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meet them, and let him say, is it peace? So there went one on horseback to meet him, 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 again.
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.
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.
And Jehoram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Jehoram 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.
And it came to pass when Jehoram 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? And Jehoram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, O Ahaziah.
And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot.
Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain, Take up, and cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite.
For remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the LORD laid this burden upon him: Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Nabeth,
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.
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.
And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in a sepulchre with his fathers in the city of David.
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.
And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace who slew his master? And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? and there looked out to him two or three eunuchs.
And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trod her under foot.
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.
And they went to bury her; but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her
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.
And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
Ramoth-gilead was a place of long dispute between Israel and Syria: Jehoram had lately had an engagement with Hazael king of Syria not far from it, wherein he had received some very dangerous wounds, and was gone down to Jezreel to be cured of them. His army, however, continued the siege, under the command of Jehu, who, in the king's absence, acted as captain general.
Jehu seems to have had no previous intimation of his appointment to the throne of Israel; neither do we read that he had any intention to raise a conspiracy against his sovereign; but when commanded of God, it was his duty to obey. It is very shocking to read of such a dreadful massacre as was inade on this occasion, but if we recollect the great number of just and innocent persons, who had been put to death by the house of Ahab in defiance of GOD HIMSELF, we cannot but acknowledge the justice of the LORD in bringing such judg, ments upon their murderers; especially as he had caused his prophet Elijah to warn them that he should do so unless they would repent. 5.)
Jezebel, and the whole house of Ahab, were confirmed idolators, notwithstanding the LORD had graciously employed various means to convert them. They had been afflicted with adversity to humble their minds; prophets had been sent, and miracles wrought, to deliver them from distress, yet they hardened their hearts; and as their numbers increased, they would, if they had been suffered to live, have corrupted many, who were now instructed by the miserable fate of these sinners to persevere in the worship of the LORD.
It is needless to comment on the justice of Jezebel's
fate; but we should remark that the prophecy of Elisha was literally fulfilled in every respect.
Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. It is supposed, that those who had the care of the young princes, fled with them from Jezreel to that city, thinking they would be safest in the capital: but it appears*, that Jehu wrote letters to the rulers of that place, saying, << as you have master's sons with your also chariots you, and horses, and are in a fenced city, set up one of them for a king and fight for your master's house;" these letters were ironical! for he could not suppose they would venture, in the present situation of affairs, to set up one of Ahab's sons in competition with him who was proceed. ing, with so much impetuosity,, to destroy the house of Ahab; those to whom these letters were addressed were greatly intimidated, and returned him for answer," that, they would do that which was good in his eyes ;” on which, he wrote them a second letter, requiring them to bring the heads of their master's sons to him in Jezreel; they were easily induced, for their own safety, to become themselves the executioners of the young princes; "those who have been false to their GOD, are soon persuaded to be false to their friends; and they accordingly slew them all, and sent their heads in baskets to Jezreel, which Jehu commanded to be laid in two heaps at the entering of the gate, till the morning; when, addressing himself to the rulers of Jezreel, he justified, from their action, his own treatment of the other persons in Ahab's family; for if the guardians of the young princes were blameless for killing so many persons by his order, surely. he was not to be condemned for what he had done by Divine command.
Jehu then proceeded to slay the rest of Ahab's house, * 2 Kings, chap, x.
till he left none remaining in Jezreel: pursuing his way to Samaria, he met some of the brethren of Ahaziah, amounting to forty persons, who were going to visit the children of the king and the queen of Israel; these he killed also, for they were justly included in the destruction of this wicked race, as their father had entered into so intimate an alliance with Ahab's family, and imitated him in some of his worst crimes they are supposed to have been some of Athaliah's relations.
Jehu next resolved to cut off all the worshippers of Baal; for this purpose he caused a solemn assembly to be called, and commanded every one to, attend, saying, "Ahab served Baal a little, but I will serve him much.", When they were all collected in the idol's temple, he gave orders to eighty men who were without, to put them, without reserve, to the sword; they then brake down the image, and destroyed the house. 1274cb
Jonadab the son of Rechab was a pious good man, who lived a retired life; being well acquainted with the prophecies against Ahab's house, he imputed Jehu's conduct to zeal for the LORD, and on this account he went to meet him, and gave him countenance.
Jehu seems to have been so intoxicated with the power which God had put into his hands, that he did not stay to consider. So he could but establish himself on the throne, to which the destruction of Ahab's race and Baal's worshippers was necessary, he regarded not by what means; and it must be acknowledged, that his be haviour to the latter was treacherous and false; neither was he commissioned to cut them off in that manner ; for, as he was king, he might have caused false worshippers to be put to death by the hands of justice, in a regular way, especially as he would have been defended from opposition by Divine power.