Jun 5, 2013

Readers' Theatre: 1 Kings 21

Here’s a readers’ theatre setting of 1 Kings 21: 1-21a, the suggested Old Testament reading for Proper 6 C. It is set for three voices.

Readers’ Theatre: 1 Kings 21: 1-21a

One:     Now there was a man named Naboth, from Jezreel,
who owned a vineyard in Jezreel
beside the palace of King Ahab of Samaria. 
One day Ahab said to Naboth,

Two:     “Since your vineyard is so convenient to my palace,
I would like to buy it to use as a vegetable garden.
I will give you a better vineyard in exchange,
or if you prefer, I will pay you for it.

One:     But Naboth replied,
“The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance
that was passed down by my ancestors.”
So Ahab went home angry and sullen because of Naboth’s answer.
The king went to bed with his face to the wall and refused to eat!
             His wife, Jezebel, saw that he was upset, and asked:

Three:   What’s the matter?
What’s made you so upset that you’re not eating?

Two:     I asked Naboth to sell me his vineyard or trade it, but he refused!

Three:   Are you the king of Israel or not?
Get up and eat something, and don’t worry about it.
I’ll get you Naboth’s vineyard!

One:     So Jezebel wrote letters in Ahab’s name,
sealed them with his seal,
and sent them to the elders and other leaders of the town
where Naboth lived. 
In her letters she commanded:

Three:   Call the citizens together for fasting and prayer,
and give Naboth a place of honor. 
And then seat two scoundrels across from him
who will accuse him of cursing God and the king.
Then take him out and stone him to death.

One:     So the elders and other town leaders followed the instructions
Jezebel had written in the letters. 
They called for a fast
and put Naboth at a prominent place before the people. 
Then the two scoundrels came and sat down across from him.
And they accused Naboth before all the people, saying,
“He cursed God and the king.”
So he was dragged outside the town and stoned to death.
The town leaders then sent word to Jezebel,
“Naboth has been stoned to death.”
When Jezebel heard the news, she said to Ahab,

Three:   You know the vineyard Naboth wouldn’t sell you?
Well, you can have it now! He’s dead!

One:     So Ahab immediately went down to the vineyard of Naboth to claim it.
But the Lord said to Elijah,
“Go down to meet King Ahab of Israel, who rules in Samaria.
He will be at Naboth’s vineyard in Jezreel,
claiming it for himself. 
Give him this message:
‘This is what the Lord says:
Wasn’t it enough that you killed Naboth?
Must you rob him, too?
Because you have done this, dogs will lick your blood
at the very place where they licked the blood of Naboth!’”
            When Ahab saw Elijah approaching, he exclaimed:

Two:     So, my enemy, you have found me!

One:     “Yes,” Elijah answered,
“I have come because you have sold yourself
to what is evil in the Lord’s sight. 
So now the Lord says,
‘I will bring disaster on you and consume you.
I will destroy every one of your male descendants, 
slave and free alike, anywhere in Israel!’