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Monday, October 2nd, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 9

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead:

Elisha ... called one of the children or the prophets. This errand referred to the last commission given to Elijah in Horeb (1 Kings 19:16). Box of oil, [ pak (H6378), called a "vial," 1 Samuel 10:1, and "horn," 1 Samuel 16:1; Septuagint, ton fakon, the vessel, in the shape of a lentil.]

Ramoth-gilead - a city of great importance to the Hebrew people, east of Jordan, as a fortress of defense against the Syrians. Jehoram had regained it (2 Kings 8:29); but the Israelite army was still encamped there, under the command of Jehu.

Verse 2

And when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber;

Look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. It appears from this that he was the grandson of Nimshi, though in a loose sense he is commonly called his "son" (2 Kings 9:20; 1 Kings 19:16: cf. Matthew 1:1).

Carry him to an inner chamber, [ cheder (H2315) bªchaader (H2315), a chamber within a chamber (see the notes at 1 Kings 20:30); Septuagint, eis to tameion en tameioo] - both to ensure the safety of the messenger and to prevent all obstruction in the execution of the business.

Verse 3

Then take the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not.

I have anointed thee king over Israel. This was only a part of the message, the full announcement of which is given, 2 Kings 9:7-10.

Flee, and tarry not - for fear of being surprised and overtaken by the spies or servants of the court.

Verse 4

So the young man, even the young man the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead.

So the young man ... went to Ramoth-gilead. His ready undertaking of this delicate and hazardous mission So the young man ... went to Ramoth-gilead. His ready undertaking of this delicate and hazardous mission was an eminent proof of his piety and obedience.

Verse 5

And when he came, behold, the captains of the host were sitting; and he said, I have an errand to thee, O captain. And Jehu said, Unto which of all us? And he said, To thee, O captain.

He said, I have an errand to thee, O captain, [ hasaar (H8269), prince, leader; Septuagint, ho (G3588) archoon (G758)]. The words used here, both in the Hebrew text and in the Septuagint, are different from what is rendered "captain," 2 Kings 9:25. The act of anointing being done through a commissioned prophet was a divine intimation of his investiture with the sovereign power; but it was sometimes done long prior to the actual possession of the throne (1 Samuel 16:13); and in like manner the commission had in this instance been given also a long time before to Elijah, who, for good reasons, left it in charge to Elisha, and he waited God's time and command for executing it.

Verses 6-9

And he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the LORD, even over Israel.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 10

And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. And he opened the door, and fled.

In the portion of Jezreel - i:e., that had formerly been the vineyard of Naboth.

Verse 11

Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and one said unto him, Is all well? wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication.

Is all well? Jehu's attendants knew that the stranger belonged to the order of the prophets by his garb, gestures, and form of address; and soldiers like them very readily concluded such persons to be crack-brained, not only from the sordid negligence of their personal appearance, and their open contempt of the world, but from the religious pursuits in which their whole lives were spent, and the grotesque actions which they frequently performed (cf. 1 Samuel 19:24; Jeremiah 29:26).

Verse 12

And they said, It is false; tell us now. And he said, Thus and thus spake he to me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 13

Then they hasted, and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king.

Hasted, and took every man his garment. The upper cloak, which they spread on the ground as a token of their homage to their distinguished commander (Matthew 21:7).

Top of the stairs - from the room where the prophet had privately anointed Jehu. That general returned to join his brother officers in the public apartment, who, immediately on learning his destined elevation, conducted him to the top of the stairs leading to the roof, and which was the most conspicuous place of an Oriental structure that could be chosen, being at the very top of the gate-building, and fully in view of the people and military in the open ground in front of the building (Kitto). The popularity of Jehu with the army thus favoured the designs of Providence in procuring his immediate and enthusiastic proclamation as king; and the top of the stairs was taken as a most convenient substitute for a throne.

Verse 14

So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramoth-gilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria.

Joram had kept Ramoth-gilead - rather, was keeping, guarding, or besieging it, with the greater part of the military force of Israel, which, owing to his wounds having compelled the king's retirement from the scene of action, was left in command of Jehu.

Verse 15

But king Joram was returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) And Jehu said, If it be your minds, then let none go forth nor escape out of the city to go to tell it in Jezreel.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 16

So Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to Jezreel; for Joram lay there. And Ahaziah king of Judah was come down to see Joram.

So Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to Jezreel. Full of ambitious designs, he immediately proceeded to cross the Jordan to execute his commission on the house of Ahab.

Verse 17

And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, Is it peace?

A watchman on the tower in Jezreel, [ `al (H5921) hamigdaal (H4026)]. The Migdol was distinguished by its elevation; and not only was it frequently connected with towers, but in the East with royal residences. The Hebrew palaces, besides being situated on hills, had usually towers attached to them, not only for the pleasure of a fine prospect, but as posts of useful observation. A sentinel was always stationed there, not only as a guard of honour to the king in time of peace, but to prevent his being surprised in time of war. The ancient watch-tower of Jezreel mast have commanded a view of the whole region eastward, nearly down to the Jordan. Beth-shan stands on a rising-ground about six or seven miles distant below it, in a narrow part of the plain; and when Jehu and his retinue reached that point between Gilboa and Beth-shan, they would be fully descried by the watchman on the tower, a report being made to Joram in his palace below. A messenger on horseback is quickly despatched down into the plain to meet the ambiguous host, and question the object of their approach.

Is it peace? The appearance of an officer from the camp at Ramoth naturally caused anxiety. We may safely assume that this messenger would meet Jehu at the distance of three miles or more. On the report made of his being detained, and turned into the rear of the still advancing troops, a second messenger is in like manner despatched, who would naturally meet Jehu at the distance of a mile or a mile and a half down on the plain. He also being turned into the rear, the watchman now distinctly perceived 'the driving to be like the driving of Jehu, the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously' [ bªshigaa`own (H7697), in madness]. The Septuagint has: en parallagee; but Josephus ('Antiquities,' b. 9:, ch. 6:, sec. 3) says, 'He marched slowly, and in good order.' He seems to have been attended by an escort of cavalry. The alarmed monarch, now awakened to a sense of his impending danger, quickly summons his forces to meet the crisis, and accompanied by Ahaziah, king of Judah, who had come to inquire respecting his uncle Joram's wound, the two sovereigns ascend their chariots.

Verses 18-20

So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 21

And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite.

And they went out against Jehu [ liqra't (H7125), to meet Jehu; Septuagint, eis apanteen] - to ascertain the cause of his journey, whether it was occasioned by any military disaster, or if he harboured any unlawful design, to take immediate measures for repressing sedition. Since the two monarchs were driving out, Jehu, who continued advancing with impetuous onset, quickly ascended from the plain up the steep northern sides of the site on which Jezreel stood, and met [ wayimtsaa'uhuw (H4672), found] him (the king) in 'the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite.'

Verse 22

And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?

When Joram saw Jehu ... he said, Is it peace, Jehu? Until that moment Joram had no apprehension of danger; but the defiant tone of Jehu, the obloquy cast upon the king's mother, and the outburst of national indignation against her foul idolatries, which through him was about to discharge itself, showed at once both the nature and the gravity of the crisis [ zªnuwneey (H2183) ... 'imªkaa (H517), whoredoms (spiritually), idolatries; uwkshaapeyhaa (H3785), sorceries; Septuagint, farmaka].

Verse 23

And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, O Ahaziah.

Joram turned his hands - i:e., the reins of his chariot-steed, and exclaiming to his royal companion, 'Treason!' prepared for flight homeward.

Verse 24

And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot.

Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, [ milee' (H4390) yaadow (H3027) baqeshet (H7198), filled his hand with the bow] - i:e., drew it out to its utmost bent, to give greater impetus to the arrow (cf. Zechariah 9:13).

And smote Jehoram between his arms, [Septuagint, ana meson toon brachionoon autou, between the shoulders]. Many of the ancient chariots were open behind. The king was wounded in the heart, and expired immediately.-All well-informed and observant travelers have been impressed with the manifest accuracy of the sacred historian; the localities and distances being such as seem naturally to be required by the incidents related, affording just time for the transactions to have occurred in the order in which they are recorded.

Verse 25

Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain, Take up, and cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite: for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the LORD laid this burden upon him;

Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain, [ Bidqar (H920), contraction for ben dªqar, son of stabbing; shaalishow (H7991), third man (see the notes at Exodus 14:7; Exodus 15:1); Septuagint, ton tristateen autou].

Remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, [ rokªbiym (H7392) tsªmaadiym (H6776) 'achªreey (H310), riding in yoke, pair-wise, behind Ahab; Septuagint, epipebeekotes epi zeugee opisoo; Josephus ('Antiquities,' b. 9:, ch. 6:, sec. 3), as we sat behind in the chariot of Ahab.]

Cast him in the portion of the field ... - according to the doom pronounced by divine authority on Ahab (1 Kings 21:19), but which on his repentance was deferred, to be executed on his son.

Verse 26

Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons, saith the LORD; and I will requite thee in this plat, saith the LORD. Now therefore take and cast him into the plat of ground, according to the word of the LORD.

The blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons. Although their death is not expressly mentioned, it is plainly implied in the confiscation of his property (see the notes at 1 Kings 21:16).

I will requite thee in this plat. It was not from any preconcerted design on the part of Jehu that the descendants of Ahab were killed in the very place where the blood of Naboth had been wickedly shed; for he unexpectedly met Joram in the portion of Naboth. Jehu put his captain in mind of the prophecy, and it seems from his mentioning it, to have remained, at the distance of twenty-five years, as vividly impressed on his own memory as on the day when the denunciation of the prophet was uttered.

Verse 27

But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there. Ahaziah - was grand-nephew to king Joram, and great-grandson to king Ahab.

Jehu ... said, Smite him also in the chariot. It is remarkable that the vengeance threatened was brought on the house of Ahab at the very time that the king of Judah was on a visit to Joram, that he might partake of the punishment, as being a descendant of the wicked Ahab. It was by an unexpected concurrence of circumstances that this took place. Joram having been wounded in fighting against the Syrians at Ramah, it was providentially ordered that he should go to Jezreel rather than to Samaria, to be healed of his wounds. Thither his relative Ahaziah had come to visit him, while lying disabled in that place. There is no evidence that Jehu fixed on this time from a wish to include the king of Judah in the punishment of Ahab's family. It does not even appear that Jehu was aware of Ahaziah's being then at Jezreel. All was the result of God's immutable purpose, and accomplished by a wonderful operation of His providence.

Ibleam - near Megiddo, in the tribe of Issachar (Joshua 17:11; Judges 1:27), and Gur was an adjoining hill.

Verses 28-29

And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city of David.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 30

And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.

Jezebel ... painted her face, [ `eeyneyhaa (H5869), her eyes; bapuwk (H6320), in the painting; 'put her eyes in the painting,'] according to a custom universal in the East among women, of staining the eyelids with stibium, the sulphuret of antimony, a black powder, mixed with oil, called in Syria, Egypt, and Persia, kohl, and applied with a small brush or blunt probe of wood, ivory, or silver, on the border, so that by this dark liniment on the edge, the arch of the eyebrow is darkened and elongated, the largeness as well as the luster of the eye itself was thought to be increased, and the natural beauty of the countenance supposed to be heightened by the effects of contrast. This practice existed in early times, as is proved by the ancient monuments of Egypt and the kohl vessels and probes found in the tombs (Lane's 'Egypt,' 1:42: cf. Job 42:14; Jeremiah 4:30; Ezekiel 23:40: Xenophon, 'Cyrop.,' 1:, 15; Pliny, 'Natural History,' 11:, 37; Juvenal, 'Satires,' 2:, 93). Jezebel's object was, by her royal attire, not to captivate, but to overawe Jehu.

Verses 31-34

And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 35

And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands.

Found no more of her than the skull ... The dog has a rooted aversion to prey on the human hands and feet. On Jehu's assumption of the royal authority, he commanded the palace attendants of Jezebel to throw her out of the open lattice from which she was observing the entrance of the regicide. Having spent some time in taking refreshments, he began to talk over the events of the day, particularly the tragic end of Jezebel, and apprehending that he had treated her with an indignity unbecoming her royal rank, he gave orders that her remains should receive a burial suitable to the station of one who had been the daughter, wife, and mother of a king. But his servants, on approaching the scene of the fatal catastrophe, "found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palm of her hands." It is evident from the history that Jehu had no design to cooperate in the confirmation of prophecy. For until he received this information, he had no recollection of the sentence pronounced against her. Then, indeed, it occurred to his mind.

Verse 36

Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel:

He said, This is the word of the Lord - (see the notes at 1 Kings 21:23.) Jehu's statement, however, was not a literal, but a paraphrased quotation of Elijah's prophecy.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/2-kings-9.html. 1871-8.
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