Jezebel: The Untold Story Of The Bible's Harlot Queen

Jezebel: The Untold Story Of The Bible's Harlot Queen

There is no woman with a worse reputation than Jezebel, the ancient queen who corrupted a nation and met one of the most gruesome fates in the Bible.

What if Jezebel, far from being a conniving harlot, was, in fact, framed?In this remarkable new biography, Lesley Hazleton shows exactly how the proud and courageous queen of Israel was vilified and made into the very embodiment of wanton wickedness by her political and religious enemies.

Jezebel brings readers back to the source of the biblical story, a rich and dramatic saga featuring evil schemes and underhanded plots, war and treason, false gods and falser humans, and all with the fate of entire nations at stake.

It is, in other words, the original story of the unholy marriage of sex, politics, and religion, and it ends in one of the most chillingly brutal scenes in the entire Bible.Here at last is the real story of the rise and fall of this legendary womana radically different portrait with startling contemporary resonance in a world mired once again in religious wars.

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Eventually, however, the power couple was finally confronted by one of the most important early prophets of the Jewish religion, the poverty-embracing, desert-roaming Elijah; it was he who predicted the downfall of Israel because of Jezebel's influence, he who first called her the "harlot queen." And thus, traditional lore has it, did Israel indeed fall to the Assyrians roughly around 900 BC, and thus was Jezebel's body literally eaten by dogs after her death, and thus has her name itself become synonymous over the years with the wanton heretic hussy, using her body and her wily sexual charms to ridicule everything that Good True Christians hold dear. But there's a problem with this story, or so claims psychologist, Hebrew scholar and Middle East journalist Lesley Hazleton, which is that it simply isn't true; as she details in her new "speculative nonfiction" book Jezebel: The Untold Story of the Bible's Harlot Queen, the story itself wasn't even written until 300 years after her death, by a group of Judeans who had never even been to Israel, at a time when Judea itself was under the looming threat of extinction just like had been Israel's fate several centuries earlier.

To them, there was only one possible explanation for the presence of women officiating in the temples of the Middle East: a consecrated woman could only be consecrated to sex." GAME.

2. The authors of the Book of Kings had a political agenda in portraying Jezebel as an evil harlot bent on destroying monotheism and the ruination of Israel.

I think the passages where Hazleton tries to get inside Jezebel's head ultimately weaken the book. I think it would have benefited from that information, so the reader could make inferences, rather than any of the "but surely Jezebel thought..." portions.

The real Jezebel was a Phoenician princess who married King Ahab of Israel in 872 B.C. to ensure peaceful relations between the two countries. That Ahab showed respect and tolerance for his Queen Consort by building a temple to Astarte and allowed her priests to follow her from the city of Tyre, seems to be the beginning of all of their trouble with the prophets Elijah and Elisha. The picture painted is that Elijah and Elisha are the religious terrorists of the Ninth Century B.C. and not the benevolent figures that at they have become through hundreds of years of editing (especially Elijah).

Lesley Hazleton looked at the story in terms of history, geography, archaeology, logic and linguistics, all angles that I can appreciate. Hazleton visited the areas where Jezebel's story takes place and gave imaginable descriptions of the terrain and weather. It is books like this one that make that possible for me. I know that after thousands of years the whole truth is lost, but with what is left of the past an intriguing picture can be painted.

Oh sure, I knew some bible stories, such as David's final days when a virgin was placed in bed with him to keep him warm (and she remained a virgin, as the Bible curtly informs us); Solomon's near dividing in half an infant claimed by two mothers; and Jezebel. What I learned from reading this book is that Kings has an important place in western history: this is where the shift towards total and absolute monotheism begins in earnest, and Jezebel was an important part of that story. Jezebel knew what her job was and, apparently, she was good at it. If you want to learn more about the fundamentalist ur-story, this is a good place to begin.

Jezebel was the Queen married to Ahab in ancient Israel where the Bible tells us a significant amount. For example, Hazelton argues that Jezebel was actually a powerful woman who acts and looks like CEO Cecil Richards who is being unfairly oppressed by the evils of a crazed religious man.

Natural habitat is high desert (which must have something to do with my living on a houseboat/floating home at sea level...) Am gnostic agnostic (and yes, will write a long piece/short book explaining that one day).

  • English

  • Nonfiction

  • Rating: 3.83
  • Pages: 272
  • Publish Date: October 16th 2007 by Doubleday
  • Isbn10: 0385516142
  • Isbn13: 9780385516143