Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 10:6

Then he wrote a letter to them a second time saying, "If you are on my side, and you will listen to my voice, take the heads of the men, your master's sons, and come to me at Jezreel tomorrow about this time." Now the king's sons, seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, who were rearing them.
New American Standard

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ahab;   Children;   Enthusiasm;   Government;   Homicide;   Jehu;   Massacre;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Jezreel;   Punishments;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ahab;   Jehu;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Behead;   Jezreel;   Writing;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Letter;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Jehu;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Jezreel ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Jehu;   Writing;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Jehu;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Epistle;   Jehu;   Number;   Writing;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Cruelty;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Come to me to Jezreel - Therefore the letters were not written to Jezreel, but from Jezreel to Samaria.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:6". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-10.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The heads of rivals, pretenders, and other obnoxious persons are commonly struck off in the East, and conveyed to the chief ruler, in order that he may be positively certified that his enemies have ceased to live. In the Assyrian sculptures we constantly see soldiers conveying heads from place to place, not, however, in baskets, but in their hands, holding the head by the hair.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:6". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-10.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

THE SPINELESS ELDERS OF JEZREEL OBEYED JEHU IN THE SLAUGHTER OF THE HOUSE OF AHAB

"Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye be on my side, and if ye will hearken unto my voice, take ye the heads of the men your master's sons, and come to me to Jezreel by tomorrow this time. Now the kings sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city who brought them up. And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king's sons, and slew them, even seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent them unto him to Jezreel. And there came a messenger and told him, saying, They have brought the heads of the king's sons. And he said, Lay ye them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until the morning. And it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, Ye are righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and smote him; but who smote all these? Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of Jehovah, which Jehovah spake concerning the house of Ahab: for Jehovah hath done that which he spake by his servant Elijah. So Jehu smote all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his familiar friends, and his priests, until he left him none remaining."

"Ye are righteous" (2 Kings 10:9). This was Jehu's appeal to the people for their approval of what he did. He was saying, "Look, you are righteous people; can't you see that God really approves of what I did. I only killed Ahab; but look how God has finished the job! "Here Jehu pretended that he had nothing to do with the murder of the king's sons, that, on the contrary, it was a divine fulfillment of Elijah's prophecy concerning the fate of the house of Ahab."[8]

"For Jehovah hath done that which he spake through his servant Elijah" (2 Kings 10:10). This was Jehu's flat denial; "I didn't do it; God did"! Of course, the man Jehu was a consummate liar. Every man does what he commands those under him to do.

"And Jehu smote all his great men ... friends ... priests ... left him none remaining" (2 Kings 10:11). Jehu did not stop murdering with the slaughter of Ahab's descendants. "This means that he put to death all of the most powerful supporters of Ahab's rule."[9] "Those great men who had so obsequiously taken off the heads of Ahab's sons fell also a sacrifice to the ambition of this incomparably bad man."[10]

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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 10:6". "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

Then he wrote a letter the second time to them,.... Having gained his point by the former:

saying, if ye be mine, acknowledge yourselves my subjects and servants:

and if ye will hearken to my voice; obey my commands:

take ye the heads of the men your master's sons; that is, take off their heads:

and come to me to Jezreel by tomorrow this time meaning with the heads along with them:

(now the king's sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, which brought them up;) they were in their houses, and under their tuition, and so had an authority over them, and could dispose of them at pleasure; they were not ordinary persons to whose care they were committed, but the principal men of the city.

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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 10:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-10.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye [be] mine, and [if] ye will hearken unto my voice, c take ye the heads of the men your master's sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time. Now the king's sons, [being] seventy persons, [were] with the great men of the city, which brought them up.

(c) God as a just judge punishes the wicked children of wicked parents to the third and fourth generations.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:6". "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

take ye the heads of the men, your master‘s sons — The barbarous practice of a successful usurper slaughtering all who may have claims to the throne, has been frequently exemplified in the ancient and modern histories of the East.

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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 10:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-kings-10.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 10:6 Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye [be] mine, and [if] ye will hearken unto my voice, take ye the heads of the men your master’s sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time. Now the king’s sons, [being] seventy persons, [were] with the great men of the city, which brought them up.

Ver. 6. Then he wrote a letter the second time.] Not with black, but with blood; like that letter of Mithridates, king of Pontus, written to the ruin of fourscore thousand Romans trading in his dominions. But it was just in God, that as Ahab and Jezebel, by a letter sent to the elders of Jezreel, shed the blood of Naboth and his sons; so they should have the blood of all their sons shed by a letter sent from Jezreel to the elders of Samaria. God loveth to retaliate.

Take ye the heads of the men.] This was but policy to root out all Ahab’s seed, that there might be no avenger. The poet could say,

Nηπιος ος κατερα κτεινας, παιδας υπολειπει.” - Arist., Rhet., lib. i. cap. 15.

i.e., He is a fool who killeth the father, and yet suffereth his children to survive.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-10.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Kings 10:6. Take ye the heads, &c.— Besides the accomplishment of the divine decree, Jehu had a further design in requesting this cruel service of the rulers, and elders, and great men of the nation; namely, hereby to involve them in the same crime and conspiracy with himself. For by prevailing with them to murder Ahab's kinsmen in this manner, he bound them so closely to his interest, that if any of the inferior people had been inclined to oppose his designs, they were by this means deprived of any man of distinction to head them; and not only so, but by this expedient Jehu thought that he might, in a great measure, lessen, if not entirely remove, the odium of his own cruel and perfidious conduct; for this is the meaning of his appeal to the people, 2 Kings 10:9. Ye be righteous, &c. as if he had said, "I own, indeed, that I was a great instrument in taking off the late king; but am I more culpable than are the friends, the counsellors, the officers of Ahab? I pretend not to conceal my fault; but the approbation which the principal men of the nation have given it, in taking up arms against the house of Ahab, and the wonderful success which has attended this enterprize of mine, do they not afford a certain proof that God has raised me up to execute his decree in this respect, and ought you not to acknowledge, in this case, the interposition of his hand?" See Calmet.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:6". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-kings-10.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Then he wrote a letter: thus Jezebel is requited for her letter directed in like manner to the elders of Naboth’s city, whereby his life was wickedly taken away, 1 Kings 21:8. And it is probable that some of these elders were concerned in that very business, which makes the judgment of God more remarkable.

Take ye the heads of the men; which word seems to imply that some of them were grown up, who doubtless trod in their parents’ steps; and those that were younger were justly cut off for their parents’ sin; of which See Poole "Exodus 20:5"; See Poole "Deuteronomy 5:9".

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:6". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-kings-10.html. 1685.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Kings 10:6. He wrote a letter the second time — Thus Jezebel is requited for her letter, directed in like manner to the elders of Naboth’s city, whereby his life was wickedly taken away: and it is probable that some of these elders were concerned in that very business, which makes the judgment of God more remarkable. Take ye the heads of the men — This word, men, seems to imply that some of them, at least, were grown up, who doubtless trod in their parents’ steps: and those that were younger were justly cut off for their parents’ sins; of which see on Exodus 20:5. “Besides the accomplishment of the divine decree,” says Dr. Dodd, “Jehu had a further design in requesting this cruel service of the rulers, and elders, and great men of the nation, namely, hereby to involve them in the same crime and conspiracy with himself; for, by prevailing with them to murder Ahab’s kinsmen in this manner, he bound them so closely to his interest, that if any of the inferior people had been inclined to oppose his designs, they were, by this means, deprived of any man of distinction to head them; and not only so, but, by this expedient, Jehu thought that he might in a great measure lessen, if not entirely remove the odium of his own cruel and perfidious conduct.”

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:6". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-10.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

mine = for me.

the men. Hebrew. "enosh. App-14.

persons. Hebrew. "ish.

men. Hebrew. "ish. App-14.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:6". "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

Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye be mine, and if ye will hearken unto my voice, take ye the heads of the men your master's sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time. Now the king's sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, which brought them up.

Take ye the heads of the men your master's sons. The barbarous practice of a successful usurper slaughtering all who may have claim to the throne, has been frequently exemplified in the ancient and modern histories of the East.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:6". "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

(6) The second time.—Some MSS., the LXX., and the Arabic read “a second letter.”

Take ye the heads.—Jehu knew his men. The cool cynicism of his savage order is worthy of a Sulla or a Marius.

The heads of the men your master’s sons.—Literally, the heads of the men of the sons of your master Some MSS., the Syriac, Arabic, and Vulg., as well as the MSS. mentioned by Origen, omit the word men. Thenius thinks that this word is used to indicate that only male descendants of Ahab were to be put to death (?). The Alexandrian LXX. omits sons; and four Hebrew MSS. read instead house. The Authorised Version, however, is a permissible interpretation of the Hebrew.

Come.—LXX., bring (them) which is a natural conjecture.

To Jezreel.—A journey of more than twenty miles.

By to morrow this time.—Jehu is urgent for despatch, because time is all-important. He wishes to convince the people of Jezreel as soon as possible that none of the royal princes were left to claim the crown, and that the nobles of Samaria have joined his cause.

Now the king’s sons . . . brought them up.—This is a correct translation. According to the Masoretic punctuation, and supposing that the particle ’eth (rendered “with”) might here be used merely to introduce the subject, we might render: “Now the king’s sons were seventy persons; the great men of the city were bringing them up.” But such a usage of ‘eth is very doubtful. (Comp. 2 Kings 6:5.) The sentence, in any case, is only a parenthetic reminder of what was stated in 2 Kings 10:1. The total seventy is, perhaps, not to be taken as exact, seventy being a favourite round number. (See Note on 1 Chronicles 1:42.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:6". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-10.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye be mine, and if ye will hearken unto my voice, take ye the heads of the men your master's sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time. Now the king's sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, which brought them up.
If ye be mine
Heb. If ye be for me.
9:32; Matthew 12:30; Luke 9:50
take ye
Numbers 25:4; 1 Kings 21:8-11
your master's sons
Deuteronomy 5:9; Joshua 7:24,25; Job 21:19; Isaiah 14:21,22; Revelation 2:20-23
which brought them up
"The rich," says Mr. Morier, "hire a dedeh, or wet nurse for their children. If a boy, the father appoints a steady man from the age of two years to be his laleh, who, I conjecture, must stand in the same capacity as the bringers up of children mentioned in the catastrophe of Ahab's sons. But if it be a daughter, she has a gees sefeed, or white head, attached to her for the same purpose as the laleh."
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 4:7 - took his head;  2 Samuel 11:16 - he assigned;  2 Samuel 14:30 - And Absalom's;  1 Kings 19:17 - the sword of Jehu;  1 Kings 21:11 - did as Jezebel;  2 Kings 10:14 - Take them alive;  Job 27:14 - children;  Proverbs 29:12 - GeneralDaniel 11:26 - that feed

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-10.html.