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Go to Bible: 2 Kings 10
“70 sons.” Some of these would be grandchildren, but still, Ahab had quite a harem.
“Samaria.” Samaria was the capital city of the country.(top)
“lord.” This is a grammatical plural, literally, “lords,” but made plural for emphasis (see also 2 Kings 10:3, 6).(top)
“lord.” Literally, “lords” (2x), see commentary on 2 Kings 10:2.(top)
|2Ki 10:4||- (top)|
“the one who was Over the House.” “Over the House” was the title of the palace administrator (see commentary on 1 Kings 4:6).
“the one who was Over the City.” That is, the mayor or governor of the city. This title would be similar to “Over the House.”
“and the guardians of the children.” That is, those men and women who were charged with raising and teaching the royal children.(top)
“lord’s.” This is a grammatical plural, “lords’ sons.” See commentary on 2 Kings 10:2.
“and come to me at Jezreel by tomorrow.” Jehu was forcing the leaders in Samaria to act quickly. The journey from Samaria to Jezreel was some 20 miles, so to fulfill the terms of Jehu the leaders at Samaria did not have time to develop a plan for any kind of counterattack.
“prominent.” The Hebrew is “great,” which in this context is “great” in the sense of prominent.(top)
|2Ki 10:7||- (top)|
|2Ki 10:8||- (top)|
|2Ki 10:9||- (top)|
“For Yahweh has done what he spoke by his servant Elijah.” This prophecy was given by Elijah in 1 Kings 21:21-22.(top)
“Jehu struck down all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel.” It is unclear whether Jehu killed all the male and female descendants of Ahab or just the men. He killed off Ahab's descendants and close associates in Jezreel (2 Kings 10:11), then went to Samaria and killed off Ahab’s descendants there (2 Kings 10:17). But the text never specifically states if he killed both the men and women, and sometimes the women were left alive. The prophecy was that Ahab’s dynasty would be destroyed like the dynasty of Jeroboam and the dynasty of Baasha (cp. 2 Kings 9:9). When Baasha wiped out the dynasty of Jeroboam the indication is that he killed off all the men and the women who were descended from Jeroboam (1 Kings 15:29), but when Zimri wiped out the dynasty of Baasha, the indication of the text is that he only killed off the men (1 Kings 16:11). So it is unclear whether Jehu killed both the men and women of Ahab, or just the men. [For information on the dynasties of Jeroboam I, Baasha, and Omri, see commentary on 2 Kings 9:9].(top)
“Beth-eked of the Shepherds.” The versions are divided as to whether this is a place name, “Beth-eked,” or a description, more like, “when he was at the place that the shepherds tie the sheep [for shearing]….” The word “eked” refers to binding or tying up, and the sheep were tied up when they were sheared so they would not wiggle and get hurt. “The weight of evidence seems to be that “Beth-eked” was the name of a place, but it would have gotten the name because it was the place that the sheep were shorn.(top)
“brothers.” In this context, “brothers” can mean, and probably does mean, relatives, not actual brothers.
“pay our respects.” The Hebrew is an idiom, literally, “seek the peace.” In this context it means to pay one’s respects or in that context, to visit with. These men were relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah, but because of the close ties between Judah and Israel at this time they were going north to visit the relatives of King Joram of Israel and Jezebel, the queen mother.
“queen mother.” The Hebrew word translated “queen mother” is gebereth (#01404 גְּבֶרֶת), and in this context the “queen mother” is the mother of the king (BDB Hebrew and English lexicon). The queen mother was the most powerful woman in the kingdom, much more powerful than any of the wives of the king, who often did not have much real power at all. That relatives of King Ahaziah, king of Judah, were going to see Jezebel the queen mother shows how much power and influence Jezebel had in the kingdom of Israel.(top)
“42 men.” It is no accident that the specific number 42 is given, and this is the same number as the number of the young men who accosted Elisha and were attacked by bears (2 Kings 2:24). The numbers loosely connect Elijah and Elisha with the fulfillment of the prophecy of the destruction of the house of Ahab, which was tied by marriage to the house of Ahaziah. King Ahaziah of Judah had married Athaliah, who was a granddaughter of Omri and daughter of Ahab, and thus some of his sons were also of the house of Ahab, which was foretold to be destroyed (cp. 2 Kings 9:9).(top)
|2Ki 10:15||- (top)|
“they had him ride.” The Hebrew text reads “they.” The Septuagint, Syriac, and Aramaic targum reads “he,” but that may not be original. There were other people in Jehu’s party that would have wanted Jehonadab to ride with Jehu.(top)
“all who remained to Ahab.” The word of Yahweh is recorded in 1 Kings 21:21.(top)
|2Ki 10:18||- (top)|
|2Ki 10:19||- (top)|
|2Ki 10:20||- (top)|
“house of Baal.” That is, the temple of Baal, just as the “house of Yahweh” is the temple of Yahweh. This temple, as well as Ahab’s palace, sat on Samaria’s acropolis. Herod later built a temple to Augustus more or less over it. When the palace/temple area was excavated in early 1900s, there was a building discovered that could well be the temple of Baal, but the practice was to fill in each area or strip excavated with the next strip, so the remnants of the Israelite palace/temple are now covered up again.
“the worshipers of Baal.” The Hebrew is technically “those serving Baal,” but the word has the meaning of to worship by serving.
“not a man left.” The culture would be that this worship would be men only, not a mixture of men and women.(top)
“And he said to the one who was over the wardrobe.” It is likely that “Over the Wardrobe” is a title and thus should be translated “Over the Wardrobe,” in the same way that the administrator who was over the king’s palace was called “Over the House” (see commentary on 1 Kings 4:6). Everett Fox (The Schocken Bible) translates the phrase “Over the Wardrobe.”(top)
“went.” The subject is compound, Jehu and Jehonadab, but the verb is singular (see commentary on Gen. 48:16).
“Then he said.” This refers to Jehu, who was in charge.(top)
|2Ki 10:24||- (top)|
“the mouth of the sword.” Used to show great destruction, as if the sword was eating its victims (see commentary on Josh. 6:21).
“cast them aside.” The guards did not take time to deal with the dead bodies other than to get them out of the way.
“went into the interior of the house.” The Hebrew word translated “interior” is the usual word for “city.” Although there is no other place that “city” is used for the interior of the temple, it is logical that it was. Just as the city was a place of life and business, the inner part of the temple was where much of the life of the Temple occurred. For example, in the next verse, 2 Kings 10:26, it seems clear that there were standing stones in the inner part of the temple(top)
“standing-stones.” Standing-stones were set up for various reasons, some of them being godly memorials, but here the context is pagan worship. Standing-stones would often be set up as part of the worship of pagan gods, and God has no tolerance for idols. They are harmful in many different ways and are to be destroyed. Although usually the standing-stones were made of stone, this may be a case when the Hebrew word is used but the “standing-stone” was a pillar made of wood. Or, it is quite possible that the standing-stones were burned. Often the most effective way of destroying a standing-stone was to get it very hot in a fire and then pour cold water on it so that it would crack in pieces. [For more on standing-stones, see commentary on Gen. 28:18. For more on idols being harmful, see commentary on Deuteronomy 7:5].
“the house of Baal.” The temple of Baal.(top)
“demolished the standing-stone.” Following the decree of Deuteronomy 7:5.
“the house of Baal.” That is, the temple of Baal.(top)
|2Ki 10:28||- (top)|
“the golden calves which were in Bethel and in Dan.” It seems that Jehu and others somehow connected the worship of Yahweh with the worship of the golden calves. Thus their worship was misplaced. Christians do the same kind of thing today when they worship traditional things that are not God or the Lord Jesus, for example, Mary.(top)
“your sons will sit.” The word “sons” here refers to descendants, not direct sons of Jeroboam. The four kings that followed Jehu were Jehoahaz (2 Kings 13:1), Jehoash (2 Kings 13:10), Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:23), and Zachariah (2 Kings 15:8). Zachariah was killed by Shallum, who was not a descendent of Jehu and who was killed after only reigning one month (2 Kings 15:13-15). It is noteworthy that none of the four descendants of Jehu were said to worship Baal, whom Jehu destroyed from Israel, yet all of them were said to do evil in the eyes of God and follow the sins of Jeroboam I, just like Jehu did (2 Kings 10:31).(top)
|2Ki 10:31||- (top)|
“Hazael.” Hazael was the king of Syria. That Hazael struck Israel is the context of the Tel Dan inscription, an inscription found at Tel Dan by archaeologists as they excavated Dan, on which Hazael boasts victories over Israel. Syria was dominant over Israel for the next 40 years. Unlike Hazael of Damascus, Jehu had submitted to the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III (c. 841 BC). However, within a matter of a few years, Shalmaneser III became preoccupied with matters in the east of Assyria and was unable to keep pressure on Damascus. That meant that Hazael of Syaria was free to harass Israel once again. Since he viewed Jehu as an Assyrian ally, Hazael conquered all of Israel’s territory in Transjordan, including Bashan, Gilead and the Plateau as far as the city of Aroer on the edge of the Arnon River (2 Kings 10:32-33). Thus, the Israelite tribes of Manasseh, Reuben and Gad in Transjordan came under Syrian occupation. While the Book of Kings portrays Hazael as an instrument of Yahweh for disciplining Israel, the prophet Amos later contended that the Syrian kings were overly-cruel in their conquests of Transjordan: “This is what Yahweh says: For three transgressions of Damascus, yes, for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron” (Amos 1:3).(top)
|2Ki 10:33||- (top)|
“mighty acts.” The Hebrew just reads “might,” but it is a metonymy for the things Jehu did with his might, his “mighty acts.”(top)
“they buried him in Samaria.” There have been some chambers found beneath the Israelite palace in Samaria (cp. BAR, #33-4 Norma Franklin, “The Lost Tombs of the Israelite Kings.” P. 26-35).(top)
|2Ki 10:36||- (top)|