In scripture, Jezebel was a domineering woman who was a descendant of the Sidonians (worshippers of Baal). She was married to King Ahab, the King of Israel, and she used her position of power to influence the children of Israel into the idol worship of Baal, rather than faithfulness to the God of Israel.
She obviously was an instrument of Satan, just as many others throughout scripture who opposed the God of Israel were also instruments of Satan.
This does not mean that we should personalize her or the others as demon spirits.
In the New Testament we have one reference to Jezebel (Revelation 2:20). This was a literal person who was self proclaimed prophetess teaching ungodly doctrine and practices.
Jesus did not say of this self proclaimed prophetess, “she had a spirit of Jezebel.” Jesus simply called her Jezebel. Most likely because she had similar traits to Jezebel, the domineering wife of King Ahab in the Old Testament.
In both the Old and New Testament, the name Jezebel applies to a person and not a demon. And in both cases, the person Jezebel, had influence in leading God’s people into idolarty.
Now, with that said, allow me to ask you a simple question.
Have you ever wondered why so many Jews needed deliverance from demonic oppression during earthly ministry of Jesus?
Consider the following from Mark chapter one:
And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. And all the city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils. ~ Mark 1:32-39
Israel had had a long history of demonic oppression because of their continual worship of idols. Jezebel was one of many people who were influential in the idol worship which filled the history of Israel. Throughout scripture, the land of Israel was often corrupted with demonic activity and many times God addressed this through his prophets.
For example, God had Ezekiel prophesy to the mountians and hills in the land of Israel concerning God’s judgment against of the altars buit to false gods.
From the golden calf to the exile by the Babylonians, Israel’s idolatry was a persistent problem. Israel’s idolatry is one of the major things that the prophets were sent to confront.
Consider the following from the prophet Amos.
Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings during THE FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS, Israel? No, you served your pagan gods—Sakkuth your king god and Kaiwan your star god—the images you made for yourselves. ~ Amos 5:25-26
Stephen elaborates on the words of Amos in Acts 7:39 -43
Before Israel entered and possessed the promised land, the inhabitants of the land (which included the Sidonians from which Jezebel descended) were idolatrous people who worshipped demons, and committed all sorts of detestable sins in the sight of God. God warned the Israelites not to follow their ways.
Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) ~ Leviticus 18:24-28
When Israel went in and possesed the land, they did not drive out all the inhabitants of the land as God had commanded them. Among those who remaind in the land were the Sidonians.
According to the book of Judges, they were left there by the Lord to prove whether or not, the Israelites would be faithful to God.
The Israelites, except for a remnant among them, were repeatedly unfaithful to the Lord, and refused to obey him. In due time they became worse than the Canaanites who possesed the land before them (see 2 Kings 21:9-12).
God’s promised redemption was to save Israel from their sins and cleanse them from their idols ( see Ezekiel 36:25-27). These words were fulfilled in their fullest sense when God sent his Son, Jesus, to the people of Israel.
The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. ~ Acts 10:36-38
Rather than magnifying “Jezebel” by personalizing demons with this name, and creating all sorts of characteristics that we feel the need to fight and struggle against, we should know that through Jesus Christ, we are delivered from all the power of darkness (Colosians 1:12-14),and we are redeemed so that we can now serve God faithfullly with a pure conscience (Hebrews 9:12-14).
Jesus came to set his people from thier sins, and to deliver them from the idolatry that had ravaged the nation through their ancestoral idol worship of the foreign gods – the false gods of the nations which previously inhabited the land. The Sidonians (from where Jezebel descended) were one of those nations.
Jesus not only gave his life to redeemed those within Israel wjho would repent and believe the gospel, he died to sanctify for himself a people from among the Gentiles as well. In is first epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul commended the Thessalonians because they had ” turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” 1 Thesalonians 1:9