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Deeper Commentary

2Ki 9:1 Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets and said to him, Put your belt on your waist, take this vial of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth Gilead-
King Joram had gone away from the fighting to Jezreel, having been lightly wounded (so :15,21 imply- he was able to ride his chariot quite fine). This would not have sat well with the soldiers under Jehu who remained defending Ramoth Gilead, and so Jehu as the army commander was going to be a popular choice as next leader. Elijah had been told to anoint Jehu and Hazael, but it seems he did neither of those things, and Elisha is now doing it.

2Ki 9:2 When you come there, find Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brothers, and carry him to an inner room-
Jehu was exalted from amongst his brethren as was the Lord Jesus Christ (Dt. 18:18; Ps. 45:7) and taken up into a chamber within a chamber (AVmg), cp. the most holy place / Heaven itself. There Jehu was anointed, made Lord and Christ, and then the people placed their garments underneath him (:13) and proclaimed him to the world as King of Israel. This symbolic incident teaches a clear lesson- the exaltation of Jesus should lead us to be witnesses for Him. The wonder and joy of it alone, that one of us, one of our boys, a man like us... should be so exalted.

2Ki 9:3 Then take the vial of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, ‘Thus says Yahweh, I have anointed you king over Israel’. Then open the door, flee, and don’t wait-
Elijah doesn't actually do what he was told; he didn't personally anoint Jehu nor Hazael to destroy Israel (1 Kings 19:15). It's hard to decide whether this was disobedience or rather an awkward realization that he had been praying with too harsh a spirit for judgment to come upon Israel, and didn't want it to come. The prophet was maybe told to leave immediately because Jehu was to be left to use his own initiative in how to take things forward now.

2Ki 9:4 So the young man, even the young man the prophet, went to Ramoth Gilead-
His being a "prophet" is stressed, because it was through the prophetic word that Jehu was to become king.

2Ki 9:5 When he came, behold, the captains of the army were sitting. Then he said, I have a message for you, captain. Jehu said, To which of us all here? He said, To you, O captain-
Jehu takes the initiative in asking the messenger to whom he is sent. This suggests he was already the de facto leader of the army captains now that the king had left the front and returned to Jezreel under the pretext of having had a slight wound.  They were apparently sitting in a courtyard, perhaps having been discussing battle plans; for the prophet and Jehu now go "into the house" (:6).

2Ki 9:6 He arose, and went into the house. Then he poured the oil on his head and said to him, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘I have anointed you king over the people of Yahweh, even over Israel-
There is the reminder that God didn't really want human kings, and He was their real king. We also note that God considered Himself the king of the apostate ten tribes, just as much as over Judah through the Davidic line. All such divisions within God's people are not visible from God's perspective.

2Ki 9:7 You shall strike the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of Yahweh, at the hand of Jezebel-
Ahab had apparently repented in humility and had been accepted. But this didn't mean that his family were not going to be punished for his sins; there were still consequences for his sins, not least because it seems they continued in his sins.

2Ki 9:8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish. I will cut off from Ahab every male, both him who is shut up and him who is left at large in Israel-
"He who is shut up and he who is left free" is apparently an idiom referring to children still shut up at home, and those who are free to move about independently. The meaning would then be "young and old".

2Ki 9:9 I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah-
The extreme judgment pronounced was because of the great potentials God had enabled for Jeroboam (see 1 Kings 11:38; 14:10). But he refused to realize them. We live in an age of great potentials. We are generally literate, mobile, with easy access to God's word; and many members of the body of Christ live in relative ease and luxury, free from persecution. The potentials for service are far higher for the average believer today than they were centuries ago. So this issue of judgment according to wasted potentials is so relevant to our age. Baasha had failed to learn the lessons of Jeroboam and so he was judged in the same way (1 Kings 16:3,4). And the house of Ahab had likewise not learned these lessons.

2Ki 9:10 The dogs will eat Jezebel on the plot of ground of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her’. He opened the door, and fled-
The "rampart" of Jezreel where Jezebel was to be eaten (1 Kings 21:23) is s.w. "trench" in 2 Sam. 20:15. It would refer to the trench immediately below the city wall. Jezebel was in a house on the city wall when she was thrown out of it (2 Kings 9:36,37), and her body would have landed in the drainage ditch which was probably dry. Dogs wandered there looking for scraps of food thrown out of the windows of the houses on the city wall. 

2Ki 9:11 Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord; and one said to him, Is all well? Why did this mad fellow come to you? He said to them, You know the man and what his talk was-
"You know the man", because he was dressed in the distinctive clothing of the prophets. Jehu tries to initially pass him off as a typical mad prophet, reflecting his disrespect of the prophetic word. See on :22,26,35,37. The prophets were often perceived as mad. And indeed the pressure upon them was great indeed. The psychological strengthening of the prophets (see on Ez. 2:4-6) was absolutely necessary- for no human being can live in a constant state of inspiration without breaking. The composer Tchaikovsky commented: “If that condition of mind and soul, which we call inspiration, lasted long without intermission, no artist could survive it. The strings would break and the instruments be shattered into fragments” (Rosa Newmarch, The Life And Letters Of Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky (New York: Vienna House, 1973 ed.) pp. 274,275). The whole tremendous experience of having God’s mind in them, sharing His perspective, seeing the world through His eyes, made the prophets appear crazy to others. There’s a marked emphasis upon the fact that they were perceived as madmen (e.g. Jer. 29:24,26; Hos. 9:7; 2 Kings 9:11). For us to walk down a street for even ten minutes, feeling and perceiving and knowing the sin of every person in those rooms and houses and yards, feeling the weeping of God over each of them… would send us crazy. And yet God strengthened the prophets, and there’s no reason to think that He will not as it were strengthen us in our sensitivity too.

2Ki 9:12 They said, That is a lie. Tell us now. He said, He told me, ‘Thus says Yahweh, I have anointed you king over Israel’-
Although he appeared mad, they correctly perceived that he was not and that likely he was a prophet with a message. People have a way of perceiving Divine truth when they encounter it. What they later do with it, or whether they then deny it, is another question. We get the impression Jehu rather blurts out the absolute truth. The record has every ring of psychological credibility.

2Ki 9:13 Then they hurried, and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs and blew the trumpet, saying, Jehu is king-
As noted on :1, they were army captains who were disillusioned with Joram and were psychologically open to this prophetic message at this time- although not from spiritual motives. 

2Ki 9:14 So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram was keeping Ramoth Gilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria-
As noted on :1, Joram as king was commander in chief of the army, and was defending Ramoth Gilead against the Syrians under Hazael, whom God had anointed to judge Israel. Yet He was also working through Jehu to judge Joram and the house of Ahab.  

2Ki 9:15 but king Joram had returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria). Jehu said, If this is your thinking, then let no one escape and go out of the city to go to tell it in Jezreel-
See on :1. Jehu clearly intended to kill Joram and so he didn't want him to have advanced warning. For he was in Jezreel. LXX "If your mind be with me" begins the theme we will see developed in :18, that Jehu was on an ego trip, and demanded people follow him personally (:18 etc.).

2Ki 9:16 So Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to Jezreel; for Joram lay there. Ahaziah king of Judah had come down to see Joram-
2 Chron. 22:7 comments: "Now the destruction of Ahaziah was of God, in that he went to Joram". This is not guilt by association, but rather a case of bad company resulting in sharing in the judgments of those we prefer to company with.
There are a number of other passages which mention how "it was of the Lord" that certain attitudes were adopted by men, resulting in the sequence of events which He desired (Dt. 2:39; Josh. 11:20; 1 Sam. 2:25; 1 Kings 12:15; 2 Chron. 10:15; 22:7; 25:20). It is tempting to read Jud. 14:4 in this context, meaning that God somehow made Samson desire that woman in order to bring about His purpose of freeing Israel from Philistine domination. God through His Spirit works to confirm men in the path they wish to go. And this is the huge significance of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives today.

2Ki 9:17 Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. Joram said, Take a horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, ‘Is it peace?’-
The zoom of the Divine cameraman is close in on the scene. Jehu was clearly not alone and had taken some of the army with him from Ramoth Gilead. The one horseman is seen by us from the tower on the wall, drawing closer to the larger group racing toward him. We feel the atmosphere of foreboding and imminent tragedy.

2Ki 9:18 So there went one on horseback to meet him and said, Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’ Jehu said, What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me! The watchman said, The messenger came to them, but he isn’t coming back-
As noted on :15, there is a theme here of Jehu wanting people to follow him personally. He comes over as being on an ego trip, using the apparent service of God and judgment of apostacy as an opportunity to flaunt his own ego. And that is not unheard of today.

2Ki 9:19 Then he sent out a second on horseback, who came to them, and said, Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’ Jehu answered, What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me!-
Again "fall in behind me" suggests a man on an ego trip. See on :18; 2 Kings 10:15. Jehu was using the old argument 'We cannot have peace until we judge apostacy'. But like many who use that argument, they despise the concept of peace, when this is one of the fruits of the Spirit.

2Ki 9:20 The watchman said, He came to them, and isn’t coming back. The driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he drives angrily-
We sense the native anger of Jehu reflected in the style of driving and lack of care for his horses which was well know; but it was now apparently channeled into serving God by judging others. Again, this ancient character speaks to so many of our age, who use the judgment of apostacy as a mere vehicle for their own anger, rather than genuinely serving God to His glory.

2Ki 9:21 Joram said, Get ready! They got his chariot ready. Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out to meet Jehu, and found him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite-
2 Chron. 22:7 says that Ahaziah "went out with Jehoram against Jehu"; perhaps not merely to meet him; although "against" can simply mean that they faced off against each other. See on :23. They met with Jehu almost as soon as leaving the palace, for they met at the vineyard of Naboth, which was next to Ahab's palace (1 Kings 21:1). It was Divinely overruled that the meeting was at the vineyard of Naboth which Ahab had wrongfully stolen from him, as Joram had apparently not returned the land to Naboth's family. He was not penitent for the sins of his father but continued in them.    

2Ki 9:22 It happened, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? He answered, What peace, so long as the prostitution of your mother Jezebel and her witchcraft abound?-
The last time Joram had seen Jehu was at Ramoth Gilead, when they had been fighting against the Syrians together. Jehu realized that his Divine remit was to judge the family of Ahab and Jezebel for her Baal worship, and especially her encouragement of others to do it [her "prostitution"]. And yet Jehu as a typical member of the ten tribe kingdom was likely also an idolater, and had spoken most disparagingly of Yahweh's prophet in :22.  

2Ki 9:23 Joram turned around to flee-
Just as Ahab his father did before being slain (1 Kings 22:34).

And said to Ahaziah, There is treason, Ahaziah!-
This was the first Joram had sensed, it seems, of the putsch. He had presumably assumed that Jehu was racing towards Jezreel with news of events from the conflict with the Syrians at Ramoth Gilead. He may have been giving Ahaziah a chance to get away, as Ahaziah did manage to flee (:27) and managed to hide in Samaria before being found (2 Chron. 22:9).

2Ki 9:24 Jehu drew his bow with his full strength, and struck Joram between his arms; and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot-
LXX "Sunk down upon his knees". He was finally humbled, all too late. We sense Jehu's great physical strength, and his dependence upon that rather than God's strength. He comes over as strong, angry (see on :20), judgmental and on a massive ego trip (see on :18,19). 

2Ki 9:25 Then Jehu said to Bidkar his captain, Pick him up, and throw him in the plot of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite; for remember how, when you and I rode together after Ahab his father, Yahweh laid this burden on him-
Jehu and Bidkar had been with Ahab when he went to take possession of Naboth's vineyard, and would have heard Elijah's words to Ahab.

2Ki 9:26 ‘Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons’, says Yahweh; ‘and I will repay you in this plot of ground’, says Yahweh. Now therefore take and cast him onto the plot of ground, according to the word of Yahweh-
This reported speech is not actually a quotation but rather an interpretation of 1 Kings 21:19. Again we see Jehu not really respecting the word of Yahweh which he claimed to be so obedient to. See on :11,22. The taking possession of the vineyard by Ahab was apparently in the sense of permanently having the vineyard registered in his name. For he could have leased it from Naboth until the next Jubilee year. And possibly renewed the lease after that. But Ahab was so obsessive about what he wanted. He wanted the vineyard as his permanent possession. This was why Naboth had to be killed, along with his sons (as we learn only here) so that they would not have any argument for inheriting it later. Ahab reasoned in a very long term manner, forgetting his own mortality. He 'just loved the idea' not only of the vineyard, but of adding it to his inheritance. And so Naboth and his sons had to die, and the people and leaders of Jezreel led into major sin. And yet legally it is hard to see how he could have added it to his inheritance, unless he was some relative of Naboth. So all the drama was to obtain a piece of legal documentation that was always going to be questionable as to its validity.

2Ki 9:27 But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. Jehu followed after him, and said, Strike him also in the chariot!-
It seems however that he escaped from his chariot. 2 Chron. 22:9 says that Jehu "Sought Ahaziah, and they caught him (now he was hiding in Samaria), and they brought him to Jehu, and killed him". Putting the records together, it seems that Ahaziah fled in his chariot through the garden house road (2 Kings 9:27), avoiding Jehu's call to slay him in his chariot. He got to Samaria and hid somewhere, Jehu's men searched for him and found him (2 Chron. 22:9), brought him to Jehu who was then "by Ibleam" (2 Kings 9:27), who struck him so hard that he eventually died of it, but he managed to again escape in his chariot to Megiddo, where he died of the wounds inflicted by Jehu. 

They struck him at the ascent of Gur, which is by Ibleam. He fled to Megiddo, and died there-
In the list of cities given to the Levites, this is called "Bileam". "Bileam" means 'not of the people', called Ibleam, Jud. 1:27; 2 Kings 9:27, and in Josh. 21:25, Gath-rimmon. Perhaps it is called "Bileam" in 1 Chron. 6:70 because it continues the theme that the tribes of Israel may have somehow manipulated the lots so that they gave less valuable cities to the Levites, or even cities which weren't theirs, thereby breaking the foundation principle of 2 Sam. 24:24.

2Ki 9:28 His servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his tomb with his fathers in the city of David-
2 Chron. 22:9 adds: "They buried him, for they said, He is the descendant of Jehoshaphat, who sought Yahweh with all his heart".

2Ki 9:29 In the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah-
Ahaziah was Ahab's grandson because of the intermarriage between the rulers of Israel and Judah. So Jehu did have a commission to kill him. But it would seem from 2 Chron. 22:7 that Ahaziah could have avoided this had he not shown unity with Joram by visiting him when he was sick. Such is the flexibility of God's purpose, with so many potentials built into it, ever respecting the possibility of human repentance.

2Ki 9:30 When Jehu had come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her eyes, and attired her head, and looked out at the window-
Presumably this means she placed the crown upon her head. It seems the royal palace was on the wall of the city by the gate (:31), with Naboth's vineyard just next to it but outside the city limits (1 Kings 21:1).

2Ki 9:31 As Jehu entered in at the gate she said, Do you come in peace, Zimri, you murderer of your master?-
Zimri had slain his master some time before and was famed for it (1 Kings 16:9-20). So she is effectively calling Jehu "You Zimri!", pointing out that servants who slay their masters never have peace. Zimri slew all the male descendants of Baasha in fulfilment of God's word, and Jezebel was surely aware that Ahab was under the same judgment. She is arrogant to the end, saying that the man who fulfilled Yahweh's word (as Jehu was about to) had no peace. For he committed suicide after reigning only seven days.

2Ki 9:32 He lifted up his face to the window and said, Who is on my side? Who? Two or three eunuchs looked out at him-
Again, Jehu expresses things in terms of people being on his side and following him personally; see on :18,19. The reference to "two or three" may allude to how two or three witnesses were required to condemn (Dt. 17:6; 19:15). 

2Ki 9:33 He said, Throw her down! So they threw her down; and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses. Then he trampled her under foot-
The blood on the wall suggests she may have put up a struggle and the eunuchs had attacked her, leaving her bleeding. To trample under foot was to despise.

2Ki 9:34 When he had come in, he ate and drank; and he said, See now to this cursed woman, and bury her; for she is a king’s daughter-
The eating and drinking was a sign of having taken power, and was likely a small feast to celebrate himself as king. Clearly Jezebel had no supporters amongst her retainers. She was daughter of Ethbaal, king of Sidon. By wanting to bury her, Jehu showed his lack of knowledge or respect of the word of Divine judgment against her, which said she would not be buried (:37). And yet he claimed to be so zealous in fulfilling it. Clearly he was grabbing hold of bits and pieces of God's word, and seeking to fulfil them as an excuse for giving his own ego and blood lust full reign. He is so similar to over zealous 'defenders of the faith' of our age.

2Ki 9:35 They went to bury her; but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands-
Nobody was concerned with her corpse, showing how unpopular she was. Nobody chased the wild dogs away from eating her. She is set up as representative of all whom God will finally reject, cast out of the city to the wild dogs in the rubbish tip in the small valley beneath the city walls (:36). And nobody will feel sorry for them. In the last day, we will see things differently, and from God's perspective. All questions about God's justice will evaporate.

2Ki 9:36 Therefore they came back, and told him. He said, This is the word of Yahweh which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite saying, ‘The dogs will eat the flesh of Jezebel on the plot of Jezreel-
The "rampart" of Jezreel where Jezebel was to be eaten (1 Kings 21:23) is s.w. "trench" in 2 Sam. 20:15. It would refer to the trench immediately below the city wall. Jezebel was in a house on the city wall when she was thrown out of it (2 Kings 9:36,37), and her body would have landed in the drainage ditch which was probably dry. Dogs wandered there looking for scraps of food thrown out of the windows of the houses on the city wall. 

2Ki 9:37 and the body of Jezebel shall be as dung on the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel, so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel’
Jehu clearly intended to give her some kind of burial (see on :35), but this was not according to the very prophetic word which Jehu claimed to be so zealous to fulfil. He comes over as consistently insincere and not truly respectful of God's word. See on :11.