Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 9:11

Now Jehu came out to the servants of his master, and one said to him, "Is all well? Why did this mad fellow come to you?" And he said to them, "You know very well the man and his talk."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Church and State;   Decision;   Enthusiasm;   Jehu;   Usurpation;   Thompson Chain Reference - Fellow;   Madness;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Conversation;   Jezebel;   Ramoth;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Phoenicia;   Prophecy, prophet;   Ramoth-gilead;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Jehu;   Jezebel;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Madmen (2);   Shemaiah;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ecstasy;   Elisha;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Government;   Jehu;   Medicine;   Prophecy, Prophets;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Madness;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Jehu ;   Jezebel ;   Jezreel ;   Ramoth Gilead ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Jehu;   Ramothgilead;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Jehu;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Fellow;   Mad;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? - Was it because he was a holy man of God that he was reputed by a club of irreligious officers to be a madman? In vain do such pretend that they fight for religion, and are the guardians of the public welfare and morals, if they persecute religion and scoff at holy men. But this has been an old custom with all the seed, the sons, of the serpent. As to religious soldiers, they are far to seek, and ill to find, according to the old proverb.

Ye know the man, and his communication - Ye know that he is a madman, and that his message must be a message of folly. Jehu did not appear willing to tell them what had been done, lest it should promote jealousy and envy.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-9.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

This mad fellow - The captains, seeing his excited look, his strange action, and his extreme haste, call him (as soldiers would) “this wild fellow.”

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-9.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Kings 9:11

Wherefore came this mad fellow to thee?

The reproach of true religion

The man who was spoken of in this contemptuous manner was a prophet of God, sent by another prophet to a fellow-subject, with the present of a kingdom in his hand. Before night (so it appears) that kingdom had been secured; two confederate kings had been swept out of the way; and a queen-mother, stronger than either, had been literally cast to the dogs. Such was the brief history of this message from heaven. No one called the prophet a madman at the close of that day. Many another true message from heaven has had a similar fate; and all such messages may expect it. They may expect a similar reproach in the first instance; and a similar vindication in the end.

I. Concerning the reproach. God hath spoken at “sundry times and in divers manners” to the world; but the messengers by whom He has spoken have seldom been recognised as such at the first. From the days of Noah to those of St. Paul, experience testifies this. Wherever God sends a special message to men, it clearly must be because a special message is required; in other words, because the knowledge and wisdom of man are not sufficient in his then existing circumstances to guide him. God sends him counsel because his own counsel is worthless, or worse. But this is just the thing which man’s pride is unwilling to allow. Again, God’s counsel, like Himself, is certain to be holy; and man’s natural purposes, on the other hand, are sure to be ungodly and sinful. Further yet, God’s wisdom is sure to be far-sighted and profound, while the faculties which attempt to scan it are always short-sighted and shallow. On all these grounds, therefore, the message, when it comes, will be something unwelcome and perplexing at the first. Its pretensions will be humiliating to man’s pride; its tendency will be offensive to his nature; its contents will be confounding to his mind. “I know you that ye have not the love of God in you.” It is an aggravated illustration of the same principle which causes frivolity to despise enthusiasm; selfishness, generosity; the savage, mercy and truth; and the clown, the highest efforts of literature, science, and art. Men hate to believe in anything superior to themselves.

II. Concerning the vindication. “Wisdom is justified of all her children.” Where a message is really from God, it compels belief at the last. This may be easily seen in all the cases already referred to. The flood of waters justified Noah; the fire from heaven justified Lot; the Exodus justified Moses; and the victory over the Philistines justified David. Exactly in proportion to the original contempt was the final honour in each case. It was the same with the apparently habitual scorn of all true prophecy in old days; true prophecy has long been fully revenged. Similar justice, also, has long been measured out to the once despised evangelists and apostles, and to that equally despised Master whom they obeyed. In proof of this you have only to consider that no greater praise can now be given to any man, than to say his conduct is truly apostolical, or his character really Christian. It is nothing that, in short, but the old proverb, “Magna est veritas, et praevalebit.” A true message from heaven has heavenly resources behind it. It is like a bank with very large liabilities, but with assets much larger still. Consequently, whatever it dares, it can do; whatever the doubts, and surmises, and panic, it can meet them all with a smile. We may apply this as an excellent test of the various religions of the world. There are some that make no pretensions, that do not oppose men’s desires, nor perplex their minds, nor offend their prejudices. That is condemnation enough by itself. God would hardly have sent us a message which we could have devised for ourselves. There are other religions which are all pretensions; which go on shouting for centuries that the Diana they worship is very great; and which are perpetually singing in chorus, We are right, and you are wrong, we are saved, and you are lost; but without any real proof of it all. Such religions offer no reason, and so require no reply. They are simply gigantic systems of self-praise; and it is no recommendation to them. These are not the marks of the true message--“If I honour myself, my honour is nothing.” (Homilist.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Kings 9:11". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/2-kings-9.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

THE PROCLAMATION OF JEHU AS KING OF ISRAEL

"Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and one said unto him, Is all well? Wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man and what his talk was. And they said, It is false; tell us now. And he said, Thus and thus spake he to me, saying, Thus saith Jehovah, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then they hasted, and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew the trumpet, saying, Jehu is king."

"Wherefore came this mad fellow to thee" (2 Kings 9:11)? Madness was widely associated with prophecy in the O.T., as in Jeremiah 20:26 and Hosea 9:7 "The common worldly man in every age tends to view the religious enthusiast in this way, combined with emotions compounded with sincere respect tinctured, if ever so lightly, with aversion and contempt."[11] As George DeHoff expressed it, "Irreligious men always think that God's children are a bunch of fools."[12]

"They ... took every man his garment and put it under him on the top of the stairs" (2 Kings 9:13). We would need a picture or drawing of the headquarters building where all this happened to be able to explain exactly what is meant by "the top of the stairs." Everything else here is crystal clear.

The general dissatisfaction with Joram and the widespread hatred of him led to a spontaneous outburst from the entire company of military captains, enthusiastically welcoming the prospect of a new king. (1) They spread their garments for Jehu to walk upon, even as did the crowd that welcomed the Christ into Jerusalem in his triumphal entry (Luke 19:29-40). (2) They blew the trumpet, always associated with proclaiming a new king. (3) They shouted, Jehu is king! As the leaders of the entire army had participated in this proclamation of Jehu as king, the total success of it was assured.

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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 9:11". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-kings-9.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord,.... The rest of the captains of the army, who served under Joram as he did:

and one said unto him, is all well? one of the captains, the greatest of them, as Kimchi; he inquired whether he brought any ill news, since he came and went in such haste:

wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? so profane men, especially the worshippers of Baal, as those captains might be, were wont to call the prophets of the Lord, because of their habit, their manner of living, and the gestures they sometimes used in prophesying, and especially because of the things they prophesied of; and even prophets were sometimes called so, because, in the time of their prophesying, they appeared as madmenF13David de Pomis, Lexic. p. 204. 3. , and in a frenzy:

and he said unto them, ye know the man, and his communication; you saw by his habit of what profession he is, and you may easily guess what he talked of, as such men usually do, about religion, and one whimsical thing or another, reproving men for their sins, and telling them what they ought to do; and such like things you may well imagine he has been talking of to me; you rightly call him a mad fellow, and you may well suppose his discourse was agreeably to his character, and not worth relating and hearing; this he said, to put them off inquiring any further.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-9.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Then Jehu came forth to the c servants of his lord: and [one] said unto him, [Is] all well? wherefore came this d mad [fellow] to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication.

(c) That is, the rest of the army, whom he called his brethren before, (2 Kings 9:2).

(d) The world always holds the ministers of God is this estimation and has always slandered the children of God (they called the Son of God a deceiver, and said he had the devil) therefore they should not be discouraged.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:11". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-kings-9.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Is all well? etc. — Jehu‘s attendants knew that the stranger belonged to the order of the prophets by his garb, gestures, and form of address; and soldiers such as they very readily concluded such persons to be crackbrained, not only from the sordid negligence of their personal appearance and their open contempt of the world, but from the religious pursuits in which their whole lives were spent, and the grotesque actions which they frequently performed (compare Jeremiah 29:26).

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-kings-9.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and one said unto him, Is all well? wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication.

Mad fellow — They perceived him to be a prophet by his habit, and gestures, and manner of speech. And these prophane soldiers esteemed the prophets mad-men. Those that have no religion, commonly speak of those that are religious with disdain, and look upon them as crack-brained. They said of our Lord, He is beside himself; of St. Paul, that much learning had made him mad. The highest wisdom is thus represented as folly, and they that best understand themselves, as men beside themselves.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:11". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-kings-9.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 9:11 Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and [one] said unto him, [Is] all well? wherefore came this mad [fellow] to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication.

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

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

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-9.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Kings 9:11. Wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? See Numbers 11:25. The officers who were in company with Jehu might easily perceive, by the air, habit, and manner of speech of the person who accosted Jehu so boldly, and when he had done his business vanished so suddenly, that he was a prophet; but then there might be several reasons which might induce men of their profession to have a contemptible opinion of men of that order. The rigid and obscure course of life which the prophets led, and their neglect of the things of this world, might pass with them for a kind of infatuation, and the holy exercises to which they devoted themselves, for no more than a religious phrenzy; besides this, the false prophets whom they had seen in the court of Ahab had given just offence, and by their affected gestures and studied contortions, whereby they thought to recommend their crude enthusiasms, made themselves justly ridiculous and contemptible; and therefore it is no wonder that these officers at first sight should censure a true prophet, as they thought they had reason to judge of the false prophets with whom they had been acquainted; especially when we find some leading men in the tribe of Judah treating the prophets of the Lord as fools and madmen. See Ezekiel 23:30-31. Jeremiah 29:26 and Cicero de Divinat. lib. 2:

Note; (1.) It is not the last time that God's zealous servants have been called madmen. Thus Paul was branded, and even the blessed Jesus; let none of his followers therefore marvel, if a carnal world still judge thus of them. (2.) If worldly men expect from God's prophets reproof and religious conversation, let them not be disappointed by an endeavour to secure their regard at the expence of silence, or any sinful compliance.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:11". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-kings-9.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

To the servants of his lord; to the rest of the commanders and officers there present.

Is all well? is not this unlucky messenger come with some ill tidings?

Wherefore came this mad fellow? they perceived him to be a prophet by his habit, and gestures, and manner of speech. And these profane soldiers esteemed the Lord’s prophets madmen; partly, because of their neglect of themselves, and contempt of all worldly wealth and honour, which the wise men of this world so greedily seek, and of their strange and uncouth manner of living; partly, because of their holy exercises to which they devoted themselves, which they esteemed nothing but a religious frenzy; and partly, because of those unusual and seemingly ridiculous gestures and actions which the prophets sometimes used in raptures of spirit, or in the fervours of devotion. Compare Jeremiah 29:26 John 10:20 Acts 26:24.

Ye know the man, and his communication; you rightly guess that he was a madman, and so it appears by his discourse with me, which was, after the manner of that sort of man, vain and impertinent, to tell me of my sins, or of my duty, or such things as are not worth my speaking, or your hearing.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-kings-9.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11.His lord — King Joram.

This mad fellow משׁגע, pual part. of שׁגע; one who raves, or is frenzied and furious. This was spoken contemptuously of the prophet, though doubtless his hurried manner, his emotional bearing, and sudden departure and flight, gave occasion for the term mad or crazy.

Ye know the man, and his communication — That is, ye know him to be mad, and his discourse is according to his wild character. Jehu wished at first to keep the matter to himself, and so avoided answering their question.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-9.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Madman. The extravagant motions of the false prophets caused even the true ones to be treated with contempt. Warriors are but too apt to give way to sentiments of irreligion, (Menochius) and to despise men who lead a retired and penitential life. (Haydock) --- How often were Ezechiel and Jeremias treated as fools, (Ezechiel xxxiii. 30., and Jeremias xxix. 26.; Calmet) as well as our divine Saviour? The pagans looked upon those who were inspired by Apollo in the same light. (Haydock) --- Ut primum cessit furor & rabida ora quierunt, Virgil, Æneid vi. "What authority has this fury, which you call divine, that the insane should behold what escapes the observation of the wise, and that he who has lost common (human) sense should possess divine?" ea videat insanus, & is qui humanos sensus amiserit, divinos assecutus sit? (Cicero, Divin. ii.)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:11". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-9.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

one said. A special various reading called Sevir (App-34), some codices, with two early printed editions, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "they said".

Is all well? Hebrew Is it peace?

Ye know, &c. = Why, ye are in the secret, or ye know all about the man.

man. Hebrew. "ish. App-14.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-9.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and one said unto him, Is all well? wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication.

Is all well? Jehu's attendants knew that the stranger belonged to the order of the prophets by his garb, gestures, and form of address; and soldiers like them very readily concluded such persons to be crack-brained, not only from the sordid negligence of their personal appearance, and their open contempt of the world, but from the religious pursuits in which their whole lives were spent, and the grotesque actions which they frequently performed (cf. 1 Samuel 19:24; Jeremiah 29:26).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-kings-9.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) The servants of his lord.—Jehoram’s captains.

And one said.—Many MSS. and all the versions, except the Targum, have “and they said.”

Is all well?—They dreaded some sinister news.

This mad fellow.—They were struck by his wild demeanour and furious haste. Or, perhaps, “this inspired one,” in a tone of ridicule. (Comp. Hosea 9:7.)

Ye know the man.—There is emphasis on the ye. Jehu apparently implies that the man was sent to him by his fellow-generals—that they had planned the whole thing. His purpose is to find out their disposition. Or, more probably, his reply may simply mean: “Why ask me, when you yourselves must have divined the right answer to your question?”

His communication.—Or, his meditation (comp. 1 Kings 18:27)—i.e., the thing he had in his mind, his purpose in coming. Corn, à Lapide: “Ye know that he is mad, and accordingly what he says is mad, and therefore neither to be credited nor repeated.” LXX., “Ye know the man and his babble;” the Targum, “and his story;” the Syriac, “and his folly;” the Vulg., “and what he said;” the Arabic, “and his news.”

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-9.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and one said unto him, Is all well? wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication.
Is all well
17,19,22; 4:26; 5:21
this mad fellow
It is probable there was something peculiar in the young prophet's manner and address, similar to the vehement actions sometimes used by the prophets when under the Divine influence, which caused the bystanders to use this contemptuous language.
Isaiah 59:15; *marg:; Jeremiah 29:26; Hosea 9:7; Mark 3:21; John 10:20; Acts 17:18; 26:24; 1 Corinthians 4:10; 2 Corinthians 5:13
Reciprocal: Matthew 11:18 - He;  Matthew 26:61 - This;  John 9:29 - as for

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-9.html.