Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 9:20

The watchman reported, "He came even to them, and he did not return; and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi, for he drives furiously."
New American Standard

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ahaziah;   Church and State;   Conspiracy;   Decision;   Driving;   Jehu;   Jezreel;   Joram;   Nimshi;   Usurpation;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Chariots;   Kings;   Watchmen;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Jezebel;   Jezreel;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ahaziah;   Jehoram;   Jehu;   Jezreel;   Phoenicia;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Jezebel;   Jezreel;   Watches;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Chronology;   Jehu;   Rechab;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Nimshi;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Government;   Jehu;   Nimshi;   Prophecy, Prophets;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ahaziah ;   Jehu ;   Jezebel ;   Jezreel ;   Joram, Jehoram;   Nimshi ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Jehu;   Ramothgilead;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Chariot,;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Jehu;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Jehoshaphat (1);   Jehu;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He driveth furiously - Jehu was a bold, daring, prompt, and precipitate general. In his various military operations he had established his character; and now it was almost proverbial.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:20". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-9.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The driving … furiously - The word translated “driving” means “leading” or “conducting” a band. The watchman observed that the “company” (or, multitude) was led forward madly, and associated this strange procedure with the known character of Jehu. It is curious that some versions, as well as Josephus, give an opposite sense: “he driveth quietly.”

Jehu was properly “the grandson” of Nimshi, who was probably a more famous person than Jehoshaphat 2 Kings 9:2.

sa40

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:20". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-9.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Kings 9:20

The driving is like the driving of Jehu.

Religious fanaticism

Jehu was a religious fanatic; his whole nature was on fire with indignation against the idolatry in his country under the reign of King Joram. We may take this man’s history to illustrate some of the worst features of fanaticism.

I. It “driveth furiously,” with a heartless disregard to the lives of all who differ from it. What eared Jehu for the lives of those who differed from him in religious opinion? Nothing. What do your religious fanatics, who often assemble in thousands to hoot Out their impious crudities, care for the bodily interests, health, or life of those who differ from them? Religious fanaticism is essentially cruel.

II. It “driveth furiously,” with an ostentatious spirit. “Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord” (2 Kings 10:16). Jehu really did not care “for the Lord “ or for true theology. He cared only for himself--self-display, self-glory. Fanaticism is essentially ostentations. It creates a morbid hunger for the applause of men. It will itinerate the country, have preachments every day of the week, prayer-meetings all the day, and drive “furiously” on; but it will take good care to have the whole set forth in puffing advertisements and paraded in all the prints of the so-called “Christian world.” “Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord.” How unlike the true ministry of heaven, which does not cause its voice to be heard in the street, which does its world silently as the sunbeam.

III. It “driveth furiously” under the cover of pretence. This Jehu resolved to destroy all the worshippers of Baal; but how did he set to work in order to accomplish this end? Not in a straightforward way. Inspiration tells us, “Jehu did it in subtilty.” There is a somewhat popular impression, that fanaticism is always sincere. This is a mistake; as a rule, it is a lying thing. As it works by falsehood, so it works under its cover. “Fanaticism,” says Professor Lange, “dissolves all the bonds of life and love, but imputes the blame of it to faith. It leads a man to acts of betrayal, of rebellion, and of murder, while he imagines that he is offering sacrifices acceptable to God. It institutes a community of hatred, in opposition to the community of love, and treats the fire of hell as if it were sacred. It appears in the guise of religion, but for the purpose of banishing Christ and His Gospel from the earth.” Conclusion:--Infer not that because a minister, a community, or a Church are driving furiously in religious work, that they are religious. Genuine religion is a life, not a passion; it is a river, silent and constant as the stars, not a flood rushing and roaring for the hour. (Homilist.)

Going ahead

Jehu has been dead many a long century now, but he has always had his successors; and probably they are more numerous to-day than ever. Among the young men of our day this “go-ahead” character is very common. Nor do I feel disposed to check it. Our tirades demand it. We are living in an age of lightning. It teems with revolutions every hour. Art, science, and commercial enterprises advance with inconceivable velocity. What was, not long since, the dreary journey of a week, is now a delightful excursion of a few hours; and young men feel that if they are to keep pace with the times, they must possess the go-ahead spirit of Jehu. This I do not condemn. Idleness leads to the greatest prodigality. But what I wish to do to-night is this--exhort you to mind that your zeal is guided by wisdom and prudence. You are zealous; but is your zeal directed to right ends? A misdirected zeal is like a sword in a madman’s hand. There are numbers, who, with their go-ahead spirit, have found themselves in our gaols, or lying in our hospitals, with the wasting hand of disease inflicting upon them its awful torments. And, alas, they themselves are not the only sufferers. Look on those who wait on their footsteps, with muffled faces and sable garments. That is a father, and that is a mother, whose grey hairs are coming with sorrow to the grave. To all furious drivers I would say--

I. First, pull up. I have read somewhere, of a horse rushing down a country village, with nostrils distended, and with fire flashing from his heels, yet without driver or hand to guide him. He was dragging behind him a cart, in which was a child, who clung to its side in pale terror. A woman, as it passed, shot from her doorway, like an arrow from its bowstring, and followed in full pursuit, crying, “Save that child! save that child!” Why did she run and cry thus? Oh, you say, “It was her child.” No, it was not. She had left her own little ones all safe around her hearth; but she had a heart above that selfishness which would care only for its own. That child had a mother, but she was not there, the good woman would take her place--one of her children might want help some day. Imbued, I trust, with the unselfish spirit of this woman, we seek to-night to check the speed of those fiery passions which are dragging some of you to death. You are probably unknown to us; but have you not a mother who loves you, a mother who prays for you? You have been going ahead bravely of late, you think. You rightly judge life to be short, and you feel that if you are to enjoy life, you had better be quick about it; if you are to get a fortune you had better keep a sharp lookout. Yes, this is all very well, but where will this pleasure-seeking lead you? It may be, in your haste to get money, you do not scruple to be a little dishonest. “Anyhow, by hook or by crook,” you say, “I mean to go ahead.” Yes, but where will this furious driving lead you? Perhaps you have never thought of this. You don’t know where you are going. I believe more young men are ruined for the want of thought, than aught else.

II. Now I want you to turn round. You feel to-night you have been going ahead on the wrong road. You have determined, as God shall help you, to pull up. But remember, pulling up is only part of the business. You have been on the wrong road; you now want the right. The first thing you need is a new heart. You need the power of the Holy Spirit to convert you. I shall have no faith in your fine resolutions to give up evil habits, evil companions, and pleasure-seeking, unless you have implanted within you new principles. Wind and tide will be against you. In your own strength you may pull until your veins stand like whipcord upon your brow, and you will go down the stream still: And even suppose you should be able to give up the grosset forms of sin, yet, without religion, you must feel when you come to die that, after all, your life has been a failure. Let me urge you, therefore, to seek salvation through Christ.

III. Now, go ahead. I must now assume that you have decided for Christ, united yourself with Christian companions and a Christian Church. At any rate, many young men here have done that; so that the advice I am about to give cannot be deemed impracticable. In common sense, Christian young men, this go-ahead spirit is very desirable; desirable even from a business point of view. We are commanded to “be diligent in business.” If you are in business for yourself, seek, in every true and honest way, to augment your income. In doing so, you will have God’s blessing upon you. Do not be miserly, do not be covetous; but do seek, by dint of plodding perseverance, and constant attention to business, to rise in the world. (W. Williams.)

Scorchers

The “scorcher,” as he is commonly understood in bicycle parlance, is a rider who is determined to have his own way and his own good time on the road, though he endanger the happiness and even life and limb of hundreds of other riders. He is certainly a nuisance and a despicable character. Alas! there are scorchers in other departments of life than bicycle riding. The scorcher in business or social or religious circles is just as mean and dangerous a character as when going at breakneck speed down the road on his wheel. The scorcher is such because of his selfishness. It is the work of Christianity to eleminate the scorcher, and bring in the “brother” in his place. The proverb of the scorcher is, “Every man for himself, and the devil take the hindermost.” The law of the brother is, “Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ.” (L. A. Banks, D. D.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Kings 9:20". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/2-kings-9.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the watchman told, saying, he came even unto them, and cometh not again,.... Was detained, as the other was:

and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for, coming nearer, the watchman could discern the manner of his driving:

for he driveth furiously; in great haste, making much speed, being a man of a very warm and active spirit; and now being eager to come up with Joram, and seize him unprepared, and ascend the throne; the Targum is the reverse,

"for he driveth quietly or slowly,'being desirous of drawing Joram out of the city, and get him into his hands, and slay him, that he might not have the trouble of besieging the place, which was able to hold out some time against him; and besides, he remembered the prophecy of Elisha, that Naboth's blood would be requited in the field of Jezreel, 2 Kings 9:26, and therefore was desirous of drawing him out of the city, in order to slay him there.

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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 9:20". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-9.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving [is] like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth f furiously.

(f) As one that went earnestly about his business.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:20". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-kings-9.html. 1599-1645.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 9:20 And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving [is] like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously.

Ver. 20. For he driveth furiously.] Heb., In madness:

Sic Caesar in omnia praeceps,

Nil actum credens, dum quid superesset agendum,

Fertur atrox. ” - Lucan.

The Chaldee here paraphraseth, quoniam lente incedit; and Josephus hath it, he marcheth slowly with a well-ordered troop: but the Hebrew word is the same with that in 2 Kings 9:11, rightly rendered mad fellow, and here madly, headlongly, as if he would kill his horses with fast riding.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:20". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-9.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

As his temper is hasty and fierce, so is his march.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:20". 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

20.He driveth furiously — Or, as the margin, in madness. Stanley suggests that in the Syrian and other wars of that age, when chariots and horses were so much in use, Jehu had acquired a skill and fierceness in his practice which astonished all, and made him known through the whole army and country as the mighty warrior who drove his horses like a madman.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:20". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-9.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Furiously. The Chaldean and Arabic say, "he marcheth slowly." But the whole conduct of Jehu was marked with eagerness and severity, like that of Cato of Utica, (Grotius) and the utmost expedition was requisite.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:20". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-9.html. 1859.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(20) Driving.—Correct. The margin is wrong.

The son of Nimshi.—Jehu was son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi. The former phrase may have fallen out of the text here. (Yet comp. 2 Kings 8:26, “Athaliah daughter of Omri.”) The Syriac and Arabic call Jehu “the son of Nimshi” in 2 Kings 9:2 also.

He driveth ſuriously—i.e., the foremost charioteer so drives. The word rendered “furiously” is related to that rendered “mad fellow” in 2 Kings 9:11. (Comp. margin here.) Jehu’s chariot swayed unsteadily as he drove madly on. LXX., ἐν παραλλαγῇ. The Targum explains in an exactly opposite sense, “quietly;” and so Josephus: “Jehu was driving rather slowly, and in orderly fashion” (perhaps confounding shiggâ‘ôn, “madness,” Deuteronomy 28:28, with shiggâyôn, “a slow, mournful song,” or elegy).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:20". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-9.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously.
driving
or, marching.
Habakkuk 1:6; 3:12
for he driveth
10:16; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Isaiah 54:16; Daniel 11:44
furiously
Heb. in madness.
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 18:27 - thinketh

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:20". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-9.html.