Jezebel The Untold Story of the Bible s Harlot Queen There is no woman with a worse reputation than Jezebel the ancient queen who corrupted a nation and met one of the most gruesome fates in the Bible Her name alone speaks of sexual decadence and promi

  • Title: Jezebel: The Untold Story of the Bible's Harlot Queen
  • Author: Lesley Hazleton
  • ISBN: 9780385516150
  • Page: 454
  • Format: Paperback
  • There is no woman with a worse reputation than Jezebel, the ancient queen who corrupted a nation and met one of the most gruesome fates in the Bible Her name alone speaks of sexual decadence and promiscuity But what if this version of her story, handed down to us through the ages, is merely the one her enemies wanted us to believe What if Jezebel, far from being a conniThere is no woman with a worse reputation than Jezebel, the ancient queen who corrupted a nation and met one of the most gruesome fates in the Bible Her name alone speaks of sexual decadence and promiscuity But what if this version of her story, handed down to us through the ages, is merely the one her enemies wanted us to believe What if Jezebel, far from being a conniving harlot, was, in fact, framed In this remarkable new biography, Lesley Hazleton shows exactly how the proud and courageous queen of Israel was vilified and made into the very embodiment of wanton wickedness by her political and religious enemies Jezebel brings readers back to the source of the biblical story, a rich and dramatic saga featuring evil schemes and underhanded plots, war and treason, false gods and falser humans, and all with the fate of entire nations at stake At its center are just one woman and one man the sophisticated Queen Jezebel and the stark prophet Elijah Their epic and ultimately tragic confrontation pits tolerance against righteousness, pragmatism against divine dictates, and liberalism against conservatism It is, in other words, the original story of the unholy marriage of sex, politics, and religion, and it ends in one of the most chillingly brutal scenes in the entire Bible.Here at last is the real story of the rise and fall of this legendary woman a radically different portrait with startling contemporary resonance in a world mired once again in religious wars.

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    One thought on “Jezebel: The Untold Story of the Bible's Harlot Queen”

    1. (The full review I wrote of this book is much larger than GoodReads' word-count limitations. Find the entire essay at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter].)So are you familiar already with the story of Jezebel? It appears in both the Jewish bible (Tanakh) and the Christian one (Old Testament, Books of Kings), based extremely loosely on the real woman who served as one of the queens of Israel back in ancient times. As the traditional legend goes, Jezebel was originally [...]

    2. I started to say that this was poorly written—it's not, it's just neither acute scholarly prose nor NYer quality profile-journalism. What it did do was, from approximately pages 70-75, severely mess with this idea which I've had—which most of us have, I think—about so-called "sacred prostitution" or "temple harlots" or whatever you want to call them. Namely, that they DID NOT EXIST, EVER, but were an Orientalised otherization on the part of Western male writers from Herotodus forward, to m [...]

    3. Janeadams's reviewrecommended for: everyoneHere's what I learned from JEZEBEL, Leslie Hazelton's fascinating new book! 1. My favorite Passover prophet was a fire-breathing fundamentalist - I'm not inviting him to my next Seder. 2. The authors of the Book of Kings had a political agenda in portraying Jezebel as an evil harlot bent on destroying monotheism and the ruination of Israel. 3. Far from being a Harlot, Jezebel was a vulnerable, virginal teenager forced into an arranged marriage to a fore [...]

    4. Eminently readable book that's part non-fiction, historical fiction, travelogue and rant. It has a similar agenda to Cleopatra: A Life and suffers a bit in comparison. I think the passages where Hazleton tries to get inside Jezebel's head ultimately weaken the book. How much do we know about the polytheistic religious practices of the time period? How much do we know about what female rulers acted like? Is there information on all this? As of reading this book I'm not 100% sure. I think it would [...]

    5. Religious fundamentalism was not created in the Twentieth Century. The Fatwa is not a new declaration of war. The political smear campaign is is older than the Bible. But most importantly, Jezebel was framed. Lesley Hazleton does a thorough job of explaining how and why Queen Jezebel was depicted as she was in the context and psychology of her time. And times haven't changed that much, as many writers through the ages have built on the mythology of Jezebel the Harlot. The real Jezebel was a Pho [...]

    6. I really got into this book. I picked it up because I was curious about the name Jezebel. Why don't you ever meet people with this name? I thought it was a pretty name, so why wouldn't it be used? As it turns out, it is not a pretty name and there is good reason for not giving this name to little girls. As you can tell I am not a bible reader. I didn't know about King Ahab and Jezebel. All of my questions were answered in this book to my satisfaction, and better. Lesley Hazleton looked at the st [...]

    7. Interested in the book having read the Fifth Mountain by Paulo Coelho a few years back. That outlines the story of Elijah, exiled from Israel by the polytheist queen Jezbel. That story focused on the exile a prophet had to bear because of the harlot queen, how he carries a part of his mission and fails God. A moving tale no doubt.This book, far from fiction, finds itself ground in facts. The historical and political reality of the times and attempts to redraw the woman for us who has been wronge [...]

    8. As good a book as we've come to expect from Lesley Hazleton. Superbly researched, and reads like an excellent piece of fiction. Tells us very clearly who Jezebel was, in a way that most sources don't.

    9. "Courageous, unbowed, and magnificent, Jezebel lives." If the biblical persona or horrid harlot associations ring any bells for you, do yourself a favor and read this book immediately; let the historical narrative be corrected. The world has always had a problem with powerful women.

    10. A non fictional book on the history of Israel 3000 years ago. It explains people and sets it in place that is enjoyable as also educational. If my college history books were more like this book I would really love learning history. Well done!

    11. Review originally published at Eternal Haunted Summer: eternalhauntedsummer/issuJezebel: The Untold Story of the Bible’s Harlot Queenby Lesley Hazleton is a scholarly mixture of historical research, linguistic discussion/literary analysis, and imaginative speculation. Hazleton uses the original Hebrew to analyze the Biblical story of Jezebel as anti-polytheistic propaganda during a time when Israel was comprised of people who blended polytheism and Yawhism (what Hazleton calls this early form [...]

    12. This book examines the reputation of one of the most infamous figures in the Bible, the wife of King Ahab of Israel and daughter of the King of Tyre. As a powerful and influential woman in a patriarchal setting, she's definitely someone who deserves a revisit. I've seen indications elsewhere that Ahab, portrayed as a total villain in 1 Kings, was actually pretty good in terms of bringing prosperity to his kingdom. He invested in building projects and made trade agreements with neighboring countr [...]

    13. History is written by the victors, and Jezebel is no exception. Throughout all of history, Jezebel is known as a promiscuous and villainous Israelite queen, whom we all despise, and we feel that she was given her just desserts when Jehu threw her out her palace window and her body was fed to the dogs. If any woman is the most hated, it is indeed Jezebel, for her name alone is the very symbol of a femme fatale. However, Hazelton presents Jezebel as a victim, for because of her different religious [...]

    14. Through history this queen's very name has become a synonym for sexual decadence. But is this reputation deserved or merely a case of 'spin' as told by her enemies? In this scholarly and thoughtful study, Hazelton asserts that Jezebel's story has been misconstrued and even intentionally misrepresented through the ages. I found the book a fascinating discourse on timeless issues which have resonance even today.

    15. What a fascinating, insightful and educational look at a number of things: bibilical history [and how it is created - more like creative writing than historical record keeping], the role of women in history, the role of nationalism and fear of "foreigners" in history, the history of Israel and how that history still affects things today. I really don't believe I can do this book proper justice in a review, because the author has done such a tremendous job in documenting the story of Jezebel thro [...]

    16. This book is an excellent example of historical scholarship presented in an accessible manner. Lesley Hazelton doesn't just talk about the biblical account of Jezebel, she paints a vivid picture of the cultures of the time: social, political, religious, even environmental. She provides more robust translations of the texts from Kings rather than the more discreet language of modern translations. And she travels to as many sites as she can, weaving her experience of the land into Jezebel's story. [...]

    17. A remarkably insightful and eye-opening book! Hazleton transports you back to to ancient Samaria and helps you walk in the footsteps of the mythic and legendary Biblical figures. She humanizes both the characters of the book of Kings, opening their minds and motives to our eyes, and the Biblical authors, uncovering the editorial hands with which they shaped the story; they become real people, in ways that we often take for granted or overlook. Most importantly, she humanizes the 'villainous' Jez [...]

    18. Hazleton engages several of her skills in writing this soft biography: linguist (Hebrew, Arabic, Latin), historian, cultural studies, psychology, and last, fiction (hence the term above, 'soft'). I think this book on par with Stacy Schiff's, Cleopatra. Maybe it did not get the press because the title character still has a besmirched name.For these elements, I found learning about Jezebel, Ahab's wife and Dido's great aunt, valuable because she was the subject of what we today know as a fatwa, a [...]

    19. This is a biography, aiming to provide the political and social context of Jezebel's life beginning when, as a child princess, she was married away from Tyre to mighty Israel as peace treaty collateral.Hazleton carries her essential point, that our literal interpretation of largely metaphorical biblical text reveals we moderns as the unsophisticates, missing the point that Jezebel represented tolerance and liberalism, which ideas, pantheism in particular, bible authors as well as subsequent revi [...]

    20. With Jezebel: The Untold Story of the Bible's Harlot Queen, Lesley Hazleton has done it again. Maybe she's succeeded even more -- it's hard to judge because both her recent books are so stunningly good. Her last -- Mary: A Flesh-and-Blood Biography of The Virgin Mother -- looked beneath the mythof "the perfect woman," discovering the reality behind someone that history re-crafted and cult-ified for a symbol of purity. Jezebel explores the other side of the woman-myth, the dark, rejected, cond [...]

    21. My professor of Old Testament studies would have liked this book, I think. He usually had a different take on biblical stories, such as the parting of the Red Sea might have actually been the Reed Sea, and the chariots pursuing the Israelites got stuck in the mud of the shallow waters. Likewise Ms. Hazleton presents the story of Jezebel through a scholastic eye to reveal the biases of the writers of the book of Kings. Ms. Hazleton uses this story to explain the beginnings of monotheism in the mi [...]

    22. Let us thank Lesley Hazleton for bringing the logic of drama--character, motivation, plot--to the Bible stories of saints and sinners. The sketchy saga of Jezebel as we know it, filled with historical inconsistency, linguistic inaccuracy, and moral nonsense, swells with detail as Hazleton frames Jezebel's life and death in the religious and economic politics of her time.Using impeccable scholarship and direct translation from Hebrew texts, Hazleton explores Jezebel as a political heroine of roya [...]

    23. I purchased this book after reading reviews - because I waned to know more about the elusive woman who has a reputation based on the biblical testament. I am glad I did. From the opening pages I was drawn in to the epic story - but even more so from about page 70 when the story develops a more historical focus. Lesley Hazelton did not just research documents and view maps - she went to the sites and stood in the shoes of Jezebel, and she described with such eloquence the scenerye heat.e decor. T [...]

    24. Lesley Hazleton tells readers the story of a 15-year-old girl, branded like Kleenex as a harlot. But through her scholarship and use of “historical imagination” the story becomes much more layered. Married off to Ahab, the King of Israel by her father, Jezebel comes from her seaside home of Tyre to the harsh desert. She brings with her, her polytheistic beliefs and that is when Elijah, Israel’s ragged prophet of Yahweh, the one and only god, goes to war against her. Sound familiar?Hazleton [...]

    25. I liked this book, even though it wasn't what I thought it would be. It's certainly well written. I would have given it five stars but for the bias, which I didn't think was wrong so much as simplistic. I notice others have picked up on her assertion that the "sacred prostitute" stuff was a complete fabrication by Herodotus that has absolutely no basis in fact. She doesn't spend a lot of time on this, but it would have been possible to say "I don't think the idea of prostitution or Jezebel's sex [...]

    26. Jezebel was a very interesting book about an infamous woman from the Old Testament of the Bible. Jezebel was known as the "Harlot Queen", so this book seeks to find out who Jezebel really was. The history of Jezebel's family and where she came from was very interesting. But, the most interesting thing about her is that she was thought to be seductive and an overly sexualized woman (especially for her day) and her name is still used today as an insult to women. But, in the Bible the same language [...]

    27. I read this book soon after reading Mary: a flesh-and-blood biography of the virgin mother. Both books add a balance to the Bible stories by putting them into historical perspective and correcting some of the faulty translations. It turns out that Jezebel was no harlot and Elijah was a crazed fundamentalist. I'm not sure about inviting him to our next Seder table after reading this book. Towards the end of the book, the author describes how true monotheism originated, how about 150 years after J [...]

    28. I never thought of Jezebel as anything other than an evil woman. But over the past year I've been questioning lots of the male dominated theology with what Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza calls the "hermeneutics of suspicion." Hazleton's book turns the story of Jezebel on it's head. She writes: "How do you destroy a woman’s reputation? The tactic is familiar in today’s world of spin. You sexualize her. You spread innuendo. You do a smear job. And you do so repeatedly, to the point of nausea, s [...]

    29. This book was extremely easy to read and contained a lot of interesting well-researched information without being dry. In fact, much of the writing was full of emotion. I thought that there would be more about Jezebel here (Elijah, especially, and also King Ahab got just as much focus; both were also recast as being different than we think). However, it didn't really bother me that the book was a description of the whole history of Israel from Jezebel's marriage until her death and even a little [...]

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