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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 10

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary


2 Kings 9:1 to 2 Kings 10:31 . The Revolution and Overthrow of the Baal Worship.— This spirited narrative is probably derived from the same source as 1 Kings 20, 22; and, if we strike out the short Deuteronomic portion ( 2 Kings 9:7-10), we cannot fail to notice the detachment of the writer, who neither condemns nor approves, but merely relates the tragedy. Hosea ( Hosea 1:4), a little more than a century later, evidently condemns the whole transaction, and traces the fall of Jehu’ s house to the blood of Jezreel. This is in strong contrast with the Deuteronomic passage, 2 Kings 10:28-31.

Hazael was evidently able to do very little against Israel as long as the house of Omri was on the throne. Ramoth-gilead, where Ahab was slain, had been recovered ( cf. 1 Kings 21:3 with 2 Kings 9:14), but Jehoram had been wounded in some battle.

Verses 1-36

2 Kings 10:1-31 . Destruction of the House of Ahab and of the Baal Worshippers.— The same source is continued, but 2 Kings 10:28-31 are from a Deuteronomist. The whole story is one of the most terrible in the OT, Ahab had a large family in Samaria. Jehu with a sort of rude chivalry invited the elders of the city to choose one of them as king, and to fight for the throne. But the cowardly rulers promised submission, and at Jehu’ s command sent the heads of the seventy sons to Jezreel in baskets ( 2 Kings 10:7). A further massacre of all Ahab’ s adherents at Jezreel followed, and of forty-two of the family of Ahaziah, king of Judah ( 2 Kings 10:13).

Jehu next ( 2 Kings 10:15 f.) formed an alliance with Jehonadab, the son of Rechab. From Jeremiah we learn (Jeremiah 35*) that this man was the founder of an ascetic community which repudiated the whole civilisation that Israel learnt in Canaan. They dwelt in tents, refused to practise agriculture or to live in houses, and rigorously abstained from wine (p. 85). The rise of such a movement, says Skinner (Cent.B), at this juncture in the history is a sign of the profound and far-reaching issues involved in the conflict between Yahweh and Baal The sect of Jehonadab continued till the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, and the priestly or prophetic office was promised to them for ever, as they were to “ stand before Yahweh” ( Jeremiah 35:18).

The treacherous massacre of the Baal worshippers in Samaria ( 2 Kings 10:17-27) has several points of interest. It is not easy to see how Jehu could have posed, as he undoubtedly did, as a devotee of Baal, especially as ( 2 Kings 10:23) the professors of the two cults were distinct; there was no syncretism of Yahweh and Baal worship, as in the case of the old Canaanitish idolatry. The description of the service is noteworthy, especially the use of sacred vestments which were lent to the worshippers ( Genesis 35:2 *). The expression “ the city of the house of Baal” ( 2 Kings 10:25) is very difficult, and is found in all the VSS. It has been suggested that the Heb. letters slightly altered would make it the “ oracle” ( 1 Kings 6:22), i.e. the most sacred adytum in the Baal temple, answering to the holy of holies. The promise to Jehu that his sons to the fourth generation should inherit his throne was fulfilled in Jehoahaz, Joash, and Jeroboam II. Israel’ s power was evidently shattered by the destruction of Ahab’ s family, and the house of Jehu could not hold the territory E. of the Jordan ( 2 Kings 10:32 f.). In the words of the writer, “ Yahweh began to cut Israel short.”

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/2-kings-10.html. 1919.
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