Who Is Jezebel in Revelation 2 verse 20?

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Who Is Jezebel in Revelation 2 verse 20?

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Who Is Jezebel in Revelation 2 verse 20?

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Though we cannot be certain of Jezebel’s identity in Revelation 2:20 Revelation 2:20Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.
American King James Version×
, we know her namesake in Hebrew scripture. The Jezebel of the Old Testament was the wife of Ahab, king of Israel. She was an evil, idolatrous and impudent queen whose name today is synonymous with a shameless woman bereft of morals. Ahab’s marriage to her helped solidify economic ties between Israel and the merchant, sea-going Phoenician city of Sidon. Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians (1 Kings 16:31 1 Kings 16:31And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.
American King James Version×
).

Jezebel worshiped the pagan god Baal, and she corrupted her husband, the king, and thereby all Israel to do the same. She used her position of power to influence others to follow her wickedness. Jezebel’s violent death was prophesied by Elijah, who told King Ahab that his evil wife would be eaten by dogs (1 Kings 21:23 1 Kings 21:23And of Jezebel also spoke the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.
American King James Version×
).

In Revelation 2 Jesus Christ rebukes the church of Thyatira saying, “You allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols” (Revelation 2:20 Revelation 2:20Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.
American King James Version×
).

If this New Testament Jezebel was a real person, Jezebel was probably not her actual name. Christ describes her as persuasive in the Church, using her self-appointed position to lead Church members into sin. This was like the Jezebel of the Old Testament who influenced the people of Israel to corrupt themselves.  

Thyatira was a highly commercialized center of trade. Therefore, it is conceivable the Jezebel of Revelation 2:20 Revelation 2:20Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.
American King James Version×
was rich and influential, wielding some power in the local economy. Note what Halley’s Bible Handbook says about this ancient city and this Jezebel:

“[Thyatira] was a center of commerce, and the records preserve references to more trade guilds than those listed for any other Asian city … Necessity for guild membership in a trading community must have strengthened the temptation to compromise. Thus, it is appropriate to find a woman, named … after Jezebel, the princess who by marrying Ahab sealed his trading partnership with the Phoenicians, leading a party of compromise in the Thyatiran church.”

This woman was, in effect, teaching the Church members to be friends of the world. Friendship with the world is like spiritual adultery to Jesus Christ. James the apostle is quite to the point about this: “Adulterers and adulteresses!” he says. “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4 James 4:4You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
American King James Version×
).

Christ also says of this Jezebel, “I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent” (Revelation 2:21 Revelation 2:21And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
American King James Version×
). This is like the impudent Jezebel of old who remained defiant of God to her gruesome death.

If the Jezebel of Revelation 2:20 Revelation 2:20Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.
American King James Version×
is not a real person, she may represent the spiritual idolatry practiced by Church members influenced by the worldly customs of Thyatira. Whatever the case, the intent of Christ’s message is that she is not to be tolerated. He tells the church, “I will kill her children with death” (Revelation 2:23 Revelation 2:23And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searches the reins and hearts: and I will give to every one of you according to your works.
American King James Version×
). This Jezebel meets a violent end like the Old Testament Jezebel, a lesson for the Christian not to allow her seductive influence in the Church.