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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

2 Kings 9

 

 

Introduction

2 Kings 9:1 to 2 Kings 10:31. The Revolution and Overthrow of the Baal Worship.—This spirited narrative is probably derived from the same source as 1 Kings 20, 22; and, if we strike out the short Deuteronomic portion (2 Kings 9:7-10), we cannot fail to notice the detachment of the writer, who neither condemns nor approves, but merely relates the tragedy. Hosea (Hosea 1:4), a little more than a century later, evidently condemns the whole transaction, and traces the fall of Jehu's house to the blood of Jezreel. This is in strong contrast with the Deuteronomic passage, 2 Kings 10:28-31.

Hazael was evidently able to do very little against Israel as long as the house of Omri was on the throne. Ramoth-gilead, where Ahab was slain, had been recovered (cf. 1 Kings 21:3 with 2 Kings 9:14), but Jehoram had been wounded in some battle.


Verses 1-37

2 Kings 9:1 to 2 Kings 10:31. The Revolution and Overthrow of the Baal Worship.—This spirited narrative is probably derived from the same source as 1 Kings 20, 22; and, if we strike out the short Deuteronomic portion (2 Kings 9:7-10), we cannot fail to notice the detachment of the writer, who neither condemns nor approves, but merely relates the tragedy. Hosea (Hosea 1:4), a little more than a century later, evidently condemns the whole transaction, and traces the fall of Jehu's house to the blood of Jezreel. This is in strong contrast with the Deuteronomic passage, 2 Kings 10:28-31.

Hazael was evidently able to do very little against Israel as long as the house of Omri was on the throne. Ramoth-gilead, where Ahab was slain, had been recovered (cf. 1 Kings 21:3 with 2 Kings 9:14), but Jehoram had been wounded in some battle.

2 Kings 9:1. Elisha is mentioned only here in connexion with Jehu, perhaps, because of 1 Kings 19:16. The prophet took no part in the horrors which followed.

2 Kings 9:6. Elisha's messenger anointed Jehu privately, exactly as Samuel had anointed Saul (1 Samuel 10:1) and David (1 Samuel 16:13).

2 Kings 9:11 f. The captains of the army spoke with a certain contempt of the wild prophet who had interrupted their conference, but would not be put off by Jehu's evasive answer. Their words, "It is false; tell us now," are very ambiguous. A slight change in the Heb. would alter "false" into "conspiracy," the word used by Athaliah when she called "Treason" (2 Kings 11:14).

2 Kings 9:13. When Jehu told them that he had been anointed king, they took their garments and made an extemporary throne, and proclaimed him with a trumpet blast.

2 Kings 9:15. Jehu asked his confederates if they were really on his side (LXX), closed the city gates, and started for Jezreel.

2 Kings 9:16-28. Jehu Murders Jehoram and Ahaziah.—Jehu is recognised by the messengers because he drove "furiously" (2 Kings 9:20). The LXX renders the word parallage (? "in a trance"). Josephus and the Targum render it "quietly." Jehu was driving at his leisure and in good order, says the latter. The Heb. may mean "in meditation" or "in a spirit of madness," i.e. headlong. Jehu met Jehoram in the land which belonged to Naboth (2 Kings 9:21), and taunted him with the idolatry (whoredom, cf. Hosea 1, 2) of Jezebel his mother. He commanded Bidkar to cast Jehoram's body on the portion of Naboth, in accordance with the "oracle" (burthen) which Jehu himself had heard (2 Kings 9:25 f.). The tradition is apparently not the same as 1 Kings 21. Naboth's sons are omitted in 1 K.; Elijah is not mentioned here. Ahaziah, king of Judah, was pursued for some distance. He first escaped southwards towards his own kingdom, to Bethhaggan ("the garden house"), probably En-gannim (Joshua 19:21). There he was overtaken and wounded, and his retreat to Judah cut off; so he escaped northward to Megiddo, where he died (2 Kings 9:27). 2 Chronicles 22:9 gives a different account: Ahaziah hid in Samaria, whence he was brought to Jehu. Samaria was a more likely place for him to flee to than Megiddo.

2 Kings 9:30-37. The Death of Jezebel.—Jezebel met her end with fortitude. She put antimony on her eyelids (Jeremiah 4:30*), arrayed herself as a queen, and taunted her son's murderer, addressing him as "Zimri" (2 Kings 9:31): "Hail, Zimri, thy master's murderer" (1 Kings 16:9). Jehu's horses passed over her corpse (read in 2 Kings 9:33, "they (the horses) trode her underfoot"). In the whole narrative of Kings Ahab and Jezebel are represented as wicked, but never, save Ahab in the case of Naboth (1 Kings 21), as contemptible. Even Jehu recognises (2 Kings 9:34) that Jezebel is a "king's daughter" (1 Kings 16:31).

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/2-kings-9.html. 1919.

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