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2Ki 10:1 Now Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. Jehu wrote letters and sent to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, even the elders, and to those who brought up the sons of Ahab, saying-
As noted throughout 2 Kings 9, Jehu now had blood lust, and his huge ego sought to fulfil it through the excuse that he was obeying God's word against Ahab. He was indeed fulfilling that word, but he didn't respect Yahweh's word in his heart (see on 2 Kings 9:11,35,37). "Samaria" is used for the region, as some were killed in Jezreel (:11). Although the rulers of Jezreel were apparently in Samaria at the time, unless we read with LXX "the rulers of Samaria". 

2Ki 10:2 Now as soon as this letter comes to you, since your master’s sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, a fortified city also, and armour-
This confirms that despite the unclarity of :1, the city of Samaria is in view. For at this time, Jehu was in Jezreel, and also needing to take care of the war in Ramoth Gilead.


2Ki 10:3 Select the best and fittest of your master’s sons, set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house-
This shows again Jehu's self confidence and trust in human strength. He was challenging any who supported the house of Ahab to set a descendant of Ahab on the throne, and enter into a civil war with him and the Israelite military, who were all under his control at Ramoth Gilead. We note that he was thereby prepared to surrender control of Ramoth Gilead, to cease fighting the Syrians, in order that he might fight his own brethren in order to establish his own personal power base.


2Ki 10:4 But they were exceedingly afraid and said, Behold, the two kings didn’t stand before him! How then shall we stand?-
It was known that he had recently murdered Ahaziah of Judah as well as Joram of Israel. He had done this almost singlehanded. But see on :7.


2Ki 10:5 He who was over the household, and he who was over the city, the elders also, and those who raised the children, sent to Jehu saying, We are your servants, and will do all that you ask us. We will not make any man king. You do that which is good in your eyes-
It was typical after a power grab to slay the entire family of the ousted king. These men knew well enough what was required of them, and they agree.


2Ki 10:6 Then he wrote a letter the second time to them saying, If you are on my side, and if you will listen to my voice, take the heads of the men your master’s sons, and come to me to Jezreel by tomorrow this time. Now the king’s sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city who brought them up-
The Philistines in 1 Sam. 29:4 recalled how David had carried the head of Goliath to Saul (1 Sam. 17:57). To carry the heads of a king's enemies was a way to get the king's favour, as in Jud. 7:25; 2 Sam. 4:8; 16:9; 20:21; 2 Kings 10:6-8. Again we see the inspired, historical record has consistency. It would have required a clever editor to insert this theme of beheading to curry a leader's favour throughout the entire Biblical record. But the histories were clearly written at different times; a later hand would not have thought of all these realistic touches to sprinkle so consistently throughout it. The internal harmony of the Bible is to me the greatest indication that it is what it claims to be, the Divinely inspired word of God, evidencing His editing throughout. 


2Ki 10:7 It happened, when the letter came to them, that they took the king’s sons and killed them, all seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent them to him to Jezreel-
It was only a few hours journey from Samaria to Jezreel. They did this all on the basis of the fact he had killed two kings (:4). But they likely imagined that had been on the basis of a battle, when in fact Jehu had effectively assassinated unsuspecting men. The two kings had rushed out to meet him without their body guards, assuming that he as their inferior and army general was bringing news from the battle front. So all on the basis of rumour and exaggerated impressions, the elders of Samaria killed 70 children of Ahab. This is the kind of thing which goes on all the time- people taking major decisions on the basis of fake news and exaggerated impressions and fears.


2Ki 10:8 A messenger came and told him, They have brought the heads of the king’s sons. He said, Lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until the morning-
This was to display them openly, in order to make openly clear his hold on power.


2Ki 10:9 It happened in the morning, that he went out and stood and said to all the people, You are righteous. Behold, I conspired against my master, and killed him; but who struck all these?-
Jehu consistently appears out of step with God's principles. It is for God and not men like Jehu to pronounce His people as just / righteous. The heaps of young heads would have been grotesque. Jehu's argument is that he indeed has killed his master, but who killed these 70 young men and boys? Not him, but the elders of Samaria who had raised them and now supported him over Ahab. It was clever enough as a political statement, but is very spiritually deficient. For the grosser sin of others doesn't remove nor justify our sins. And Jehu ought to have reasoned that in humility he had fulfilled God's word about Ahab's family, rather than seeking to justify it by such mind games. 


2Ki 10:10 Know now that nothing shall fall to the earth of the word of Yahweh, which Yahweh spoke concerning the house of Ahab. For Yahweh has done that which He spoke by His servant Elijah-
Time and again we are brought to realize that the same external action can be judged by God quite differently, according to our motives. Uzziah was condemned for acting as a priest; when David did the same, he was reflecting his spirituality. God commanded Jehu to perform the massacre of Ahab's family at Jezreel, and blessed him for it (2 Kings 10:10,29,30); and yet Hos. 1:4 condemns the house of Jehu for doing that. Why? Presumably because their later attitude to that act of obedience was wrong, and the act therefore became judged as God as something which brought just punishment on the house of Jehu many years later. Why? Because even an outward act of obedience, when perceived through wrong motives and feelings, becomes an act of sin and a basis even for condemnation. All our works need careful analysis once we grasp this point.


2Ki 10:11 So Jehu struck all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, with all his great men, his familiar friends, and his priests, until he left him none remaining-
The Divine commission was to destroy the male descendants of Ahab, but Jehu excuses his blood lust in the name of serving God. And right wing Christian extremists have and still do the same. Even though there is actually a lack of understanding and respect for the Divine word they claim to be fulfilling (see on 2 Kings 9:11,35,37). We note Jehu killed Ahab's personal priests, which suggests Ahab's repentance was not very thorough. 


2Ki 10:12 He arose and departed, and went to Samaria. As he was at the shearing house of the shepherds on the way-
This probably referred to some inn where the brothers of Ahaziah were staying for the night.  RV margin "‘house of gathering", where the sheep were gathered before slaughter, and so Jehu likes to imagine this is a providential hint that he should kill these people there. Such imagination of 'the hand of providence' is common amongst those who set themselves on a supposed path of fulfilling God's word, without really doing so from the heart and with full understanding.


2Ki 10:13 Jehu met with the brothers of Ahaziah king of Judah and said, Who are you? They answered, We are the brothers of Ahaziah. We are going down to greet the children of the king and the children of the queen-
Ahaziah was grandson of Ahab, so they were relatives of Ahab. But the Divine commission had been to destroy his male descendants. Jehu is seeking to justify his own blood lust by apparently generously interpreting that commission. These men were obviously ignorant of the putsch, and we have to remember that they were living in an age where communication was difficult. The "queen" is better 'the queen mother' (as 1 Kings 15:13), referring to Jezebel.


2Ki 10:14 He said, Take them alive! They took them alive, and killed them at the pit of the shearing house, even forty-two men. He didn’t leave any of them-
This seems to suggest Jehu originally thought of taking them captives, but then killed them in the cistern (RVmg.) where the sheep were washed before shearing or slaughter. His change of plan shows that he was far from clear in his understanding of the Divine commission.


2Ki 10:15 When he had departed from there, he met Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him. He greeted him and said to him, Is your heart right, as my heart is with your heart? Jehonadab answered, It is. If it is, give me your hand. He gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot-
The Rechabites were part of the Kenites (1 Chron. 2:55), from where Moses' wife came (Jud. 1:16). Jael was married to a Kenite (Jud. 4:17), and they were not slain along with the Amalekites (1 Sam. 15:6). They were clearly a nomadic, spiritually minded family (Jer. 35:6,7). It seems there is a purposeful juxtaposition here, between the truly spiritual person and Jehu, whose zeal for Yahweh was clearly only superficial, and was a justification of his own pride and ego. Jehu asks Jehonadab to be of his own "heart", because his heart is "right". Again we see the same spirit as in 2 Kings 9:18,19. To follow God meant following Jehu personally, and we sense his desire for power and leadership everywhere in this.  


2Ki 10:16 He said, Come with me, and see my zeal for Yahweh. So they made him ride in his chariot-
This so obviously smacks of pride, and exhibiting human pride and strength under the cover of 'I am doing this for Yahweh'. And this is to be seen so often in misguided religious attempts to serve self in the name of serving God. I noted on :15 the intended contrast between Jehonadab and Jehu; and Jehu makes him ride in his chariot, as if this was agreed to reluctantly by Jehonadab.


2Ki 10:17 When he came to Samaria, he struck all who remained to Ahab in Samaria, until he had destroyed him, according to the word of Yahweh, which He spoke to Elijah-
If he had been truly zealous for Yahweh, he would have removed the calves in Dan and Bethel. But instead he seemed interested in murdering people, on the mistaken basis of some kind of guilt by association ethic. It could be that we are intended to read this as meaning 'according to his interpretation of the word of Yahweh', because his massacre of anyone remotely associated with Ahab was not what the Divine command had stated. He was using God's word, as many do, to justify his own native desire for power and abuse of others.


2Ki 10:18 Jehu gathered all the people together and said to them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu will serve him much-
The gathering of all the Baal worshippers together was meant to imitate Elijah on Carmel, whose words Jehu claimed to be fulfilling. But Elijah was clear that he was not a Baal worshipper, and would never have used this kind of deceit which Jehu did. His claim that he personally wanted to hold a feast to Baal had credibility and people attended because of it- because he was well known himself as a Baal worshipper. His hypocrisy was awful. 


2Ki 10:19 Now therefore call to me all the prophets of Baal, all of his worshippers, and all of his priests. Let none be absent; for I have a great sacrifice to Baal. Whoever is absent, he shall not live. But Jehu did it in subtlety, intending that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal-
As noted on :19, he had clearly been a Baal worshipper because his invitation had credibility and was responded to. Threatening to murder any who didn't attend again reflects the bloodlust with which Jehu appears to now be drunk with. The word "subtlety" suggests he was as the serpent in Eden and not acting as he ought to have done. LXX "Now, O ye prophets of Baal, call ye unto me all his servants" would further underline that he had absolutely solid credibility with them as a Baal worshipper, who had only slain Ahab's personal prophets because he was destroying Ahab's inner circle. We note that he proclaims he is doing this in accord with Yahweh's word to Elijah (:17). And yet he can also credibly announce that he is a Baal worshipper. This again shows how Baal worship was practiced as a form of Yahweh worship. This has been the perennial problem for God's people; to claim to serve God through serving the flesh, to mix Divine truth with pagan error. See on :20,21.  


2Ki 10:20 Jehu said, Sanctify a solemn assembly for Baal! They proclaimed it-
This is the very word used of proclaiming feasts and assemblies of Yahweh (Joel 1:14; Lev. 23:36; Num. 29:35; Dt. 16:8; Neh. 8:18). As noted on :19, he was mixing paganism with Yahweh worship. Feasts to Baal were seen as fulfilling the commands to hold feasts to Yahweh.


2Ki 10:21 Jehu sent through all Israel; and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that didn’t come. They came into the house of Baal; and the house of Baal was filled from one end to the other-
Again we note that the credibility of Jehu's appeal was only because he must have been a known worshipper of Baal. This "house of Baal" must have been huge, and was likely an imitation of the Jerusalem temple. For the nature of Baal worship was that it was understood as a form of Yahweh worship; see on :19. 


2Ki 10:22 He said to him who was over the vestry, Bring out robes for all the worshippers of Baal! He brought robes out to them-
As noted on :21, this house of Baal was an imitation of the Jerusalem temple, which also had rooms where the priestly robes were kept (see on 2 Kings 22:14). See on :19.


2Ki 10:23 Jehu went with Jehonadab the son of Rechab into the house of Baal. Then he said to the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there are here with you none of the servants of Yahweh, but the worshippers of Baal only-
We get the impression that the humble, spiritually minded Jehonadab would not have approved of this deceit, and just as he had been "made" to ride in Jehu's chariot, so he was being used here. The demand that any worshipper of Yahweh should leave would mean that really Jehonadab and Jehu ought to have themselves exited. The whole situation was unethical, and Jehonadab, like many good men, was railroaded into it. I have shown on :19-22 that Baal worship was seen as a form of Yahweh worship. So "the servants of Yahweh" would be a technical term here for those known to insist upon only worshipping Yahweh and who rejected Baal worship.


2Ki 10:24 They went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had appointed him eighty men outside and said, If any of the men whom I bring into your hands escape, he who lets him go, his life shall be for the life of him-
If the house of Baal was so packed, we wonder whether 80 men were really enough to kill all the hundreds or thousands of Baal worshippers inside it. But numbers in the Hebrew Bible are often not to be read literally, especially when used in connection with numbers of soldiers. This could refer to a group or division of soldiers called 'an eighty'.


2Ki 10:25 It happened, 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 kill them! Let none escape-
It seems Jehu himself offered the offering, as if he were the high priest of Baal. As noted above, he could only have done this if he were well known as a senior Baal worshipper.

They struck them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the captains cast them out, and went into the inner room of the house of Baal-
The house of Baal appears to have been an imitation of the house of Yahweh in Jerusalem. It also had an "inner room", corresponding to the most holy place. See on :19.


2Ki 10:26 They brought out the pillars that were in the house of Baal, and burned them-
As there were "pillars" associated with the Jerusalem temple, so there were with this house of Baal. See on :19. However these pillars were burned, meaning they were made of wood, which as a fertility symbol would have been associated with the worship of the likes of Astarte and Baal.


2Ki 10:27 They broke down the pillar of Baal, and broke down the house of Baal and made it a latrine, to this day-
The house of Baal was broken down, but soon afterwards, it was rebuilt and had to be destroyed yet again (2 Kings 11:18). There are examples galore of purges and re-purges in the record of the Kings. This was an apparent obedience to Dt. 7:5,25; 12:2,3- but the real idols were the pride and ego in Jehu's heart. That is the fairly clear implication of the narrative. External obedience didn't deal with those idols.


2Ki 10:28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel-
The next verse shows the hollowness of this. For other idols were allowed to continue, such as the calves (:29) and Asherah (2 Kings 13:6), and it is clear that Baal was replaced with Moloch worship (2 Kings 17:17). It's rather like the addict who quits one drug for another. Destruction of one form of idolatry is in no way any guarantee that our heart is therefore given over to Yahweh.

2Ki 10:29 However Jehu didn’t depart from following the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin: the golden calves that were in Bethel, and in Dan-
See on :28. The political motive for retaining them was so that Israel would not reunite with Judah (1 Kings 12:26-30); and for Jehu, his hold on personal power was of paramount importance to him, far more than instituting worship of Yahweh and seeking His glory. 


2Ki 10:30 Yahweh said to Jehu, Because you have done well in executing that which is right in My eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in My heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel-
Hosea’s prophesied that the blood of Jezreel would be visited upon the house of Jehu (Hos. 1:4). At Jezreel, Jehu had killed Ahab’s family in a quite literal bloodbath. And God had commented that because Jehu had done this and thus fulfilled His word, Jehu’s family would reign for the next four generations. So why, then, does Hosea start talking about punishing the house of Jehu for what they did to the house of Ahab? Jehu became proud about the manner in which he had been the channel for God’s purpose to be fulfilled, inviting others to come and behold his “zeal for the Lord” (2 Kings 10:16). Jehu and his children showed themselves to not really be spiritually minded, and yet they prided themselves in having physically done God’s will. And because of this, Hosea talks in such angry terms about retribution for what they had done; the house of Jehu’s act of obedience to God actually became something his family had to be punished for, because they had done it in a proud spirit. We see this all the time around us. Men and women who clearly are instruments in God’s hand, like the Assyrians were, doing His will… but being proud about it and becoming exalted in their own eyes because of it. And Hosea is so sensitive to the awfulness of this, he goes ballistic about it.


2Ki 10:31 But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of Yahweh, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He didn’t depart from the sins of Jeroboam, with which he made Israel to sin-
Jeroboam was apparently a believer. He had his eyes open. He was an apparent enthusiast in doing God's work, and working for the good of His people Israel in strengthening their cities, fighting their enemies etc.. He had some faith, for example that God would heal him. He knew the real date of the feast of tabernacles; he knew his Bible, he had an enthusiasm for studying the genealogies and some aspects of the Mosaic Law. He seems to have taught the truth to his son. He understood a little about the symbology of the ark and the cherubim. But he shut his eyes to the real spirit of God's word. Now we can't say we have no similarity with that man. 2 Kings 10:31 sums up his real failures. Jehu "took no heed to walk in the law with all his heart, for (because)" he followed the sins of Jeroboam. So this was his specific sin; not walking in God's law with all his heart  . It is stressed in the records that he was "the son of Nebat". 'Nebat' means 'one who pays careful attention'; as if to emphasize that Jeroboam was not that person; he was the son of that person. Israel , Malachi says, were "partial" in God's law. Are we partial? Are we just focusing on those parts of spiritual life which we don't find difficult? Are we avoiding the real pain of spiritual growth? See on Hos. 1:4.

2Ki 10:32 In those days Yahweh began to weaken Israel; and Hazael struck them in all the borders of Israel-
This was the fulfilment of Elisha's words to Hazael in 2 Kings 8:12: "I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel. You will set their strongholds on fire, kill their young men with the sword, dash in pieces their little ones and rip up their women with child". The command to Elijah to anoint Hazael king over Syria (1 Kings 19:15), which Elisha fulfilled, was therefore part of God's intended judgments upon Israel for their sins. There is no specific record of Hazael doing this, but in the records of his attacks upon Israel we are therefore to assume that he did so at those times (2 Kings 10:32; 13:3,22).


2Ki 10:33 from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the valley of the Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan-
This meant that about 25% of Israelite territory was taken from them, and these areas were famed as good pasture land. Bashan was famed for the "fat bulls of Bashan" and for "the oaks of Bashan".


2Ki 10:34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, and all that he did, and all his might, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?-
This is the common rubric found in the histories of the kings (1 Kings 15:23; 16:5,27; 22:45; 2 Kings 10:34; 13:8,12; 14:15,28; 20:20). "His might that he showed" uses a word for "might" which has the sense of victory / achievement. But the contrast is marked with the way that David so often uses this word for "might / victory / achievement" in the context of God's "might"; notably in 1 Chron. 29:11, which the Lord Jesus places in our mouths as part of His model prayer: "Yours is the power [s.w. "might"], and the glory and the majesty". The kings about whom the phrase is used were those who trusted in their own works. It therefore reads as a rather pathetic memorial; that this man's might / achievement was noted down. But the unspoken further comment is elicited in our own minds, if we are in tune with the spirit of David: "But the only real achievement is the Lord's and not man's". All human victory and achievement must be seen in this context. The same word is used in Jer. 9:23,24: "Don’t let the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might [s.w.]... but let him who glories glory in this, that he has understanding, and knows Me, that I am Yahweh who exercises loving kindness, justice, and righteousness, in the earth". The glorification of human "might" is often condemned. "Their might [s.w.] is not right" (Jer. 23:10; also s.w. Jer. 51:30; Ez. 32:29; Mic. 7:16 and often).  


2Ki 10:35 Jehu slept with his fathers; and they buried him in Samaria. Jehoahaz his son reigned in his place-
The description of death as sleeping with fathers is clear evidence that death is seen as a sleep, unconsciousness, and not as the start of an immortal soul going to heaven or 'hell'. Good and bad, David and Solomon, are gathered together in death. The division between them will only therefore come at the resurrection of the dead, and the granting of immortality at the judgment seat of the Lord Jesus.


2Ki 10:36 The time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years
-
This was the second longest reign of an Israelite king. The kings of Israel lived and reigned far shorter than those of Judah. And yet in the final analysis, Ezekiel says that Judah sinned more than Israel. But their kings had greater signs of external blessing, and perhaps overall they were generally more righteous than their people. Whereas the kings of Israel were as wicked as their people.