Set two men - For life could not be attainted but on the evidence of two witnesses at least.
Sons of Belial - Men who will not scruple to tell lies and take a false oath.
Thou didst blaspheme God and the king - Thou art an atheist and a rebel. Thou hast spoken words injurious to the perfections and nature of God; and thou hast spoken words against the crown and dignity of the king. The words literally are, Naboth hath Blessed Clod and the king; or, as Parkhurst contends, "Thou hast blessed the false gods and Molech," ומלך אלהים ברכת And though Jezebel was herself an abominable idolatress; yet, as the law of Moses still continued in force, she seems to have been wicked enough to have destroyed Naboth, upon the false accusation of blessing the heathen Aleim and Molech, which subjected him to death by Deuteronomy 12:6; Deuteronomy 17:2-7. The first meaning appears the most simple.
Many think that the word ברך barach signifies both to bless and curse; and so it is interpreted in most Lexicons: it is passing strange that out of the same word proceedeth blessing and cursing; and to give such opposite and self-destructive meanings to any word is very dangerous. Parkhurst denies that it ever has the meaning of cursing, and examines all the texts where it is said to occur with this meaning; and shows that blessing, not cursing, is to be understood in all those places: see him under ברך , sec. vi.
The word rendered “blaspheme” is that which commonly means “bless.” The opposite sense of “cursing,” seems, however, to be required here and in Job 1:5, Job 1:11; Job 2:5. Perhaps the best explanation of the bad sense of the original word is to be found in the practice of blessing by way of salutation, not only on meeting, but also on taking leave Genesis 47:7, Genesis 47:10. From the latter custom the word came to mean “bidding farewell to,” and so “renouncing,” “casting off,” “cursing.”
Carry him out and stone him - Naboth‘s offence would be twofold, and in both cases capital; blasphemy against God being punishable with death by the Law (marginal reference), and blasphemy against the king being a capital offence by custom 1 Kings 2:8; 2 Samuel 16:9; 2 Samuel 19:21. The punishment would be stoning, since the greater crime would absorb the lesser, and the Law made stoning the punishment for blasphemy against God. As stoning always took place outside the city (see Acts 7:58), Jezebel told the elders to “carry Naboth out.”
The evil influence that Jezebel had exercised from the first over Ahab continued during the later years of his life and bore fruit in deeds of shame and violence such as have seldom been equaled in sacred history. “There was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.” PK 204.1Read in context »