The Jezebel Spirit

Q. I’m writing to you about this subject (Jezebel Spirit) because I respect your Biblically based, balanced analysis of the scriptures.

What do you know about the Jezebel Spirit? In my church, this term is ascribed to various people, usually women. Authors like Francis Frangipane have written books on this subject and offer extensive information on their websites about it.

A. The best way to understand the so called Jezebel spirit is to study the life of Jezebel in 1 & 2 Kings. I’ll just give you the highlights here.

She is first mentioned in 1 Kings 16:31 as the daughter of the King of Sidon and a Baal worshiper who led her husband King Ahab of Israel astray. Then in chapter 19 we learn that she was supporting the 400 priests of Baal who Elijah defeated on Mt. Carmel. She put a curse on Elijah’s head for that. Next there’s the story of her role in orchestrating the theft of a vineyard in 1 Kings 21 and the wrongful death of its legitimate owner. Finally her demise is described in 2 Kings 9:30-37.

Jezebel is also mentioned in Rev. 2:20-23 where again she’s accused of leading people into idolatry, this time in connection with the Church in Thyatira.

I personally would never use the term Jezebel Spirit in reference to any believer, but especially a female one. Although many who use it don’t really know what it means, I believe it’s about the worst insult you can hurl at a woman, because it’s associated with spiritual and physical adultery, seducing men into idolatry and then emasculating them.

Francis Frangipane put it this way. “When we speak of Jezebel, we are identifying the source in our society of obsessive sensuality, unbridled witchcraft and hatred for male authority.” In my opinion, that does not describe any true believer.

Paul made frequent use of talented females in his ministry, and seemed to believe as I do that women can occupy any role in church leadership, short of senior pastor, for which they demonstrate a true giftedness. In my experience men in the Church who toss this epithet around loosely are often threatened by the qualified, capable women in their midst.

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