Jezebel may mean there is no prince or chaste. In the Bible, Jezebel is the name of two women.

  • In the Old Testament, Jezebel is the name of a Queen of Israel, whose story is told in 1 Kings. Jezebel was a pagan, the daughter of King Ithobaal I of Tyre, who married King Ahab. The Bible blames her from turning Ahab away from the true God, and towards the worship of her god, Baal. She is accused of killing the prophets of the Lord, and Elijah charges her with abominations. After Ahab's death she continued to rule through her sons Ahaziah and Joram. When these were killed by Jehu, Jezebel was also killed, and her body eaten by dogs in fulfillment of Elijah's prophecy.
  • In the New Testament, Jezebel is a prophetess in the city of Thyatira. She is accused in Revelation 2:20 of inducing members of the church there to commit acts of sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols. Some authorities suggest that the author of Acts here uses the name Jezebel as a nickname, knowing that readers in Thyatira would know who was being referred to, and would also know of the deeds of the previous Jezebel recorded in 1 Kings.

The name Jezebel has come down through the centuries as a general name for all wicked women.

Jezebel is also the name of a 1938 film that tells the story of a headstrong young Southern woman during the years prior to the American Civil War, and how her actions cost her the love of the man she truly loves. It stars Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, George Brent, Margaret Lindsay, Donald Crisp and Fay Bainter.

The film was adapted by Clements Ripley, Abem Finkel, John Huston and Robert Buckner, from the play by Owen Davis Sr. It was directed by William Wyler.

The movie was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Fay Bainter won for Best Supporting Actress and Bette Davis won for Best Actress. On the basis of this Oscar win, Davis was a strong consideration for the part of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind.