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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
2 Kings 9

 

 

Verse 1

2 Kings 9:1 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 Ramothgilead:

Ver. 1. And Elisha the prophet.] Now the time was come for the utter extirpation of Ahab’s house by Jehu, God’s executioner. When wickedness is ripe in the field, God will not let it shed to grow again, but cutteth it up by a just and seasonable vengeance.

Called one of the children of the prophets.] The Hebrews say this was Jonah, whom they make to be the widow of Zarephath’s son, the same that was raised from the dead; (a) but that is uncertain. Elisha went not himself haply, because aged, and for privacy’s sake.


Verse 2

2 Kings 9:2 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;

Ver. 2. Make him arise up.] Stay not till he ariseth from the council board, but let him know that thou hast a message to him from the Lord, and take him aside for the purpose. God’s mind must be delivered boldly, but yet wisely and warily.


Verse 3

2 Kings 9:3 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.

Ver. 3. Then open the door and flee, and tarry not.] No, not so long as to hear what Jehu himself will say to thee, saith Vatablus.


Verse 4

2 Kings 9:4 So the young man, [even] the young man the prophet, went to Ramothgilead.

Ver. 4. So the young man, even the young man went,] q.d., Young though he were, yet he did his business exactly and boldly, disposing of a kingdom according to that, "I have set thee over kingdoms and nations, to plant and to root up." [Jeremiah 1:10]


Verse 5

2 Kings 9:5 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.

Ver. 5. To thee, O captain.] Jehu was captain general of all Jehoram’s forces, and so had the fairer opportunity of taking the kingdom.


Verse 6

2 Kings 9:6 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.

Ver. 6. And he arose.] This, saith one, (a) showeth some piety toward God to have been in him, although it was soon overthrown by his vainglory.


Verse 7

2 Kings 9:7 And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel.

Ver. 7. And thou shalt smite.] See on 2 Kings 9:1.


Verse 8

2 Kings 9:8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel:

Ver. 8. And him that is shut up and left in Israel,] i.e., Not only him who is laid hold on by thee, but him also that shall escape thee, or be let go by thee.


Verse 9

2 Kings 9:9 And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah:

Ver. 9. Like the house of Jeroboam.] Hereby was hinted to Jehu what himself was to expect if found faulty.


Verse 10

2 Kings 9:10 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.

Ver. 10. In the portion of Jezreel.] In some place about the city.


Verse 11

2 Kings 9:11 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.

Ver. 11. Wherefore came this mad fellow to thee?] So God’s prophets were ever counted and called by the mad world, always besides itself in point of salvation. See Jeremiah 29:26, Hosea 9:7, Acts 26:24, 2 Corinthians 5:13. These profane ruffians could not name such a one without a flout, because the prophets declaimed against their wickedness, and condemned the world’s vanities, which they so much esteemed. But though their tongues thus spake after the wicked guise of it, miscalling the prophet’s innocency, yet their desire to know what he said and did, did abundantly show what credit they gave him secretly; and after, they make him king whom that mad fellow had anointed, to the hazard of their own lives. God giveth a secret authority to his despised servants, so as they which hate their persons yet reverence their truth; even very scorners cannot but believe them.

Ye know the man, and his communication,] viz., That he is, as you say, a kind of a madman, and that what he saith is not much to be heeded. Or, That he is a prophet, and comes with a message from the Lord.


Verse 12

2 Kings 9:12 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.

Ver. 12. And they said, It is false.] It is no ordinary errand that he cometh on to thee; and this they might gather by the prophet’s calling Jehu into an inner chamber, and perhaps by Jehu’s troubled thoughts appearing in his countenance.


Verse 13

2 Kings 9:13 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.

Ver. 13. Then they hasted.] See on 2 Kings 9:11.

And took every man his garment, and put it under him.] That is, under Jehu, in token of subjection, and for a ceremony of honour which they used to their new kings, as Matthew 21:7-8. The Romans had a like custom, as Plutarch writeth; and the Grecians, as Athenaeus.

On the top of the stairs.] i.e., In suggesto regio, (a) in some high place, which they made use of for a throne.


Verse 14

2 Kings 9:14 So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramothgilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria.

Ver. 14. Now Joram had kept Ramothgilead.] Which he had newly won from the Syrians in this expedition, but had somewhat to do to hold it.


Verse 15

2 Kings 9:15 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.

Ver. 15. Of the wounds which the Syrians had given him.] Kings in those days ventured their own persons very far in battles. Joram’s both wounds and absence from his army made much for Jehu’s purpose.


Verse 16

2 Kings 9:16 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.

Ver. 16. And Ahaziah king of Judah was come down.] But to an ill bargain, as we say; to be "taken in an evil net," as Solomon hath it. As he had joined with Joram in sin, so he was to be joined with him in destruction, and all this by the will and appointment of God, as it is in 2 Chronicles 22:7, at a time of great joy and jollity for the recovery of Ramothgilead, and for the entertainment of the king of Judah, and forty princes of his blood, who were expected at court. [2 Kings 10:13] Wicked men are taken at the worst.


Verse 17

2 Kings 9:17 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?

Ver. 17. Is it peace?] This was ever the great question; 2 Kings 9:11, Is all well? Heb., Is it peace? This their guiltiness asketh. All would be well but for their sins. They fear not these; they fear all others, as Cain did, who to them, like comets, are seldom seen without the portendment of a mischief.


Verse 18

2 Kings 9:18 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.

Ver. 18. Is it peace?] See 2 Kings 9:17.


Verse 19

2 Kings 9:19 Then he sent out a second on horseback, which came to them, and said, Thus saith the king, [Is it] peace? And Jehu answered, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me.

Ver. 19. What hast thou to do with peace?] Heb., What is it to thee and peace? Trouble not thyself and me with such inquiries; I myself will answer Joram.


Verse 20

2 Kings 9:20 And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving [is] like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously.

Ver. 20. For he driveth furiously.] Heb., In madness:

Sic Caesar in omnia praeceps,

Nil actum credens, dum quid superesset agendum,

Fertur atrox. ” - Lucan.

The Chaldee here paraphraseth, quoniam lente incedit; and Josephus hath it, he marcheth slowly with a well-ordered troop: but the Hebrew word is the same with that in 2 Kings 9:11, rightly rendered mad fellow, and here madly, headlongly, as if he would kill his horses with fast riding.


Verse 21

2 Kings 9:21 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.

Ver. 21. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah.] These never dreamed of an enemy, though the messengers were detained, but thought, likely, that Jehu came with good news from the army, whereof himself would be the first messenger. Sic Deus quem destruit dementat, God infatuateth those whom he meaneth to destroy.


Verse 22

2 Kings 9:22 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?

Ver. 22. So long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel.] That notorious idolatress and adulteress, who might truly say with that notable strumpet, Quartilla in Petronius, Iunonem meam iratam habeam, si unquam me meminerim virginem fuisse.


Verse 23

2 Kings 9:23 And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, [There is] treachery, O Ahaziah.

Ver. 23. And fled.] But divine vengeance, which the Greeks call Aδραστεια, because there is no fleeing from it, had him in chase, and there was no escaping.


Verse 24

2 Kings 9:24 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.

Ver. 24. And the arrow went out at his heart.] Jehu was an excellent marksman; but it was God that guided his hand, strengthened his arm, [Ezekiel 30:24] and ordered his arrow. [Jeremiah 50:9]


Verse 25

2 Kings 9:25 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;

Ver. 25. Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain.] Heb., Triarium suum, his third captain, or captain of a third part of his forces.

The Lord laid this burden.] {See Trapp on "Malachi 1:1"}


Verse 26

2 Kings 9:26 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.

Ver. 26. Surely I have seen yesterday.] It was but yesterday. Murder ever bleedeth fresh in the eye of God. To him many years, yea, that eternity that is past, is but yesterday.

And the blood of his sons.] Put to death, it seemeth by this text, together with their father, that Ahab might come clear to the vineyard; unless, by the loss of their blood, we shall understand the loss of their means; for a poor man’s livelihood is his life; he is in his stock like a snail in his shell. Crush that, and you kill him quite.

And I will requite thee in this plat.] See on 1 Kings 21:19.

Now therefore take and cast him.] Jehoram’s blood manureth that plot that was wrung from Naboth, and Jezebel shall add to this compost. Oh, garden of herbs dearly bought, royally dunged!


Verse 27

2 Kings 9:27 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.

Ver. 27. Smite him also in the chariot.] For he was of Ahab’s house, too, by marriage, and so within Jehu’s commission. So dangerous a thing it is to he imped in a wicked family.


Verse 28

2 Kings 9:28 And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city of David.

Ver. 28. And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem.] This Jehu permitted them to do for good Jehoshaphat’s sake. [2 Chronicles 22:9]


Verse 29

2 Kings 9:29 And in the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah.

Ver. 29. And in the eleventh year.] See 2 Kings 8:25.


Verse 30

2 Kings 9:30 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.

Ver. 30. And she painted her face.] Heb., She put her eyes in painting, (a) פיד, φυκος, fucus. This she did ad conciliandum regiam maiestatem, to show herself to Jehu in majesty and royal brightness; for she was extremely proud and arrogant to her very last, and now she would show what a brave spirit she had in this her desperate condition: (b) and that if she must die, she would die in her gaiety. Peter Martyr here compareth the Pope of Rome to Jezebel in sundry particulars. And besides Pope Joan, an arrant whore, Pope Sylvester and others of them, great magicians; we read of Pope Paulus Venetus, that, Jezebel-like, he painted himself, desired to seem a woman, and was called the goddess Cybele. It was, therefore, a witty answer of a certain painter, who, when he was asked by a cardinal why he coloured the visages of Peter and Paul so red, tartly he replied, I paint them so, as blushing at the lives of their successors. (c)


Verse 31

2 Kings 9:31 And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, [Had] Zimri peace, who slew his master?

Ver. 31. She said, Had Zimri peace?] Or, O Zimri - so she calleth Jehu, his master’s murderer, - shall it be peace? thinkest thou to carry it away clear thus? She thought, haply, that being a woman she might say anything, Hecuba-like; and that Jehu would not meddle with her: but he had a particular charge about her, [2 Kings 9:7; 2 Kings 9:10] and his case was not Zimri’s, who came quickly to an ill end indeed; as did also Phocas, who had stewed his master Mauricius in his own broth, and was himself killed piecemeal.


Verse 32

2 Kings 9:32 And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who [is] on my side? who? And there looked out to him two [or] three eunuchs.

Ver. 32. There looked out to him two or three eunuchs.] Those rats of the court, as a certain emperor called them: these were active in their lady’s death, all hope of further advantage by her being taken away.


Verse 33

2 Kings 9:33 And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and [some] of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot.

Ver. 33. And some of her blood.] Her brains, that devised mischief against the servants of God, are strewed upon the walls: and she that insulted upon the prophets, is trampled upon by the horses’ heels.


Verse 34

2 Kings 9:34 And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed [woman], and bury her: for she [is] a king’s daughter.

Ver. 34. And bury her.] He had forgot, belike, at present, the prophecy of Elijah, that dogs should eat her flesh, which yet soon after he remembereth. [2 Kings 9:36]

For she is a king’s daughter.] Meaning Ethbaal king of Zidon, whom he was loath to incense.


Verse 35

2 Kings 9:35 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.

Ver. 35. Than the skull, and the feet.] All her flesh was devoured by dogs. And the like befell those Donatists that cast the sacramental bread to dogs, as is before noted. Let all dogged persecutors look to it: Qualis vita, finis ita; those that fall foul upon the saints, shall come to an ill end, as were easy to exemplify.


Verse 36

2 Kings 9:36 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:

Ver. 36. This is the word of the Lord.] See 2 Kings 9:34.


Verse 37

2 Kings 9:37 And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; [so] that they shall not say, This [is] Jezebel.

Ver. 37. Shall be as dung.] Here seemeth to be an allusion to the etymology of her name. Jezebel is the same with E-zebel, that is, where is the dung? or, Je-zebel, that is, the island of dung, or, woe to the dung. (a) The devil is from the same root called in the gospel Beelzebul, the lord of dung, or, a dunghill deity. Iezebel, idem est quod vanitatis profluvium, saith Ambrose, vel vana et vacua redundantia, the superfluity of naughtiness.

So that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.] Katherine de Medici, queen mother of France, after she had for thirty years’ space wonderfully troubled that kingdom, died ingloriously, and as wishedly as she had lived wickedly and dissolutely,

Plenaque fraudis anus.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-9.html. 1865-1868.

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