Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 10:9

Now in the morning he went out and stood and said to all the people, "You are innocent; behold, I conspired against my master and killed him, but who killed all these?
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Enthusiasm;   Homicide;   Jehu;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Jezreel;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ahab;   Jehu;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Jezreel;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Jehu;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Jezreel ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Jehu;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Jehu;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Baal;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Ye be righteous - Another irony, intended partly to excuse himself, and to involve them in the odium of this massacre, and at the same time to justify the conduct of both, by showing that all was done according to the commandment of the Lord.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-10.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Ye be righteous - i. e., “Ye are just, and can judge aright.” Jehu unfairly keeps back the fact that he had commanded the execution.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-10.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Kings 10:9

Who slew all these?

The wholesale slaughter

I see a long row of baskets coming up towards the palace of king Jehu. I am somewhat inquisitive to find out what is in the baskets. I look in and I find the gory heads of seventy slain princes. As the baskets arrive at the gate of the palace, the heads are thrown into two heaps, one on either side the gate. In the morning, the king comes out, and he looks upon the bleeding, ghastly heads of the massacred princes. Looking on either side the gate, he cries out with a ringing emphasis: “Who slew all these?” There is no use of my taking up your time in trying to give you statistics about the devastation, and the ruin, and the death which strong drink has wrought in this country. When I look upon the desolation I am almost frantic with the scene, while I cry out: “Who slew all these?” I can answer that question in half a minute. The ministers of Christ who have given no warning; the courts of law that have offered the licensure; the women who give strong drink on New Year’s Day; the fathers and mothers who have rum on the sideboard; the hundreds of thousands of Christian men and women in the land who are staled in their indifference on this subject--they slew all these! I am now going to tell you what I think are the sorrows and the doom of the drunkard, so that you to whom I speak may not come to the place of torment.

1. The first suffering of the drunkard is in the loss of his good name. God has so arranged it, that no man ever loses his good name except through his own act. All the hatred of men and all the assaults of devils cannot destroy a man’s good name, if he really maintains his integrity. If a man is honest, and pure, and Christian, God looks after him.

2. Another loss which the inebriate suffers is that of self-respect. Just as soon as a man wakes up and finds that he is the captive of strong drink, he feels bemoaned.

3. I go further, and say that the inebriate suffers from the loss of his usefulness. Do you not recognise the fact that many of those who are now captives of strong drink, only a little while ago were foremost in the churches and in reformatory institutions?

4. I go on, and say that the inebriate suffers from the loss of physical health.

5. Again: the inebriate suffers through the loss of his home. I do not care how much he loves his wife and children, if this passion for strong drink has mastered him, he will do the most outrageous things, and if he could not get drink in any other way, he would sell his family into eternal bondage. How many homes in our city have been broken up in that way, no one but God knows.

6. But my subject takes a deeper tone, and that is, that the inebriate suffers from the loss of the soul. (T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Kings 10:9". 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 it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people,.... Who were gathered together to this shocking sight, or on the above accounts:

ye be righteous; having had no concern in taking off the heads of those men:

behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him; I own it, and some may blame me for it, and charge me with treason and murder:

but who slew all these? not he, but the chief men of Samaria, and therefore must be more guilty than he, having shed the blood of so many persons, who had not offended against God and man to so great a degree as Joram; this he said to lessen his own sin, and wipe off the reproach of it, that his character might appear fairer in the eyes of the people, concealing, at the same time, his orders for the slaying of them.

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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 10:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-10.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, Ye [be] d righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him: but who slew all these?

(d) You cannot justly condemn me for the king's death, seeing as you have done the same to his posterity: for the Lord commanded me, and moved you to carry out his judgment.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:9". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-kings-10.html. 1599-1645.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 10:9 And it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, Ye [be] righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him: but who slew all these?

Ver. 9. And said to all the people.] Who were got together to see this rueful spectacle; he therefore taketh that opportunity to make his apology; alleging for his defenee the prophecy of Elijah, which he had now fulfilled, and God’s decree, which he had executed. He justifieth also hereby those that had slain the seventy young princes at his command, upon the same account; and freeth the rest of the people from their fears, when he saith, Ye be righteous; that is, I pronounce you innocent; think not that I intend any harm to you, &c., for they, seeing his severity against Ahab’s family and familiars, might fear, as the Romans did concerning Sulla, that there would be των φονων ουτ αριθμος, ουθ ορος; no end or measure of his bloodshed. (a)

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:9". 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

To all the people; either, first, To the promiscuous multitude met there to gaze upon this sad and strange spectacle. So the sense is, Be not ye troubled nor affrighted with these unusual and dismal occurrences: if any thing be amiss in these actions, I do here publicly and solemnly acquit you as righteous and innocent; do not you therefore fear any vengeance from God or men for it: if there be any guilt, it is in me, and in those who cut off these heads. Or, secondly, To those who cut off and brought the heads; for the same persons did both, and were here present, as Jehu commanded them, 2 Kings 10:6: to them he speaks in the audience of all the people; or by all the people may be meant all those who brought the heads, and were there waiting for Jehu, according to his order. So the speech is in part ironical, to this purpose,

You are righteous in your own eves, and you look upon me as a traitor, and rebel, and murderer, because I have risen against and slain my master, which I acknowledge I have done. But if I am guilty, you are not innocent, and therefore cannot accuse me; for I have killed one, but you a great number. This explication seems probable; only the Hebrew word ham being generally used of the common people, may seem not so fitly to agree to these rulers and great men, who had brought the heads; and that expression, to all the people, implies that Jehu did not direct his speech to some particular persons, but to the whole body of the people then present, whom he clears from all blame, and to whom he appeals as witnesses between him and these persons.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:9". 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

9.Ye be righteous — That is, ye are not guilty of the blood of the house of Ahab. So far as these massacres have gone I know that ye are innocent.

I conspired — I confess and cannot deny that I conspired against Joram, and slew him.

But who slew all these — I did not, and I know that ye did not; who, then, is guilty in this case? He wished the people to understand that in this work of blood there were other ministers of Divine judgment besides himself. Most commentators explain these words, like the letter of Jehu above, as the language of sarcasm or irony, and suppose that Jehu either intended to involve them in the odium and guilt of this slaughter, or at least to keep them in ignorance of the fact that he had himself given orders for their slaughter. But this is altogether unnecessary, and unauthorized by any thing that appears in the text. Doubtless what Jehu had done towards this massacre was well known to all the people of Jezreel. He had, indeed, in a certain sense, ordered it, (2 Kings 10:6,) but yet in such a way as to involve the nobles and elders and guardians in the guilt as much as himself. Their ready and prompt obedience, in beheading these seventy persons, was, perhaps, hardly expected by Jehu; and when he saw it, he at once began to feel that he was comparatively guiltless of their blood.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-10.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Just executioners of the divine wrath. (Du Hamel) --- You know what is right. (Menochius) --- You are now in the same predicament with myself. (Haydock) --- All the chief men had thus rendered themselves odious to the people, who could not choose them for leaders. He captiously infers, from his astonishing success, (Calmet) that his conduct is pleasing to God. (Menochius) --- All the people seeing that so many had armed (Tirinus) against the house of Achab, might conclude that what they did was just. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:9". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-10.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Ye be righteous. Said by way of flattery and to allay disaffection.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:9". "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 it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, Ye be righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him: but who slew all these?

Said to all the people, Ye be righteous ... A great concourse was assembled to gaze on this, novel and ghastly spectacle. The speech which Jehu addressed to the spectators was artfully framed to impress their minds with the idea that so wholesale a massacre, done without his order or connivance, was the secret result of the divine judgment denounced on the house of Ahab; and the effect of it was to prepare the public mind for hearing, without horror, of a similar revolting tragedy which was soon after perpetrated-namely, the extinction of all the influential friends and supporters of the dynasty of Ahab, including those of the royal house of Judah.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:9". "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

(9) And stood.—Or, took his place—i.e. (according to Reuss), sat as judge in the palace gateway, according to royal custom, and gave audience to the people.

The citizens would naturally be struck with consternation at the sight of the two ghastly pyramids in front of the palace, and would crowd together in expectancy at the gates. Jehu goes forth to justify himself, and calm their fears.

Ye be righteous—i.e., guiltless in respect of the deaths of these men, and therefore have nothing to dread. Thenius explains: “Ye are just, and therefore will judge justly.” Others render: “Are ye righteous?” implying that Jehu wished to make the people guilty of the massacre of the princes, while owning his own murder of the king.

I.—Emphatic: I on my part; or, I indeed.

But who slew all these?—Slew should be smote. Jehu professes astonishment, by way of self-exculpation. He hints that as Jehovah had foretold the destruction of the house of Ahab, He must have brought it to pass; and therefore nobody is to blame. (See next verse.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-10.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, Ye be righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him: but who slew all these?
Ye be righteous
1 Samuel 12:3; Isaiah 5:3
I conspired
9:14-24; Hosea 1:4
Reciprocal: 2 Kings 10:7 - slew seventy

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 10:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-10.html.