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and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not
19 Then he sent out a second on horseback, which came to them, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu answered, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me.
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."
21 And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel, and Ahaziah king of Judah, went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and $met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite.
22 And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel, and her witchcrafts, are so many? 23 And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, O Ahaziah!
24 And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms; and the Bind. § found. ¶ bowed.
or, marching.in madness. w Hab. 1. 6. y Rev. 2. 20-23. i filled his hand with a bow.
* Is. 48. 22. 1 Kings 21. 29. fittest for the service to which Jehu was designated. The wisdom of God is seen in the choice of proper instruments to be employed in his work. But it is not much for any man's reputation, to be known by his fury. He that has rule over his own spirit, is better than the mighty. The Chaldee paraphrase gives this a contrary sense: The leading is like that of Jehu, for he leads quietly. And, it should seem, he did not come up very fast, for then there had not been time for all this that passed. And some think he chose to march slowly, that he might give Joram time to come out to him, and so despatch him before he entered the city.
II. Joram himself goes out to meet him, and takes Ahaziah king of Judah along with him; neither of them equipped for war, as not expecting an enemy, but in haste to have their curiosity satisfied. How strangely has Providence sometimes ordered it, that men have been in haste to meet their ruin, when their day has come to fall.
1. The place where Joram met Jehu, was ominous, in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite, v. 21. The very sight of that ground was enough to make Joram tremble, and Jehu triumph; for Joram had the guilt of Naboth's blood fighting against him, and Jehu had the force of Elijah's curse fighting for him. The circumstances of events are sometimes so ordered by Divine Providence, as to make the punishment answer to the sin, as face answers to face in a glass.
2. Joram's demand was still the same, "Is it peace, Jehu? Is all well? Dost thou come home thus, flying from the Syrians, or more than a conqueror over them?" It seems, he looked for peace, and could not entertain any other thought. Note, It is very common for great sinners, even when they are upon the brink of ruin, to flatter themselves with an opinion that all is well with them, and to cry peace to themselves.
3. Jehu's reply was very startling; he answered him with a question, What peace canst thou expect, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel, (who, though queen dowager, was, in effect, queen regent,) and her witchcrafts, are so many? See how plainly Jehu deals with him. Formerly, he durst not do 80, but now he had another spirit. Note, Sinners will not always be flattered; one time or other, they will have their own given them, Ps. 36. 2. Observe, (1.) He charges upon him his mother's wickedness, because he had at first learned it, and then with his kingly power protected it. She stands impeached for whoredom, corporal and spiritual, serving idols, and serving them with the very acts of lewdness; for witchcraft likewise, enchantments and divinations, used in honour of her idols; and these multiplied, the whoredoms and the witchcrafts many; for those that abandon themselves to wicked courses, know not where they will stop. One sin begets another. (2.) Upon that account, he throws him off from all pretensions to peace; "What peace can come to that house in which there is so much wickedness unrepented of?" Note, The way of sin can never be the way of peace, Is. 57. 21. What peace can sinners have with God, what peace with their own consciences, what good, what comfort, can they expect in life, in death, or after death, who go on still in their trespasses? No peace so long as sin is persisted in; but as soon as it is repented of and forsaken, there is peace.
4. The execution was done immediately. When Joram heard of his mother's crimes, his heart failed him, he presently conclu led the long threatened day of reckoning was now come, and cried out, "There is treachery, O Ahaziah: Jehu is our enemy, and it is time for us to shift for our safety." Both fled, and, (1.) Joran king of Israel was slain presently, v. 24. Jehu despatched him with his own hands. The bow was not drawn VOL. I.-113
arrow went out at his heart, and he
25 Then said Jehu to Bidkar his ca,
26 Surely I have seen yesterday **the blood Naboth, and the blood of his sons, saith the LORD; and I will requite thee in this plat, saith the LORD. Now therefore take and cast him into the plat of ground, according to the word of the LORD.
27 But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden-house: and Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there.
28 And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city of David.
29 And in the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah.
30 And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.
bloods. a 1 Kings 21. 19. tt or, portion. b Josh. 17. 11. Judg. 1. 27. 2 Chr. e c. 8. 25. 2 Chr. 22. 1, 2. ‡‡ put her eyes in painting, Ez. 23.40. at a venture, as that which sent the fatal arrow through the joints of his father's harness, but Jehu directed the arrow between his shoulders as he fled, (it was one of God's arrows which he has ordained against the persecutor, Ps. 7. 13,) and it reached to his heart, so that he died upon the spot. He was now the top-branch of Ahab's house, and therefore was first cut off. He died a criminal, under the sentence of the law, which Jebu, the executioner, pursues in the disposal of the dead body. Naboth's vineyard was hard by, which put him in mind of that circumstance of the doom Elijah passed upon Ahab, I will requite thee in this plat, said the Lord, (v. 25, 26,) for the blood of Naboth himself, and for the blood of his sons, who were either put do death with him as partners in his crime, or secretly murdered after, lest they should bring an appeal, or find some way to avenge their father's death; or had broken their hearts for the loss of him; or (his whole estate being confiscated, as well as his vineyard) had lost their livelihoods, which was, in effect, to lose their lives; for this, the house of Ahab must be reckoned with; and that very piece of ground which he, with so much pride and pleasure, had made himself master of, at the expense of the guilt of innocent blood, now became the theatre on which his son's dead body lay exposed a spectacle to the world. Thus the Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth. Higgaion. Selah.
(2.) Ahaziah king of Judah was pursued, and slain in a little time, and not far off, v. 27, 28.  Though he was now in Joram's company, he had not been slain, but that he was joined with the house of Ahab both in affinity and in iniquity; he was one of them; so he had made himself by his sins, and therefore he must fare as they fare. Yet, [2.] Perhaps he had not at this time fallen with them, if he had not been found in company with them. It is a dangerous thing to associate with evil-doers; we may be entangled both in guilt and misery by it.
V. 30-37. The greatest delinquent in the house of Ahab was Jezebel: it was she that introduced Baal; slew the Lord's prophets; contrived the murder of Naboth; stirred up her husband first, and then her sons, to do wickedly; a cursed woman she is here called, (". 34,) a curse to the country, and whom all that wished well to their country, had a curse for: three reigns her reign had lasted, but now, at length, her day is come to fall. We read of a false prophetess in the church of Thyatira, that is compared to Jebezel, and called by her name, (Rev. 2. 20;) her wickedness the same, seducing God's servants to idolatry; a long space given her to repent, (v. 21,) as to Jezebel; and a fearful ruin brought upon her, at last, (v. 22, 23,) as here upon Jezebel. So that Jezebel's destruction may be looked upon as typical of the destruction of idolaters and persecutors, especially that great whore, that mother of harlots, that hath made herself drunk with the blood of saints, and the nations drunk with the wine of her fornications, when God shall put it into the heart of the kings of the earth to hate her, Rev. 17. 5, 6, 16. Now here we have,
I. Jezebel daring the judgment. She heard that Jehu had slain her son, and slain him for her whoredoms and witchcrafts, and thrown his dead body into the por ion of Naboth, according to the word of the Lord, and that he was now coming to Jezreel, where she could not but expect herself to fall next a sacrifice to his revenging sword: now see how she meets her fate; she posted herself in a window at the entering of the gate, to affront Jehu, and set him at defiance.
1. Instead of hiding herself, as one afraid of divine vengeance, she exposed herself to it, and scorned to flee; mocked at fear, and was not affrighted. See how a heart hardened against God will brave it out to the last, run upon him, even upon his ( 897 )
34 And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter.
35 And they went to bury her; but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands.
36 Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel;
d 1 Kings 16, 9-20. or, chamberlains. e 1 Kings 16. 31. f Ec. 6. 3. Is. 14. 18-20. Jer. 22. 19. 36. 30.
neck, Job 15. 26. But never did any thus harden their hearts against him, and prosper.
2. Instead of humbling herself, and putting herself into close mourning for her son, she painted her face, and tired her head, that she might appear like herself, that is, (as she thought,) great and majestic, hoping thereby to daunt Jehu, to put him out of countenance, and to stop his career. The Lord God called to baldness and girding with sackcloth, but behold, painting and dressing, walking contrary to God, Is. 22. 12, 13. There is not a surer presage of ruin than an unhumbled heart under humbling providences. Let painted faces look in Jezebel's glass, and see how they like themselves.
3. Instead of trembling before Jehu, the instrument of God's vengeance, she thinks to make him tremble with that threatening question, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master? Observe, (1.) She took no notice of the hand of God gone out against her family, but flew in the face of him that was only the sword in his hand. We are very apt, when we are in trouble, to break out into a passion against the instruments of our trouble, when we ought to be submissive to God, and angry at ourselves only. (2.) She pleased herself with the thought, that what Jehu was now doing, would certainly end in his own ruin, and that he would not have peace in it. He had cut her off from all pretensions to peace, (v. 22,) and now she thinks to cut him off likewise. Note, It is no new thing for those that are doing God's work, to be looked upon as out of the way of peace. Active reformers, faithful reprovers, are threatened with trouble; but let them be in nothing terrified, Phil. 1. 28. (3.) She quoted a precedent, to deter him from the prosecution of this enterprise; "Had Zimri peace? No, he had not; he came to the throne by blood and treachery, and within seven days was constrained to burn the palace over his head, and himself in it; and canst thou expect to fare any better?" Had the case been parallel, it had been proper enough to give him this memorandum: for the judgments of God upon those that have gone before us in any sinful way, should be warnings to us to take heed of treading in their steps. But the instance of Zimri was misapplied to Jehu: Zimri had no warrant for what he did, but was incited to it merely by his own ambition and cruelty; whereas Jehu was anointed by one of the sons of the prophets, and did this by order from heaven, which would bear him out. In comparing persons and things, we must carefully distinguish between the precious and the vile, and take heed, lest from the fate of sinful men we read the doom of useful men.
37 And the carcass of Jezebel shall be as dung hupon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel
II. Jehu demanded aid against her. He looked up to the window, not daunted at the menaces of her impudent but impotent rage, and cried, Who is on my side? who? v. 32. He was called out to do God's work, in reforming the land, and punishing those that had debauched it; and here he calls out for assistance in the doing of it; looked if there were any to help, any to uphold, Is. 63. 5. He lifts up a standard, and makes proclamation, as Moses, (Ex. 32. 26,) Who is on the Lord's side? And the psalmist, (Ps. 94. 16,) Who will rise up for me against the evil-doers? Note, When reformation work is set on foot, it is time to ask, "Who sides with it?"
III. Her own attendants delivering her up to his just revenge. Two or three chamberlains looked out to Jehu with such a countenance as encouraged him to believe they were on his side, and to them he called, not to seize or secure her till further orders, but immediately to throw her down, which was one way of stoning malefactors, casting them headlong from some steep place. Thus was vengeance taken on her for the stoning of Naboth: they threw her down, v. 33. If God's command would justify Jehu, his command would justify them. Perhaps they had a secret dislike of Jezebel's wickedness, and hated her, though they served her; or, it may be, she was barbarous and injurious to those about her, and they were pleased with this opportunity of being avenged on her; or, observing Jehu's success, they hoped thus to ingratiate themselves with him, and keep their places in his court. However it was, thus she was most shamefully put to death, dashed against the wall and the
We have, in this chapter, I. A further account of Jehu's execution of his commiacut off, Ahab's sons, v. 1-10. 2. All Ahab's kindred, v. 1114, 17. 3. Ahab's idolatry; his zeal against that, he took Jouadab to be witness to, (v. 15, 16;) summoned all the worshippers of Baal to attend, (v. 1823,) and slew them all, (v. 24, 25,) and then abolished that idolatry, v. 26-28. II. A short account of the administration of his government. 1. The old idolatry of Israel was retained, the worship of the calves, v. 29-31. 2. This brought God's judgments upon them by Hazael, with which his reign concludes, v. 32-36.
ND Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought up Ahab's children, saying,
2 Now, as soon as this letter cometh to you, seeing your master's sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, a fenced city also, and armour;
t by the hand of. g 1 Kings 21. 23. A Ps. 83. 10. Jer. 8. 2. 16. 4. • nourish
pavement, and then trodden on by the horses, which were all besmeared with her blood and brains. See the end of pride and cruelty, and say, The Lord is righteous.
IV. The very dogs completing her shame and ruin, according to the prophecy. When Jehu had taken some refreshment in the palace, he bethought himself of showing so much respect to Jezebel's sex and quality, as to bury her. As bad as she was, she was a daughter, a king's daughter, a king's wife, a king's mother; Go, and bury her, v. 34. But though he had forgotten what the prophet said, (v. 10, Dogs shall eat Jezebel,) God had not forgotten it. While he was eating and drinking, the dogs had devoured her dead body, the dogs that went about the city, (Ps. 59. 6,) and fed upon the carrion, so that there was nothing left but her bare skull, (the painted face was gone,) and her feet and hands. The hungry dogs had no respect to the dignity of her extraction: a king's daughter was no more to them than a common person. When we pamper our bodies, and use them deliciously, let us think how vile they are, and that, shortly, they will be either a feast for worms under ground, or beasts above ground. When notice was brought of this to Jehu, he remembered the threatening, (1 Kings 21. 23,) The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. Nothing should remain of her but the monuments of her infamy. She had been used to appear on public days in great state, and the cry was, "This is Jezebel. What a majestic port and figure! How great she looks!" But now it shall be said no more. We have often seen the wicked buried, (Ec. 8. 10,) yet sometimes, as here, they have no burial, Ec. 6. 3. Jezebel's name no where remained, but as stigmatized in sacred writ: they could not so much as say, "This is Jezebel's dust; This is Jezebel's grave;" "This is Jezebel's seed." Thus the name of the wicked shall rot, rot above ground.
NOTES TO CHAPTER X.
V. 1-14. We left Jehu in quiet possession of Jezreel, triumphing over Joram and Jezebel; and must now attend his further motions. He knew the whole house of Ahab must be cut off, and therefore proceeds in this bloody work, and does not do it deceitfully, or by halves, Jer. 48. 10.
I. He got the heads of all the sons of Ahab, cut off by their own guardians at Samaria. Seventy sons (or grandsons) Ahab had; Gideon's number, Judg. 8. 30. In such a number that bare his name, his family was likely to be perpetuated, and yet it is extirpated all at once. Such a quiver full of arrows could not protect his house from divine vengeance. Numerous families, if vicious, must not expect to be long prosperous. These sons of Ahab were now at Samaria, a strong city, perhaps brought thither upon occasion of the war with Syria, as a place of safety, or upon notice of Jehu's insurrection; with them were the rulers of Jezreel, that is, the great officers of the court, who went to Samaria to secure themselves, or to consult what was to be done. Those of them that were yet under tuition, had their tutors with them, who were intrusted with their education in learning, agreeable to their birth and quality, but, it is to be feared, brought them up in the idolatries of their father's house, and made them all worshippers of Baal. Jehu did not think fit to bring his forces to Samaria to destroy them, but, that the hand of God might appear the more remarkably in it, made their guardians their murderers.
1. He sent a challenge to their friends to stand by them; (v. 2, 3,) "You that are hearty well-wishers to the house of Ahab, and entire in its interests, now is your time to appear for it: Samaria is a strong city, you are in possession of it, you have forces at command, you may choose out the likeliest person of all the royal family to head you, you know you are not tied to the eldest, unless he be the best and meetest of your master's sons; if you have any spirit in you, show it, and set one of them on his father's throne, and stand by him with your lives and fortunes." Not that he desired they should do this, or expected they would, but thus he upbraided them with their cowardice, and utter inability to contest with the divine coun
3 Look even out the best and meetest of your master's sons, and set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house.
10 Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spake concerning the house of Ahab: for the LORD hath done that which he spake by his servant Elijah.
4 But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, two "kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand?
11 So Jehu slew all that remained of the house 5 And he that was over the house, and he that of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his was over the city, the elders, also, and the bringers-kinsfolk, and his priests, until he left him none up of the children, sent to Jehu, saying, We are thy servants, and will do all that thou shalt bid us; we will not make any king: do thou that which is good in thine eyes.
6 Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye be mine, and if ye will hearken unto my voice, take ye the heads of the men, your master's sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time. (Now the king's sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, which brought them up.)
7 And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king's sons, and slew dseventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jezreel.
8 And there came a messenger, and told him, saying, They have brought the heads of the king's sons. And he said, Lay ye them in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning.
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 mas-for ter, and slew him: but who slew all these?
a c. 9. 24, 27. b 1 Kings 20. 4, 32. e for me. d 1 Kings 21. 21. e Judg. 9. 5, &c. f Mau. 14. 8, 11. g c. 9. 14, 24. h1 Sam. 3. 19. Jer. 44. 28, 29. i1 Kings 21. 19, c. by the hand of. tor, acquaintance. k Ps. 125. 5. Prov. 13. 20.
sels. “Do if you dare, and see what will come of it." Those that have forsaken their religion, have often, with it, lost both their sense and their courage, and deserve to be upbraided with it.
12 And he arose and departed, and came to Samaria. And as he was at the shearing-house in the way,
13 Jehu met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who are ye? And they answered, We are the brethren of Ahaziah: and we go down to salute the children of the king, and the children of the queen.
14 And he said, Take them alive." And they "took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing-house, even two and forty men: neither left he any of them.
15 And when he was departed thence, he lighted "on Jehonadab the son of Rechab, coming to meet him: and he **saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me thine hand. And he gave him his hand and he took him up to him into the chariot.
16 And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal the LORD. So they made him ride in his cha
When the separated heads were presented to him, he slyly upbraided them that were the executioners, yet owned the hand of God in it. (1.) He seems to blame those that had been the executioners of this vengeance. The heads were laid in two heaps, at the gate, the proper place of judgment. There he acquitted the people before God and the world, (v. 9, Ye be righteous,) and by what the rulers of Samaria had now done, comparatively acquitted himself: "I slew but one, they have slain all these: I did it by conspiracy, and with design; they have done this merely in compliance, and with an implicit obedience. Let not the people of Samaria, nor any of the friends of the house of Ahab, ever reproach me for what I have done, when their own elders, and the very guardians of the orphans, have done this." It is common for those who have done something too bad, to endeavour the mitigation of their own reproach, by drawing others in to do something worse.
1 Kings 14. 10. 1 house of shepherds binding sheep. found. I the peace of. In 1 Kings 20. 18. n 2 Chr. 22.8. found o Jer. 35. 6, &c. p1 Chr. 2. 55. blessed. q Ezra 10. 19. r1 Kings 19. 10. Prov. 27. 2. Ez. 33. 31. Matt.
But, (2.) He resolves all into the righteous judgment of God; (v. 10,) The Lord hath done that which he spake by Elijah. God is not the Author of any man's sin, but even by that which men do from bad principles, God serves his own purposes, and pru-glorifies his own name; and is righteous in that wherein men are unrighteous. When the Assyrian is made the rod of God's anger, and the instrument of his justice, he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so, Is. 10, 7.
II. He proceeded to destroy all that remained of the house of Ahab, not only those that descended from him, but those that were in any relation to him, all the officers of his household, ministers of state, and those in command under him, called here his great men, v. 11, all his kinsfolk and acquaintance, who had been partners with him in his wickedness, and his priests, or domestic chaplains, whom he employed in his idolatrous services, and who strengthened his hand, that he should not turn from his evil way. Having done this in Jezreel, he did the same in Samaria, (v. 17,) slew all that remained to Ahab in Samaria. This was bloody work, and is not now, in any case, to be drawn into a precedent. Let the guilty suffer, but not the guiltless for their sakes. Perhaps such terrible destructions as these, were intended as types of the final destruction of all the ungodly. God has a sword, bathed in heaven, which will come down upon the people of his curse, and be filled with blood, Is. 34. 5, 6. Then his eye will not spare, neither will he pity.
2. Hereby he gained from them a submission. They dently reasoned with themselves, Behold, two kings stood not before him, but fell as sacrifices to his rage; how then shall we stand? v. 4. Therefore they sent him a surrender of themselves, "We are thy servants, thy subjects, and will do all that thou shalt bid us, right or wrong, and will set up nobody in competition with thee." They saw it was to no purpose to contend with him, and therefore it was their interest to submit to him. With much more reason may we thus argue ourselves into a subjection to the great God. Many kings and great men have fallen before his wrath, for their wickedness; and how then shall we stand? Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? No, we must either bend or break. 3. This is improved so far as to make them the executioners of those whom they had the tuition of: (v. 6,) If ye be mine, bring me the heads of your master's sons by to-morrow at this time. Though he knew it must be done, and was loath to do it himself, one would think he could not expect they should do it. Could they betray such a trust? Could they be cruel to their master's sons? It seems, so low did they stoop in their adoration of the rising sun, that they did it; they cut off the heads of those 70 princes, and sent them in baskets a present III. Providence bringing the brethren of Ahaziah in his way, to Jehu, v. 7. Learn hence not to trust in a friend, nor to put as he was going on with this execution, he slew them likewise, confidence in a guide, not governed by conscience. One can v. 12-14. The brethren of Ahaziah were slain by the Arascarcely expect that he who has been false to his God, should bians, (2 Chr. 22. 1,) but these were the sons of his brethren, ever be faithful to his prince. But observe God's righteousness as it is there explained, (v. 8;) and they are said to be princes in their unrighteousness. These elders of Jezreel had been of Judah, and to minister to Ahaziah. Several things conwickedly obsequious to Jezebel's order for the murder of Na-curred to make them obnoxious to the vengeance Jehu was now both, 1 Kings 21. 11. She gloried, it is likely, in the power executing. 1. They were branches of Ahab's house, being she had over them; and now the same base spirit makes them descended from Athaliah, and therefore fell within his comas pliable to Jehu, and as ready to obey his orders for the mur-mission. 2. They were tainted with the wickedness of the der of Ahab's sons. Let none aim at an arbitrary power, lest house of Ahab. 3. They were now going to make their court they be found rolling a stone which, some time or other, will to the princes of the house of Ahab, to salute the children of the return upon them. Princes that make their people slaves, king and the queen, Joram and Jezebel, which showed they take the readiest way to make them rebels; and, by foreing were linked to them in affection as well as in affinity. These men's consciences, as Jezebel did, they lose their hold of princes, forty-two in number, being appointed as sheep for them. the sacrifice, were slain with solemnity, at the pit of the shearing-house. The Lord is known by these judgments which he executeth.
V. 15-28. Jehu, pushing on his work, is here,
1. Courting the friendship of a good man, Jehonadab the son of Rechab, v. 15. 16. This Jehonadab, though mortified to the world, and meddling lit le with the business of it, (as appears by his charge to his posterity, which they religiously observed 300 years after, not to drink wine, nor dwell in cities, Jer. 35. 6, &c.) yet, upon this occasion, went to meet Jehu, that he might encourage him in the work to which God had called him. The countenance of good men is a thing which great men, if they be wise, will value, and value themselves by. David rayed, Let those that fear thee, turn unto me, Ps. 119. 79. This Jehonadab, though no prophet, priest, or Levite, no prince or ruler, was, we may suppose, very eminent for prudence and piety, and generally respected for that life of self-denial and devotion which he
17 And when he came to Samaria, he slew all 'that remained unto Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed him, according to the saying of the LORD, which he spake 'to Elijah.
18 And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab "served Baal a little, but Jehu shall serve him much.
19 Now therefore call unto me all the prophets "of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests; let none be wanting: for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal: whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live. But Jehu did it in subtlety," to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal.
20 And Jehu said, "Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it.
21 And Jehu sent through all Israel; and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came not: and they came into the house of Baal; and the house of Baal was full from one end to another.
3. Jehu took him up into his chariot, and took him along with him to Samaria. He put some honour upon him, by taking him into the chariot with him; (Jehonadab was not offen in a chariot, especially with a king;) but he received more honour from him, and from the countenance he gave to his present work. All sober people would think the better of Jehu, when they saw Jehonadab in the chariot with him. This was not the only time that the piety of some has been made to serve the policy of others; and that designing men have strengthened themselves by drawing good men into their interest. Jehonadab was a stranger to the arts of fleshly wisdom, and has his conversation in simplicity, and godly sincerity; and therefore, if Jehu be a servant of God, and an enemy to Baal, he will be his faithful friend. "Come then," (says Jehu,) come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord; and then thou wilt see reason to espouse my cause." This is commonly taken as not well said by Jehu, and as giving cause to suspect that his heart was not right with God in what he did, and that the zeal he pretended for the Lord, was really zeal for himself and his own advancement. For, (1.) He boasted of it, and spake as if God and man were mightily indebted to him for it. (2.) He desired it might be seen, and taken notice of, like the Pharisees, who did all to be seen of men. An upright heart approves itself to God, and covets no more than his acceptance. If we aim at the applause of men, and make their praise our highest end, we are upon a false bottom. Whether Jehu looked any further, we cannot judge; however, Jehonadab went with him, and, it is likely, animated and assisted him in the further execution of his commission, (v. 17,) destroying all Ahab's friends in Samaria. A man may hate cruelty, and yet love justice; may be far from thirsting after blood, and yet may wash his feet in the blood of the wicked, Ps. 58. 10.
23 Ana Jehu went, and "Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants of the Lord, but the worshippers of Baal only.
II. Contriving the destruction of all the worshippers of Baal. The service of Baal was the crying sin of the house of Ahab; that root of this idolatry was plucked up, but multitudes yet mained, that were infected with it, and would be in danger of infecting others. The law of God was express, that they were to be put to death; but they were so numerous, and so dispersed throughout all parts of the kingdom, and perhaps so alarmed with Jehu's beginnings, that it would be a hard matter to find them all out, and an endless task to prosecute and execute them one by one: Jehu's project therefore is to cut them all off together.
24 And when they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt-offerings, Jehu appointed fourscore men without, and said, If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escape, he that letteth him go, his life shall be for the life of him.
25 And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt-offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, Go in, and slay them; let none come forth. And they smote them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the captains cast them out, and went to the city of the house of Baal.
26 And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them.
1. By a wile, by a fraud, he brings them together to the tem
27 And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught-house unto this day.
28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.
lived: Jehu, though a soldier, knew him, and honoured him. He did not indeed think of sending for him, but when he met him, (though, it is likely he drove now as furiously as ever,) he stopped to speak to him; and we are here told what passed between them.
1. Jehu saluted him; he blessed him, so the word is; paid him the respect, and showed him the good will, that were owing to so great an example of serious godliness.
2. Jehonadab assured him that he was sincere in his interest, and a hearty well wisher to his cause. Jehu professed that his heart was right with him; that he had a true affection for his person, and a veneration for the crown of his Nazariteship, and desired to know whether he had the same affection for him, and satisfaction in that crown of royal dignity which God had put upon his head, Is thine heart right? A question we should often put to ourselves: "I make a plausible profession, have gained a reputation among men, but is my heart right? Am I sincere and inward with God?" Jehonadab gave him his word, It is, and gave him his hand as a pledge of his heart, yielded to him, (so giving the hand is rendered, 2 Chr. 30. 8,) concurred and co-2;) venanted with him, and owned him in the work both of revenge and of reformation he was now about.
z Matt. 13. 30, 41. 25. 32, 33. a 1 Kings 20. 39. & Ex. 32 27. Deut. 13. 6-11. Ez. 9.5-7. ↑ mouth. Satatues. c 1 Kings 14. 23. d 2 Sam. 5. 21. 1 Kings 15. 13. e Ezra 6. 11. Dan. 2. 5. 3. 29.
ple of Baal. He pretended he would worship Baal more than
3. He gives order for the cutting of them all off, and Jehonadab joined with him therein, v. 23. When a strict search was made, lest some of the servants of God should, either for company or curiosity, be got among them, lest some wheat should be mixed with those tares; and when 80 men were set to stand guard at all the avenues to Baal's temple, that none might escape, (v. 24,) then the guards were sent in, to put them all to the sword, and to mingle their blood with their sacrifices, in a way of just revenge, as they themselves had sometimes done, when, in their blind devotion, they cut themselves with knives and lancets till the blood gushed out, 1 Kings 18. 28. This was accordingly done, and the doing of it, though seemingly barbarons, was, considering the nature of their crime, really righteous; The Lord, whose name is jealous, is a jealous God.
4. The idolaters being thus destroyed, the idolatry itself is utterly abolished. The buildings about the house of Baal, (which were so many, and so stately, that they are here called a city,) where Baal's priests and their families lived, were de stroyed: all the little images, statues, pictures, or shrines, which beautified Baal's temple, with the great image of Baal himself, were brought out and burned. (v. 26, 27,) and the temple of Baal broken down, and made a dunghill, the common sink, or sewer of the city, that the remembrance of it might be blotted re-out, or made infamous. Thus was the worship of Baal quite destroyed, at least, for the present, out of Israel, though it had once prevailed so far, that there were but 7000 of all the thousands of Israel, that had not bowed the knee to Baal, and those concealed. Thus will God destroy all the gods of the heathen, and, sooner or later, triumph over them all.
V. 29-36. Here is all the account of the reign of Jehu, though it continued 28 years. The progress of it answered not to the glory of its beginning. We have here,
I. God's approbation of what Jehu had done. Many, it in
probable, censured him as treacherous and barbarous, called him a rebel, a usurper, a murderer, and prognosticated ill concerning him, that a family thus raised would soon be ruined; but God said, Well done, (v. 30,) and then it signified little who said otherwise. 1. God pronounced that to be right, which he had done. It is justly questionable, whether he did it from a good principle, and whether he did not take some false steps in the doing of it; and yet, (says God,) Thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes. The extirpating of idolaters and idolatry, was a thing right in God's eyes, for it is an iniquity he visits as surely and severely as any other; it was according to all that was in his heart, all he desired, all he designed; Jehu went through with his work. 2. God promised hin a reward, That his children of the fourth generation from him should sit upon the throne of Israel. This was more than what took place in any of the dignities or royal families of that kingdom; of the house of Ahab there were indeed four kings, Omri, Ahab, Ahaziah, and Joram, but the two last were brothers, so that it reached but to the third generation, and that whole family continued but about 45 years in all, whereas Jehu's continued in four, beside himself, and, in all, about 120 years. Note, No services done for God shall go unrewarded. II. Jehu's carelessness in what he was further to do. By this it appeared that his heart was not right with God, that he was partial in his reformation. 1. He did not put away all the evil. He departed from the sins of Ahab, but not from the sins of Jeroboam; discarded Baal, but adhered to the calves. The worship of Baal was indeed the greater evil, and more heinous in the sight of God, but the worship of the calves was a great evil: true conversion is not only from gross sin, but from all sin; not only from false gods, but from false worships. The worship of Baal weakened and diminished Israel, and made them beholden to the Sidonians, and therefore he could easily part with that but the worship of the calves was a political idolatry, was begun, and kept up, for reasons of state, to prevent the return of the ten tribes to the house of David, and therefore Jehu clave to that. True conversion is not only from wasteful sins, but from gainful sins; not only from those sins that are destructive to the secular interest, but from those that support and befriend it; in forsaking which, is the great trial, whether we can deny ourselves, and frust God. 2. He put away evil, but he did not mind that which was good; (v. 31,) He took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel. He abolished the worship of Baal, but did not keep up the worship of God, nor walk in his law. He had showed great care and zeal for the rooting out of a false religion, but, in the true religion, (1.) He showed no care, took no heed, lived at large, was not at all solicitous to please God, and do his duty; took no heed to the scriptures, to the prophets, to his own conscience, but walked at all adventures. Those that are heedless, it is to be feared, are graceless; for where there is a good principle in the heart, it will make men cautious and circumspect, desirous to please God, and jealous of doing any thing to offend him. (2.) He showed no zeal; what he did in religion, he did not do it with his heart, with all his heart, but did it as if he did it not, without any liveliness or concern. It seems he was a man that had little religion himself, and yet God made use of him as an instrument of reformation in Israel. It is a pity but that those that do good to others, should always be good themselves.
III. The judgment that came upon Israel in his reign. We have reason to fear that when Jehu took no heed himself to walk in God's law, the people were generally as careless as he, both in their devotions, and in their conversations. There was a general decay of piety, and increase of profaneness; and therefore it is not strange that the next news we hear, is, In those days the Lord began to cut Israel short, v. 32. Their neighbours encroached upon them on every side; they were
35 And Jehu slept with his fathers; and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his stead.
36 And the time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty and eight years.
The revolution in the kingdom of Israel was soon perfected in Jehu's settlement; we must now inquire into the affairs of the kingdom of Judah, which lust it head, (such as it was,) at the same time, and by the same hand, as Israel did; but things continued onger there in distraction than in Israel, yet, after some years, they were brought into a good posture, as we find in this chapter. f. Athaliah usurps the government, and destroys all the seed royal, v. 1. I. Joash, a child of a year old, is wonderfully preserved, v. 2, 3. II. At six years' end, he is produced, and, by the agency of Jehoiada, made king, v. 4— 12. IV. Athaliah is slain, v 13-16. V. Both the civil and religious interests of the kingdom are well settled in the hands of Jonsh, v. 17-21. and thus, after some interruption, things returned with advantage into the old channel,
ND "when Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, saw that her son was dead, she arose, and destroyed all the seed* royal.
2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his
t toward the rising of the sun. Sor, even to Gilead and Bashan. m Am. 1. 3. the days were. a 2 Chr. 22. 10. b c. 8. 26. seed of the kingdom. 12 Chr. 22. 11, Jehoshbeath.or, Jehonsh.
short in their duty to God, and therefore God cut them short in their extent, wealth, and power. Hazael king of Syria was, above any other, vexatious and mischievous to them, smote them in all the coasts of Israel, particularly the countries on the other side Jordan, which lay next him, and most exposed; on these he made continual inroads, and laid them waste. Now the Reubenites and Gadites smarted for the choice which their ancestors made of an inheritance on that side Jordan, which Moses reproved them for, Num. 32. Now Hazael did what Elisha foresaw he would do, and foretold. Yet, for doing it, God had a quarrel with him, and with his kingdom, as we may find, Am. 1. 3, 4. Because they of Damascus have thrashed Gilead with thrashing instruments of iron, therefore (says God) I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Ben-hadad.
Lastly, The conclusion of Jehu's reign, v. 34-36. Notice is taken, in general, of his might; but because he took no heed to serve God, the memorials of his mighty enterprises and achievements are justly buried in oblivion.
NOTES TO CHAPTER XI.
V. 1-3. God had assured David of the continuance of his family, which is called his ordaining a lamp for his anointed; and this cannot but appear a great thing, now that we have read of the utter extirpation of so many royal families, one after another. Now here we have David's promised lamp almost extinguished, and yet wonderfully preserved.
I. It was almost extinguished by the harbarous malice of Athaliah, the queen mother, who, when she heard that her son Ahaziah was slain by Jehu, arose, and destroyed all the seed royal, (v. 1,) all that she knew to be akin to the crown. Her husband Jehoram had slain all his brethren the sons of Jehoshaphat, 2 Chr. 21. 4. The Arabians had slain all Jehoram's sons, but Ahaziah, 2 Chr. 22. 1. Jehu had slain all their sons, (2 Chr. 22. 8,) and Ahaziah himself. Surely never was royal blood so profusely shed: happy the men of inferior birth, who live below envy and emulation! But, as if all this were but a small matter, Athaliah destroys all that were left of the seed royal: it was strange that one of the tender sex could be so barbarous, that one who had been herself a king's daughter, a king's wife, and a king's mother, could be so barbarous to a royal family, and a family into which she was herself ingrafted; but she did it, 1. From a spirit of ambition; she thirsted after rule, and thought she could not get to it any other way; that none might reign with her, she slew even the infants and sucklings that might have reigned after her; for fear of a competitor, not any must be reserved for a successor; and, 2. From a spirit of revenge and rage against God; the house of Ahab being utterly destroyed, and her son Ahaziah among the rest, because he was akin to it; she resolved, as it were, by way of reprisal, to destroy the house of David, and cut off his line, in defiance of God's promise to perpetuate it; a foolish attempt, and fruitless, for who can disannul what God hath purposed? Grandmothers have been hought more fond of their grandchildern than they were of their own; yet Ahaziah's own mother is the wilful murderer of Ahaziah's own sons, and in their infancy too, when she was obliged, above any other, to nurse them, and take care of them; well might she be called, Athaliah, that wicked woman, (2 Chr. 24. 7,) Jezebel's own daughter: yet herein God was righteous, and visited the iniquity of Joram and Ahaziah, those degenerate branches of David's house, upon their children.
II. It was wonderfully preserved by the pious care of one of Joram's daughters, (who was wife to Jehoiada the priest,) who stole away one of the king's sons, Joash by name, and hid him, v. 2, 3. This was a brand plucked out of the fire; what number were slain, we are not told, but, it seems, this, being a child in