It’s important to understand exactly who Jezebel is and what she represents both at this time in history and as a prophetic symbol in future Scripture.
- The historical Jezebel is the daughter of the King of Sidon (Sidon is both a city and the center of a foreign power to the north of Israel) given in a political marriage to then-king of the northern kingdom of Israel, Ahab. Even being a powerful Phoenician or “queen-to-be”, Jezebel was no normal woman as she was a chief representative of Baal. Ahab’s marriage to Jezebel will cause the introduction of false worship so intense that all but 7,000 Israelites will convert to her religion.
- Ahab’s marriage to Jezebel is symbolic of one’s unfaithfulness to God. The relationship between God and His people is repeatedly expressed in terms of marriage with Israel – or Believers – often described as a bride. This is a picture not just of unfaithfulness but of adultery, as well as rejection of the One True God in favor of a false god.
- In Revelation 2:18-29 in the message to the church at Thyatira, Jezebel is mentioned: “‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.” She’s not only referenced here as a false prophetess who teaches false worship – just like the historical Jezebel – but note that her actions are equated to committing adultery. In Revelation 2:24 her works are called “the deep things of Satan”, and the point is that Jezebel is not a “back-slidden” person or temporarily straying from the path; she’s an active agent of Satan to deceive and lead astray all who would follow the One True God – just like the historical Jezebel.
How does a Believer deal with false prophets/false teachers? What is God’s role for Believers in the political and spiritual battles that ensue?