The virtue of the government depends upon the virtue of the people.
Among villains of the Bible few stand out as infamously as Jezebel and her husband King Ahab of Samaria. The name “Jezebel” became—quite justly—a byword for an evil, conniving woman. One of the most notorious stories involving Ahab and Jezebel illustrates well the dangers of the breakdown of law and the necessity of personal virtue to uphold the rule of law and to serve as a brake on growing state power.
The Bible records that King Ahab had his eye on a particular plot of land:
Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And after this Ahab said to Naboth, ‘Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you…
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