By Al Gray
If one wants to read of government that went completely evil in the Bible, he only has to read in the books of Kings to find the pinnacle of corruption. Ahab bore the mantle of corruption but his queen, Jezebel, was its cruel face. Much was written about their wickedness, but the story of Naboth is one that is routinely and repeatedly spun by our own government run amok.
1 Now it came about after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden because it is close beside my house, and I will give you a better vineyard than it in its place; if [a]you like, I will give you the price of [b]it in money.” 3 But Naboth said to Ahab, “The LORD forbid me that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” 4 So Ahab came into his house sullen and vexed because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and ate no [c]food.
5 But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, “How is it that your spirit is so sullen that you are not eating[d]food?” 6 So he said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you a vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’”7 Jezebel his wife said to him, “Do you now [e]reign over Israel? Arise, eat bread, and let your heart be joyful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”
8 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and sent letters to the elders and to the nobles who were living with Naboth in his city. 9 Now she wrote in the letters, saying, “Proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people; 10 and seat two worthless men before him, and let them testify against him, saying, ‘You cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him [f]to death.”
11 So the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them, just as it was written in the letters which she had sent them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the people. 13 Then the two worthless men came in and sat before him; and the worthless men testified against him, even against Naboth, before the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him [g]to death with stones. 14 Then they sent word to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead.”
This short story has so many elements of greed, covetousness, power, law, connivance, economics and politics applicable to our times, that one scarcely knows where to begin.
Property rights are central to every functioning society. They were powerful in Naboth’s day, too. Even though Ahab was king, the law commanded that the landowner could not be forced or ordered to surrender his property even to the King. Up until recently in America, a property owner was protected from the predations of the powerful and their government by the due process and equal protection clauses of the 5th and 14th amendments in the United States Constitution. Other societies, systems, and cultures offer similar rights.
Ahab chaffed under restrictions on his power probably more than his unrequited desire for Naboth’s vineyard. Governments at every level within the United States similarly chafe at our constitutional property rights. They too become vexed, for the power of the individual cuts into their power to rule. Jezebel fired up Ahab’s resentment by throwing up to him the words “Do you now [e]reign over Israel?”, thereby fomenting a sense of legitimacy for what she planned.
Subterfuge and connivance using political allies to circumvent the law came next, as Jezebel was a masterful practitioner of those things. This wicked queen used forged documents, powerful allies in local politics, perjury, and staged events to eliminate Naboth’s ownership rights to the vineyard by taking his life itself!
The modern American, Georgian, and Augustan experience is full of these very same deceptions, corruptions, artifices, schemes, and frauds to steal the peoples’ money and property. Examples are the General Motors bondholders, the MF Global depositors, and others looted under the guise of “emergency.” We are seeing the gutting of the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 14th amendments before our very eyes. Locally, we have three counties who have attempted to impose “Overlay Zoning Districts” that were in open defiance of equal protection, so as to change land uses based upon government whim (they call it “planning instead) rather than consistent application of existing laws that were not restrictive enough in the government’s eyes.
We have Jezebel governance in spades.
Like Jezebel, our banks committed tens of thousands of acts of forgery involving mortgages and debt securities, with the forged documents being alternatively used to foreclose on home buyers or to defraud securities investors. The government’s response was to rig events to avoid the truth by forcing the nation’s accounting profession to change its standards to permit fraud. Every citizen’s financial assets, even our money are in jeopardy. Indeed, the predations of the mad money-printing Federal Reserve are one devious way to circumvent the determination of today’s Naboth’s that “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” This is government subterfuge – Jezebel government.
The economist and philosopher Frederick Bastiat sums up Jezebel governance in these ways:
The plans differ; the planners are all alike...
Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole—with their common aim of legal plunder—constitute socialism.
But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.
It is easy to understand why the law is used by the legislator to destroy in varying degrees among the rest of the people their personal independence by slavery, their liberty by oppression, and their property by plunder. This is done for the benefit of the person who makes the law, and in proportion to the power that he holds.
Away with the whims of governmental administrators, their socialized projects, their centralization, their tariffs, their government schools, their state religions, their free credit, their bank monopolies, their regulations, their restrictions, their equalization by taxation, and their pious moralizations! And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
Liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works. Jezibel governance hates those things.
Lord, give us the courage of Naboth to say to our Jezebel governments “The LORD forbid me that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”
Any government that practices Jezebel standards deserves Jezibel’s fate.
Pray that we stop them before it is too late for us, too.***