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King of Israel (c.869–850bce), son of Omri and husband of Jezebel, a Sidonian princess. He defeated the armies of Damascus and came into conflict with Assyria. The Deuteronomic historian recounts his running battle with the prophet Elijah over Jezebel's inclination to Baal worship; the prophets of Baal were routed in a spectacular contest on Mount Carmel (1 Kgs. 18). Ahab was also humiliated by Elijah for having concurred in the execution, by order of Jezebel, of Naboth, whose vineyard Ahab wished to appropriate. For the biblical writer Ahab was the archetypal villain but on other criteria might be judged an able and successful ruler.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies — Biblical Studies.

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