Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 10:16

He said, "Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord ." So he made him ride in his chariot.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Enthusiasm;   Homicide;   Inconsistency;   Jehu;   Jonadab;   Religion;   Zeal, Religious;   Thompson Chain Reference - Activity;   Display;   Earnestness;   Earnestness-Indifference;   Fervour;   Ostentation;   Zealousness;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Rechabites;   Zeal;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Jehu;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Zeal;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Jehonadab;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Rechabites;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Jehu;   Rechab, Rechabites;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Zeal;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Jehonadab;   Jehu;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Jehon'adab;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Jehu;   Rechabites;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Jealousy;   Jehu;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord - O thou ostentatious and murderous hypocrite! Thou have zeal for Jehovah and his pure religion! Witness thy calves at Dan and Bethel, and the general profligacy of thy conduct. He who can call another to witness his zeal for religion, or his works of charity, has as much of both as serves his own turn.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-10.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Kings 10:16

Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord.

The nature of Christian zeal

Truly it is delightful and instructive to see any creature exhibiting the proofs of an ardent zeal for the glory, of the great Creator, and directing the energies of his nature to this one object as the chief end of existence. Then, and then only, may it be said that he fills and adorns the station allotted to him in the scale of being; and he becomes sublimely associated with Deity when every selfish consideration is absorbed by an intense desire that God may be all in all. Such character and conduct Jehu affected to exhibit in this history, And in the person of Jehonadab, the son of Rechab, he found a witness of his deeds the most suitable he could have desired. Our object in selecting the passage is not to hold out an example, but a caution. The light of sound instruction is to be found here. Let us reflect on the indications of a zeal essentially defective, and on those of one permanently influential.

I. The indications of a zeal essentially defective. It will be proper here to notice--

1. The motives which usually prevail. They are such as are accordant with the reign of selfishness. Of course, it is not intended to enter into a minute and extended investigation of the various motives which may be brought into play, in connection with the exhibitions of religions zeal. A few may suffice which are known to have an influence on the minds of men with regard to missionary operations. For instance, natural compassion for the temporal miseries of our species. Far be it from us to speak in terms of disparagement of such a feeling, it is excellent, so far as it goes; as on its influence, in a great measure, depends the preservation of the general framework of society. It need scarcely to be remarked, that, however excellent this feeling of compassion may be, it may exist, and in a strong degree, apart from any concern for the glory of God or the welfare of men’s souls. A desire to propagate our own opinions and practices in matters of religion has often produced considerable effect on the minds of men. The vanity to be esteemed benevolent may also prove a powerful motive to exertion.

2. The degree of excitement produced by an appeal to such motives may be as strong as any of which nature is capable. Such as we have referred to evidently animated the Arabs in the infancy of the Moslem faith, and fined them with a vigour and a daring that scorned all opposition and difficulty, and that resulted in wonderful success. And were not these the motives co which appeal was made, when by the preachings of Peter the Hermit, and of the Pope, the indignation of Europe was roused; and when her potent states vied with each other in pouring forth their armed multitudes to meet the Saracens in the Holy Land--when the victorious soldiers waded through the blood of their foes to sing praises to Christ at His altar, as if in defiance of the precept which He had enjoined on His followers--“Bless them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you”?

3. There are certain limitations, by which such motives will be necessarily restrained. The coincidence of the gratification of self-love with the claims of philanthropy will ever determine the extent of activity. And this coincidence we cannot expect to be of long continuance. Some novel and therefore more popular cause will divert the attention.

4. The improbability of enjoying the Divine blessing while actuated by such motives. That God may bless, notwithstanding their influence, we are not inclined to doubt, but certainly, we are not warranted to expect a blessing, unless taught to act on higher principles. Let us therefore seriously examine ourselves with regard to our real motives.

II. The indications of a zeal permanently influential; of which it may be predicted at the outset of its career that it will prove co-extensive with the energies of life.

1. Such zeal must arise, we apprehend, from the effectual application of the Gospel to the heart. Without this, we cannot conceive how a man can really desire the increase of true religion, as he can have no just idea of its nature.

2. Motives corresponding with this experience will incline the believer to seek the conversion of sinners in the heathen world. Such we conceive the following to be. A desire to promote the glory of God, whose character is dishonoured by the practices of idolatry.

3. Universality and permanence of zeal are thus secured. Selfish zeal is partial; in the case of Jehu, the idolatry of Baalim is overthrown; but an idolatry equally offensive is countenanced at Bethel and Dan. He who acts under the influence of the motives peculiar to a renewed mind, is likely to aim at universality of obedience to Divine directions; and as He who has begun a good work in him, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ; his zeal, allowing for some variations of intensity and modes or exercise, will continue till time is exchanged for eternity.

4. Some important illustrations of the zeal which springs from the power of religion within. Our Lord Jesus Christ gave a perfect exemplification of this zeal. Of course His zeal was displayed under very different circumstances from ours, and was free from the internal counteraction that we too often feel; but in this leading feature, we observe the general analogy; His zeal proceeded from the purity of His character, it was the index of His religious feeling, of His regard for the glory of God, and the salvation of souls.

5. The intensity of our zeal will depend on that of our religion: the one cannot languish without the other. Hence our real prosperity may be more deeply involved in the vigour of our zeal for the Lord than we have perhaps suspected: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee” (Psalms 122:6). The health of a tree is promoted, rather than injured, in bearing fruit. (J. Jones.)

Zeal illustrated by the character of Jehu

In regions where civilisation has made but feeble advances, opinions grossly erroneous prevail concerning some of the most valuable productions of the earth. Substances which, among nations enlightened by science, are daily introduced with signal utility in medicine, in manufactures, in various arts which embellish the paths of life, are indiscriminately neglected and despised: or, in consequence of mischievous effects produced by a rash and unskilful application of them, or by heterogeneous mixtures with which they are debased, become objects of aversion and of dread. Or having been found, in casual trials, to be imbued with beneficial powers; they are extolled as invested with a kind of magical influence, and are blindly employed as possessed of universal efficacy. Similar misconceptions not unfrequently predominate even among ourselves concerning highly estimable endowments of the mind; and predominate from similar causes, a very inaccurate insight into the nature of those endowments, and a hasty and unwarrantable use and appropriation of them. Them by some genius is admired as an ill-powerful talent, grasping without an effort the treasures of Taste and Knowledge; while by others it is depreciated as unfitting the intellect for patient research, and terminating in tinsel and superficial attainments. And thus it is that industry at one time is dignified as nearly superseding the necessity of penetration and invention; at another is degraded as cold, plodding, servile, insensible to refinement, the associate of pedantry and dulness. Among mental qualities there is scarcely, perhaps, one more commonly misunderstood and less accurately appreciated than zeal. One class of men, surveying with indignation the timidity and selfishness of the lukewarm, applaud that conduct in themselves as unsophisticated zeal, which is deeply tinged with indiscretion, insubordination, and unchristian vehemence. An opposite class, deeming zeal but another name for fiery intolerance and enthusiastic wildness, abhor it as restless, sanguinary, and fanatical; and look with suspicion on moderation itself, until it has subsided so low as scarcely to be distinguishable from apathy.

1. The undertaking in which Jehu was engaged was the extermination of the family of Ahab. By the murder of Naboth, and by habitual idolatry, Ahab stood condemned to death under the impartial justice of the Divine law. The sentence was denounced. It is not however by a single characteristic that genuine zeal is ascertained. In colour the counter may exhibit a perfect resemblance of the unadulterated gold. But how stands the comparison as to weight, as to solidity, as to ductility? Let us bring the zeal of Jehu to the test of additional criterions.

2. In the prosecution of his object Jehu speedily displayed a ferocious and cruel spirit.

3. Zeal necessarily bears a character of publicity. It manifests itself in action; and, when directed to objects of extensive importance, is constrained to labour before the eyes and amidst the concourse of men. Genuine zeal for religion, thoroughly imbued with the spirit of Christian humility, though it cannot retire from notice, courts not popular observation. Steadfast, yet unobtrusive, it submits to the general gaze, to the general noise of tongues, which, without relinquishing its appointed office, it cannot avoid; but pushes not forward vain-glorious pretentions, delights not to become the spectacle of wonder, the theme of applause.

4. The zeal that is from above is, first, pure. However ardent in the prosecution of its object, it resorts not to means which are unjustifiable. It abominates craft and duplicity. It abhors the suggestions of that worldly wisdom, which teaches to do evil that good may come.

5. Genuine zeal for religion is, in the strictest import of the terms, zeal for the Lord. Its prime object is the glory of Jehovah, the honour of His name, the purity of His worship, the influence of His law. Is such the zeal of Jehu? Are his cruelty, his ostentation, his falsehood, no more than heterogeneous mixtures, stupendous indeed in collective magnitude, yet no more than extraneous impurities, unnaturally adhering to a latent yet actual zeal for religion; clouding and debasing the living flame, yet without extinguishing or superseding it? (T. Gisborne, M. A.)

Religious zeal

It has been remarked, that were the history of any private family faithfully recorded it would prove as useful and interesting as that of the most renowned nation. Perhaps I may add, with equal truth, that were the intricacies of any human character fairly developed, it would afford a study no less instructive than either; and I would further remark that the only very close details of individual character which are to be found are in the writings of the Old Testament; for, whilst ordinary biographers treat their subjects with a bias of favouritism or dislike, the inspired penmen of Scripture equally disclose both faults and virtues, and show that mixture of good and evil, which, but for our self-love, we should recognise in ourselves; and, but for our shortsighted prejudice/we should see in others. There is no human character without its light and shade. Now, Jehu is a remarkable instance of what I have said, concerning both the fidelity of the sacred writers and the universal mixture of good and evil in human nature. “Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel;” and, in consequence of his doing this and of his executing God’s judgments against the house of Ahab, a blessing was pronounced upon his family, and the throne was secured to them to the fourth generation. But here the righteous course of Jehu stopped short; when all the excitement attending his bloody enterprises died away, his zeal for the Lord fled with it; ordinary circumstances and ordinary temptations resumed their influence and empire over his carnal nature; he took no further heed to walk in God’s law but fell into idolatry. Now, abstractedly one would imagine that such changes of sentiment and irresolution of conduct could only arise in a feeble and capricious character; but Jehu did not belong to this class. I think, my brethren, that this history affords a striking lesson to every Christian, which On the one hand should teach him to distrust in himself a religious zeal produced by merely temporary external causes; and on the other to rest satisfied with nothing short of an abiding principle of faith, silently operating on the heart. We must remember that zeal is in itself but a neutral passion, and only good or bad according to the object about which it is concerned; and when engaged in what is absolutely good, being liable to discouragement through the coldness and indifference of others, it is a passion which subjects men to many trials and to much mortification. Hence it often comes to pass that ardent resolutions and sanguine aspirations, for lack of sympathy, fall back with disgust upon the heart which conceived them, and never revive again for the same worthy purpose. How many have started schemes of the noblest charity, which, failing to elicit co-operation, the feelings which originated them have become permanently embittered! Now in nothing, I apprehend, so much as in religion is zeal liable to carry us beyond the strict line of sincerity and stability; and this principally arises from religious motives affecting us so much more deeply than any other. When you can induce the mind to receive with entire credit that there are such places as heaven and hell--eternal torture and never-ending peace--then you reach depths of feeling which cannot be touched by any other argument. Those signal blessings or severe trials, with which Providence is apt to visit us for our improvement, are often the immediate cause of high resolutions. Other lighter causes operate in the same manner: the admonitions of a friend--the awakening eloquence of a severe sermon--will occasionally flash before the soul the awfulness of eternity, and kindle the holiest determinations; but the friend departs--the sermon ends--and we are again entangled with the world. Sometimes we pursue the ordinances of religion so strictly that we persuade ourselves we are doing God extraordinary service thereby; but from this delusion we also awake. Indeed, these and similar external appeals, meant as they undoubtedly are to provoke us to zeal, must be received with caution--they must not be presumed upon--we must take care that their effect upon us be not merely an Imaginative sentiment, but rather a deep conviction, so grounded in the heart as to produce steady and uniform obedience, even when the exciting cause has passed away! “Come, see my zeal for the Lord!” is the Pharisaical challenge of some ardent believer. To him the ordinary piety of more modest Christians is not worth the name of religion: his own prayers, his own labours, his own conduct, are the only standard of service which the Lord will accept: whatever falls short of these is but husks and vanity; and so he rashly arrogates his pretensions until a change of circumstances shows him his own weakness.

1. It will be my endeavour to show you how to acquire this assurance; and, first of all, avoid religious excitement avoid the cultivation of feelings which, however sincerely entertained at the time, have to confess their hollowness in the searching privacies of the chamber. We are told, remember, to “pray in secret”--“not to let our right hand know what our left doeth”--“to commune with our own heart, and to be still”; we are to ask God to try and prove our sincerity, as being able to accomplish what is not in the power of either ourselves or of the world. Until, therefore, we are assured, by secret self-examinations, that these rules and descriptions are practically exemplified in our own lives, we should avoid obtaining, by public excitation, a character for religious zeal to which conscience in private gives the lie. When once a man feels that he has a character for religion to sustain before the world, which he cannot support satisfactorily when alone--when to men he must appear one thing, and he involuntarily knows that to himself he is another--he has made the first step towards hypocrisy, and hypocrites God always deserts!

2. Let me tell you another way of both increasing and proving your zeal, which is this--be fervent in prayer. You will often find--the very best of you, I fear--that when your prayers are ended your thoughts have throughout been wandering, and that scarcely a petition which fell from your lips had any real sense attached to it: other things were in your mind, interesting and absorbing it. (A. Gatty, M. A.)

Jehu’s false zeal

It is the son of Rechab, the founder of a monastic sect which, amid prevailing idolatry, is still true to Jehovah. He gives, doubtless, a priestly benediction, or approving word, for the sanguinary work already done. It invites the quick reply, “If our hearts are at one in this,--you, man of peace and I, of war,--then let us strike hands in ratification.” The clasp is strong, and the stern ascetic is drawn up into the chariot, to have breathed in his ear, the still more horrible Secret which the avenger is hasting to execute. Here we get our first lesson.

I. Bad men are glad of the approval of religious teachers in their schemes. The multitudes exhibit the deep and unshaken belief that there is an impartial and omniscient Power, who maintains a perfect government in His universe. Spite of all denial, infidelity, and bravado, the wicked have the stubborn conviction that God will visit for their sins.. At the same time, the desire is strangely parent of the hope, that He can be persuaded to mitigate the judgment, or consent to their malign plans. His representatives are regarded as clothed with a certain authority which may be helpful or prejudicial. If their sanction can be obtained, the evil-doer often fancies the Lord is thereby committed. The anathemas of Pope Gregory brought the haughty Henry IV. to his feet in abject entreaty, while the tormenting conscience of Charles IX. was quieted, for a little, at the news of the “Te Deums” sung in Rome over the massacre of the Huguenots. The Divine will was thought, in both eases, to accord with the act of His vicegerents. It seems to be forgotten, that, if any servant is false, his Lord is not therefore untrue; if he is mistaken, his liege is not also; if he gives permit to wrong, the “God without iniquity, just and fight,” does not. The statutes of Christian states may allow and protect slavery, prostitution, dram-selling, easy divorce, but he who thinks therefore to have secured the approval of his Maker in such practices is utterly deceived. The wink of devils ought to bring even a slender saint to his senses. The smile and applause of the wolf ought to create suspicion in his unwary partner. While the world endures, he will try to secure the alliance of the shepherd. Returning to the pair, of such contrasted presence, hurrying on towards Samaria, we catch another sentence from the excited soldier’s lips, “Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord.” At once we bethink ourselves that--

II. True piety is never boastful. Jehu verily thought that he cared much for Jehovah, as he gloated in imagination over the complete destruction of the worshippers of Baal. Idolatry had proved the weakness of the nation and undermined the throne. He was king, and would sit secure only when these perfidious, irreligious subjects were slain. He found that, to rid the earth of them, was to exalt his own name and prestige. The “stroke of policy” was a stroke of piety. He and the Lord were fighting together. He, at any rate, would get great glory out of it. “My zeal” must advertise itself--can never survive unless it does. Holy ardour, on the contrary, is never aware of its own exhibition. The scourge in the hands of the Christ was the token of his zeal for the honour and purity of His Father’s house. It was a ready means to a worthy end--aimed at effect indeed, but not display. John the Baptist, of fiery purpose, was content to be only “a voice,” that the Messiah might be seen. Mary’s box of ointment has shed its sweet perfume of loving unworthiness through the centuries, but she never dreamed of its mention as a costly offering. All the really great things which the disciples of Christ have performed have been without ostentation or consciousness of their superiority. It is a Hindu saying that, “Lowliness excites no man’s envy,” but it does inspire the like grace in a sincere heart. Well had it been for this hero of Israel, if he could have heard the later word of one, every whit his equal in false zeal, but who had learned in the white light of Divine rebuke, that “the things which are despised hath God chosen, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.” We watch now for the illustration of the single-hearted soldier’s zeal, and witnessing the trap set and sprung, and the revolting butchery, are forced to conclude--

III. The self-righteous are likely to regard the suggestions of their passions, as the Divine command. It was a momentous order which Jehu received from the prophet, to destroy the whole reigning family. It came to a ready spirit. By the solemn law of the nation the unfaithful king and all related to him had forfeited their claim upon life. It was a fatal transgression to depart from the Living God. The executioner might be pestilence, or flames leaping from the clouds, or an invading host, or some mighty man armed for the work. Right thoroughly it had been done. The ghastly pile of seventy heads of princes, laid on either side of the gate of Jezreel, had witnessed to this servant’s energy and fidelity. The taste of blood had created, as in the tiger, an imperious thirst. A wild glare was in his eye as the Rechabite tried to read its secret. Interpreting his orders that not only the dynasty of Ahab, but that of Baal too, must fall by the sword, he set about it in terrible earnest. Craft and cruelty combined against priest and devotee. All who had come up to the solemn festival came, instead, to the shambles, and not one escaped. So Mahomet-Ali conquered the Mamelukes; so Amalric stamped out heresy in Languedoc, bidding: “Kill them all. The Lord will know who are His.” It ws the complete and final overshow of the accursed system of Baal worship. Was it not, like the hangman’s act, a dread necessity? We cannot answer; but, till we find precise instructions for such wholesale slaughter, we shall presume he exceeded his commission. So have men ever since been construing their low inclinations, as being also the good pleasure of their Creator. Every form of sin has “had such apology.” Divinities have been invented to favour and further the most depraved appetites, while, to-day, not a few are trying to believe that God is “altogether such an one as” themselves. To make our own moral standards, is to antagonise the eternal laws. The closing scene of the tragedy passes before us. It is evident from it, that--

IV. To destroy one form of sin is not to abolish all. We see this zealous soul going straightway to offer sacrifice at the shrine of the golden calves, after the fashion of Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin. Even if Jehu had been familiar from youth with this corrupted religious system, he did know that at Jerusalem the true God was worshipped, not in the likeness of living things. His besom could have swept away the altars and images of the one form of idolatry as well as the other. Not seeing nor embracing his opportunity, he gave the lie to all professions of love and jealousy for the Lord. “His zeal for righteousness did not turn inwards and burn up his own sins.” The popular faith answered well enough for him. He would be as good as the average. What a pattern of the modern saint! Hot in indignation toward that which affects him not; very careful where his seeming interests are involved, the old couplet fits him well, as all who--

Compound for sins they are inclined to,

Condemning those they have no mind to.

Such easy terms do men make with God! Such choices are they ready for, and pride themselves in! Making a merit of temperance, they indulge in lust; lavish with their wealth, they are vindictive toward one who has wronged them; harping much on philanthropy, they are untrustworthy. One sin cherished is enough to keep the soul for ever under condemnation. A slight flaw in the diamond renders it unfit to be set in the crown. Heaven is lost by withholding the whole heart. This career, so startling and dramatic, terminated sadly. Reward was given for his grim but appointed service. Judgment was visited for his profane worship. His strong arm lost its terror. His last days were clouded by the denial of his ambition, that his name might abide in the rulers of the future. Furious driving is sure to end in wreck, unless the omnipotent hand is also upon the reins, guiding the impassioned soul along the King’s highway. That he spurned it is plain, as we read in Hosea: “And I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and I will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.” (Monday Club Sermons.)

Zeal without consistency

Jehu is not in any sense an interesting person. An energetic and bold man; prompt in action, determined and thoroughgoing, unfeeling and unscrupulous; well fitted for his particular work, a work of judgment upon those who had sinned beyond mercy. He had a Divine commission, and executed it faithfully. In softer days we read impatiently of acts of severity, even when done in God’s behalf or by God’s command. We do not feel sin as we ought, and therefore we often cherish a kind of morbid sympathy with the sinner. Such was Jehu’s office, and he discharged it well. He could say with truth, as he says in the former part of the text, “Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord.” It was not here that he failed. His zeal for God was thorough in act, and perhaps sincere in intention. The fault was that, while he had a real zeal, he had no true obedience. He could enforce God’s law upon others, but he could not obey it himself. He maintained that political expedient of symbols of worship placed in his frontier cities by which the first king of the ton tribes had sought to keep his people from being attracted back to the house of David in Jerusalem; he continued the worship of the golden calves that were in Bethel and that were in Dan, though he had broken down the image of Baal and the temple of Baal, and destroyed his worshippers in Samaria. And therefore in those days, even in the reign of him who had done such good service to the cause of God in his earlier years, “the Lord began to cut Israel short”; and Jehu himself is handed down to us not as an example, but rather as a warning, while upon his tomb we read the condemning inscription: “Zeal without consistency; zeal without obedience; zeal without love.”

1. Zeal is the same word as fervour. In its forcible original meaning, it is the bubbling up of the boiling spirit; the opposite of an impassive, cold-hearted indifference; the outburst of that generous indignation which cannot endure to see right trampled underfoot by might; the overflowing of that gratitude, devotion, love towards God, which counts no toil irksome and no suffering intolerable if it may express its own sense of His greatness, of His goodness, of His long-suffering of Christ, and draws others by its example to know and to speak good of His name; the glowing warmth of that Divine humanity which would willingly spend, and be spent, in snatching but one or two brands from the burning. This is what we mean by zeal. The zeal of Jehu was of a lower order than this. Yet even Jehu may reprove. Would that there were more of us--must I say, that there were any of us?--who could say in any true sense, like Jehu, “Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord!” Any zeal for God, even an ignorant, a mistaken, a rash zeal, were better far for us than none. Instead of it what have we? We show our zeal for God--if that sacred name can thus be parodied--chiefly by the infliction of arbitrary and most disproportionate punishment upon offenders, not against the moral law of God but against the moral law of the world. Where God has spoken, man may sin and scarcely suffer; where the world has spoken, no sorrow and no suffering, no lapse of time, no sincerity of repentance, and no consistency of amendment, is allowed to replace the erring man or woman within the pale of a human sympathy, or even of a Christian charity. Such is zeal for God, when debased and disfigured by the modifying hand of man.

2. And this brings us to apply to ourselves, in the way of counsel and warning, the unfavourable part of the character before us. Jehu had a zeal for God, but Jehu nevertheless took no heed to walk in God’s law with all his heart.

Religious zeal

I. Our zeal should be a lasting and increasing principle. Not like light from the thunder-cloud, the evanescent result of passing circumstances, but rather like the great luminary of heaven, steadily beaming on our path, cheering us in every situation, and gilding with hope the dark prospect of the grave,

II. To acquire this assurance, avoid religious excitement. We are told to “pray in secret”--“not to let our right hand know what our left doeth.” We are to ask God to prove our sincerity; the recesses of the soul are His dwelling-place. Until we are assured, by self-examination, that these descriptions are exemplified in our own lives, let us avoid obtaining, by religious public excitation, a character for religious zeal to which conscience in private gives the lie.

III. Genuine zeal, for God is founded and matured in the heart and character by the counsels of the spirit. After Paul’s conversion, three days of blindness and fasting were necessary for the conviction of his error and the growth of a counter resolution. His subsequent zeal in the ministry shows that the principles must be established by an inward conviction, and not be moved by mere outward impressions (1 Corinthians 9:26-27).

IV. Instead of congratulating ourselves, then, that we know nothing of these feelings, let us be humbled that we are devoid of them. In wanting them altogether, we want that without which religion is an empty profession.

V. Wherever there is a true faith, there with be a zeal which will think nothing too good to give up for (Galatians 2:20). Pray for (Romans 10:2), which manifests itself in a holy love, and consistent obedience. Such a zeal had Daniel, Shadrach, etc.; Paul (Acts 21:13); David (Psalms 73:24-25). Such a zeal may not, at present, obtain the applause of men; but it will not be forgotten when (Luke 12:8), and when every act flowing from love to God in Christ shall be recorded before assembled worlds. (H. Blunt.)

Zeal for the Lord

Zeal for the Lord, His truth, cause, service, glory, a needful, and ought to be a visible, prominent feature in every true believer, even as His love for us has rendered visible and prominent in Him an earnest zeal for us men and for our salvation. There may, however, be false zeal--zeal which, so far as we are personally concerned, will bring no glory to Him, no benefit, no blessing to ourselves; and there may be a true zeal, bringing much glory to God and a rich harvest of blessing to our own souls.

I. False zeal. Jehu is an instance of this. Proceeding from--

1. Natural energy of character (2 Kings 9:20; 2 Kings 9:24, etc.).

2. Sense of being appointed and qualified for some particular service (2 Kings 9:1-7).

3. Seeking praise of men (text). The heart may nevertheless be not right with God--may be going after its idols (2 Kings 10:29; 2 Kings 10:31).

II. True zeal. St. Paul is an instance of this. In him zeal for the Lord was visible, prominent, as in Jehu; but with this difference: in Jehu it resembles the fitful flashes of a thunderstorm, sudden and vivid, contrasting with, yet not dissipating, the darkness out of which it springs. In St. Paul it ever burns with clear and steadfast light, illuminating the entire course of his life, and shedding a halo of glory around his martyr death. We see its commencement (Acts 9:6); its continuance (1 Corinthians 9:26-27; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 3:13-14); its close (2 Timothy 4:6-8). Whence this difference? St. Paul was naturally an idolater no less than Jehu. His idols were self-righteousness, Judaism, Pharisaism--zeal very similar to that of Jehu (Philippians 3:4-6). These, however, were overthrown when Jesus was revealed to him as his Redeemer, convincing him of, and cleansing him from, sin; making known to him the true character of God. Thenceforward his motto was, “God, whose I am, and whom I serve” (Acts 27:23).

III. Lesson for us. No true zeal for God until and unless we know Him as the “only true God and Jesus Christ,” etc. (John 17:3). No true zeal for Him until we have personally realised His loving, self-sacrificing zeal for us in our salvation through Christ Jesus. (R. Chester, B. A.)

The good and evil in Jehu

1. Jehu had great executive ability. His fast driving was characteristic. He was impetuous, but not reckless. Having formed a purpose, he rushed to its realisation. He brought things to pass. He combined energy with tenacity, and was capable of rapid decision. He was not so dominated by fixed notions that he could not speedily and silently retrace his steps when he found himself on the wrong path. Like Napoleon at Austorlitz, he knew the value of five minutes. He had a strong personal magnetism that coerced his associates into willing and even eager subservience. A true descendant of Jacob, he was versed in the science of dissimulation. He had the claws of a tiger, but they were muffled in velvet. His step was quick, but stealthy. He was not only rapid, but persistent. He never tired. His speedy pace was ceaseless, on and on. His deadly work did not stop half-way, but utterly extirpated the dynasty of Ahab and the worship of Baal.

2. But Jehu’s character was stained by vindictiveness, The bloody role assigned to him by the Omnipotent was congenial to his nature. He was ready enough to obey God so long as the Divine command fell in with his own ambitious and bloodthirsty passions. A man who wished the stones cleared away from a little plot of ground once called together the boys of the neighbourhood, and setting up a mark outside of his ground, proposed that all should throw stones at it. The stones were soon removed. How ready we are to do God’s will when it happens to coincide with our own feelings! “We seize eagerly, says Goethe, upon a law that will serve as a weapon to our passions.”

3. Jehu was a kind of human tiger, and only too glad to have God use him as such. He had, indeed, a sense of destiny, like Napoleon or Stanley; but this destiny impelled him along the grooves of his own lust for rule and thirst for blood. His personal enemies,--the family of Ahab, which stood between him and the throne, the worshippers of Baal, who might cause his royal head to rest uneasy,--he went at them as if armed with a firman from the Almighty. He was like an executioner hacking his victim to pieces with fierce glee. It was as if a Christian, moved by Scripture precepts drawn from a far-away age and from a legal dispensation, should beat his child in anger. How different the spirit of a father whom I knew! After using the rod prayerfully, reluctantly, and even tenderly, he broke it up and threw it into the fire. Jehu was like some of the old divines, who seemed to preach hell with a gusto. Jehu is like a minister secretly rejoicing over the heresy of a successful rival and suddenly becoming valiant for the very phase of truth which his erring brother has slighted. (E. Judson, D. D.)

Zeal

John Foster says that this element will combine with any active principle in man, inspire any pursuit, “profane itself to the lowest, be the glory of the highest, like fire that will smoulder in garbage and will lighten in the heavens.” There is a zeal not according to knowledge, usually made up, says Colton, “more of pride and love of victory than of truth.” Cecil says, on the other hand, “a warm, blundering man does more for the world than a frigid wise man. One who gets into the habit of inquiring about proprieties, expediencies, and occasions, often spends his whole life without doing anything to purpose.

Ignorant zeal

St. Paul, in Romans 10:2, finds fault with the zeal of the Jews because it is “not according to knowledge,” There is a great deal of this kind of zeal in our day. The less people know the more zealous they are often. It is easier to agitate a shallow pool than a deep lake. It is easier to kindle a pile of shavings than a ton of coal. And so it is with men and women. And hence it comes to pass that the one-idea folks are the most enthusiastic. Their single lonely notion of reform stirs them up as a strong wind sweeps the forest leaves, or gathers clouds of dust in the open roadway. It is all surface agitation. It is noise and bluster, fuss and fury, but makes no permanent impression. Alas, how the world has been excited, and still is, by zeal that is not according to knowledge! Men catch a fraction of some great truth; they rush into print or on the platform; they think they know all that the world needs to know; they imagine they have the panacea for all its ills; they agitate; they organise; they denounce everybody who does not believe that their fraction is “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Another party gets hold of another fraction, and is equally zealous for their panacea; and the war goes on like that of boys who splash each other from the opposite sides of a narrow pool.

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Kings 10:16". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/2-kings-10.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he said, come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord of hosts,.... In destroying idolaters and idolatry, with an intent to do which he was going to Samaria; this seems to savour very much of vain glory, hypocrisy, and a pharisaical spirit:

so they made him ride in his chariot; the servants of Jehu by his order opened the chariot door, and assisted Jonadab in getting into it.

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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-10.html. 1999.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Poor Jehu did not, it is plain, know the real motives of his heart when he said this; for the Holy Ghost tells us in 2 Kings 10:29, that Jehu himself was an idolator. Reader! oh! that the blessed Spirit may teach us the truth of that solemn scripture; that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Jeremiah 17:9. Blessed Jesus! how very precious art thou to my soul in the view of this. Cleanse, Lord, the thoughts of my heart, and wash it in thy blood.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:16". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/2-kings-10.html. 1828.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

A GOOD LESSON FROM A BAD KING

‘See my zeal for the Lord.’

2 Kings 10:16

I. The zeal of Jehu! How badly our own efforts after social or personal righteousness compare with it!—Put over against it our slackness, our indifference, our inertia, our negligence, in the face of great and crying wrongs, of indefensible and monstrous scandals, of serious and increasing evils. Is there not only too much in the general life about us which calls for the fiery energy, the drastic vigour, which were manifested—although accompanied by acts of unpardonable criminality—by Jehu? There is always the peril of doing too little, of taking shelter behind the plea that things will right themselves if only they are given time, of persuading ourselves that the circumstances look worse than they really are. Take the awful curses of our modern English civilisation—intoxication, gambling, vice—or the long-standing, grievous injustices which oppress many of our fellow-creatures—bad housing, overwork, insufficient wages—can they be met, ought we to attempt to meet them, with any policy other than one of uncompromising resolve?

‘What peace’ ought there to be, so far as we are concerned, towards the miseries and bestialities of debauchery, towards black crimes of lust and passion and brutality, towards the state of the streets and squares of our great towns, towards proffered opportunities to self-degradation, towards flaunted temptations to shame and ruin and life-long self-reproach? To ‘what peace,’ or even to what armistice, are we entitled to consent, so long as there is the widespread continuance of one or other of the forms of gross, indisputable, obvious, fatal wickedness? ‘What peace’ is possible—is other than unblessed and unhallowed—with ‘the principalities,’ with ‘the powers,’ with ‘the world-rulers of this darkness’?

II. The zeal of Jehu! Is it a quality that dominates our own inner lives?—What is the measure of its influence upon our struggles with our personal infirmities and faults—with ‘the sin which doth so easily beset us’? What amount of effort do we put forth to conquer and exterminate disgraceful and unworthy characteristics? Do we make any real and determined attack upon the baser side of ourselves, or do we come to terms with it, and leave it more or less undisturbed? Our Saviour spoke so strongly about the necessity for persistent, untiring endeavour. He has told us so emphatically that it is possible for men to miss everlasting happiness through not taking enough pains over the attainment of it. His teaching is echoed by the Apostle to the Gentiles. Their tone is heard in the well-known lines of a modern poet—

And the sin I impute to each frustrate ghost

Is—the unlit lamp and the ungirt loin.

What are our aims, our hopes, our ideals? Are we defiled by any of ‘the works of the flesh’?—what an appalling enumeration it is! Is our heart as some Jezreel where a foul worship reigns? If so, we need—ah! how sorely—to deal with ourselves in the power and spirit of Jehu.

III. ‘Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord.’—What is the form that such an invitation would take in the mouths of some of us? ‘Come and see the wretched stuff which I read. Come and hear the worthless trash which I discuss. Come and learn the contemptible trivialities which occupy my thoughts. Come and be introduced to indelicacies and improprieties. Come and have your mind stained and defiled. Come and realise what it is to be devoid of religious feeling, to be without noble motives, to be unswayed by honourable ambitions, to be frivolous, self-seeking, cunning, avaricious, worldly, unheavenly.’ ‘Come … and see’! What would our lives look like, if they were opened to public scrutiny? But to Him ‘all desires’ are ‘known, and from’ Him ‘no secrets are hid.’ While there is yet time, let true ‘zeal’ for Christ’s ‘kingdom and His righteousness’ do its work in us.

—Rev. the Hon. W. E. Bowen.

Illustrations

(1) ‘Only they see not God, I know,

Nor all that chivalry of His,

The soldier-saints who, row and row,

Burn upward each to his point of bliss—

Since, the end of life being manifest,

He had burned his way thro’ the world to this.’

(2) ‘The words placed by Shakespeare in the mouth of Macbeth have been applied to Jehu—

I am in blood,

Stept in so far, that should I wade no more,

Returning were as tedious as go o’er.’

(3) ‘Such self-deceit and selfishness as Jehu’s are much less excusable in us than they were in him; for not only are God’s requirements more plainly set forth to us, so that we are wholly without excuse if we take up with any such partial obedience as Jehu attempted, but we have the blessed example of One Who never pleased Himself, but in all circumstances considered simply what was His Father’s will.’

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:16". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/2-kings-10.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 10:16 And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. So they made him ride in his chariot.

Ver. 16. Come with me, and see my zeal.] It is good policy to join friendship with the religious: as his counsel was to agree to Gregories Austin, if he were humble. (a) But why should Jehu so desire that his zeal (b) should be noted and noticed? Hypocrisy is very ostentatious. Drones make more noise than bees, though they make neither honey nor wax. It is reported of Mr John Fox, that as he was going along London streets, a woman of his acquaintance met with him; and as they discoursed together, she pulled out a Bible, telling him that she was going to hear a sermon; whereupon he said to her, If you will be advised by me, go home again. But, said she, when shall I then go? To whom he answered, When you tell no one of it.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-10.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

2 Kings 10:16

Jehu, the founder of the fifth dynasty of the kings of Israel, interests us partly by his career and achievements, but much more by the problem of his character. His first achievement was the destruction of the entire family of Ahab; his second was the destruction of the worship of Baal, which had been imported from Phoenicia.

Let us endeavour to form a religious estimate of the worth of Jehu's zeal.

I. What is zeal? It is conviction in a practical and working form. It is the business side of love, whether of God or of man. It is shown in desire to promote the love of God, the worship of God, the praise of God, wherever this is possible. Zeal has also an eye to everything that runs counter to God's will and to His glory. It rebukes vice and combats error.

II. If zeal is not especially a Jewish virtue, the form which it took in Jehu's case was eminently Jewish. It expressed itself in a fearful destruction of human life. Jehu's zeal may have been a zeal for the Lord, notwithstanding the slaughter to which it led. We must in justice distinguish between the absolute standard of right and that relative standard which was present to the mind of Jehu; and if we do this, we may well venture to think that this act in itself was not for a man in his age and circumstances incompatible with a true zeal for the Lord.

III. But there are features in Jehu's zeal—two especially—which seem to show that it cannot have been so genuine and healthy as we could wish. It was spoiled (1) by ostentation. Jehu desired Jehonadab to come and see what he could do for the Lord. His zeal for the Lord was dashed by a zeal for his own credit and reputation. (2) By inconsistency, not the inconsistency of weakness, but the inconsistency of want of principle. "He departed not from the sins of Jeroboam" (that is, from the established calf-worship), "which made Israel to sin."

IV. The lessons which Jehu's career teaches us are: (1) Great results are constantly achieved by God through the means of very imperfect instruments. (2) Jehu teaches us the risk of attempting to carry out public works of a religious or moral character without some previous discipline of the heart and life.

H. P. Liddon, Penny Pulpit, No. 1123.

References: 2 Kings 10:16.—C. J. Vaughan, Lessons of Life and Godliness, p. 222; T. Chamberlain, Sermons for Sundays, Festivals, and Fasts, 2nd series, vol. iii., p. 134; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. ix., p. 87; J. Edmunds, Sixty Sermons, p. 343; T. Kelly, Pulpit Trees, p. 328; E. Monro, Practical Sermons on the Old Testament, vol. ii., pp. 235, 251.

Jehu is not in any sense an interesting person. He was an energetic and bold man, prompt in action, determined and thorough-going, unfeeling and unscrupulous, well fitted for his particular work—a work of judgment upon those who had sinned beyond mercy. His fault was that, while he had a real zeal, he had no true obedience. He is handed down to us, not as an example, but rather as a warning, while upon his tomb we read the condemning inscription, "Zeal without consistency; zeal without obedience; zeal without love."

I. Zeal is the same word as fervour. In its forcible original meaning, it is the bubbling up of the boiling spirit; the opposite of an impassive, cold-hearted indifference; the outburst of the generous indignation which cannot bear to see right trampled under foot by might; the overflowing of gratitude, devotion, and love to God. The zeal of Jehu was of a lower order than this. Yet even Jehu may reprove. We show our zeal chiefly by the infliction of arbitrary punishments upon offenders, not against the moral law of God, but against the moral law of the world. Such zeal is commonly divorced and dissevered from obedience.

II. We may apply to ourselves, in the way of counsel, a warning from the unfavourable part of the character before us. Jehu had a zeal for God, but Jehu nevertheless took no heed to walk in God's law with all his heart. (1) "Took no heed." To the heedlessness of human nature most of our sins may be traced up. (2) "With all his heart." The fault in our service is that the heart is not right with God. Christian zeal, like Christian faith, worketh by love.

C. J. Vaughan, Contemporary Pulpit, vol. ii., p. 171.


Reference: 2 Kings 10:18, 2 Kings 10:19.—E. Thring, Uppingham Sermons, vol. i., p. 413.


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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:16". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/2-kings-10.html.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 372

TRUE AND FALSE ZEAL

2 Kings 10:16. Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord.

UNGODLY men, though they will not follow the example of the godly, are glad to have their sanction and approbation in what they do. Jehu was indeed acting at this time under a divine commission. The work in which he was engaged, was that of extirpating the whole house and family of Ahab: and, terrible as it was, he did right to execute it, because he acted under a divine command [Note: 2 Kings 9:7-9.]. But his spirit in executing the work was far from right. He was too much under the influence of pride and ambition. This appears from his address to Jehonadab, in the words before us. Jehonadab was a holy man, and had considerable influence in the state: and, knowing that Jehu was fulfilling the will of heaven, he went to meet him, and to testify his approbation of his proceedings. And Jehu, glad to have the sanction of such a man, took him up into his chariot, saying, “Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord.

Now, as this zeal was partly good, and partly evil, I propose to shew,

I. When our zeal is such as will bear inspection—

“It is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing [Note: Galatians 4:18.].” And we may be assured that our zeal is good,

1. When it proceeds from a principle of love—

[Love is properly the principle from which all our actions should flow. There are, indeed, far different principles from which our zeal may spring. We may he led on by a spirit of party, which will operate to the production of great efforts in the support of any cause. Or we may he actuated by a natural forwardness of disposition, which urges men to prosecute with ardour whatever they undertake. A self-righteous hope of commending themselves to God, also, will stimulate some to incredible exertions in any cause in which they are embarked. But that which alone gives the stamp of piety to our services, is love. We should act from a sense of the unbounded obligations which we owe to God, both as our Creator and Redeemer. “Our souls should be altogether constrained by the love of Christ, to live to him [Note: 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.]:” and so far as we are actuated by that principle, we have reason to hope and to believe that our zeal is genuine, and that our services are pleasing and acceptable to God.]

2. When it is regulated by the written word—

[As our zeal may spring from an unworthy motive, so it may be exercised in an unhallowed way. It must be bounded by the occasion that calls it forth; neither exceeding it, nor falling short of it. Joshua erred in making a league with the Gibeonites, whom he was commissioned to destroy [Note: Joshua 11:18-20.]: but Saul also erred, when, “from his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah, he sought to slay them [Note: 2 Samuel 21:1-6.].” There is an intemperate zeal that is highly criminal. Such was that of Simeon and Levi, who slew the Shechemites, because by the prince of that city their sister had been defiled [Note: Genesis 34:25-31.]. They had just ground for displeasure; but their mode of manifesting their displeasure was cruel in the extreme, and brought upon them God’s merited indignation [Note: Genesis 49:5-7.]. Not that the mere circumstance of slaying their fellow creatures when they were incapable of resistance was wrong, provided they had received a divine commission to do so: for Joshua did right in extirpating the Canaanites; as did the tribe of Levi also, when they went through the camp of Israel, every one of them slaying even his nearest relatives, if he found them worshipping the golden calf [Note: Exodus 32:25-29; Deuteronomy 33:8-11.]. The word of God is that by which every act must be regulated. It is not sufficient that we think to please God: for James and John thought to please their divine Master by calling fire from heaven to consume a Samaritan village; and Paul also thought he was serving God aright, when he haled men and women to prison and to death for their attachment to Christ. They (James and John) were told by their Lord, that “they knew not what spirit they were of [Note: Luke 9:53-55.]:” and he (Paul) condemns himself afterwards as an injurious and blaspheming persecutor [Note: Acts 8:3; Acts 26:9; 1 Timothy 1:13.]. If we are able to shew a command for what we do, then our zeal in doing it is good.]

3. When it is tempered with discretion—

[There are conflicting duties, which, as far as possible, should be made to harmonize; and neither of them should be violated without necessity. To obey the civil magistrate is the duty of all: but when his injunctions militate against the paramount authority of God, they must be disregarded, whatever be the dangers to which our disobedience may subject us. The appeal, “Whether it be right to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye [Note: Acts 4:19.],” carried its own evidence along with it. Of course, there is need of much discrimination in this matter. The Pharisees acted well in shewing a regard for the Sabbath, and a zeal for the due observance of it: but they erred grievously, when they accused our blessed Lord as violating it by working miracles on that day: for they should have known, that “God preferred mercy before sacrifice,” and, consequently, that acts of mercy and necessity superseded the obligation of a merely positive command [Note: Matthew 12:2-7.]. Even where a duty is plain, it is proper for us to consider whether we are the persons to perform it. To preach the Gospel is a most important duty: but to engage in that service uncalled, and unsent, is not by any means expedient or right: for even our blessed Lord “glorified not himself to be made an high priest, but waited for the call” of his heavenly Father [Note: Hebrews 5:4-6.]. So again, we must attend to the time and manner of executing what we conceive to be a lawful act; and not abuse our liberty by exercising it in a way that may prove offensive to others [Note: 1 Corinthians 8:10-13.]. In a word, our zeal must be wisely regulated: it should be able to rise to any occasion that may call for it [Note: Acts 21:13.]; but it should be under due control; nor should it ever be satisfied with a conviction that a thing is “lawful,” without considering also whether, and how far, it is “expedient [Note: 1 Corinthians 6:12.].”

We think, then, that a zeal flowing from such a source, and regulated by such a standard, and exercised in such a way, will bear inspection; and that, so far as we give the invitation for the purpose of self-inquiry, and not of self-applause, we may say, not to man only, but even to God himself, “Come, and see my zeal for the Lord.”]

But there are occasions when our zeal is blameworthy, and,

II. When it evidently manifests itself to be delusive and vain—

It is altogether vain and unacceptable to God,

1. When it is ostentatious—

[Such was that of Jehu on this occasion. Raised to kingly power, and successful beyond his most sanguine expectations, he was elated with pride, and desirous of having his prowess admired and extolled. Hence his conduct, which, as conformable to a divine command, was made the ground of a reward, was, on account of the base mixture of pride and cruelty with which it was pursued, visited with signal punishment [Note: Compare ver. 20 with Hosea 1:4.]. Ostentation will mar and vitiate the best actions that we can possibly perform. The giving of alms, or the waiting upon God with fasting and prayer, are acceptable services, if performed aright; but when made occasions for advancing ourselves in the estimation of men, they are hateful and contemptible in the sight of God, and will bring with them no other recompence than that which we vainly seek [Note: Matthew 6:1-5.].” The declaration of God in relation to such things is plain and express: “For a man to seek his own glory, is not glory [Note: Proverbs 25:27.]:” therefore “let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips [Note: Proverbs 27:2.].”

To this, then, we must carefully attend: for if, whilst professing to serve the Lord, we “sacrifice to our own net, and burn incense to our own drag [Note: Habakkuk 1:16.],” be the service what it may, God will say, “Who hath required this at your hands [Note: Isaiah 1:11-12.]?” yea, it will be no better, in his sight, than “the cutting off a dog’s neck, or the offering of swine’s blood [Note: Isaiah 66:3.].”]

2. When it is partial—

[In this respect, also, Jehu’s zeal notoriously failed. He was sent to punish Ahab’s wickedness; and yet himself joined in the idolatry which he was ordered to abolish [Note: ver. 29.], and indulged in all the sins which he was commissioned to correct [Note: ver. 31.]. Zeal, if pure, will extend to every part of our duty: it has respect to God’s will; and therefore will operate in reference to all his commands; to those which require self-denial, no less than to those which may administer to our personal gratification. Zeal will be in the soul what the soul is in the body: its operation will be uniform and abiding — — — Whether our actions be public or private, and whether our duties be of an active or passive kind, it will stimulate us to approve ourselves to the heart-searching God: and, if it fail of this, at least in our endeavours, it is evidently not such as has God for its author, nor such as God will ultimately approve.]

3. When it is transient—

[The stony-ground hearers manifest a great degree of zeal for a season: “they anon with joy receive the word; but, having no root in themselves, they believe only for a while, and in time of temptation fall away [Note: Luke 8:13.].” But it is not sufficient for any man to “run well for a season only [Note: Galatians 5:6.].” “We must endure unto the end, if ever we would be saved [Note: Matthew 10:22.].” We are “not to look back, after having once put our hand to the plough [Note: Luke 9:62.].” “We are never to be weary in well-doing:” “never, under any circumstances, to faint.” On this our future remuneration altogether depends [Note: Galatians 6:9.]. “The man who draws back, draws back unto perdition [Note: Hebrews 10:38-39,]:” and he whose zeal will not carry him to the last extremity, even to the enduring of the most cruel death, will fail of obtaining the approbation of his God [Note: Luke 17:33.]. I must, therefore, guard you against ever relaxing in your zeal even for a moment. Whatever your attainments be, and whatever you may have done or suffered in the service of your God, you must “forget the things that are behind, and reach forward unto that which is before, and press on for the prize of your high calling,” till you have actually finished your course, and obtained the crown which is to be awarded to you [Note: Philippians 3:13-14.].]

In conclusion, let me say to every individual amongst you—

1. Have a zeal for God—

[God is not to be served with lukewarmness [Note: Revelation 3:15-16.] — — — He requires the heart, the whole heart [Note: Proverbs 23:26; Hosea 10:2.]: and surely he is worthy of it; and his service well deserves it. See what zeal men display in the pursuits of this world; the student, for knowledge; the merchant, for his gains; the soldier, for honour: and will you be behind any one of them? Does our blessed Lord and Saviour deserve less at your hands, than this vain and perishing world can do? The burnt-offerings, you know, were wholly consumed upon God’s altar: they were wholly God’s; and the priests had no part in them. Such offerings are ye to be: and to be devoted thus exclusively to God is “your reasonable service [Note: Romans 12:1.].” Give yourselves up, then, entirely to God; and “whatsoever your hand findeth to do, do it with all your might [Note: Ecclesiastes 9:10.].”]

2. Let “your zeal be according to knowledge”—

[Ignorant zeal will only deceive and ruin you, as it did the Pharisees of old [Note: Romans 10:2-3.]. There is a great deal of zeal in the world: else whence come the penances and pilgrimages of the Papists? and whence the accursed cruelties of the Inquisition? Who knows not the persecutions that Christianity has sustained from heathens; or the miseries that Popery, under the name of Christianity, has inflicted on those who would not yield to its abominations? In all these things, the agents “have imagined that they did to God an acceptable service [Note: John 16:2.].” Nor can I deny that even good men have sometimes been betrayed into a very erroneous line of conduct, from a mistaken notion, that they were serving God, whilst anathematising those who differed from them in some matters of subordinate importance. But be not satisfied, brethren, even though Jehonadab himself be embarked in the same cause with you. It is not by man’s judgment or example that you are to stand or fall, but by the judgment of your God, according to his written word. Endeavour, then, to have your mind and spirit regulated by the only standard of right and wrong. And especially be on your guard against a fiery zeal. “The zeal of our blessed Lord was such as even consumed him [Note: John 2:17.]:” but remember, it was himself that it consumed, not others: yea, when he himself suffered from the blind zeal of others, he prayed for them, even for his very murderer [Note: Luke 23:34.]. “Be ye then followers of him.” “Let it be your meat and your drink to do the will of God yourselves [Note: John 4:34.]:” but, with respect to others, let all your efforts be “to save, and not to destroy them [Note: Luke 9:56.];” to “win them” by love [Note: Proverbs 11:30.], and not constrain them by force [Note: Luke 14:23.].]

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Bibliographical Information
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:16". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/2-kings-10.html. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

My zeal for the Lord, i.e. for the vindication of his honour and quarrel, and for the execution of his commands. Do not believe my words, but mine actions, which thine eyes shall behold.

They, i.e. Jehu’s servants, opened the door of his chariot, and lifted up Jehonadab into it.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-kings-10.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

16.See my zeal for the Lord — He thus communicates his further purpose to continue the work of destruction. Some have thought that this was all pretended zeal and showy hypocrisy, but in 2 Kings 10:30 the Lord commends Jehu for having done well, and declares that his bloody work was right in his eyes, and according to the feelings of his own heart. In other things Jehu sinned, (2 Kings 10:31,) and it is not pretended that all his measures and motives in his work of doom had the approval of God; but in executing judgment on Ahab’s house, his zeal was praised, though it was not without a selfish ambition, and perhaps other elements of wickedness. But we need not call Jehu a heartless boaster and a murderous hypocrite. Shall he be blamed as murderous and cruel who obeys to the very letter Jehovah’s positive command? Comp. 2 Kings 9:6-10. If the fall of the tower in Siloam were really a Divine judgment on the eighteen hapless victims whom it ground to powder, (Luke 13:4,) need we charge the tower with blood-guiltiness and cruelty? Sometimes, indeed, God uses wicked hands to execute his counsels, and holds them guilty for their deeds, (Acts 2:23;) but never does he blame a minister of vengeance for doing what his own word has positively commanded him to do. Let us beware how we curse or blame what God has not blamed. There are in our times too many shallow and unbiblical attempts to ignore the awful severities of Divine justice, as revealed in God’s word.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:16". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-10.html. 1874-1909.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

see = be eyewitnesses of.

zeal for the LORD. Not pure. See verses: 2 Kings 10:29-31.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:16". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-10.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. So they made him ride in his chariot.

He said, Come ... and see my zeal for the Lord. It was Jehu's policy, by extirpating the Baal idolatry, to re-establish the calf-symbols; and he boasts of making him by such a course a zealot for the honour of Yahweh. This is a confirmation of what was said respecting Jeroboam's innovation (see the notes at 1 Kings 12:28-30), that 'the defection of Israel did not consist in rejecting Yahweh as a false god, or in renouncing the law of Moses as a false religion, but in joining foreign worship and idolatrous ceremonies, to the ritual of the true God' (Warburton, 'Divine Legation,' b. 5:, sec. 3).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-kings-10.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(16) See.—Rather, look on at.

My zeal for the Lord.—Jehu addresses Jehonadab as a notoriously staunch adherent of the old faith.

They made him ride.—The Syriac, LXX., and Arabic read, “he made him ride;” the Vulg. is ambiguous; the Targum agrees with the Hebrew text, which may mean that Jehu’s followers assisted Jehonadab (who was probably an aged sheikh) to mount the chariot.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:16". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-10.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. So they made him ride in his chariot.
Come with me
31; 9:7-9; Numbers 23:4; 24:13-16; 1 Kings 19:10,14,17; Proverbs 27:2; Ezekiel 33:31; Matthew 6:2,5; Romans 10:2
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 21:2 - in his zeal;  2 Kings 9:20 - for he driveth;  Jeremiah 35:2 - the house;  Jeremiah 35:6 - Ye shall;  Hosea 8:2 - GeneralMatthew 6:1 - to be;  Matthew 20:14 - thine;  Matthew 23:5 - all;  Luke 9:54 - wilt;  Luke 18:12 - fast;  Acts 8:31 - And he;  Philippians 3:6 - zeal;  James 3:14 - and lie

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-10.html.