαὰβ ὀνόματος, νηστεῦσαι κελεύουσα καὶ ποιησαμένους ἐκκλησίαν προκαθίσαι μὲν αὐτῶν Ναβουθαί: εἶναι γὰρ αὐτὸν ἐκ γένους ἐπι- φανοῦς. παρασκευασαμένους δὲ τρεῖς τολμηροὺς καταμαρτυρήσοντας αὐτοῦ, ὡς τὸν θεὸν εἴη βλασφημήσας καὶ τὸν βασιλέα, καταλεῦσαι: καὶ τούτῳ διαχρήσασθαι τῷ τρόπῳ. καὶ οὕτως ἀπέθανε, καὶ προῖκα ἐκληρονόμησεν Ἀχαὰβ τὸν ἀμπελῶνα. ἀγανακτήσας δὲ ὁ θεὸς πέμπει Ἡλίαν τὸν προφήτην πρὸς Ἀχαὰβ περὶ τῶν πεπραγμένων ἐρησόμενον, ὅτι κτείνας τὸν ἀληθῆ δεσπότην τοῦ χωρίου κληρονομήσειεν αὐτὸν ἀδίκως, κατ' ἐκεῖνον τὸν τόπον, ἐν ᾧ τὸν Ναβουθαὶ νεκρὸν συνέβη ὑπὸ κυνῶν δαπανηθῆναι, τό τε αὐτοῦ αἷμα καὶ τὸ τῆς γυναικὸς χυθήσεσθαι καὶ πᾶν αὐτοῦ τὸ γένος ἀπολεῖσθαι, τοιαῦτα ἠσεβηκότος. ὁ δὲ Ἀχαὰβ μετάμελος γενόμενος καὶ σακκίον ἐνδυσάμενος γυμνοῖς τοῖς ποσὶ διῆγε μὴ τρεφόμενος, ἀνθομολογούμενος τὰ ἡμαρτημένα καὶ τὸν θεὸν ἐξευμενίζων. ὁ δὲ θεὸς πρὸς τὸν προφήτην εἶπεν ὑπερβαλέσθαι τὴν τοῦ γένους τιμωρίαν, ἐπεὶ τοῖς τετολμημένοις μετανοεῖ, τελέσειν δὲ τὴν ἀπειλὴν ἐπὶ τῷ υἱῷ τοῦ Ἀχαάβ.
Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 8.355-362; cf. I Kings 21 LXX. The Greek version of the name, here Nabouthai but in Josephus Nabothes, is Hebrew בות.
For A(c)hab see alpha 4667; for Jezebel, iota 144 and iota 145.
[1] Jezreel (Hebrew יזרעאל Yizre`el).
[2] An interesting divergence from I Kings 21:2, where the story of Naboth and Achab (Ahab, Hebrew אחאב) is found. There (in the New International Version) we read "Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace."
[3] Another divergence from the Biblical version.
[4] In the Biblical version the instructions are to prepare a feast. Needless to say there is no mention of any church.
[5] This is meant sarcastically.
[6] Ahaziah (Hebrew אחזיה), who appears in 2 Kings 1.
Keywords: agriculture; biography; children; chronology; economics; ethics; food; geography; historiography; religion; women; zoology
Translated by: Alex Gottesman on 5 December 2002@09:03:21.
Vetted by:
Raphael Finkel (Added Hebrew, cosmetics.) on 6 December 2002@13:47:17.
David Whitehead (added note and keywords; cosmetics) on 17 March 2003@07:12:50.
Raphael Finkel (Cosmetics.) on 11 August 2004@16:27:33.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 5 December 2005@06:13:18.
David Whitehead (corrected note number; more x-refs; more keywords; raised status) on 17 June 2011@04:57:49.
David Whitehead on 30 May 2013@06:16:33.
David Whitehead (codings) on 19 May 2016@03:03:43.


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