Jehu Is Anointed.
1. Ramoth-gilead—a city of great
importance to the Hebrew people, east of Jordan, as a fortress of
defense against the Syrians. Jehoram had regained it (2Ki 8:29). But the Israelitish army was still
encamped there, under the command of Jehu.
Elisha … called one of the children of the
prophets—This errand referred to the last commission given to
Elijah in Horeb (1Ki 19:16).
box of oil—(See 1Sa 10:1).
2. carry him to an inner chamber—both to
ensure the safety of the messenger and to prevent all obstruction in
the execution of the business.
3. I have anointed thee king over
Israel—This was only a part of the message; the full
announcement of which is given (2Ki 9:7-10).
flee, and tarry not—for fear of being
surprised and overtaken by the spies or servants of the court.
4-6. So the young man … went to
Ramoth-gilead—His ready undertaking of this delicate and
hazardous mission was an eminent proof of his piety and obedience. The
act of anointing being done through a commissioned prophet, was a
divine intimation of his investiture with the sovereign power. But it
was sometimes done long prior to the actual possession of the throne
16:13); and, in like manner,
the commission had, in this instance, been given also a long time
before to Elijah [1Ki 19:16],
who, for good reasons, left it in charge to Elisha; and he awaited
God's time and command for executing it [Poole].
10. in the portion of Jezreel—that is,
that had formerly been the vineyard of Naboth.
11. Is all well? &c.—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 Jer 29:26).
13. they hasted, and took every man his
garment—the upper cloak which they spread on the ground, as a
token of their homage to their distinguished commander (Mt 21:7).
top of the stairs—from the room where
the prophet had privately anointed Jehu. That general returned to join
his brother officers in the public apartment, who, immediately on
learning his destined elevation, conducted him to the top of the stairs
leading to the roof. This was the most conspicuous place of an Oriental
structure that could be chosen, being at the very top of the gate
building, and fully in view of the people and military in the open
ground in front of the building [Kitto].
The popularity of Jehu with the army thus favored the designs of
Providence in procuring his immediate and enthusiastic proclamation as
king, and the top of the stairs was taken as a most convenient
substitute for a throne.
14, 15. Joram had kept
Ramoth-gilead—rather, "was keeping," guarding, or besieging
it, with the greater part of the military force of Israel. The king's
wounds had compelled his retirement from the scene of action, and so
the troops were left in command of Jehu.
16. So Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to
Jezreel—Full of ambitious designs, he immediately proceeded
to cross the Jordan to execute his commission on the house of Ahab.
17-24. there stood a watchman on the tower of
Jezreel—The Hebrew palaces, besides being situated on hills
had usually towers attached to them, not only for the pleasure of a
fine prospect, but as posts of useful observation. The ancient
watchtower of Jezreel must have commanded a view of the whole region
eastward, nearly down to the Jordan. Beth-shan stands on a rising
ground about six or seven miles below it, in a narrow part of the
plain; and when Jehu and his retinue reached that point between Gilboa
and Beth-shan, they could be fully descried by the watchman on the
tower. A report was made to Joram in his palace below. A messenger on
horseback was quickly despatched down into the plain to meet the
ambiguous host and to question the object of their approach. "Is it
peace?" We may safely assume that this messenger would meet Jehu at the
distance of three miles or more. On the report made of his being
detained and turned into the rear of the still advancing troops, a
second messenger was in like manner despatched, who would naturally
meet Jehu at the distance of a mile or a mile and a half down on the
plain. He also being turned into the rear, the watchman now distinctly
perceived "the driving to be like the driving of Jehu, the son of
Nimshi; for he driveth furiously." The alarmed monarch, awakened to a
sense of his impending danger, quickly summoned his forces to meet the
crisis. Accompanied by Ahaziah, king of Judah, the two sovereigns
ascended their chariots to make a feeble resistance to the impetuous
onset of Jehu, who quickly from the plain ascended the steep northern
sides of the site on which Jezreel stood, and the conflicting parties
met "in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite," where Joram was quickly
despatched by an arrow from the strong arm of Jehu. We were impressed
with the obvious accuracy of the sacred historian; the
localities and distances being such as seem naturally to
be required by the incidents related, affording just time for the
transactions to have occurred in the order in which they are recorded
25. cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth
the Jezreelite, &c.—according to the doom pronounced by
divine authority on Ahab (1Ki 21:19),
but which on his repentance was deferred to be executed on his son.
26. the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his
sons, saith the Lord—Although their death is not expressly
mentioned, it is plainly implied in the confiscation of his property
2Ki 9:27-35. Ahaziah Is
27. Ahaziah—was grandnephew to King
Joram, and great-grandson to King Ahab.
Ibleam—near Megiddo, in the tribe of
Issachar (Jos 17:11; Jud 1:27); and Gur was an adjoining hill.
30. Jezebel painted her face—literally,
"her eyes," according to a custom universal in the East among women, of
staining the eyelids with a black powder made of pulverized antimony,
or lead ore mixed with oil, and applied with a small brush on the
border, so that by this dark ligament on the edge, the largeness as
well as the luster of the eye itself was thought to be increased. Her
object was, by her royal attire, not to captivate, but to overawe
35. found no more of her than the skull, and the
palms of her hands, &c.—The dog has a rooted aversion to
prey on the human hands and feet.
2Ki 9:36, 37. Jezebel Eaten
36. This is the word of the Lord—(See
21:23). Jehu's statement,
however, was not a literal but a paraphrased quotation of Elijah's