Original Research

The “Jezebel spirit”: A scholarly inquiry

Trudie Stark, Hans J.M. van Deventer
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 30, No 2 | a301 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v30i2.301 | © 2009 Trudie Stark, Hans J.M. van Deventer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 October 2009 | Published: 15 December 2009

About the author(s)

Trudie Stark, North-West University, South Africa
Hans J.M. van Deventer, North-West University

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Queen Jezebel is rightly recognised as one of the powerful women in the Old Testament. In the biblical text she is introduced as a ‘foreign’ queen and wife to Ahab, the 8th century king of the northern kingdom, Israel. This article examines some of the interpretations of this character in the church over the centuries. The focus falls on the latest development in this regard whereby, in some circles, the biblical character is linked to the existence of a ‘Jezebel spirit’ within the contemporary church. On the basis of a narratological reading of the Jezebel texts it is indicated that such an interpretation is unfounded and fails to take cognisance of developments in biblical interpretation related to literary understandings of the text.


Old Testament; narrative; Jezebel; spirit; modern church


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