Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 10:18

Then Jehu gathered all the people and said to them, "Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Baal;   Confidence;   Enthusiasm;   Falsehood;   Homicide;   Inconsistency;   Intolerance, Religious;   Jehu;   Jonadab;   Massacre;   Religion;   Samaria;   Treachery;   Zeal, Religious;   Thompson Chain Reference - Baal;   Deception;   False;   Gods, False;   Idolatry;   Images;   Temptation;   Truth-Falsehood;   Worship, False;   Worship, True and False;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Baal;   Samaria;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Jehu;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Gods and Goddesses, Pagan;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Jehonadab;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Calf Worship;   Jehoram;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Crimes and Punishments;   Elijah;   Lord;   Moab and the Moabite Stone;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Jehu;   Molech, Moloch;   Rechab, Rechabites;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Baal, Baalim ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Jehonadab;   Jehu;   Samaria;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Jehu;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Jehoram;   Jehu;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Baal;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Ahab served Baal a little - Jehu had determined to have no worship in Israel but that of the golden calves at Dan and Bethel; therefore he purposes to destroy all the worshippers of Baal: and that he may do it without suspicion, he proclaims a great sacrifice; and that he may do it the more easily, he gathers them all together into one place.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:18". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-10.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Though we cannot ascribe to Jehu a spirit of true piety (see 2 Kings 10:29), we can well enough understand how the soldier, trained in the Syrian wars, revolted against the unmanly and voluptuous worship of the Dea Syra, and wished to go back to the simple solemn service of Yahweh. These views and feelings it would have been dangerous to declare during the lifetime of Jezebel. Even after her death it was prudent to temporise, to wait until the party of Ahab was crushed politically, before broaching tbe religious question. Having now slain all the issue of Ahab in the kingdom of Israel, and all the influential men of the party 2 Kings 10:7, 2 Kings 10:11, 2 Kings 10:17, Jehu felt that he might begin his reformation of religion. But even now he uses “subtilty” rather than open violence. “Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much.”

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:18". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-10.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

JEHU'S PLOT TO MURDER ALL THE WORSHIPPERS OF BAAL

"And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu will serve him much. Now therefore call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his worshippers, and all his priests; let none be wanting: for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal; whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live. But Jehu did it in subtlety, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal. And Jehu said, Sanctify a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it. And Jehu sent through all Israel: and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came not. And they came into the house of Baal; and the house of Baal was filled from one end to another. And he said unto him that was over the vestry, Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal. And he brought them forth vestments. And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal; and he said unto the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants of Jehovah, but worshippers of Baal only. And they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt-offerings. Now Jehu had appointed him fourscore men without, and said, If any of the men that I bring into your hands escape, he that letteth him go: his life shall be for the life of him."

Some scholars deny that Jehu actually offered sacrifices to Baal,[13] and some limit the slaughter here to the priests and prophets, but the text does not support either viewpoint. Jehu's hypocrisy was phenomenal, and his intention to deceive the worshippers of Baal was so acute, that he was capable of doing exactly what the text says he did. He went into the temple of Baal to offer sacrifices and burnt-offerings.

"The house of Baal was filled from one end to the other" (2 Kings 10:21). The pagan temples of that era were no small buildings. They included extensive courts and collateral areas where very large assemblies could be accommodated. The impression left by these words is that literally thousands of people were brought together at the house of Baal.

With this large gathering assembled within the precincts of the temple of Baal, the bloodthirsty Jehu was ready to spring the trap and destroy them all. It is not specifically stated that Jehonadab left the temple of Baal with Jehu, but presumably he certainly did.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:18". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-kings-10.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Jehu gathered all the people together,.... The people of Samaria, at least the principal of them:

and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu shall serve him much; which some understand as spoken ironically; but the words seem to be spoken with a design to deceive the idolatrous inhabitants of Samaria, making them to believe that he was hearty in the worship of Baal, and should show a greater respect to it, and more constantly attend it, than Ahab had done; and this he said with a view to draw them to the temple of Baal, and there destroy them, as the sequel shows; and in which he is not to be justified, however good his intention was; for evil is not to be done that good may come.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:18". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-10.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served h Baal a little; [but] Jehu shall serve him much.

(h) Here Baal is taken for Ashtaroth the idol of the Zidonians, who Jezebel caused to be worshipped, as it is also so used in (1 Kings 22:53).
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:18". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-kings-10.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

2 Kings 10:18-29. He destroys the worshippers of Baal.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-kings-10.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much.

Jehu said — The words being manifestly false, and spoken with a design to deceive, cannot be excused, this being an unmovable principle, That we must not do the least evil, that the greatest good may come.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:18". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-kings-10.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 10:18 And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; [but] Jehu shall serve him much.

Ver. 18. But Jehu shall serve him much.] This he spake, that he might the better get together all Baal’s priests and worshippers. When a man for a little space only seemeth to allow a fault, that shortly after he may the better manifest his dislike by effecting some good, this is not to do evil that good may come thereof; but to do good in a prudent manner. Thus Solomon seemed to intend the dividing of the child, for the finding out of the true mother. And thus Constantius, father of Constantine the Great, that he might discern which of his courtiers were true and hearty Christians, proclaimed, that such as would not sacrifice to the heathen idols should be turned out of their offices, and those that would do so, should still enjoy them. This he pretended, but did the clean contrary; and gave this for a reason, How can any be faithful to me that, for preferment’s sake, turn from the living God to worship dumb idols? (a)

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:18". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-10.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Jehu gathered all the people together; by their representatives, their elders or rulers, as was usual; to whom he imparts his mind; and they being generally corrupt, and timeservers, and such as had no sense of religion in them, durst not oppose his resolution, but seemed to comply with it.

Jehu shall serve him much: as if he had said, My quarrel is only with Ahab’s family, and not with Baal; which my actions shall manifest; which words being manifestly false, and spoken with a design to deceive, cannot be excused from sin, though they were uttered with a pious intention; this being an unmovable principle, that we must not do the least evil of sin, that the greatest good may come, Romans 3:8. And if Jehonadab did concur with Jehu herein, it was a human infirmity.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:18". 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

SLAUGHTER OF THE BAAL WORSHIPPERS, 2 Kings 10:18-28.

There remains yet one more deed of blood to rid the kingdom of Israel from the curse of Ahab’s rule. The priests and worshippers of Baal were so involved in the fortunes of Ahab’s dynasty, that, with them living, Jehu must sit insecurely on the throne. He accordingly takes subtle measures to exterminate them all; and thus the sword of Jehu completes the work which Elijah began at the brook Kishon. 1 Kings 18:40, note.

18.Ahab served Baal a little — There were dark depths of fearful meaning underneath these words of treachery.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:18". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-10.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Kings 10:18. Jehu gathered all the people together — By their representatives, their elders, or rulers, as was usual, to whom he imparts his mind, and who, being generally corrupt, and mere time-servers, and such as had no sense of religion, made no opposition to his resolution, but seemed to comply with it. Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu shall serve him much — As if he had said, My quarrel is only with Ahab’s family, and not with Baal, which my actions shall show: which words, being manifestly false, and spoken with a design to deceive, cannot be excused from sin; this being an immoveable principle, that we must not do the least evil, that the greatest good may come. Though it was lawful, and even commendable, to slay the worshippers of Baal, God’s law having enjoined that idolaters should be put to death, yet it was by no means lawful to use treachery, and to deceive them to their destruction, on the faith of false pretences. These were actions no way suitable or agreeable to the God of truth, and such as ought never to have been practised by any that desired to please him.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:18". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-10.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

I will worship him more. Jehu sinned in thus pretending to worship Baal, and causing sacrifices to be offered to him: because evil in not to be done, that good may come of it, Romans iii. 8. (Challoner) (Worthington) --- St. Jerome, &c., excuse him from mortal sin, as his intention was good. (Tirinus) --- If he had not thus dissembled, he could not have so effectually destroyed the adorers of Baal, who would have concealed themselves. But God rewarded his zeal, and not his falsehood. (Calmet) --- He might speak ironically; though Theodoret, &c., admit a lie. (Menochius)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:18". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-10.html. 1859.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(18) Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much.—Ahab had, as the people well knew, served Baal more than a little; but the antithesis was not too strong for Jehu’s hidden meaning. He was thinking of his intended holocaust of human victims (2 Kings 10:25).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:18". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-10.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much.
Ahab served Baal
3:2; 1 Kings 16:31,32; 18:19,22,40
Jehu
Job 13:7; Romans 3:8; Philippians 4:8
Reciprocal: 2 Kings 10:19 - But Jehu;  2 Kings 17:16 - Baal;  2 Kings 21:3 - he reared;  Matthew 2:8 - that

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:18". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-10.html.