Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

2 Kings 9

Verse 16

8:16-12:21 REMOVAL OF JEZEBEL'S BAALISM

Jezebel's Baalism spreads to Judah (8:16-9:10)

The writer now returns to his historical account of the kings of Judah and Israel. Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram, who was married to Athaliah the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, became king of Judah after his father's death. Through Athaliah, Jezebel's Baalism spread to Judah. Jehoram made sure that no one challenged his right to do as he pleased by killing all likely rivals. Because of this and his support for Jezebel's Baalism, he was assured of a horrible death (16-19; 2 Chronicles 21:4; 2 Chronicles 21:11-15; 2 Chronicles 21:18-20).

For David's sake God did not yet destroy Judah, though the nation certainly weakened. Edom to the south and Libnah on the Philistine border freed themselves from Judah's rule, while the Arabs and the Philistines raided and plundered with great success (20-24; 2 Chronicles 21:16-17).

During one of these raids most of Judah's royal family was killed. Jehoram's sole surviving son, Ahaziah, became king after his father's death (2 Chronicles 22:1), but in his short reign he proved to be no better than his father. He was dominated by his mother Athaliah, along with relatives of hers from the north whom she had brought into the Jerusalem palace (2 Chronicles 22:3-4). He joined his uncle Joram (or Jehoram) of Israel in war against Hazael of Syria. When Joram retreated to the summer palace at Jezreel to recover from wounds received in battle, Ahaziah went to visit him (25-29).

Elisha saw that the time had come for him to carry out his last major responsibility, which was to anoint Israel's army commander Jehu as king. Jehu's job was to rid Israel of the entire family of Ahab and Jezebel (9:1-10; cf. 1 Kings 19:16).

Verses 11-14

Jehu's revolution (9:11-10:14)

On hearing of Jehu's anointing as king, Jehu's senior officers swore their immediate allegiance (11-13). Without allowing time for news of the rebellion to leak out, Jehu set off for Jezreel (14-16). As he approached the city, Joram and Ahaziah, unaware of the rebellion, went out to meet him. Joram was killed on the spot, appropriately at Naboth's vineyard (17-26; cf. 1 Kings 21:17-19). Ahaziah was killed after a chase (27-29). Jehu quickly went on to Jezreel to deal with the queen mother, Jezebel. Knowing she could expect the same fate as Joram, she prepared herself to meet the executioner with royal dignity. She died a horrible death, as the prophet had foretold (30-37; cf. v. 10).

The massacre continued. After arranging for the execution of Ahab's seventy surviving male descendants in Samaria, Jehu displayed their heads as a warning to any likely rebels (10:1-8). He tried to make the people believe that the seventy had been killed directly by God, but they were probably not convinced. They well knew that the only way Jehu could make his throne safe was to kill all Ahab's descendants. God's earlier announcement of judgment on the family of Ahab gave Jehu the opportunity to carry out his plans (9-11; cf. 9:7-9). Since the late Ahaziah was a descendant of Ahab, Jehu killed Ahaziah's relatives as well (12-14).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/2-kings-9.html. 2005.