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First Reading for the Tuesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2

1 Kings 21:17-29

Summary: Elijah confronts Ahab for his sins, declaring God's judgment. Ahab humbles himself, and God delays the punishment until Ahab's son's reign.

Ahab's Judgment

After the death of Naboth the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite: “Start down to meet Ahab, king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He will be in the vineyard of Naboth, of which he has come to take possession. This is what you shall tell him, ‘The LORD says: After murdering, do you also take possession? For this, the LORD says: In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth, the dogs shall lick up your blood, too.’”

Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me out, my enemy?”

“Yes,” he answered. “Because you have given yourself up to doing evil in the LORD’s sight, I am bringing evil upon you: I will destroy you and will cut off every male in Ahab’s line, whether slave or freeman, in Israel. I will make your house like that of Jeroboam, son of Nebat, and like that of Baasha, son of Ahijah, because of how you have provoked me by leading Israel into sin.”

(Against Jezebel, too, the LORD declared, “The dogs shall devour Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.”)

“When one of Ahab’s line dies in the city, dogs will devour him; when one of them dies in the field, the birds of the sky will devour him.”

Indeed, no one gave himself up to the doing of evil in the sight of the LORD as did Ahab, urged on by his wife Jezebel. He became completely abominable by following idols, just as the Amorites had done, whom the LORD drove out before the children of Israel.

When Ahab heard these words, he tore his garments and put on sackcloth over his bare flesh. He fasted, slept in the sackcloth, and went about subdued. Then the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Have you seen that Ahab has humbled himself before me? Since he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his time. I will bring the evil upon his house during the reign of his son.”

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