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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
2 Kings 9

 

 


Verses 1-37

2 Kings 9:1. One of the children of the prophets. A young man, fit for the mission, swift of foot: a bruised reed to overthrow a throne stained with the blood of countless martyrs.

2 Kings 9:7. Thou shalt smite the house of Ahab. Where can we find a charge equal to this in precision, in plenitude, in strength and sublimity? Jehu’s openness and candour gained all the captains over to his cause; for God inspired them with his spirit.

2 Kings 9:13. Every man took his garment, and put it under him. This was an early homage paid to kings, that their feet might not touch the ground. In this manner the multitudes honoured Christ in riding into Jerusalem. The Taheitans still do the same, carrying their king and queen in palanquins.

2 Kings 9:27. When Ahaziah, king of Judah saw this, he fled. Thus he and all his guards perished in a bad cause, the result of that most imprudent and tragic marriage with Jezebel’s daughter.

2 Kings 9:34. Go see now this cursed woman. The dogs had already eaten her up, and fulfilled Elijah’s prediction. Where shall we find an equal to Jezebel, except in her daughter Athaliah, or in Astarbè, wife of Pygmalion king of Tyre, celebrated in the poets, and in the eighth book of Telemachus. The dogs ate her flesh in the hurry and confusion of the city, for prophecies are mostly fulfilled to the minutiæ of the letter; yea, by circumstances apparently fortuitous.

REFLECTIONS.

In this chapter we see the Almighty shine forth in all the terror and glory of justice. When once he has sentenced an individual or a family to die, and no repentance intervenes, the punishment is sure to come. It is now perhaps thirteen years since Elijah was commissioned in Horeb to take those steps against this house; but Ahab’s temporary repentance obtained from the gracious God this long reprieve. Now the day was come, and no more time allowed for repentance; and mark now the harmony and ease with which heaven executes its plans. The young man found Jehu sitting with his staff of superior officers. He called him aside, poured the oil on his head, and gave him a particular charge to cut off the house of Ahab, because of the blood of the prophets, and of God’s faithful servants; for precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. The curiosity of the captains not a little facilitated the design. They ridiculed the prophet as deranged, and yet perhaps trembled with suspense; they read the countenance of Jehu on his return, and saw nothing but pensive solemnity. They eagerly demanded to know the import of the mission; he affected to talk of something moral and unimportant. They replied, it is vague or false, and desired to know the whole secret. He then simply related it, and his words kindled as fire catching dry tow. Thus the Lord gave the spirit with the anointing, and the angry clouds gathered on all hands against the house of Ahab.

When warnings have long failed, the punishment comes on the wicked when they are not aware. Jehoram had so far recovered of his wounds as to be able to fight. Ahaziah, king of Judah, had come to comfort him, and he still remained at court. Every thing was in profound repose, when the watchman got a full view of Jehu’s rapid approach. Sinner, hast thou been long warned, and warned in vain? Hast thou recovered from some recent sickness, or great family troubles? Art thou surrounded in thy house with every comfort, and promising thyself a permanent repose? Remember, God has a long account to settle with thy conscience; and he may enforce his demands by a sudden arrest. Beware of a guilty slumber, tremble at the lap of ease, and be assured that a happiness forced from the pursuits of life will suddenly fail as the summer streams.

Persons comparatively innocent, often suffer by unhallowed connections with the wicked. Jehoshaphat had very imprudently taken a wife for his son of Ahab’s house; he had entered into a treaty offensive and defensive with this apostate king, saying, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people. By this connection with an idolatrous and bloody house he derived no advantage. The ten tribes were then too weak to injure or to defend him; but we shall presently see that David’s whole posterity were by this step destroyed, with the exception of Joash, an infant. The shameful fall of Ahaziah was only the beginning of calamities to the house of David, and chiefly through this connection.

In the death of persons consummately wicked there is often something weak and preposterous. On the approach of Jehu, Jezebel, instead of weeping, for grace had long ago denied her the tears of repentance, painted her face, hoping notwithstanding her age, either to attract the desire or the admiration of the avenger of blood. She all at once turned moralist, and asked him, though the cases were totally dissimilar, whether Zimri had peace when he slew his master? She seemed not to have the most distant idea, that she herself was within a moment of eternity; and that her domestics, secretly hating her, stood ready to execute the commands of Jehu. When God rises up against his enemies, heaven and earth are at his command.

In the hour of long impending vengeance, not only the more distinguished catastrophes, but circumstances merely casual in appearance, most strikingly contribute to illustrate the characters of justice. Jehoram, infatuated to meet destruction, fell near the walls of Naboth’s vineyard. Had Jezebel kept her chamber, she had been executed with decency and interred with honour: but impudently exposing her person, she was thrown into the very street where the dogs had licked the blood of Naboth and his sons, and now the dogs during the confusion feasted on her flesh. How confidently may injured innocence repose its cause in the Lord’s hands. Be instructed, oh my soul, to hate crimes, to love righteousness, and to abide in constant covenant with God.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/2-kings-9.html. 1835.

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Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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