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Two Kings Ten

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

2 Kings 10:1 And 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 Kings 10:2 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;

2 Kings 10:3 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.

2 Kings 10:4 But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand?

2 Kings 10:5 And he that was over the house, and he that was over the city, the elders also, and the bringers 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.

2 Kings 10:6 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.

2 Kings 10:7 And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king's sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent him them to Jezreel.

2 Kings 10:8 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.

2 Kings 10:9 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 master, and slew him: but who slew all these?

who slew all these? Jehu was perhaps, by shifting the blame for these executions of Ahab's sons, hoping to avoid some of the opprobrium that might come on him in the minds of the people. 2 Kings 10:11, however, makes it clear that it was he, to all intents and purposes, who “slew all that remained of the house of Ahab.”

2 Kings 10:10 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.

2 Kings 10:11 So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests, until he left him none remaining.

none remaining. Jehu had been commissioned to destroy the house of Ahab (2 Kings 9:7-9), and he carried it out with zeal. After slaying all those in Jezreel, he did the same in Samaria the capital (2 Kings 10:17), and even Ahab's more distant relatives from Judah (2 Kings 10:13-14). Jehu finally destroyed all the leaders of Baal worship in Israel (2 Kings 10:20-28). Thus was the prophetic word of both Elijah and Elisha fulfilled (1 Kings 21:21-24; 2 Kings 9:8-9).

2 Kings 10:12 And he arose and departed, and came to Samaria. And as he was at the shearing house in the way,

2 Kings 10:13 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.

brethren of Ahaziah. According to 2 Chronicles 21:17, the Philistines had already slain all the sons of King Jehoram of Judah, except Jehoahaz, the youngest son (Jehoahaz is the same as Ahaziah). Therefore the “brethren of Ahaziah” who were slain by Jehu (2 Kings 10:14) were “brethren” in a generic sense—that is, nephews, cousins, etc.

2 Kings 10:14 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.

2 Kings 10:15 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.

Jehonadab the son of Rechab. Rechab and Jehonadab (same as Jonadab) were the founders of the Rechabites, who were commended by the prophet Jeremiah for their abstinence from wine (Jeremiah 35:1-10, 16-19).

2 Kings 10:16 And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. So they made him ride in his chariot.

2 Kings 10:17 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.

2 Kings 10:18 And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much.

2 Kings 10:19 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.

2 Kings 10:20 And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it.

2 Kings 10:21 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.

2 Kings 10:22 And he said unto him that was over the vestry, Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal. And he brought them forth vestments.

2 Kings 10:23 And 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.

2 Kings 10:24 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.

2 Kings 10:25 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.

2 Kings 10:26 And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them.

2 Kings 10:27 And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day.

draught house. An archaic term for a “toilet” or “privy.”

2 Kings 10:28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.

2 Kings 10:29 Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel, and that were in Dan.

2 Kings 10:30 And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.

2 Kings 10:31 But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin.

Jehu took no heed. Despite Jehu's apparent zeal to carry out God's commands against Ahab and Baal worship, it was more in self-interest than out of love for God. It is noteworthy that Shalmaneser III, a prominent king of Assyria, mentioned Jehu in his so-called “Black Obelisk.” This four-sided black limestone object contains a number of bas-relief panels, one of which depicts Jehu paying tribute to the Assyrian emperor. The obelisk is now in the British Museum.

2 Kings 10:32 In those days the LORD began to cut Israel short: and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel;

2 Kings 10:33 From Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan.

2 Kings 10:34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, and all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

acts of Jehu. The famous “black obelisk” of Shalmanezer III, found at Nimrud, near Nineveh, in the nineteenth century. It depicts one of the “acts of Jehu” not recorded in the Bible, showing him bowing and paying tribute to the Assyrian king, evidently during the days when “the Lord began to cut Israel short” (2 Kings 10:32). The obelisk also mentions the name of Omri as the predecessor of Jehu (1 Kings 16:23).

2 Kings 10:35 And Jehu slept with his fathers: and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his stead.

2 Kings 10:36 And the time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty and eight years.