Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, May 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 9

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy BiblePoole's Annotations



Elisha sendeth a young prophet with instructions to anoint Jehu king over Israel; whom he chargeth to destroy the house of Ahab, and fleeth, 2 Kings 9:1-10.

Jehu is made king by the soldiers; killeth Joram in the field of Naboth, 2 Kings 9:11-26;

killeth also Ahaziah king of Judah, 2 Kings 9:27-29;

causeth Jezebel to be thrown out of a window; who is devoured by dogs, 2 Kings 9:30-37.

Verse 1

Gird up thy loins; for haste, to take this opportunity when the kings of Israel and Judah were both absent, 2 Kings 8:29, and Jehu, as it seems, was left in chief command. Partly that the work may not be hindered, and partly for the security of thy own person. See 2 Kings 9:3.

Verse 2

Partly that the work may not be hindered, and partly for the security of thy own person. See 2 Kings 9:3.

Verse 3

I have anointed thee king over Israel: this was not his whole message; but the rest of it is particularly declared 2 Kings 9:7-10, and is to be understood here.

Verse 4

Which is here noted as an eminent act of obedience, whereby he run into a manifest hazard of his life.

Verse 6

Into the house, i.e. into an inner chamber in the house, 2 Kings 9:2.

He poured the oil on his head; thereby in God’s name letting him into the actual possession of the kingdom. For if Elijah did before this time anoint him, as some think, from 1 Kings 19:16, that unction did only confer a remote right to the kingdom, as Samuel’s unction did to David, 1 Samuel 16:13. Though others think Elijah did perform that command by Elisha, to whom he left it in charge, and Elisha waited God’s time and command for the actual execution of it, which he received at this time.

Verse 7

Smite, i.e. kill and destroy, as that word is used, Genesis 8:21, and elsewhere.

Thy master; thy former lord and king.

Verse 10

In the portion of Jezreel; in that part of land in or near the city, which belonged to Naboth.

Verse 11

To the servants of his lord; to the rest of the commanders and officers there present.

Is all well? is not this unlucky messenger come with some ill tidings?

Wherefore came this mad fellow? they perceived him to be a prophet by his habit, and gestures, and manner of speech. And these profane soldiers esteemed the Lord’s prophets madmen; partly, because of their neglect of themselves, and contempt of all worldly wealth and honour, which the wise men of this world so greedily seek, and of their strange and uncouth manner of living; partly, because of their holy exercises to which they devoted themselves, which they esteemed nothing but a religious frenzy; and partly, because of those unusual and seemingly ridiculous gestures and actions which the prophets sometimes used in raptures of spirit, or in the fervours of devotion. Compare Jeremiah 29:26; John 10:20; Acts 26:24.

Ye know the man, and his communication; you rightly guess that he was a madman, and so it appears by his discourse with me, which was, after the manner of that sort of man, vain and impertinent, to tell me of my sins, or of my duty, or such things as are not worth my speaking, or your hearing.

Verse 12

It is false: there is something extraordinary and of great importance in his message, as we plainly perceive by his calling thee into an inner chamber, by his great expedition, and by his gesture and carriage.

Tell us now: his concealment of the thing made them more greedy to know it.

Verse 13

Then they hasted; being well-pleased with the thing; partly, from the advantage which hereby they expected; partly, from that desire of change which is in most men’s natures; and principally, by God’s providence inclining their hearts to Jehu.

Took every man his garment, and put it under him; a ceremony used in the eastern parts towards superiors, in token of great reverence to his person, that they would not have his feet to touch the ground, and that they put themselves and their concerns under his feet, and into his disposal. See Poole "Matthew 21:7".

On the top of the stairs; in some high and eminent place, whence he might be seen and owned by all the soldiers, who were called together upon this great occasion.

Verse 14

Joram had kept Ramoth-gilead; which interpreters conclude to have been taken by Joram before this time, though the taking of it be not mentioned. This they gather, first, from the mention of the inner chamber, 2 Kings 9:2, and of the top of the stairs here; secondly, from 2 Kings 9:15, Let none go forth out of the city. But these arguments seem not to be cogent. Not the former, because there might be some suburbs or outbuildings belonging to the city, or not far from it, which the Israelite might have in their possession. Nor the latter, as we shall there see. And if it was taken, why should all Israel be there to keep it, for which a strong garrison was sufficient? The words therefore may be otherwise rendered, exactly according to the Hebrew,

Joram had kept, or did keep, (to wit, by his army left there,) or put guards, or laid siege at, or to, (for so the particle beth is oft used,)

Ramoth-gilead. And therefore he had all Israel, i.e. all the military force of Israel, with him, that he might both maintain the siege, and withal oppose Hazael, who sought to relieve it.

Verse 15

When he fought with Hazael; when he came with an army, either to retake the city taken by Joram, or to raise the siege. Out of the city; or, from the city; either from within the city, or from before it, from the siege or army.

To go to tell it in Jezreel; that we may surprise him, and so more easily subdue him.

Verse 16

Went to Jezreel, accompanied with the horsemen of his army.

Verse 17

Inquire who it is comes, and if he come upon peaceable terms. For he feared, lest either the Syrians had prevailed there, or some sedition or rebellion was raised against him; which the example of Libnah, and his own guilty conscience, made him fear.

Verse 18

What hast thou to do with peace? what right hast thou, or thy master that sent thee, to peace?

Verse 20

As his temper is hasty and fierce, so is his march.

Verse 21

Against Jehu, or, to meet Jehu, to know his intentions, and by his presence to repress any seditious inclinations which might be in Jehu or his followers.

In the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite; in that field which formerly belonged to Naboth, part whereof was enclosed by Ahab, and made a garden.

Verse 22

Is it peace? dost thou come to me with a peaceable mind, or in a way of hostility? For now, when it was too late, he began to suspect some treachery; which God hid from him before, to prepare him for destruction.

What peace? what cause hast thou to expect peace, when thou hast so long abetted, and dost still abet, and allow thy mother in her abominable practices?

The whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel, and her witchcrafts; which are to be understood, either, literally; spiritual whoredom, which is idolatry, being oft punished with corporal; see 2 Kings 9:30; and

witchcraft there was oft practised by idolaters. Or rather, mystically and spiritually of her idolatry, which is oft called whoredom, because it is a departing from God to whom we are all tied by many obligations; and witchcraft, either because it doth so powerfully bewitch and deceive men’s minds, or because it is a manifest entering into covenant with the devil. For idolatry being her chief sin, and the cause of all the rest, it seems improbable that Jehu would omit that in the indictment which he drew against her. He mentions not Joram’s, but his mother’s sins; partly, because they were more notorious and infamous; partly, because they were the principal cause why God inflicted, and he was come to execute, these judgments; partly, because by his connivance he had made them his own; and partly, because he could find no gross and odious matter wherewith to charge him, except about the worship of the calves; which he forbore to mention, both lest it should lose his interest amongst his officers and soldiers, who were devoted to that worship; and because he himself intended to keep it up.

Verse 23

Joram turned his hands; either that therewith he might turn the reins of the chariot, or that by this motion he might direct his charioteer to turn it from Jehu.

Verse 24

Between his arms; between his shoulders, when he was turned or turning back, the chariot being probably open behind, as many times they were.

Verse 25

When I and thou rode together after Ahab his father; which might be when Ahab went in his chariot, attended with his nobles or chief officers, (of which these were two,) to take a formal and solemn possession of Naboth’s land; for then the prophet Elijah met him, and denounced this judgment against him, 1 Kings 21:17, &c.

This burden, i.e. this grievous prophecy; for such are oft and truly called burdens, as Isaiah 13:1; Isaiah 15:1; Jeremiah 23:33,Jeremiah 23:34; Nahum 1:1.

Verse 26

The blood of his sons; who, as it seems, were killed with their father by Jezebel’s advice, to make the possession of the vineyard more sure to Ahab, though it be not mentioned in its proper place, 1 Kings 21:13; for it is not unusual to bring in such fragments of history in succeeding writings which were neglected in the history of those matters. Thus we read of the earthquake in the days of Uzziah, Amos 1:1, which was not recorded in his history, in the Books of the Kings or Chronicles. Although he might well be charged with taking away the lives of his sons, because he took away the necessary supports of their lives. I will requite thee in this plat; of which See Poole "1 Kings 21:19".

Cast him into the plat of ground; where he shall lie unburied, and be a prey to the dogs or fowls, according to the prediction, 1 Kings 21:24.

Verse 27

By the way of the garden-house; by some secret way, hoping to escape whilst they were busy about Joram.

Smite him also, as you have done Joram; for he also is of the house of Ahab, 2 Kings 8:18.

They did so; they smote or wounded him, but not mortally; either supposing that the wound was mortal; or being more remiss in executing Jehu’s sentence against him, because they were not so much concerned in his as in Joram’s design; or because they had some kindness for him, either for his own or for Jehoshaphat’s sake.

He fled to Megiddo, and died there.

Quest. How doth this agree with 2 Chronicles 22:9, He sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, for he was hid in Samaria, and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him, &c.

Answ. Either, first, Samaria is there to be understood, not of the city, but of the kingdom or territory so called, 1 Kings 13:32, and elsewhere, in which Megiddo was; and so that may be noted to show that he could not flee into his own kingdom, where he might have been safe; but was forced to take up in another part of the kingdom of Israel, in the territory of Samaria, and there to hide himself. Or, secondly, If Samaria be the city, then the history is briefly and imperfectly described here, and the defects supplied there; (the Book of Chronicles being in great part written for that end, to supply things omitted in the Book of Kings;) and out of both the history may be thus completed: He fled first to Megiddo, and thence to Samaria, where he was caught, and thence brought to Jehu, and by his sentence was put to death at Megiddo, either because Jehu was there at that time upon some occasion, or for some other reason, which at this distance of time we cannot understand.

Verse 28

Which they did by Jehu’s permission for Jehoshaphat’s sake, 2 Chronicles 22:9.

Verse 29

Of this See Poole "2 Kings 8:25".

Verse 30

Either hoping that by her majestic dress and carriage she might strike Jehu or his followers with such an awe, that they should not offer any injury to her person; or rather, because perceiving her case to be desperate, and that she could not live, was resolved to die with honour and gallantry.

Verse 31

At the gate of the king’s palace.

Had Zimri peace, who slew his master? remember that thy brother traitor Zimri had but a very short enjoyment of the benefit of his treason, and was speedily and severely punished for it by my grandfather, Omri, 1 Kings 16:9,1 Kings 16:16, and do thou expect the same from some of my posterity.

Verse 32

For such used to attend upon queens in their chambers.

Verse 33

They threw her down; being mercenary creatures, they quickly comply with Jehu’s command, sacrificing her life to save their own.

Verse 34

This he suddenly commanded: either because he had forgot the charge given him above, 2 Kings 9:10, or because having done his own business, he was careless about God’s work, and the fulfilling of his threatening.

For she is a king’s daughter: see 1 Kings 16:31. He doth not say, because she was a king’s wife, lest he should seem to show any respect to that wicked and cursed house of Ahab, which God had devoted to ignominy and utter destruction.

Verse 36

This is the word of the Lord: this strange providence brings that to his mind which he had forgotten, or did not regard.

Verse 37

These words are not extant in the place where this prophecy is first mentioned, 1 Kings 21:23, but are here added, either by Jehu, by way of explication and amplification; or rather, because Elijah spoke them, though they be not there recorded, as being for the substance of them contained in the former words; it being usual to insert some passages in following writings which had been omitted in the former.

Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 9". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/2-kings-9.html. 1685.
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