Jezebel was a Phoenician princess who married Ahab, king of Israel. Her father was Ethbaal, king and high priest of the Sidonians. Queen Jezebel introduced Baal worship into Israel. By acquiescing to her idolatry, King Ahab broke the first two commandments:
“You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them” (Ex. 20:3–5).
Baal worship gives us clues as to the workings of Jezebel. The name Baal means “lord” or “possessor.” According to the Dake Annotated Reference Bible, Baal was the sun-god of Phoenicia, and the supreme deity among the Canaanites and various other pagan nations. His full title is Baal-Shemaim, which means “lord of heaven.” In Greek mythology, Baal is the equivalent of Zeus.
The Canaanites, who were Baal worshipers, participated in sex worship, fertility rites, religious prostitution and human sacrifice—all to pacify the gods. Fast-forward 54 chapters in the Bible and you find the false prophetess Jezebel who teaches and seduces God’s servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. Can you see the stage being set for idolatry and sexual immorality in Jezebel’s world? Where Jezebel is pulling the strings, you will find idolatry and sexual immorality behind the curtain.
Just how sinister is the Jezebel spirit? Easton’s Bible Dictionary says,”Jezebel has stamped her name on history as the representative of all that is designing, crafty, malicious, revengeful and cruel. She is the first great instigator of persecution against the saints of God. Guided by no principle, restrained by no fear of either God or man, passionate in her attachment to her heathen worship, she spared no pains to maintain idolatry around her in all its splendor.”