Jezebel - Bible study activities

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Ancient ivory carving of the Woman at the Window

Jezebel's story

Bible text for this story

Painting of a seductive woman

Bad Bible Women

Purple rose

Notorious Jezebel

Stone sacrificial altar

Sacrificial altars

Snake bracelet

Ancient Jewelry

Ancient temple, reconstruction

Ancient Religions

Reconstruction of a 1st century palace in Jerusalem

Palaces in the Bible

Lily found on Mt Tabor, near Jezreel

The city of  Jezreel

Roaring lion

Top Bible Warriors

Sharp-bladed axe

Ten Bible Murders

 


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Activities for individuals or groups


'Jezebel'  in movies

Gold and pearl crownUsing the list of films at left, or films of your own choice, discuss the following questions:

  • What are the main ideas in any story that has a 'Jezebel' character?

  • What are Jezebel's qualities? Her strengths? Her weakness?

  • What are the main ideas in the film you have chosen to think about?

  • What are the central relationships?

  • Do any of the scenes remind you of your own life or experiences?

Group activity:

Discuss the questions above, making sure everyone in the group has a chance to talk about their ideas.

Individual activity

Take some time to sit down for a few minutes and focus your mind

  • think about your responses to the film, and to ideas from the story of Jezebel

  • jot down your responses

  • leave them for a few days, then look at them again: do you still agree with what you wrote? Have you any new ideas you would like to add?


Movies about power, and the abuse of power

Can you name the movies?

Can you see a connection with Jezebel's story? 

'The Lion In Winter': power destroys the people who hold it'Jezebel': this film's heroine is extraordinarily foolish and headstrong rather than wicked; what's the difference?
'Mildred Pierce': the woman who seems to have everything ends up with nothing'The Godfather': the corrupting effect of power'Rashomon': whose truth are we hearing in the story of Jezebel? whose version of what happened?

Answers HERE (see 'Jezebel') Can you think of others?


Jezebel - guilty or innocent?

Gavel Conduct a mock trial of Jezebel. You will need a panel of judges, a prosecution and defense lawyer and their assistants, and gatherers of evidence.

  • Divide into two groups, one for the defense and one for the prosecution.

  • Have each group decide on points your 'lawyer' will argue, and imagine points that the other side's lawyer may raise.

  • Choose a member of the group who will speak as a lawyer for its side, and his/her assistants.

  • Nominate a panel of judges, and decide on their role.

  • Conduct the trial with an opening address, arguments for both sides, and summary.

  • Listen to feedback from the panel of judges.


  Courage in today’s world

Discuss instances in your own life when you have needed great courage. Describe one incident, then answer the following questions:

  • What helped you in this situation?

  • Whom did you rely on?

  • What were the results for your own self-confidence?


Debate

Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of Great Britain; by Helmut Newton Topic: 'That more can be achieved by a benevolent dictatorship than by a democracy.'

  • Divide into two groups, one to take the affirmative side and one the negative side.

  • Have each group decide on points for their own side, and consider points that the other side might raise.

  • Choose the speakers for each group.

  • Nominate the chairperson and explain that role.

  • Make sure everyone understands the debating rules.

  • Choose the judging panel.

  • Debate the issue.

  • Listen to feedback from the panel.

  • Discuss reactions to the debate.


Focus Questions

1. What are the most interesting moments in Jezebel's story? 
2. In the story, who acts? Who gets what they want? If you were in the story, which person would you want to be friends with? Which person would you want to avoid?
Light of the setting sun on the ruined walls of Jezreel 3. What is God's interaction with the main characters? What does this tell you about the narrator's image of God? Do you agree with this image?
4. What is happening on either side of the story, in the chapters before and after it? Does this help you understand what is happening?
5. The narrator/editor has chosen to tell some things and leave other things out. What has been left out of the story that you would like to know?
6. Are the characteristics and actions of the people in the story still present in the world? How is the story relevant to modern life, especially your own?  


Famous Quotes


'she painted her eyes and adorned her head, and looked out of the window'
(2 Kings 9:30)

For thousands of years, women have been called 'Jezebels' if they used cosmetics, particularly any sort of coloring on their faces.

The argument against using cosmetics is that women are trying to improve on God's creation. In other words, women are dissatisfied with God's handiwork and think they can do better themselves.

What is your reaction to this accusation?


Extra Websites

Jezebel - first on the list of the Bible's Top Ten Bad Women
Bible Top Ten Bad Women 

Study guide, historical background, new ideas: not as boring as it sounds
Bible Women: Jezebel

Sophisticated jewelry worn by royal women like Jezebel 
Bible Archaeology: Jewelry

Archaeological finds linked with ancient religions
Archaeology: Ancient Religions

Jezebel's palace, the 'Ivory House' at Samaria
Bible Archaeology: Palaces

Ruins of Jezreel, the city where Jezebel met her grisly death
Bible Archaeology: Cities

Omri and Ahab, among the Bible's Top Ten Warriors
Bible Top Ten Warriors

Jehu murders Jezebel and the royal children
Bible Top Ten Murders

 

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Bible Stories: People of the Old Testament - Bible Study Resource:   Jezebel, Elijah, Naboth and Ahab