Study Guide

1 Kings Jezebel

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Jezebel is such a successful bad-girl that her name has literally become synonymous with all things seductive, immoral, and deadly. Despite the fact that the text of 1st Kings says nothing about her sexuality, she has always been linked to prostitution and infidelity—probably because this is so often equated with idol worship. From other Biblical references to movies (be sure to check out the "Best of the Web" section) to literature to music, she has invoked pure bad-girl-ness like no other character in history. Even today, the name is so fraught with negative meaning that, as one commenter put it here, "You might as well name your daughter Cruella DeVille as to name her Jezebel." This notoriety might seem unfair, and perhaps it's beginning to change as some feminists adopt the name to signify a strong, intelligent female agitator. But in many circles, Jezebel still just means bad news.

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