What’s with Jezebel’s hair? I put a wig on her, but was she really using curlers, wigs, or what?
And do we care? I heard preachers who cared. They read to me that “Jezebel … painted her face, and tired her head…” and explained that “tired” was the KJV word for round things or curlers in her hair. So I had fun picturing tiny tires used as hair curlers.
Then commentators stole my fun. They insisted “tired” is the Old English form of “attired” which means dressing something up to make it look good.
So why look good?
Here’s what I read between the lines: Back in Ramoth Gilead, they blew a trumpet and shouted, “Jehu is king!” Yet after Jehu killed King Joram, Joram’s grandmother Jezebel still barred his way to the throne. I see Jehu rolling into her courtyard looking to smash her like an old icon to make way for his new rule.
Some of my favorite preachers have Jezebel getting all gussied up to foil Jehu’s plan by seducing him. Yet I find it a stretch to think the dead king’s grandmother looked in the mirror and thought paint and powder could make her 50 or 60-year-old face look seductive. (Get her age like this: How old was she when she married Ahab? 12? 20? Plus how many years until Ahab became king: 10? Then add the reigns of Ahab, Ahazia, and Joram — 22 + 2 + 12.)
Go out looking like a queen
It’s easier for me to think that Jezebel, like Cleopatra and Mary Queen of Scots, wanted to go out looking like a queen. So she made up her face in royal style and adjusted her best royal wig. All to be smashed under Jehu’s horses.