The Agora
Bible Commentary
2 Kings

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2 Kings 10

2Ki 10:1

2Ki 10: "Jehu sets himself on vengeance bent. The terrible apostasy of the house of Ahab is to be answered on a pathway marked with blood. [1] Fear sweeps Samaria as Jehu now turns his attention to that city, and threatens war on Samaria: vv 1-5. He provides [2] terms of capitulation: vv 6,7, and then opens [3] condemnation upon the rulers: vv 8-11. The heaps of dead bodies were to be placed in an area of public resort that all might see and fear. It demonstrated the treachery of Ahab's nobles, and the folly and danger of Jehu. This gives rise to the [4] slaughter of Ahaziah's kinsmen: vv 12-14. Then [5] the vengeful Jehu received support from Jehonadab: vv 15,16, until finally, there is [6] further slaughter in Samaria: v 17. Fear lay heavily on the people at the approach of the ruthless and energetic captain, a fear that was fully justified in the massacre that took place. The people suffered for their support of Ahab. [7] Jehu traps the Baal worshippers: vv 18-28, as the proclamation went throughout the Land. Death was the penalty of non-compliance. The people had ample evidence that Jehu would carry out his threat if they disobeyed. From all parts of Israel, the devotees of Baal converged on the huge temple in Samaria. But it was to no avail, for he 'destroyed Baal out of Israel' (v 28), and its worship never effectively recovered. To that extent the revolution was a success. Finally, the record outlines: [8] Jehu's shortcomings: vv 29-31, [9] Israel oppressed by Hazael: vv 32,33, and [10] the death of Jehu: vv 34-36. All attempts to frustrate Yahweh's purpose fail" (GEM).

"Jehu is one of the most curious characters to appear in the report of the kings. He manifested an unquenchable zeal for Yahweh while undertaking the mission of wiping out Ahab's house, but as soon as he came to the throne he casually reintroduced the apostasy of Jeroboam and completely ignored the Law of Yahweh concerning Israel's worship. In order to ascertain his character, attention must therefore be focused on what motivated his professed zeal for Yahweh.

"Jehu massacred, in succession, Jehoram, Ahaziah, Jezebel, seventy sons of Ahab, 42 princes of Judah, and many thousands of Baal worshippers gathered by his decree to a special conference in Samaria. The cool and calculated ruthlessness with which he accomplished the vengeance of Yahweh upon Ahab's house is a clear indication of the real essence of Jehu's character. Yahweh commended him for destroying the house of Ahab (2Ki 10:30), but not for the attitude he adopted in accomplishing it. Jehu relished bloodshed and derived great satisfaction from the destruction of his fellow-Israelites, as is revealed in the death of Ahab's seventy sons -- whose heads he piled up in two heaps at the gate of Jezreel (2Ki 10:8-11). His zeal for Yahweh was really only a cloak for a blood-thirstiness unequalled in the history of the kings; hence Yahweh declared that He would in turn 'avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu' (Hos 1:4)" (CKi).

Jehu was anointed to be king by Elijah (1Ki 19:16; 2Ki 9:5,6). However, even though he was anointed by the prophet of God, he turned out to be an evil king. It is as if his anointing made him think that he could do nothing wrong. He was lifted above his station. We must take care that we are not presumptuous because we are the "sons of God".

2Ki 10:4

TWO KINGS: That is, Jehoram and Ahaziah.

2Ki 10:11

"But those who turn to crooked ways the LORD will banish with the evildoers" (Psa 125:5).

2Ki 10:16

COME WITH ME AND SEE MY ZEAL FOR THE LORD: "A zeal for the LORD, but not according to knowledge" (Rom 10:2). While "zeal" for the LORD MAY result in bloodshed, it may also be true that professed "zeal" may be a cloak for a bloodthirsty spirit. Also, it is good to remember that -- quite often -- true "zeal" may be manifested WITHOUT bloodshed! The one who showed, always, the greatest "zeal" for the LORD and His house (Psa 69:9; John 2:17) demonstrated it by shedding HIS OWN blood, and not someone else's!

2Ki 10:21

THEY CROWDED INTO THE TEMPLE OF BAAL UNTIL IT WAS FULL...: Ct Gen 15:16: "The sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure." Now it has!

2Ki 10:23

SEE THAT NO SERVANTS OF THE LORD ARE HERE WITH YOU: Special care taken not to kill any of the righteous: Eze 9:6; Rev 7:3; Gen 19:22; Amo 9:9.

2Ki 10:30

YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL SIT ON THE THRONE OF ISRAEL TO THE FOURTH GENERATION: (1) Jehu; (2) Jehoahaz (v 35); (3) Jehoash (2Ki 13:10); (4) Jeroboam II (2Ki 13:13); (5) Zachariah (2Ki 15:12).

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