Ancient symbol of corrupt femininity and evil influence, Jezebel is a biblical character that many consider to be the archetype of narcissism. Does the “spirit of Jezebel” inhabit modern day narcissistic women?
Who Was Jezebel?
Jezebel first appears in 1 Kings, as a Phoenician princess who is the daughter of the King of Tyre. And, who is related to the powerful Queen of Carthage. She is eventually married to King Ahab of Samaria, the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
As Queen of Israel, she influences King Ahab to build temples for worship of the god Baal. She also commissions 450 prophets of Baal, and 400 prophets of the related god Asherah. This eventually leads her in to conflict with Elijah, the profit of Yahweh, the god of Israel.
Elijah, determined to counter the influence of these foreign gods, challenged the Baalist prophets to a dual of miracles. The prophets lost, leading Elijah to call for their death. When Jezebel heard about the fate of her prophets, she vowed to kill Elijah as well.
Later, King Ahab desires to buy an adjacent property to enlarge his orchard. When the owner denies his offer, Jezebel offers to have him killed of false pretense. When she does this, Elijah calls out her treachery. And, expresses Yahweh’s punishment, that Ahab shall die and his line shall loose claim to the throne, and Jezebel shall be killed and fed to dogs (the fate of the innocent she had killed).
Not long, Ahab was killed in battle. And his children were slain as well. Elijah’s protegee crowned the commander of the army as the new king.
Jezebel, knowing that her time had come, wore all her finery — gold and jewels — to confront the new king. In the end she was thrown out a high window, and her body mostly consumed by dogs, as a fulfillment of Elijah’s prophecy.
Was Jezebel a Narcissist?
The key point of the story of Jezebel that may indicate that she was a narcissist is probably the end, where she dresses up in finery to confront her would be murderer — and by proxy the will of god in the story.
Does that make her a narcissist?
While narcissists are obsessed with how people perceive them, dressing up to confront one’s final moments is not unique to narcissists. As Issac Asimov notes —
“… dressing in all her finery, make-up, and jewelry, as deliberately symbolic, indicating her dignity, royal status, and determination to go out of this life as a queen.”
In a moral analysis of the story, her worst sin is killing the innocent land owner to allow her husband King to claim the property he desired. While her entire mental state is not described, none of what we know indicates her bad actions are related to narcissistic personality disorder.
With the biblical story as a base, the most reasonable interpretation of Jezebel’s story is as an allegory against the influence of foreign gods on the faithful.
What Is the Spirit of Jezebel
Over time, the story of Jezebel became associated with the image of a fallen woman and sexual immorality.
The spirit of Jezebel is a term that refers to promiscuity and fascination with superficial beauty as it manifests in women. For many people, Jezebel is a term that represents some symptoms of narcissistic tendencies in women.
Female narcissists are particularly likely to use sexuality as a weapon against men (and women). They are also extremely likely to succumb to vanity and seek out admiration for their appearance. Narcissist’s are also more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior because they think the rules don’t apply to them.