"flaring Jezabels"

Jezabel and Ahab Meeting Elijah in Naboth's Vineyard
Public DomainJezabel and Ahab Meeting Elijah in Naboth's Vineyard - Credit: Sir Francis Dicksee (1853-1928)
Jezebel was a princess, whose story is told in the Book of Kings.  She was the daughter of Ethbaal, King of Tyre, and wife of Ahab, King of North Israel.  She was a strong power behind the throne, and converted Ahab from Judaism to worship her Phoenician god Baal.  After she had many Jewish prophets killed, Elijah challenged 450 prophets of Baal to a competition in which he exposed the rival god as powerless, and had Baal’s prophets slaughtered.

Following Ahab’s death, her sons took the throne. The Jewish prophets however led a coup against them, and they were overthrown and killed.  The victors then came for Jezebel, who was thrown from a window and killed.  Jezebel’s name came to be associated with false prophets, and promiscuity, and later with fallen or abandoned women.