2 Kings Chapter 9
Verses 1-10: By the act of anointing, people or objects were dedicated to God and set apart for a consecrated role in His service. Unlike some other kings of Israel, “Jehu” was anointed by a prophet, signifying God’s approval of his ascent to the throne. He would be the one to “avenge … the blood of all the servants of the LORD” whom “Jezebel” had killed (2 Chron. 22:7).
Verses 1-2: The original commission to Elijah is thus finally carried out by Elisha’s students (1 King 19:16-17). For the girding up of the loins (see the note on 1 Kings 18:46).
2 Kings 9:1 “And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead:”
Who the Jews generally say was Jonah the son of Amittai.
“And said, gird up thy loins”:” His loose and long garments about his loins, for quicker dispatch in travelling.
“And take this box of oil in thine hand”: For a use after directed for.
“And go to Ramoth-gilead”: Where Joram had left his army with his captains, to keep the city from the Syrians.
Perhaps the reason that Elisha did not go, was because he might be recognized. This young man in training to be a prophet, would not be recognized as a prophet. It would be much safer for him to do this, than for Elisha. This was special anointing oil. Ramoth-gilead was in the territory of Gad. It was across the Jordan and had belonged to Syria, until the recent battle when Joram recovered it for Israel. Joram, we remember, had returned from Jezreel after being injured in that battle.
2 Kings 9:2 “And when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber;”
“Jehu”: The Lord had previously told Elijah that Jehu would become king over Israel and kill those involved in the worship of Baal (1 Kings 19:17). The fulfillment of the prophecy is recorded (from 9:1 – 10:31).
“Inner chamber”: A private room that could be closed off to the public. Elisha commissioned one of the younger prophets to anoint Jehu alone behind closed doors. The rite was to be a secret affair without Elisha present so that Jehoram would not suspect that a coup was coming.
Jehu was the son of Jehoshaphat. He was appointed by Elisha as king. Later he overthrew Joram (Jehoram), King Ahab’s son and successor, and established a dynasty that lasted five generations and 90 years (chapters 9, 10; 15:2). Jehu ruled Israel for 28 years (841-813 B.C.), but his corrupt leadership weakened the nation. He became known for his violence against all members of the “house of Ahab” as he consolidated his power. At Jehu’s command, Jezebel was thrown out of the palace window to her death (verse 33). Jehu ordered the death of 70 sons of Ahab (chapter 10). He also had Ahab’s advisers and close acquaintances murdered. Jehu continued his slaughter against the family of Ahaziah, king of Judah (10:12-14). Then he had all the Baal-worshipers killed (10:18-28). Although he proclaimed his zeal for the Lord (10:16), he followed the Lord incompletely (10:31). Jehu’s excessive violence led Hosea to denounce his bloodthirstiness (Hos. 1:4; 1 Kings 19:16; 2 Kings chapters 9 and 10).
The LORD had instructed Elijah to anoint Jehu. It seems that the task was passed down to Elisha, and now it is time to anoint him. It really does not matter who does the anointing. The main thing is, that it is the will of the LORD for him to be anointed. He was captain of the host of Israel at the time of his anointing. He was actually the grandson of Nimshi. This is not the same Jehoshaphat as the king in Judah. This one is the father of Jehu. This is not to be a public anointing. He is to take him to a private place and pour the anointing oil on his head.
2 Kings 9:3 “Then take the box of oil, and pour [it] on his head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not.”
“Anointed thee king over Israel”: The anointing with olive oil by a prophet of the Lord confirmed that God Himself had earlier chosen that man to be king (1 Sam. 10:1; 16:13). This action of anointing by a commissioned prophet indicated divine investiture with God’s sovereign power to Jehu.
“Flee, and tarry not”: The need for hast by the young prophet underscored the danger of the assignment. A prophet in the midst of Israel’s army camp would alert the pro-Jehoram elements to the possibility of the coup.
For anointing the head of a future “king” (see 1 Sam. 10:1-2).
This shows the danger he would be in. He must flee immediately after he anoints Jehu. He first pours the oil on Jehu, and then he proclaims him king.
2 Kings 9:4 “So the young man, [even] the young man the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead.”
It is repeated, that it might be observed that it was a young man that went, who was more fit for this service than Elisha, partly because of his age, and partly because he would be less known. As also his age is remarked, this being a bold and daring action in a young man to anoint a new king, as well as it was honorable; and moreover, he was not only one of the sons of the prophets, but was a prophet himself. Though young, and still a more fit person for such a service; though the Targum is, a young man, a disciple of the prophets.
The young man did exactly as he had been instructed by Elisha.
2 Kings 9:5 “And when he came, behold, the captains of the host [were] sitting; and he said, I have an errand to thee, O captain. And Jehu said, Unto which of all us? And he said, To thee, O captain.”
Either at a table, being at dinner, or at a council of war.
“And he said, I have an errand unto thee, O captain”: Looking and directing his speech to Jehu; or, “I have a word to thee”. Something to say to thee, intimating that he desired to speak to him alone.
“And Jehu said, unto which of all us?” Not perhaps at first thoroughly understanding who he meant; or however was willing to have it repeated and explained, that it might be manifest to the whole company that he was the intended.
“And he said, to thee, O captain”: And to him only.
We see from this, that Jehu was not the only captain of the hosts. Some believe that he was the leader of all the captains. There seemed to be no designation, except they were captains however. It appeared, the captains were having some sort of meeting. The young prophet looked directly at Jehu and called him captain. He then, told him he needed to see him privately.
2 Kings 9:6 “And he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the LORD, [even] over Israel.”
Into the inner chamber in it.
“And he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the Lord, even over Israel”: For though they were fallen into idolatry, and from the pure worship of God, yet the Lord had still a right unto them, and as yet he had not wrote a “Loammi” (Hosea 1:9), upon them. And there were many among them which had not bowed the knee to Baal.
Notice, “Thus saith the LORD God of Israel”. This leaves no doubt that this was the will of God being carried out by this young prophet. This is not an appointment by the people, or by the preceding king, but by the LORD.
2 Kings 9:7 “And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel.”
“Avenge the blood”: Jehu was to be the Lord’s avenger (Num. 35:12), for the murders of the Lord’s prophets (1 Kings 18:4), and of people like Naboth who served the Lord (1 Kings 21:1-16).
There were no descendants of Ahab to ever rule the house of Israel again. Not only was Jehu to kill the king, Joram or Jehoram, but all who might try to take his place as king from the house of Ahab. The time had now come for the vengeance of the LORD on Jezebel, as well. Ahab and Jezebel had been terrible leaders. They had brought in the worship of Baal and Astarte. They were a threat to all the prophets. They had really been a threat to all, who worshiped the One True God.
Verses 8-10: The announcement of Jehu repeats the prophetic threat of (1 Kings 21:21-23; compare 1 Kings 19:15-17).
2 Kings 9:8 “For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel:”
Be cut off by death, and that in a violent manner, not one should escape.
“And I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel”: Of these phrases (see 1 Kings 14:10; 21:21).
This just means that all of the males in the family of Ahab will be killed. The statement “whole house” indicates women and children too, will perish.
2 Kings 9:9 “And 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:”
“Like the house of Jeroboam … Baasha”: God would thoroughly annihilate Ahab’s line in the same way as Jeroboam’s dynasty and Baasha’s dynasty had previously ended violently (1 Kings 15:27-30; 16:8-13).
God had given Ahab and his family plenty of time to change. He even showed them who was truly God, with the fire that came from heaven on mount Carmel. They did not take heed. He is one of the worst kings Israel had, but, he was not quite as evil as Jezebel. God will wipe out this evil in Israel with the death of Ahab’s entire family. The same thing had happened to Jeroboam, and Baasha. They were all involved in the same type of sin.
2 Kings 9:10 “And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and [there shall be] none to bury [her]. And he opened the door, and fled.”
“Dogs shall eat”: Dogs were considered scavengers in the ancient Near East and they would devour the corpse of Jezebel.
“Jezreel”: Formerly the area of Naboth’s vineyard (1 Kings 21:1-16).
“None to bury her”: In Israel, the failure to be buried indicated disgrace (see note on 1 Kings 13:22).
We see a promise of the same thing in the following Scripture.
1 Kings 21:23 “And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.”
When a person was not buried at death, this was another humiliation for them.
2 Kings 9:11 “Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and [one] said unto him, [Is] all well? wherefore came this mad [fellow] to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication.”
“This mad fellow” is derogatory. The soldier demonstrated his disdain for Elisha’s servant (verses 1, 4), by referring to him as crazy or demented. (In Jer. 29:26 and Hosea 9:7), this same term is used as a derogatory term for prophets whose messages were considered crazy. Jehu’s response referred to the prophet’s “babble,” not his behavior.
The world often misunderstands God’s servants as insane (Paul was accused of this in Acts 17:18), and considers them babblers. Still, their obedience is paramount (Lev. 22:31; John 14:15).
Jehu comes back into the area, where the captains were gathered. They inquired if all was well. They possibly thought something had happened to the king. The young man was not dressed like the young man of the day and that was why they called him a mad man. He was possibly, dressed in a prophet’s garment. Jehu thinks perhaps, they knew the young man’s mission. It appears, that they might have been already wondering what would happen, if the king died.
2 Kings 9:12 “And they said, [It is] false; tell us now. And he said, Thus and thus spake he to me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel.”
“Thus and thus”: This refers to the repeating of the prophecy (in verses 4-10).
They tell Jehu, they had not sent the young man. Jehu was reluctant to tell them what he said, but does, when they continued to ask him. He admitted to them that the young man brought him the message, that the LORD had anointed him king of Israel.
2 Kings 9:13 “Then they hasted, and took every man his garment, and put [it] under him on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king.”
“Blew with trumpets”: Having laid their cloaks under Jehu’s feet with the steps of the house serving as a makeshift throne, the officers blew trumpets acclaiming Jehu as king. A trumpet often heralded such a public proclamation and assembly, including the appointment of a king (11:14; 2 Sam. 15:10; 1 Kings 1:34).
Laying down garments and blowing “trumpets” were ways of showing homage to a king (1 Kings 1:34; Matt. 21:8).
These captains seemed to favor this idea. It seems to me, the captains were relieved. They immediately recognized Jehu was king by placing their garments for him to walk on. The blowing of the trumpets was a proclamation that he was king.
2 Kings 9:14 “So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramoth-gilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria.”
He and the captains with him entered into a confederacy to depose Joram, and set him up as king.
“Now Joram had kept Ramoth-gilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria”: Having taken it, he left his army in it, under the command of his captains, of which Jehu was the chief, to keep it from the king of Syria. Which gave Jehu a fairer opportunity, having the army at his command, and at a distance from Joram, of forming a conspiracy against him.
Just the fact that the king was still living, when the captains declared Jehu king, made it a conspiracy. At Ramoth-gilead, the sight of the battle, Joram won and the city was kept by Joram. It was, now, a place of defense against Syria.
2 Kings 9:15 “But king Joram was returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) And Jehu said, If it be your minds, [then] let none go forth [nor] escape out of the city to go to tell [it] in Jezreel.”
Let none go forth … tell it in Jezreel”: For Jehu to succeed in his revolt and to avoid a civil conflict, it was important to take Joram totally by surprise. Therefore, Jehu ordered the city of Ramoth-gilead where he had been anointed (verses 2-3) to be sealed lest someone loyal to Joram escape and notify the king.
If these captains had really declared Jehu king, along with the LORD having him anointed king, then the news must not get back to Joram at this time. The captains must keep this among themselves, until this was established. It was very important for it to be a secret at this time. If Joram found out, he would declare war against them, and they would be greatly outnumbered. They must go at this systematically.
2 Kings 9:16 “So Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to Jezreel; for Joram lay there. And Ahaziah king of Judah was come down to see Joram.”
In great pomp and majesty as a king.
“And went to Jezreel”: Set forward on a march thither with his captains, and part of his army at least, from Ramoth-gilead; which, according to Bunting, was twenty four miles.
“For Joram lay there”: To be cured of his wounds, as before observed.
“And Ahaziah king of Judah was come down to see Joram” (see 2 Kings 8:29).
“To Jezreel”: From Ramoth-gilead, Jezreel was straight west across the Jordan, north of Mt. Gilboa.
We see that Jehu went directly to Jezreel, where the king was. It appears, that he had taken a company of skilled men with him. He wanted to arrive before any news leaked to the king that he had been anointed king himself. The king of Judah, Ahaziah, was there visiting Joram.
2 Kings 9:17 “And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Take a horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, [Is it] peace?”
Who could see afar off when an enemy was coming, and his business was to give notice of it. And especially he was now on his watch tower, because the king was there, and this was necessary for his safety.
“And he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company”: A troop of soldiers, though he did not know who they were, and to whom they belonged, whether they were Syrians or Israelites; which was reported to the king.
“And Joram said, take a horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, is it peace?” He might fear some ill had befallen his army at Ramoth-gilead, and the Syrians had got the advantage of them. Or they had made an irruption into his country, and were coming to attack him at Jezreel; or there was an insurrection among his own people.
This watchman had been set here, to warn the king of anything that might be a problem. The scout that was to be sent out was to determine whether these people were enemies, or friends. Joram was not suspecting, that someone from his own country would be a problem to him.
2 Kings 9:18 “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.”
Are things well in the army, or any disturbance in the kingdom? Are you come as friends or enemies?
“And Jehu said, what hast thou to do with peace?” or to ask such a question.
“Turn thee behind me”: Which he was obliged to do, Jehu having such a company of soldiers with him. And this he did, that he might carry no tidings to Joram that he might not know as yet who he and his company were.
“And the watchman told, saying, the messenger came to them, but he cometh not again”: Of this he sent word to the king what he had observed.
This is just another way of saying that he would not tell the messenger what his business was. He did tell him not to go back to Jezreel, but just keep on going away from the city. The scout realized there was something not just right here, and he went on behind Jehu. He did not go back to the city. The watchman, who had reported this to Joram, told him about this latest event.
2 Kings 9:19 “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.”
The same as the first messenger did, and had the same answer, and was bid to do the same as in the preceding verse.
2 Kings 9:20 “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.”
“Furiously” is derived from the same root as madman (9:11), and used as an exaggeration, like the phrase “He drives like a madmen.”
The second man sent out to find out if this visit was peaceful or not, did the same thing as the first. He just kept going, instead of taking back a word to Joram. The chariot of Jehu was getting closer now, and the watchman thought he recognized Jehu. It appears that Jehu had been a very aggressive captain, because the watchman recognized him by the speed of his chariot.
Verses 21-26: Ahab earned his death sentence by unjustly acquiring Naboth’s vineyard (1 Kings 21:17-24). “Naboth” and “his sons” were killed, preventing a trace back to the property Ahab wanted. God judged leaders like Joram, who persisted in the sins of their parents (Ezek. 18:1-32). With the Lord’s help, anyone can break a generational cycle, but it is especially important for leaders to do so.
2 Kings 9:21 “And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram 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.”
“Naboth the Jezreelite”: Providentially, the kings of Israel and Judah met Jehu at the very place where Ahab and Jezebel had Naboth killed (1 Kings 21:1-16). The alarmed king, aware by then of impending disaster, summoned his forces and, accompanied by Ahaziah, met Jehu as Jehu’s men ascended the slope up to the city from the northern side.
The king of Judah and the king of Israel went out to meet the newly anointed king of Israel. They probably, were not expecting a fight, but were just anxious to hear of the reason for the hurry. The portion of Naboth was very near the town. They were just outside the walls of the city. This had to be, because the LORD wanted them to die where they had committed the sins. All of this, of course, was God’s plans.
2 Kings 9:22 “And it came to pass, when Joram 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?”
“What peace”: Joram wished to know if Jehu’s coming meant peace, apparently unsure of Jehu’s rebellious plans. Jehu replied that there could be no true peace in Israel because of Jezebel’s influence. “Harlotries,” a common biblical metaphor for idolatry, and “witchcrafts”, i.e., seeking information from demonic forces, described the nature of Jezebel’s influence. Idolatry had lured Israel into demonic practices.
Jehu, we must remember, was doing exactly what the LORD had told him to do through the prophet. It was the LORD that wanted the house of Ahab destroyed. It appears, Joram realized before he got to Jehu that something was wrong, and called out to see if there was peace between them. The answer that Jehu gave was as if he was saying that the vengeance of the LORD has come on the house of Ahab, and especially on Jezebel. The whoredoms, spoken of here, was the harlotry in the church. She had men and women prostitutes that worked for the church. She was a very evil woman.
2 Kings 9:23 “And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, [There is] treachery, O Ahaziah.”
“Joram turned his hands” on the reins. He had not anticipated Jehu’s “treachery” and so, having driven the chariot himself, he turned it around to make his escape.
“Turning the hands” meant turning the chariot around, and going as fast as they could back to Jezreel. We must remember, that Ahaziah had connections to Jezebel and Ahab, as well. Joram shouted and warned Ahaziah.
2 Kings 9:24 “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.”
To give the arrow all the force he could.
“And smote Jehoram between his arms”: That is, between his shoulders, his back being turned to him, and the chariot an open one.
“And the arrow went out at his heart”: Quite through him.
“And he sunk down in his chariot”: And died immediately.
It appears, the arrow went completely through the body of Joram. He was shot in the heart. This arrow was a fatal strike. He fell into the bottom of the chariot.
2 Kings 9:25 “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;”
“Bidkar his captain”: “Captain” originally referred to the third man in a chariot, besides the driver and a warrior; it was his task to hold the shield and arms of the warrior. The term was eventually applied to a high-ranking official (7:2). Jehu and Bidkar either rode together in one chariot as part of the chariot team or were in different chariots behind Ahab when Elijah gave his prediction to Ahab recorded (in 1 Kings 21:17-24).
“The LORD laid this burden upon him”: The term “oracle” referred to a prophetic oracle, the prophetic utterance of Elijah recorded (in 1 Kings 21:19; 20-24). Jehu viewed himself as God’s avenging agent fulfilling Elijah’s prediction.
It seems, that Jehu chose Bidkar to carry him to the very spot, where the LORD said he was to be judged.
1 Kings 21:19 “And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.”
1 Kings 21:29 “Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: [but] in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house.”
2 Kings 9:26 “Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of 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.”
“Naboth … sons”: Although their deaths are not expressly mentioned in the record concerning Naboth, they are plainly implied in the confiscation of his property (see 1 Kings 21:16).
Elisha’s prophetic sentence at last found it final fulfillment (see the note on 1 Kings 21:19).
The Word of the LORD is absolute. Whatever He says, He will do.
Verses 27-28: According to (2 Chron. 22:9), “Ahaziah” had managed to make it as far as Samaria, where he was at last apprehended by Jehu’s men. Apparently, he was taken from there to “Megiddo,” where he was executed. His body was returned to “Jerusalem” for interment in the royal tombs.
2 Kings 9:27 “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.”
“Ahaziah the king of Judah … died”: Jehu and his men pursued Ahaziah and wounded him at the ascent of Gur by Ibleam. According to (2 Chron. 22:9), Ahaziah reached Samaria, where he hid for a while. Ahaziah then fled north to Megiddo, about 12 miles north of Samaria, where he died.
The LORD in a sense, had told him to kill Ahaziah as well, because he was descended from Ahab. Ahaziah saw what happened to Joram and turned his own chariot toward his home. It is not said who killed him, only that he was killed under orders of Jehu.
2 Kings 9:28 “And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulcher with his fathers in the city of David.”
With the leave of Jehu, because he was the grandson of Jehoshaphat, a sincere worshipper of God (2 Chron. 22:9).
“And buried him in his sepulcher with his fathers in the city of David”: (see 1 Kings 22:50).
Ahaziah reigned for a very short period of time (one year). He had already prepared himself a sepulcher to be buried in. Jehu did not try to stop his servants from carrying him to Jerusalem to be buried. Jehu had no quarrel with the servants of Ahaziah. The servants carried him home for burial.
2 Kings 9:29 “And in the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah.”
“Eleventh year” (ca. 841 B.C. Compare 8:25), “twelfth year.”
(In 8:25), the non-accession-year system of dating was used, so that Joram’s accession year was counted as the first year of his reign (see note on 12:6). Here, the accession-year dating system was used, where Joram’s ascension year and his second year were counted as the first year of his reign.
This is stressing the short period of time he reigned.
Verses 30-31: “Jezebel” died in queenly fashion. She made herself up so as to be in proper appearance and cast Jehu’s words relative to “peace” (verse 22), back in his teeth, calling him “Zimri”, a murderous traitor (1 Kings 16:10-11).
2 Kings 9:30 “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.”
“Painted her face”: The painting of the eyelids with a black powder mixed with oil and applied with a brush, darkened them to give an enlarged effect. Jezebel’s appearance at the window gave the air of a royal audience to awe Jehu.
“For “Jezebel” to “put paint” (makeup) “on her eyes” and adorn her hair reveals her pride. She either wanted to look and die like a queen or like a prostitute, identifying herself with the fertility cult of Asherah (Astarte), one of Baal’s wives.
2 Kings 9:31 “And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, [Had] Zimri peace, who slew his master?”
Jezebel insulted Jehu by calling him “Zimri,” after the traitor who reigned as king only seven days (1 Kings 16:9-10, 15). Her taunts suggested that Jehu’s reign, like Zimri’s, would be short-lived.
She was calling Jehu, Zimri. Perhaps, she meant by this, that he was like Zimri. Zimri was a captain of hosts, like Jehu. He had taken the kingdom from Elah, but he only lasted 7 days. She could have been implying that Jehu would last just 7 days, because he killed his master.
2 Kings 9:32 “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.”
“Who is on my side”: Some of Jezebel’s own officials (eunuchs), threw her out of a second-story window, after which Jehu drove his horse and chariots over her body.
The LORD had commanded Jehu to destroy Jezebel. All of her beauty would have no effect on eunuchs. She was probably as wicked to her slaves as she was to everyone else. They would probably be happy to see her dead. The eunuchs were on Jehu’s side.
Verses 33-37: Elijah prophesied Jezebel’s fate (in 1 Kings 21:23-29). She was the epitome of corruption and became a symbol of immorality and idolatry (Rev. 2:20). As a sign of how severely she had offended the Lord, her body was left to scavengers rather than being properly buried.
2 Kings 9:33 “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 trode her under foot.”
Out of the window upon the ground.
“So they threw her down”: Took her up, and cast her headlong, as they were bid.
“And some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall”: Of the palace where she was.
“And on the horses”: Which drew the chariot of Jehu.
“And he trod her underfoot”: With his horses; according to Kimchi, her sentence, and so her death, was stoning, as a retaliation of Naboth. For stoning was done two ways, both by casting down persons on stones, and by casting stones upon them (see Acts 7:58).
It appears, that Jehu does not just want her killed, but humiliated in the process. This had been the evillest woman in all history. Her death must fit the crime. Even the treading of the horses over her, was to show Jehu’s total disgust of her.
2 Kings 9:34 “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.”
“A king’s daughter”: Jehu recognized Jezebel’s royalty, while denying that she deserved to be the queen of Israel.
Her death did not curb his appetite. It was appropriate for Jezebel to be called (cursed woman). She had been the daughter of a neighboring king, as well as being queen of Israel. He would have her buried out of respect for the office, not out of respect for her.
2 Kings 9:35 “And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of [her] hands.”
Leaving the mangled body on the bare earth, Jehu went to the banquet. It was, no doubt, important that he should at once show himself to the court as king. In calling Jezebel “this cursed one,” Jehu means to remind his hearers that the curse of God had been pronounced upon her by Elijah (2 Kings 9:36), and so to justify his own conduct.
The servants of Jehu, according to his orders and instructions, went to bury her.
“But they found no more of her than the scull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands”: The flesh, and even all the rest of her bones, being devoured by dogs, so that there was scarce anything of her to be buried (as in 2 Kings 9:10).
She had been torn apart by the chariot, when it went over her, but the dogs had eaten the edible parts of her. This was all done very publicly, to show what the LORD thought of her.
Verses 36-37: The words of Elijah’s prophecy were literally fulfilled (1 Kings 21:23).
2 Kings 9:36 “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:”
“This is the word of the LORD”: Where and how Jezebel died fulfilled Elijah’s prophetic oracle (1 Kings 21:23).
The following is the Scripture which prophesied that very thing.
1 Kings 21:23 “And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.”
2 Kings 9:37 “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.”
For upon this spot her carcass fell when thrown out of the window of the king’s palace, and here it was left; for the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which was in the portion of Jezreel, was next to the palace (1 Kings 21:1). There seems to be some allusion to her name Jezebel, which signifies “where is dung?”
“So that they shall not say, this is Jezebel”: There being nothing left of her to be seen or pointed to, nor any grave nor monument over it on which was such an inscription, here lies Jezebel; or that might lead posterity to say, this is Jezebel’s grave. Now though the words of this verse are not recorded elsewhere, as the words of the Lord, by Elijah. Yet as Jehu was present when they were spoken, and within the hearing of them, he now remembered them, and could repeat them. These circumstances bringing them fresh to his mind.
There would be no tomb, where people could go and raise a monument to her. She was not to be glorified in death, since she lived such a horrible life.
2 Kings Chapter 9 Questions
1. Who did Elisha call to run an errand for him?
2. Why did Elisha not go himself?
3. Where was Ramoth-gilead?
4. Who was he to go to see?
5. Who had first been told to anoint Jehu?
6. Jehu was actually the ____________ of Nimshi.
7. He was to be anointed ________ of Israel.
8. What was the young man to do, as soon as he has delivered the message to Jehu?
9. What did the young man call Jehu, in verse 5?
10. What did the young man do, when he had Jehu alone?
11. What was Jehu to do, when he took over as king?
12. Who had Jezebel been a threat to?
13. What did Ahab, Jeroboam, and Baasha have in common?
14. What will happen to Jezebel?
15. What did the other captains ask Jehu?
16. Why did they call the young prophet a mad man?
17. What did Jehu tell the captains?
18. What did they do, that showed they accepted him as king?
19. Why did they blow the trumpet?
20. What made this a conspiracy?
21. Where had Jehoram gone, to get over his wounds in battle?
22. Why is it important for the news to be withheld now?
23. How did Jehu get to Jezreel?
24. Who is in Jezreel visiting Joram?
25. Who told Joram, that Jehu was coming?
26. What does he do, to see if they are friendly or not?
27. Who went out to meet Jehu?
28. How was Joram killed?
29. Where did they carry Ahaziah’s body, after he was killed?
30. How long had Ahaziah reigned in Judah?
31. What does Jezebel do, when she sees Jehu coming?
32. Why does she call him Zimri?
33. What happens to Jezebel?