2 Kings Chapter 10
Verses 1-5: Jehu wrote his first “letter” to identify which of Ahab’s remaining “seventy sons” was most likely to challenge him for the throne. Because he had recently killed “two kings,” Joram (9:14-26), and Ahaziah (9:27-28), the leaders were afraid of Jehu.
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,”
“Seventy sons”: These were the male descendants of Ahab, both sons and grandsons. Ahab had a number of wives (1 Kings 20:5), and therefore many descendants. Since these living relatives could avenge a dead kinsman by killing the person responsible for his death (Num. 35:12), Jehu’s life was in jeopardy while Ahab’s male descendants survived.
“Samaria”: Ahab’s surviving family members were living in the capital city of the northern kingdom, located about 25 miles south of Jezreel.
“Rulers … elders … them that brought up Ahab’s children”: Jehu sent the same message (verses 2-3). in a number of letters to:
- The royal officials, who had probably fled from Jezreel to Samaria;
- The leaders of the tribes of Israel; and
- Those appointed as the custodians and educators of the royal children.
The LORD had specifically told Jehu, through the prophet that anointed him, not to let any male descendants of Ahab live. Samaria was the principal residence of the king and his family. Jezreel that we read about in the last lesson, was like a country home. The letters were sent, so there would be no way of denying they had heard of Jehu’s plans. The rulers, or elders, were those in charge.
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 armor;”
Sons of Ahab, and some of Joram, and all either the sons or grandsons of Ahab.
“And there are with you chariots and horses”: Military ones.
“A fenced city also”: As Samaria was, well walled and fortified, and able to hold out a long siege.
“And armor”: Of all sorts, to arm themselves and people within their defense.
Samaria was the best fortified city, because it was the capital city. Many of the sons of Joram, and the male descendants of Ahab, would be there too. Jehu reminds them, that they have chariots and horses and items of war.
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.”
“Fight for your master’s house”: Realizing potential conflict existed between himself and Ahab’s family, Jehu was demanding that Ahab’s appointed officials either fight to continue the royal line of Ahab or select a new king from Ahab’s descendants who would fight Jehu in battle to decide which family would rule Israel (1 Sam. 17:8-9; 2 Sam. 2:9).
Jehu gives them warning, that he is going to take the throne. He is giving them an opportunity to prepare to fight against him, and keep the kingdom for themselves. Joram had sons, and perhaps, one of them would be strong, brave, and could lead them in battle.
2 Kings 10:4 “But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand?”
They were intimidated at once; for they saw the purport of those letters, that should they attempt anything of this kind, he would come upon them with his forces.
“And said, behold, two kings stood not before him”: The kings of Israel and Judah, Joram and Ahaziah; but they were unarmed, and therefore how should they stand before an armed body of men Jehu had with him? This shows the fear of fright of these men to make use of such an argument as this.
“How then shall we stand? that is, before Jehu; but they were in much better circumstances than the two kings, as they are truly represented in (2 Kings 10:2).
It appears they were afraid, because Jehu had killed Ahaziah and Joram. They had not been in the army and they feared they would not be able to fight, and keep what they had. They had given up, even before they began. Fear gripped them.
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.”
“He that was over the house … city”: These two officials were the palace administrator and the city governor probably the commander of the city’s fighting force.
“We are thy servants”: These officials and leaders transferred their allegiance from the house of Omri to Jehu.
The letters that Jehu had sent, had caused the people to decide exactly what they would do. It appeared, the elders and the city officials had decided to serve Jehu, instead of fight. They will not try to crown another king. They were willing for Jehu to be king. In every sense, they had surrendered.
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 tomorrow this time. Now the king’s sons, [being] seventy persons, [were] with the great men of the city, which brought them up.”
Jehu’s “second letter” asked others to kill for him. Killing the descendants of the previous dynasty was a common practice. Often the new king would “take ye the heads” of their rival to intimidate the citizenry and discourage rebellion.
“The ye the heads of the men”: As a tangible sign of their surrender, Jehu required the officials to decapitate all of Ahab’s male descendants and bring their heads to Jehu at Jezreel by the next day.
Jehu tested their loyalty to him. He says, if they were really willing to be his servant, they must show it by killing the 70 male descendants of Ahab and bringing their heads to him. He will remain at Jezreel. This had to be difficult for the men to do, but they knew they would all die, if they did not do this.
Verses 7-11: The killing of Ahab’s household was sanctioned (10:10, 17), but Jehu overstepped the bounds of God’s judgment in killing “his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests”. He used his God-given power to meet his own selfish desires (10:31).
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.”
“Heads in baskets”: Out of fear, the officials obeyed Jehu by decapitating Ahab’s male descendants. However, they did not personally go to Jehu in Jezreel, probably fearing that a similar fate would await them.
They probably killed them privately and put the heads in baskets to get them out of town without too much local notice. They sent them to Jehu at 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.”
“Two heaps”: The practice of piling the heads of conquered subjects at the city gate was common in the ancient Near East, especially by the Assyrians. The practice was designed to dissuade rebellion.
Such grisly deeds were often practiced in the ancient Near East.
The heads were put on display, so all might see. Everyone who entered the gates, saw the heads of the princes.
Verses 9-11: Jehu’s edict was calculated to remove all opposition to his kingship. He assured the officials in Samaria that they were only carrying out God’s known will in accordance with the prophecies of “Elijah” (1 Kings 19:17).
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?”
“Conspired … slew”: Jehu is referring to his murder of Joram (verses 14-24).
This speech to the people was to stop the talk that was generally whispered around about the new king. They thought Jehu conspired against his master, Joram. In a sense, he did just that. We must remember that the LORD anointed him king, and told him to rid Israel of the descendants of Ahab. He did kill Joram and Ahaziah, but their own people killed the seventy, whose heads were on display there in the street.
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.”
“Word of the LORD”: God had prophesied through Elijah the destruction of Ahab’s house (1 Kings 21:17-24).
Elijah had been told of God of this very thing, before he died. We must continue to remember the evil that Ahab and Jezebel had done. They not only were vicious to people they were involved with, but they were the worst of any of the kings in bringing the worship of Baal to Israel. Every Word the LORD had spoken about the destruction of Ahab’s descendants, will be carried out under the rule of Jehu.
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.”
“Jehu slew all”: Jehu went beyond God’s mandate and executed all of Ahab’s officials, a deed for which God later judged Jehu’s house (Hosea 1:4).
We would really be guessing, if we tried to estimate how many people were directly or indirectly, associated with Ahab. We do know from the Scripture above, that every one of them were killed. The priests the Scripture is speaking of, were probably priests of Astarte, who were not killed at Mount Carmel. The land was to be cleansed of the evil of Ahab.
Verses 12-17: Jehu also killed some of Ahaziah’s relatives who had come from Judah to see Israel’s royal family (presumably the 70 sons of Ahab). The writer offers no motive for the slaughter. Perhaps Jehu attempted to wipe out a potential heir because the house of Ahaziah and the house of Ahab were related (8:16-18), or because of his ongoing effort to eliminate Baal worship (2 Chron. 22:8).
2 Kings 10:12 “And he arose and departed, and came to Samaria. [And] as he [was] at the shearing house in the way,”
To make a clear riddance there of all that belonged to Ahab, as at Jezreel, and abolish idolatry there.
“And as he was at the shearing house in the way”: Or, “the house of the binding of the shepherds”, who, in shearing their sheep, bind their legs together. The Targum is, “the house of the gathering of the shepherds;” where they used to meet and converse together. With some it is the proper name of a place, Betheked, a country village between Jezreel and Samaria. Jerom speaks of a village of this name, situated in a large plain, about fifteen miles from a place called Legion. Which village he takes to be this here.
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.”
“Relatives of Ahaziah’: Since the brothers of Ahaziah, the slain king of Judah (9:27-29), had been previously killed by the Philistines (2 Chron. 21:17), these must have been relatives of Ahaiah in a broader sense, like nephews and cousins.
The size of this group of men indicated that they were not really on a visit, but probably had been sent to help with the problems in Israel. They were not the brothers of Ahaziah, because they were dead. These may be the nephews of Ahaziah. They too, were descendants of Ahab and Jezebel. In fact, it was the children and grandchildren of Ahab and Jezebel that they claim they were coming to see.
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.”
Jehu’s bloodbath was also directed at Ahaziah’s close relative. Since the two crowns of state had been brought into close relationship during the Third Dynasty of Israel, Jehu intended to eliminate any rival, however remote.
This slaughter by Jehu was because these people might have stimulated and strengthened those who were still loyal to the family of Ahab.
He killed them, because they were Ahab’s relatives.
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”: This man was a faithful follower of the Lord and a strict observer of the Mosaic Law, leading a life of austerity and abstinence. According to (Jer. 35:1-16), the Rechabites did not plant fields or drink wine. They shook hands, indicating a pledge of support for Jehu from this influential man.
“Jehonadab” was a religious zealot who was the leader of a pious separatist sect of nomads (Jer. 35). Because he was opposed to the great spiritual compromises in Israel, Jehonadab probably hoped that Jehu was likewise a zealous patriot who would also restore true religion in the northern kingdom.
Jehonadab was the great Kenite leader. The descendants of Rechab had bound themselves to abstain from wine, and would always be nomads. It appears, that Jehu knew who he was. He asked him, if he was on his side. It appears, that Jehu had a great respect for Jehonadab, and wanted his approval of removing the Baalites from the land. When he told Jehu that he was on his side, Jehu brought him up to ride in his chariot with him.
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.”
In destroying idolaters and idolatry, with an intent to do which he was going to Samaria; this seems to savor very much of vain glory, hypocrisy, and a pharisaical spirit.
“So they made him ride in his chariot”: The servants of Jehu by his order opened the chariot door, and assisted Jonadab in getting into it.
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.”
By this act, Ahab’s dynasty was completely ended. The full weight of Elijah’s prophecy had come down on the house of “Ahab” (1 Kings 21:21).
All of this killing seems so cruel, but we must remember, that the LORD was removing the worship of Baal from the land. Jehu was just the instrument that the LORD used for this purpose.
Verses 18-29: The “house of Baal was built by Ahab (1 Kings 16:32). What Elijah began (1 Kings 18:40), Jehu finished. However, Jehu’s reform was incomplete: he did not turn away from the worship of the “golden calves … at Bethel … in Dan”, which were meant to represent Yahweh.
Verses 18-19: “Ahab served Baal a little … Jehu shall serve him much”: Though it was in fact a ruse (verse 19), Jehu promised to outdo Ahab’s devotion to Baal. The people of Samaria might have thought that Jehu was seeking a military, not a religious, reformation. If so, Jehu was seeking Baal’s blessing on his reign as king (verse 20).
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.”
The people of Samaria, at least the principal of them.
“And said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu shall serve him much”: Which some understand as spoken ironically; but the words seem to be spoken with a design to deceive the idolatrous inhabitants of Samaria. Making them to believe that he was hearty in the worship of Baal, and should show a greater respect to it, and more constantly attend it, than Ahab had done. And this he said with a view to draw them to the temple of Baal, and there destroy them, as the sequel shows. And in which he is not to be justified, however good his intention was; for evil is not to be done that good may come.
This really was a lie. He was tricking all of the followers of Baal to reveal who they were so he could kill them.
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 subtilty, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal.”
All that were employed in the several parts of religious worship given him, and in performing any rite and ceremony belonging to it. In invocation of him, and singing praises to him, as the prophets; in offering sacrifices to him, as the priests; or in assisting them in their service, who may be meant by his servants or ministers.
“For I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal”: By which, though he might mean a sacrifice of his prophets, priests, servants, and worshippers, he would have it otherwise understood, and his design was to deceive, which cannot be justified.
“Whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live”: But be put to death. This he said, pretending his great zeal for Baal, when his view was by this threatening to get all his worshippers together to destroy them, that none might escape as follows.
“But Jehu did it in subtlety, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal”: The Targum renders it, “with wisdom”; but Jarchi and Ben Gersom much better, “in deceit”. The word signifies trickery, such as Esau charged Jacob with.
This is a clever plot of Jehu to get all of those who worshipped Baal, all of his priests and all of every group that served him, to appear before Jehu.
2 Kings 10:20 “And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed [it].”
Such as with the Jews was a holy convocation, when they were forbidden and restrained from doing any work on that day. And such a day Jehu would have appointed and proclaimed for Baal, that the people might be at leisure to attend.
“And they proclaimed it” According to his order, in Samaria.
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.”
“House of Baal”: The idolatrous worship center that Ahab had built in Samaria (1 Kings 16:32). All the worshipers could fit into that one edifice because the number of Baals devotees had been reduced by the influence of Elijah and Elisha and by the neglect and discontinuance of Baal worship under Joram.
We can see how widespread the worship of Baal had become. Not only was the family of Ahab involved, but they had influenced many others as well. They had to come, because a solemn assembly had been called.
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.”
That had the care of the garments, in which the priests of Baal ministered.
“Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal”: Not for the priests only, but for all that worshipped. And this he ordered for the greater solemnity of this service, as he would have it thought. But, in truth, that the worshippers of Baal might be separated, and distinguished from the worshippers of the Lord, that not one of them might be among them.
“And he brought them forth vestments”: Out of the chamber or wardrobe in which they were, and they put them on.
The vestments were linen garments.
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.”
Who no doubt was led into the secret, and knew the design of Jehu, or he would not have gone into such an idolatrous place.
“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”: Pretending a great regard to the purity of their worship and sacrifices, that they might not be profaned by the company of such who were not worshippers of Baal, but of Jehovah. Whereas his view was to prevent any of the worshippers of God perishing with them, who might out of curiosity go in among them, to behold the manner of their service.
Jehu was making sure, that no worshippers of the True God were in here. The entire congregation was made up of the evil Baal worshippers. Jehu was still pretending to be one of them, so he would be sure to get all of them.
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.”
To Baal, all things being ready for them.
“Jehu appointed eighty men without”: Without the temple of Baal, at the several doors and avenues of it.
“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”: Should be put to death for it in his stead; the life of a watchman set to guard should go for the life of one that escaped.
Jehu and Jehonadab have gone out, and now, have stationed 80 men to kill every one of the Baal worshippers. If they let one of them go, they will have to pay with their own lives.
Verses 25-26: The “the images” represented Baal’s presence. Jehu made the temple of Baal “a draught house” (a latrine), to not only degrade Baalism but to render the site ritually unclean. Baalism had no place in Israelite culture.
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.”
The chief of the priests of Baal, whose office it was to do this service.
“That Jehu said to the guard, and to the captains, go in and slay them, let none come forth”: This he said to the eighty men set to guard the temple, and the officers over them. And perhaps they might also have a reinforcement, since such a number seems scarcely sufficient to destroy so many as were here. Though indeed it must be considered they were armed men.
“And they smote them with the edge of the sword”: Put them all to death.
“And the guard and the captains cast them out”: Those that were slain, as the Targum, their dead bodies. But it can hardly be thought they would be at the trouble of casting them out, when the house was to be pulled down, and made a jakes (a common sewer or dung house), as follows. Rather therefore it should be rendered, “they cast” or “flung themselves” with great force, and in great haste, as Kimchi. And rushed out of the temple, being eager to do as follows.
“And went to the city of the house of Baal”: To pull it down; to some city near Samaria where was a temple of Baal. Or rather this may design the buildings about the temple of Baal, in which the priests and their families lived, and were so large that they might be called a city of themselves.
Jehu carried the deceit up to the very last moment. He even sacrificed for them on the altar. He then went out and told his men to come in and kill every person. It appears, that all of the bodies were cast out of the temple, after they had killed every one of them. They went to the house that had been erected for Baal in Samaria.
2 Kings 10:26 “And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them.”
“The images”: These were wooden idols distinct from the main image “pillar” of Baal (verse 27).
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”: Literally “place of dung.” This desecration of the site discouraged any rebuilding to the temple of Baal.
Verses 28-31: “Jehu” is commended and rewarded by “the Lord” for his carrying out of God’s sentence against “the house of Ahab.” However, Jehu’s zeal for God was halfhearted at best. Although he stamped out Baalism, he did so more that likely because “Baal” had been so distinctly associated with the previous Third Dynasty. He did not turn the nation back to God, but back to the state religion of Jeroboam I. He himself had no “heart” for “the law of the Lord.” Therefore, he is justly condemned by the later prophet Hosea (Hosea 1:4), for having used the command of God to mask his own lust for power. Jehu’s willingness to do anything to further his own ends and to sustain himself at any cost is reflected in the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III which depicts his submission to the Assyrian king.
2 Kings 10:28 “Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.”
“Destroyed Baal out of Israel”: Jehu rid the northern kingdom of royally sanctioned Baal worship. It was done, however, not from spiritual and godly motives, but because Jehu believed that Baalism was inextricably bound to the dynasty and influence of Ahab. By its extermination, he thought he would kill all the last vestiges of Ahab loyalists and incur the support of those in the land who worshiped the true God. Jonadab didn’t know of that motive, so he concurred with what Jehu did.
He not only burned the images of Baal, but he tore the buildings down, that had been dedicated to Baal. They did not move the broken walls of the houses that had been dedicated to Baal. They left them as a reminder of what happened to those who worship false gods. The worship of Baal stopped, and never was revived in 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 Beth-el, and that [were] in Dan.”
The sins of Jeroboam”: However, Jehu did continue to officially sanction other idolatry introduced into the northern kingdom by Jeroboam I (1 Kings 12:28-33).
The golden calves had been set up in two places of worship. They were mingled in with the worship of the LORD. They were put there to keep the people from going to Jerusalem to worship. Jehu allowed this to go on. It was not as bad as the worship of Baal, but was definitely a sin in the sight of the LORD. God had cursed this type of worship from the onset. While Jehu was house cleaning, he should have destroyed the two calves, but he did not. This is the very reason Jeroboam was destroyed.
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.”
By a prophet, he not being one himself; and this is generally supposed, by the Jews, to be Jonah the son of Amittai.
“Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes”: In rooting out the idolatry of Baal, which was right in the sight of God, and was materially a good work. Though it might not be done from a good principle, nor every step taken in doing it justifiable.
“And hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart”: That he had decreed within himself should be done, and had foretold by his prophets would be done, the doing of which was acceptable and well pleasing to him.
“Thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel”: As they did, namely, Jehoahaz, Joash, Jeroboam, and Zachariah, though the last reigned but six months, just enough to fulfil this promise.
Actually, Jehu had done what the young prophet had told him to do. Of course, the young prophet was just conveying a message from the LORD. The LORD was pleased with Jehu getting rid of the Baal worship and worshippers. His reward from God for his actions was a promise that four generations of his would 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.”
As to his moral conversation, he was not careful that it was according to the law of God, and what he did agreeable to it, it was not sincerely, and from the right principle.
“For he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin”: Which he would, if he had had a cordial respect to all the commandments of the law.
The blessings of God are promised to those who keep His commandments. Jehu had performed well, a job that the LORD had given him to do. He stopped, as if he had won the prize. He did not live the life that he had started. He fell into the sins of Jeroboam. The calf worship was something that was an abomination to the LORD.
Verses 32-36: Jehu’s reign was tumultuous. He came to power through conspiracy and murder and his legacy was bloody. Though he had been anointed by God and torn down the pillars of Baal, he did not completely walk in God’s ways, so the Lord “cut Israel short” and parts were given to Hazael.
2 Kings 10:32 “In those days the LORD began to cut Israel short: and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel;”
The year 841 B.C. was a pivotal point in history. Since both Joram of the northern kingdom and Ahaziah of the southern kingdom had been killed, there was a change of rulership in both kingdoms. Jehu began a new (fourth) dynasty in “Israel” that was to span four generations. Athaliah usurped the throne of Judah and held it for seven years (chapter 11). Shalmaneser III managed at last to break the back of the Syro-Israelite coalition in the same year. However, increasing pressures in the east kept him closer to home after this, and so “Hazael” began a severe and extensive affliction of Israel. It was to last all the days of Jehu and his son Jehoahaz (841-798 B.C.; compare 13:1-3).
The LORD would not bless them in battle, because of their unfaithfulness to Him in the calf worship. They had no special favors from the LORD. Hazael was from Syria. He was a continuous threat to 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.”
“From Jordan eastward”: Because Jehu failed to keep the Lord’s law wholeheartedly (verse 31), the Lord punished him by giving Israel’s land east of the Jordan River to Syria. This lost region was the homeland of the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half of Manasseh (Num. 32:1-42).
This is telling of some of the places, where Israel was attacked and did not fare well.
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?”
Of the preceding kings from the times of Jeroboam, in which their several acts were recorded, and his also.
This is that same book of records that is mentioned so much, here in the book of Kings.
2 Kings 10:35 “And Jehu slept with his fathers: and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his stead.”
Died as they did.
“And they buried him in Samaria”: Where Omri and Ahab, his predecessors, were buried (1 Kings 16:28).
“And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his stead”: Who reigned seventeen years (2 Kings 13:1).
Jehu was buried in the capital of Samaria. “Jehoahaz” means Jehovah has laid hold of. He would be an evil king, like his father.
2 Kings 10:36 “And the time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria [was] twenty and eight years.”
“Twenty and eight years”: 841-814 B.C.
Jehu’s reign of 28 years had been full of bloodshed. He pleased God in the destruction of Baal worship, but he did not follow the commandments of God.
2 Kings Chapter 10 Questions
1. How many sons of Ahab were in Samaria?
2. What was the capital city of Israel?
3. What was Jezreel?
4. In verse 2, Jehu encouraged them to do what?
5. Who did he suggest they put on the throne?
6. Why were they so afraid of Jehu?
7. What message did they send back to Jehu?
8. Who are they willing to be king?
9. What did Jehu tell the leaders to do, if they were truly on his side?
10. They put the heads in ____________.
11. What did Jehu do with their heads?
12. Who were killed, that were associated with Ahab?
13. Who were the priests mentioned in verse 11?
14. Who were the 42 Jehu met at the shearing house?
15. What happened to them?
16. Why were they killed?
17. Who was Jehonadab?
18. What was peculiar about the people of Rechab?
19. When Jehu found him to be a friend, what did he do?
20. Jehu told him to come with him, and see his _______ for the LORD.
21. Who had the LORD told to prophesy the destruction of Ahab’s descendants?
22. What lie did Jehu tell the people of Israel?
23. Why did he do it?
24. How did Jehu plot to get all of the Baal worshippers in one place?
25. What were the vestments?
26. Who did Jehu have kill the Baal worshippers?
27. What did he do, after he killed all of the Baal worshippers?
28. What did he not do, that disturbed the LORD?
29. How many generations would Jehu have descendants on the throne of Israel?
30. Who attacked Israel, and the LORD did not help them?
31. Who reigned in the place of Jehu at his death?
32. How long had Jehu reigned?
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