I was struck by some verses in Chapter 21 of 3 Regum, Vulgata. This tells the story of Naboth, an Israelite who owned a vineyard which was adjacent to the palace of the Israeli King, Achab. Naboth didn't want to sell the land to Achab. In return, the wife of Achab wrote letters to the leaders of Israel, in order to conspire against Naboth. Thus, verses 9 and 10 say:
Litterarum autem haec erat sententia : Praedicate jejunium, et sedere facite Naboth inter primos populi, et submittite duos viros filios Belial contra eum, et falsum testimonium dicant : Benedixit Deum et regem : et educite eum, et lapidate, sicque moriatur.
And it happened as the letters suggested, as the leaders of Israel
praedicaverunt jejunium, et sedere fecerunt Naboth inter primos populi. Et adductis duobus viris filiis diaboli, fecerunt eos sedere contra eum : at illi, scilicet ut viri diabolici, dixerunt contra eum testimonium coram multitudine : Benedixit Naboth Deum et regem : quam ob rem eduxerunt eum extra civitatem, et lapidibus interfecerunt. [verses 12 and 13]
The English translation gives "blasphemed" for benedixit, as it is expected, given the context of the story. However, this is the first time I see such a counterintuitive meaning of benedicere. L&S does not attest such meaning. Did it ever had this meaning? Why would Jerome use such a word, which pretty much everywhere else (?) is used to mean "to bless"? Am I missing something here?