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“Sacred Inheritance”

1 Kings 21: 2, 3: “And Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, ‘Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden because it is close beside my house, and I will give you a better vineyard than it in its place; if you like, I will give you the price of it in money.’ But Naboth said to Ahab, ‘The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.’” Why could David choose any lot in Jerusalem he wanted, and even pick who his neighbors were, but Ahab couldn’t? Because the Israelites had never fully occupied Jerusalem until the day David conquered it (Judges 1: 8, 21); it had been occupied by the Jebusites since whenever, hence, no Israelite had yet acquired any inheritance there. On the other hand, Jezreel had been conquered early, and Israelite families like that of Naboth had historic claims there, claims that even King Ahab couldn’t contest. Not ethically, that is.

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