Jezebel was a Phoenician Princess (Phoenicia is land we call modern-day Lebanon) born in the 9th Century B. C. Her actual birthday is unknown. She was the daughter of Ethball, King of Tyre and his wife, Dau bat Abd ‘Ashtart, also of Tyre, and a High Priestess of the Cult of Baal. Scholars assume she was raised as other royal children would have been, however no specifics about her childhood have been found in the records. We do know that Phoenicia, at the time, was religiously diverse and had a substantial population. As in most ancient civilizations, the citizens were polytheistic, worshiping many different Gods and Goddesses, with Baal, the Fertility God and later King of the Gods, being one of the most important.
At the time of her birth, Israel was mired in strife. The nation had virtually split in half twenty years prior and constant conflicts between the different tribal leaders limited their impact in geopolitics. Also, with no unified governing body, the lands were poorly defended and often invaded and plundered. However, as Jezebel grew, the Israelis found common ground and reunified the nation, even finally crowning a new King, Omri. Meanwhile, the Phoenician King, Ethball watched from his neighboring lands. In order to secure a strong ally, he arranged for his daughter Jezebel to be married to the Ahab, the son of the King Omri. It was agreed and Jezebel left the carefree cosmopolitan life she had in Phoenicia to one in Israel where things were extremely conservative and monotheistic.
When Ahab succeeded his father as King, Jezebel became Queen, but she was not wholeheartedly accepted by the citizenry and the religious leaders since she still worshiped Baal, the God of her homeland. She eventually brought legions of Baal Priests to Israel, and had some of the most vocal Israeli Priests murdered. Jezebel converted her husband, King Ahab and most of the population to idol worship in ceremonies which were purported to include cruelty and promiscuous sexual involvement. He built two major temples for his Queen while shunning the God of his father. It was believed that Ahab was enslaved by Jezebel’s beauty and strength of character and would do anything she asked of him. Her influence and idol worship reshaped Israel for more than six decades.
She was relentless in her attempts to entrench Baal as the nation’s main deity and also to drive the religion of the Israelite’s from their own land on a permanent basis. Surprisingly, she nearly succeeded, in part due to her husband’s weakness. But, in what religious historians refer to as a turning point, a young prophet boldly approached King Ahab and challenged the Priests of Baal to a contest on the top of Mount Carmel against the power of the Christian God. The Priests of Baal were purported to have demonstrated no supreme power and lost so handily that the people rose up and slaughtered them, giving victory to the prophet. Jezebel, angered and being no stranger to difficulty, pledged to destroy this prophet, who chose to flee into hiding rather than face her wrath.
At this point in history, there is little debate on who was the power in Israel. Ahab was a puppet and his weakness allowed Jezebel to impart her will on the nation. She commanded great respect and when anyone crossed her, she had them put to death and their lands and possessions taken. Everything associated with Jezebel was deemed rotten and tainted. Her children followed in her footsteps and were also worshipers of Baal. She stirred up trouble whenever possible and many say her actions were a catalyst for war to break out with neighboring Syria; a war in which Ahab would be mortally wounded. Her son took the crown but was slain in combat by another prophet of Israel. She tried to entrap this prophet and invited him to her palace. She wore her finest robes, painted her face, and from some accounts, tried to talk her way out of things while the enemy was poised at her gate.
Yet she was not to succeed in her quest. While attempting to play politics, she was thrown from her window by two of her slaves and was killed on impact. Soldiers trampled across her broken body and dogs fed on her flesh. When the victorious prophet’s triumph was over, nothing but her skull, the palms of her hands, and her feet remained for burial. Jezebel physical form was all but eradicated, however she left a legacy of murder, sexual deviancy, revenge, sorrow, and torture behind. From that day forward, all things evil were eventually connected to Jezebel, especially ones that dealt with women usurping power from men. The name Jezebel continues to hold significance in society even today; being used as a description for a harlot who paints her face in order to seduce and then control men.
For thousands of years Jezebel was painted as the worst of the worst by historians, noted that it was mostly male historians. Yet, if we look at her life in the eyes of the people she came from and the male-dominated world she lived in, our perspective changes. She was raised with a belief system that was not unlike the Greeks, Egyptians, or the Romans; polytheism was totally accepted as was promiscuity, bloody sacrifice, and many other behaviors which are frowned upon today. The Israelis saw her as a threat to their male dominated monotheistic belief system and she was demonized because of it. She became the iconic incarnate of all things which the Priests of Jehovah were trying to eradicate and provided them with a much-needed “proof” of their God’s superiority.
From Ancient Times to Today – The Jezebel Spirit
The story of Jezebel’s life and deeds are mainly found in the Christian Bible. Most internet searches on the subject will take you to one of many Christian-themed blogs or other religious websites. Those sites all have their individual agendas, but all seem to have a similar theme, which is to use the story of Jezebel to show their people how to identify someone with a Jezebel Spirit and further to protect themselves from any negative influences. As with many Christian teachings, morality and piousness are two pillars that propel the teaching forward and allow for a litany of stern warnings and judgements. Those who do not follow Christian teachings are likely to look at the events much differently.
What’s interesting is that the concept of a “Jezebel Spirit” is not found in the Bible. Like many of the other Christian teachings, it was added to conversations much later; perhaps as a deterrent to loose morality among church members. What’s also interesting in that unlike many other early teachings, this particular topic have weathered the test of time, and may be spoken about more today than when first introduced. The remainder of this piece looks at the individual traits and powers someone with a “Jezebel Spirit” can or may try to wield. Readers may see the similarities of this concept and what we call narcissism in today’s modern world.
Traits of the Jezebel Spirit – Physical & Emotional Battles
The list of negative traits associated with the Jezebel Spirit is lengthy and painted with a broad brush; it’s important to remember perspective when assessing them. They come primarily from a church which is focused heavily on controlling their membership. The reason a brief story of her life was used as an opening to this piece was for reference. Another thing to note is that many Christians believe there are two types of Jezebel Spirits; one is very high profile (the woman who “wears the pants” in the family) and the other, more dangerous type who appears to be a wonderful person in all aspects. The latter person flies under the radar usually and relies on manipulation (often very sweet coercion) to achieve her goal of power and control.
Within the two types are what the church calls “manifestations.” One is the Seducer and the other is known as the Cool. The teachings state that the Jezebel Spirit can be either male or female, but most of the detail appears to favor the female. The seducer uses any means necessary to gain control and wield power. Seduction can take place in the physical world or the spiritual plane. The Cool manifestation is trickier to identify. She may appear as a “Girl Friday” or someone at the right hand of a leader who uses perceived authority to manipulate people.
Someone with the Jezebel Spirit cannot admit they made a mistake, that they are wrong about something, or that they are remorseful. They see apologizing as a sign of weakness, but are masterful at projecting a false sense of remorse through careful word play. Instead of saying, “I’m sorry for breaking your toy,” they might instead say, “I’m sorry you are feeling bad over your broken toy.” Notice that there is no actual admission of guilt or remorse for the damage done.
They have an unnatural sense of self-worth or self-importance. They demand to be the center of attention and will hijack and redirect conversations to their strengths and liking. Once they take control of a conversation, they will not relinquish it. If someone attempts to thwart their efforts, the Jezebel Spirit will retaliate forcefully. This vengeful nature is unlike anything most people are comfortable with as they will try to destroy people completely for the smallest perceived intrusions. They also try to take credit for just about anything good and deflect blame for anything bad.
Several methods of controlling others are employed by those with a Jezebel Spirit. They often identify weaker members of their circle and exploit them for their own gain. If something turns out for the worst, it provides them with a layer of insulation or plausible deniability. They withhold or release information in a weaponized form and relish in knowing things others don’t; especially damaging gossip. Information is power, especially with those who have something to hide (think Washington DC.) One tactic they use to gain control over people is the inclusion/isolation approach. They isolate those who aren’t playing by their rules until they come back begging to be part of the group again. Another tactic is the element of surprise and catching someone napping seems to elicit glee with them.
Unless they thought it up, no plan is acceptable. A key tenant of control is to always be the one who looks like they have it all together. They use harsh criticism to punch holes through anything submitted by others and further break down their group of minions. Often times, they will follow up the attack with a round of one-upmanship, just to twist the knife. Whatever allows them to be on the top of the heap at the end of the day will be employed. If they are in a situation with several strong personalities, they pit them against each other while secretly counseling both parties on how to deal with the other one. It allows them to gather all the information and position themselves so they instead of the warring factions, comes out on top.
Sex is definitely part of the game for many with the Jezebel Spirit. They flatter, they giggle, they rub and touch and caress gently; actions that might seem like harmless flirting are so much more to the Jezebel Spirit. They are actually attaching cords and feeding their own false sense of belief. The ego of a Jezebel Spirit is monumental. They think everyone actually loves them for their charm, their authority, their value, and so on. This serves as their reality and guides their actions. Many are bisexual or promiscuous to a fault. Many spend an inordinate amount of time on their clothes, hair, and fashion accessories to maintain their own jaded beliefs.
Traits of a Jezebel Spirit – Spiritual Battles
The list of controlling traits shown in the physical world resembles those of a modern-day narcissist almost to a T. Psychologists define narcissistic personality disorder as follows. They have an aggrandized sense of self-worth, a need to be admired or adored, a lack of empathy, and an overall belief that they should be treated special. Additionally they are self-centered, aggressive, demanding, manipulative, and focus most of their efforts on enhancing their image and control base. They believe they possess gifts and powers which are difficult to understand by a “regular person” and make every effort to make it appear that they are some sort of sage or shaman of sorts.
Utilizing spirituality is one of the greatest tools of a Jezebel Spirit. Those who operate in the church environment are likely to overly immerse themselves in doctrine. They are involved in everything and seem to be the perfect church goer. But what they are really doing is building up an wall which prevents them from being criticized. By creating a belief among their minions that they get guidance from a divine power, it becomes harder for others to criticize them openly. Any sort of action would be considered blasphemous against such a “pious” person. It’s just another trick to elevate themselves.
Using spirituality is not limited to the church. There are metaphysical practitioners who use the same approach. They claim to possess skills that can’t be questioned or if by chance they are confronted the Jezebel Spirit will fall back to the “you don’t understand” defense. Often times, they will try to spin things around and make the accuser look like they are trying to exercise control and they are an innocent victim. With so much competition in the metaphysical arts world, we are seeing more and more of this. Think about the number of new disciplines that have suddenly emerged and all the so-called experts who are available to perform them. They create new ways to elevate themselves and to put any criticism beyond reach.
This piece was inspired by real world observations of people engaging in exactly the types of behavior mentioned throughout the document. The church still clings to the concept of a Jezebel Spirit because it shows a direct connection to their doctrine and belief system. It’s one they don’t follow themselves, but nevertheless they use it to convey their message of “do what I say and not what I do.” The pagan world has plenty of Jezebel Spirits, but as we can see by the lengthy analysis, they are just narcissists who need to control and demand attention from their peer group. We’ve all heard that power corrupts people, but maybe now we can see that they were already corrupt before achieving power.