Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth, UK/Bridgeman Art Library
Jezebel’s long-standing reputation as the most dangerous seductress in the Bible stems from her final appearance on the biblical scene: Jezebel’s husband King Ahab is dead; her son has been murdered by the usurper Jehu; Jezebel is waiting as Jehu’s chariot races toward the palace, where he will kill Jezebel. As the horses approach, “[Jezebel] painted her eyes with kohl and dressed her hair, and she looked out of the window” (2 Kings 9:30).
But is this a sign of vanity or a display of strength when facing certain death? In the accompanying article, Janet Howe Gaines questions the common characterization of Jezebel as the wickedest woman in the Bible.