Scala/Art Resource, NY

Elijah reproaches King Ahab for his sins in this 16th-century inlaid marble pavement from the Duomo in Siena, Italy, by Domenico Beccafumi. According to the Book of Kings, Ahab was a murderer and a worshiper of Baal. Why, then, did he give some of his children Yahwistic names? His sons are named Ahaziah (which means “Yahweh has grasped”) and J(eh)oram (or “Yahweh is exalted”). According to Tigay, this inconsistency shows that names aren’t perfect evidence of religious practice: Even polytheists could give some or all of their children Yahwistic names if Yahweh was one of the gods they worshiped.