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Anointing of Jehu

 9

Then the prophet Elisha called a member of the company of prophets and said to him, “Gird up your loins; take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead. 2When you arrive, look there for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi; go in and get him to leave his companions, and take him into an inner chamber. 3Then take the flask of oil, pour it on his head, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee; do not linger.”

4 So the young man, the young prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. 5He arrived while the commanders of the army were in council, and he announced, “I have a message for you, commander.” “For which one of us?” asked Jehu. “For you, commander.” 6So Jehu got up and went inside; the young man poured the oil on his head, saying to him, “Thus says the Lord the God of Israel: I anoint you king over the people of the Lord, over Israel. 7You shall strike down the house of your master Ahab, so that I may avenge on Jezebel the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord. 8For the whole house of Ahab shall perish; I will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel. 9I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah. 10The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and no one shall bury her.” Then he opened the door and fled.

11 When Jehu came back to his master’s officers, they said to him, “Is everything all right? Why did that madman come to you?” He answered them, “You know the sort and how they babble.” 12They said, “Liar! Come on, tell us!” So he said, “This is just what he said to me: ‘Thus says the Lord, I anoint you king over Israel.’ ” 13Then hurriedly they all took their cloaks and spread them for him on the bare steps; and they blew the trumpet, and proclaimed, “Jehu is king.”

Joram of Israel Killed

14 Thus Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. Joram with all Israel had been on guard at Ramoth-gilead against King Hazael of Aram; 15but King Joram had returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him, when he fought against King Hazael of Aram. So Jehu said, “If this is your wish, then let no one slip out of the city to go and tell the news in Jezreel.” 16Then Jehu mounted his chariot and went to Jezreel, where Joram was lying ill. King Ahaziah of Judah had come down to visit Joram.

17 In Jezreel, the sentinel standing on the tower spied the company of Jehu arriving, and said, “I see a company.” Joram said, “Take a horseman; send him to meet them, and let him say, ‘Is it peace?’ ” 18So the horseman went to meet him; he said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’ ” Jehu responded, “What have you to do with peace? Fall in behind me.” The sentinel reported, saying, “The messenger reached them, but he is not coming back.” 19Then he sent out a second horseman, who came to them and said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’ ” Jehu answered, “What have you to do with peace? Fall in behind me.” 20Again the sentinel reported, “He reached them, but he is not coming back. It looks like the driving of Jehu son of Nimshi; for he drives like a maniac.”

21 Joram said, “Get ready.” And they got his chariot ready. Then King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah set out, each in his chariot, and went to meet Jehu; they met him at the property of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22When Joram saw Jehu, he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?” He answered, “What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?” 23Then Joram reined about and fled, saying to Ahaziah, “Treason, Ahaziah!” 24Jehu drew his bow with all his strength, and shot Joram between the shoulders, so that the arrow pierced his heart; and he sank in his chariot. 25Jehu said to his aide Bidkar, “Lift him out, and throw him on the plot of ground belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite; for remember, when you and I rode side by side behind his father Ahab how the Lord uttered this oracle against him: 26‘For the blood of Naboth and for the blood of his children that I saw yesterday, says the Lord, I swear I will repay you on this very plot of ground.’ Now therefore lift him out and throw him on the plot of ground, in accordance with the word of the Lord.”

Ahaziah of Judah Killed

27 When King Ahaziah of Judah saw this, he fled in the direction of Beth-haggan. Jehu pursued him, saying, “Shoot him also!” And they shot him in the chariot at the ascent to Gur, which is by Ibleam. Then he fled to Megiddo, and died there. 28His officers carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his tomb with his ancestors in the city of David.

29 In the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab, Ahaziah began to reign over Judah.

Jezebel’s Violent Death

30 When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; she painted her eyes, and adorned her head, and looked out of the window. 31As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of your master?” 32He looked up to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked out at him. 33He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down; some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, which trampled on her. 34Then he went in and ate and drank; he said, “See to that cursed woman and bury her; for she is a king’s daughter.” 35But when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. 36When they came back and told him, he said, “This is the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, ‘In the territory of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; 37the corpse of Jezebel shall be like dung on the field in the territory of Jezreel, so that no one can say, This is Jezebel.’ ”


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2Ki 9:1-23. 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 (1Sa 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 [Howe].

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 (see 1Ki 21:16).

2Ki 9:27-35. Ahaziah Is Slain.

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 Jehu.

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 by Dogs.

36. This is the word of the Lord—(See 1Ki 21:23). Jehu's statement, however, was not a literal but a paraphrased quotation of Elijah's prophecy.




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