Attention!
Partner with StudyLight.org as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

2 Kings 9

Verses 1-10

Commentary on Second Kings - Chapter 9 AND Second Chronicles - Chapter 22

Jehu Anointed - Commentary on 2 Kings 9:1-10

The Lord gave El-iah command to anoint three persons when He spoke to him by the still small voice at Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:15-17). It has already been seen that the only account of his anointing any of these was the anointing of his own successor, Elisha. Jehu was the third of those who were to be anointed. It is possible that Elisha had this anointing of Jehu done on the authority granted to Elijah. He called one of the young prophets and gave him instructions, for carrying it out. He was to take the anointing oil, go to Ramoth-gilead where Jehu was commanding the host of Israel, take him into a private room and anoint him, with the Lord’s pronouncement.

The Jehoshaphat who was Jehu’s father was not, of course, the king of Judah of that name. Jehoshaphat seems to have been a fairly popular name for the times.

The young man on Elisha’s errand came to Ramoth-gilead and found the captains in a meeting of some kind. From the sequel it appears they may have been discussing rebellion against Joram. It also seems probable that minds were already settling on Jehu as the new king. He was already a famed and daring charioteer, and was the chief captain of the armed forces. When the young prophet addressed himself to the "captain" Jehu pretended that he did not know who was meant by the address. But when he inquired it was made clear that he was the one intended.

Jehu was taken inside the house where the oil was poured on his head. In the name of the Lord he announced to Jehu that he was being anointed king over the Lord’s people Israel. He was told that he was to smite the house of Ahab because of Jezebel’s bloodshed in slaughter of the Lord’s prophets and His faithful servants among the people. The whole house of Ahab, or all its male members, were to be put to death. For the third time in the history of the northern kingdom this dread curse was falling. It is the same fate suffered by the house of Jeroboam and the house of Baasha, the two preceding dynasties to occupy the throne. Baasha might have had some reason to think that the some thing would not happen to his family as happened to that of Jeroboam, but how could Ahab fail to take warning from the two before him? To ignore these known facts was to mock the judgment of God (Galatians 6:7).

The long-predicted judgment of Jezebel, that she would be consumed of dogs at Jezreel, in the plot where Naboth was murdered, was finally to be fulfilled. When the pronouncement of these things was done the young prophet opened the door and fled away; as Elisha had instructed him. The die was cast, and Jehu would move to enact the charge.

Verses 11-20

Jehu’s Furious Drive-2 Kings 9:11-20

When Jehu returned to his fellow officers he felt they would be able to guess the purpose for which he had been called aside. The prophets were recognizable, probably by their dress, or manner of wearing their hair and beard. Jehu’s reply to the one who asked the purpose of the "mad fellow’s" visit implied that they had been discussing rebellion, perhaps even plotting the coronation of Jehu. But when they persisted that they did not know why the prophet had come, Jehu told them he had said God had chosen Jehu to be the new king of Israel.

It seems this announcement met with the unanimous approval of all the captains. They took off their outer garment and spread it on the ground at the feet of Jehu as a symbol of their subservience to him. Then the trumpets were blown, and it was announced that Jehu is now king, possibly to the army besieging Ramoth-gilead.

Joram was back across the Jordan recuperating from his battle wounds, suffered earlier at Ramoth-gilead. Ahaziah, his nephew, and king of Judah, was with him. Jehu now proposed that, if these men of rank were in agreement that he should be their king, they should co­operate with him to seize the kingdom swiftly. They were asked to mind the city and prevent any from escaping from Ramoth-gilead to go to Jezreel and alert Joram of the revolt. He then proceeded to Jezreel, driving furiously, for which he was noted.

Jehu had more reason to drive furiously on that day, for he needed to surprise Joram and cut off his withdrawal to the nearby fortress city of Megiddo. Megiddo, but a short distance to the west, across the valley of the Kishon, had long been equipped and supplied to withstand a long siege. It was here Ahaziah fled when Jehu attacked, but Joram never had the opportunity.

As Jehu and his company approached Jezreel the watchman on the wall announced their approach to Joram. He had a rider sent out to investigate the purpose of their coming. The rider came to Jehu and asked in the name of the king whether they came in peace. Jehu replied with a question and a command, "What have you to do with peace; get behind me." The watchman reported what he saw occur, and Joram sent out a second rider with the same question. Jehu answered with the same rejoinder, and the second horseman fell in behind. These men evidently understood Jehu’s purpose, and were favorable to it, inasmuch as they fell into his ranks.

By this time Jehu had come close enough to the city that the watchman recognized his furious driving. When he reported the default of the second rider he told the king that he believed it was Jehu, for he was driving furiously. What must have been the feeling of the kings is not known, but they must have felt apprehension, though not alarmed enough not to ride to their doom.

Verses 21-29

Two Kings Slain, Commentary on 2 Kings 9:21-29 AND 2 Chronicles 22:7-9

Joram and Ahaziah had their separate chariots prepared to ride forth to meet Jehu and his company. Joram intended to challenge Jehu’s coming himself, but seems to have felt little alarm, since he did not, evidently, carry a guard with him. He accosted Jehu with the same question he had sent by his rider s, "Have you come in peace?" To which Jehu replied, "What peace is there, so long as your wicked mother Jezebel continues her witchcraft and harlot religion?" This approach to his task was doubtless inspired by the words of the prophet who anointed him. But Jehu was likely expressing also a popular reaction to the foreign worship, brought from Phoenicia by Jezebel. That he was actually jealous for the Lord is untrue.

Immediately Joram realized he was in mortal danger and turned his chariot to flee, exclaiming to his accompanying nephew, "It is treachery, O Ahaziah!" Jehu put an arrow to his bow and pulled the string to full force, letting it fly at the fleeing king. So powerful was the shot and so accurate the aim that it struck Joram between his shoulders, passed through his heart, and out through his chest. The king slumped into his chariot, dying. Jehu commanded Bidkar, who must have succeeded to the position formerly held by Jehu, to take the body of Joram and throw it to the dogs in the field of Naboth, where those scavenging canines had devoured the flesh of the good man and his sons. He recalled the words they had heard Elijah express to Old Ahab years before, "Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons, and I will requite thee in this plat." The wheels of judgment may grind slowly, but nevertheless they grind (Isaiah 3:15).

There is difficulty in harmonizing the Kings and Chronicles accounts of Ahaziah’s death. The Chronicles account states that his death was permitted by the Lord, by his coming to visit Joram at the time of Jehu’s rebellion.

The Kings account states that Ahaziah seeing the death of Joram fled by the garden house, and that Jehu pursued and slew him in the ascent of Gur, leading to Ibleam, south of Jezreel, across the valley. Then he turned to escape down the valley to Megiddo, wounded, and there died. His servants carried his body to Jerusalem and buried it in the sepulchre of the kings. Note that the words, "And they did so," in verse 27, are italicized and were added by the translators.

The Chronicles account has it that Ahaziah was slain, along with other princes of Judah, when he found them (cf. 2 Kings 10:12-14). This would indicate Ahaziah’s execution several days later. The statement that he was hid in Samaria also indicates a different time and place from that of Kings. This account states that his body was brought to Jehu, who out of respect for Jehoshaphat, Ahaziah’s grandfather, had it sent back to Jerusalem for burial.

The following seems to be a plausible correlation of the two ac­counts. Ibleam was south of Jezreel, making it appear that Ahaziah hoped to escape either to Samaria or back to Jerusalem. Leaving out the italicized words it could be rendered that he had reached this point when Jehu issued his orders to slay him. Accordingly he turned back northwestward, up the Kishon valley to seek refuge in the fortress of Megiddo. The reference to Samaha, however, is most difficult to reconcile. His sojourn there in hiding must then have intervened between Ibleam and Megiddo. It is found that the elders of Samaria executed Ibleam and Megiddo. It is found that the elders of Samaria executed the princes at Samaria by order of Jehu (2 Kings 10:1-11), so that Ahaziah’s continuance there would have become untenable. Perhaps it was then he was discovered, but somehow escaped to Megiddo wounded and dying. And from there his body was brought to Jehu, and then conveyed to Jerusalem.

Verses 30-37

Jezebel’s Curse Falls-2 Kings 9:30-37

Jezebel was under a double curse. The first she had brought on herself deliberately when she sought to put Elijah to death. She had cursed herself by her own gods should she not bring the prophet to the same fate her prophets of Baal had suffered at the hand of Elijah (1 Kings 19:2). Then by her venomous murder of Naboth for the selfish purpose of getting his vineyard for her husband she brought the curse of God on her (1 Kings 21:23). That had been some fifteen years before the ultimate fulfillment. Now her day of reckoning had come, judgment was falling.

Jezebel surely must have remembered these predictions when word came to her that her son was the victim of rebellion by his chief captain. But she tried once more by her seductive allurements to save her life. She painted her face and fixed up her hair and. stood in an upper window to chide Jehu as he entered the city. So looking down she called to him, "Did Zimri, who slew his master, have peace?" It was a warning. Zimri had turned on King Elah, the son of Baasha, and assassinated him. He proceeded to kill all the house of Baasha, according to prophetic prediction. Yet just seven days later Zimri was besieged by Omri, the captain of the host, and burned down the palace over him and died by his own hand. Jezebel meant to warn Jehu of just some similar fate for killing his master, Joram. (See 1 Kings 16:8-20)

Hearing her cry and looking up to see her, Jehu called for someone on his side. Three of her eunuchs looked out the window, and Jehu called on them to throw her down to the street. They did, and her blood was splattered on the wall of Jezreel, as God had said it would be. What a hated and detested woman she must have been that her own servants would so treat her! Jehu and his men drove their horses across her body, crushing it and befouling their horses’s legs with her blood.

The hardness of Jehu appears in that he went inside to eat and drink after committing such carnage as he had. After he had appeased his hunger he sent a burial detail to take up the remains of the queen and bury them, inasmuch as she was the daughter of a king. But soon they returned to say they could find nothing save her skull, feet, and the palms of her hands. Jehu recalled that this is just what Elijah had predicted, that the dogs would eat the body of Jezebel. She would have no tomb, and her flesh would be converted to the dung of wild dogs in the very city where she had murdered Naboth.

Dr. R. G. Lee, a great Baptist preacher, in his mighty sermon, "Payday, Someday," says even the dogs disdained to eat the skull which devised the wicked plan, the hands which wrote the letter, and the feet which carried the news of death to her husband in her evil scheme against Naboth (Psalms 37:1-2).

More lessons: 1) God uses men’s ambitions to bring to pass His own will and purpose; 2) the worldly never admit that repeated evil will bring repeated judgment; 3) when the Lord’s judgment falls at last, it will be speedy; 4) many wait for the lead of others to do what is right; 5) the Lord’s judgment may recall to those involved its accuracy and verity; 6) association with evil companions involves them in the same judgment; 7) the wiles and cunning of Satan and his followers will go down in ultimate judgment.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/2-kings-9.html. 1985.