Jezebel was a princess from Tyre given in political marriage to King Ahab of Israel. She took with her 450 prophets of her god Baal and goddess Asherah, and was determined for them to have equal rights with the Lord. Because of this, she and the Israelite prophet Elijah were mortal enemies.
When Elijah beat Jezebel's prophets in a "calling down fire" contest and then to rub it in killed them all she tried to have him killed and he had to go underground.
In another story from her life, Jezebel found Ahab sulking in bed because the landowner Naboth refused to sell him his vineyard. She solved the problem by writing in Ahab's name for Naboth to be killed on trumped-up charges. This is when Elijah foretold her death: "The dogs will eat the flesh of Jezebel in the field of Jezreel; the corpse of Jezebel will be like dung spread on the fields, so that no one will be able to say: This was Jezebel."
She continued as Queen Mother for 10 years after Ahab's death. Then, on the instigation of the prophets, the crown was seized by Jehu. When her eunuchs saw him arrive at her palace they threw her out of an upstairs window, and she was trampled by horses and died.
Jezebel is immortalized in the English language: "a painted Jezebel" is a shameless woman.
Jezebel's name includes the word "Baal", the infamous god of the Philistines which the people of Israel were frequently tempted to worship.
In ancient times, Jezebel's name was written "yzebel". But the Hebrew writer of Jezebel's stories in the Bible added an extra letter at the front: "ayzebel". This changes its meaning from "Baal is prince" to the insult, "where's the dung?" Which just goes to show that no one knows how to slip in an insult like the writers of the Bible.
"We want our children to live like Jezebel, yet die like Elijah." Marilyn Hardage