2 Kings 10:1
And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought up Ahab's children, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
X.

JEHU MASSACRES THE FAMILY OF AHAB, THE KINSMEN OF AHAZIAH, AND BAAL-WORSHIPPERS.

(1) Ahab had seventy sons.—His posterity in general are meant. Ahab had been dead about fourteen years (2Kings 3:1; 1Kings 22:51), and had had two successors on the throne. The name Ahab seems to be used here as equivalent to the house of Ahab. Many of the number might be strictly sons of Ahab, as he no doubt had a considerable harem.

Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria.—Jehu was crafty as well as fierce. He could not venture to the capital without first sounding the inclinations of the nobles of the city.

Unto the rulers of Jezreel.—“Jezreel” is an ancient error. The LXX. has “unto the rulers of Samaria.” So Josephus. Thenius accordingly suggests that the original reading was, “and sent from Jezreel to the princes of Samaria.” The Vulg. gives “ad optimates civitatis,” which seems preferable. Before “the elders” we must restore “and unto” with some MSS., the LXX., Syriac, and Vulg. The original text would then run: “and sent to the princes of the city and unto the elders,” &c. Reuss, on the other hand, reads “Israel” for “Jezreel.”

Them that brought up Ahab’s children.—Literally, them who brought up Ahab (i.e., the house of Ahab). The word occurs in Numbers 11:12; Isaiah 49:23 (“nursing father”). The nobles entrusted with this charge would be responsible for the good behaviour of their wards. Ahab may have dreaded the evils of an education in the harem, and possible disputes about the succession.

2 Kings 10:1. Ahab had seventy sons — Grandsons are probably comprehended here under the name of sons, as is usual in the Scriptures: though, by several wives, he might have as many sons as Gideon had. These sons or grandsons were now in Samaria, either because they had been bred up there, that being the chief city of the kingdom; or because they had fled thither, upon receiving tidings of the slaughter of Joram; or had been conveyed thither, from different parts, by their friends, as to the strongest place. Here, as appears probable from Jehu’s message, they intended to defend themselves and Ahab’s children, and to set up one as king in Joram’s stead. Jehu wrote letters unto the rulers of Jezreel — Hebrew, the princes of Jezreel, that is, the great persons and officers of the court, which then was, and for some time had been, at Jezreel. These, it seems, had either fled to Samaria upon the news of Jehu’s actions and successes, or had been sent thither by Joram with his sons, to take care of them there. To the elders — Termed such from their age, or rather from their office, being the magistrates or senators of Samaria. And to them that brought up Ahab’s children — That had a more particular care of the several children under the inspection of the princes and elders here mentioned.10:1-14 In the most awful events, though attended by the basest crimes of man, the truth and justice of God are to be noticed; and he never did nor can command any thing unjust or unreasonable. Jehu destroyed all that remained of the house of Ahab; all who had been partners in his wickedness. When we think upon the sufferings and miseries of mankind, when we look forward to the resurrection and last judgment, and think upon the vast number of the wicked waiting their awful sentence of everlasting fire; when the whole sum of death and misery has been considered, the solemn question occurs, Who slew all these? The answer is, SIN. Shall we then harbour sin in our bosoms, and seek for happiness from that which is the cause of all misery?Seventy sons - i. e., descendants; there were included among them children of Jehoram (2 Kings 10:2-3, etc.). CHAPTER 10

2Ki 10:1-17. Jehu Causes Seventy of Ahab's Children to Be Beheaded.

1-4. Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria—As it appears (2Ki 10:13), that grandsons are included it is probable that this number comprehended the whole posterity of Ahab. Their being all assembled in that capital might arise from their being left there on the king's departure for Ramoth-gilead, or from their taking refuge in some of the strongholds of that city on the news of Jehu's conspiracy. It may be inferred from the tenor of Jehu's letters that their first intention was to select the fittest of the royal family and set him up as king. Perhaps this challenge of Jehu was designed as a stroke of policy on his part to elicit their views, and to find out whether they were inclined to be pacific or hostile. The bold character of the man, and the rapid success of his conspiracy, terrified the civic authorities of Samaria and Jezreel into submission.Jehu by his letters causeth seventy of Ahab’s sons to be slain: the fact is excused by Elijah’s prophecy, 2 Kings 10:1-11. Also forty-two of king Ahaziah’s brethren, 2 Kings 10:12-14. By subtlety he slayeth all the priests and prophets of Ahab; breaketh down his images and temple, 2 Kings 10:18-28. He followeth the sin of Jeroboam, 2 Kings 10:29-31. Hazael oppresseth Israel: Jehoahaz suceeedeth Jehu, 2 Kings 10:32-36.

Ahab had seventy sons; either, first, properly sons by several wives; or rather, secondly, grandsons are comprehended, who are oft called sons, and grandfathers fathers, in Scripture. In Samaria; either because they were bred up there, that being the chief city of the kingdom; or because upon the tidings of Joram’s slaughter they fled thither, or were by their friends conveyed from several parts thither, as to the strongest place; in which it may seem by Jehu’s message they intended to defend themselves and Ahab’s children, and to set up one as king in Joram’s stead; or rather, because they were left there by Joram when he went to Ramoth-gilead, that if the Syrians had prevailed against him, they might have safety in that very strong and great city, and he by their means succour from it.

Unto the rulers of Jezreel, Heb. the princes of Jezreel, i.e. the great persons and officers of the court, which then was and had been for some time at Jezreel, who either had fled thither with Ahab’s sons, upon the news of Jehu’s actions and successes; or rather, had been sent by Joram with his sons to Samaria, to take care of them there.

To the elders; either by age, or rather by office; the rulers or senators of Samaria.

To them that brought up Ahab’s children; that had a more particular care of the several children under the inspection of the princes or rulers here mentioned.

And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria,.... These might not be all his immediate sons, but some of them his grandsons, as such are sometimes called in Scripture:

and Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel; who fled thither, perhaps on Jehu's coming to Jezreel, having slain Joram, being the metropolis of the kingdom, to consult about a successor, or how to oppose Jehu, and to frustrate his designs: but the Septuagint version is, "to the rulers of Samaria", which seems most likely to be the true reading:

to the elders; the civil magistrates of the city of Samaria:

and to them that brought up Ahab's children: who had the care of their education; who either always dwelt at Samaria, being the royal city, or were sent with their charge thither, when Joram went to Ramothgilead, for safety, supposing he should be worsted by the Syrians; or they fled thither with them upon the death of Joram:

saying; as follows.

And Ahab had seventy {a} 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,

(a) The Scripture calls them sons who are either children or nephews.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Ch. 2 Kings 10:1-11. Jehu destroys the whole family of Ahab (Not in Chronicles)

1. And [R.V. Now] Ahab had seventy sons] The conjunction is the usual copulative, but it is somewhat in the style of O.T. translation to commence a new section of the narrative with ‘Now’.

in Samaria] It would seem that the name here is for the whole district, as some of those slain appear to have been in Jezreel (see verse 11). But in verse 2 we have an allusion to a fenced city as though the city of Samaria were specially intended.

And Jehu wrote letters] Josephus (Ant. IX. 6. 5) says ‘two letters, one to the bringers up of the children, the other to the authorities of Samaria’.

sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel] There is a difficulty here. We cannot see why the rulers of Jezreel should be in Samaria, or why the great men in Israel should have been named ‘rulers of Jezreel’. Hence some have suggested that for ‘Jezreel’ we should read ‘Israel’. The LXX. says ‘unto the rulers of Samaria’, and with this agrees Josephus. But it is very clumsy to say ‘he sent to Samaria unto the rulers of Samaria’. Thenius suggests that the original was ‘he sent from Jezreel to the rulers of Samaria’ which seems much the easiest solution.

It was extremely politic of Jehu to send a letter to Samaria rather than to go there before he had gathered a force around him. He had come from Ramoth-gilead with a very small company, and the fame of what he had done at Jezreel would produce more effect than his presence in Samaria with a mere handful of men to support him.

to [R.V. even] the elders] As there is no preposition here in the original, and the preposition is expressed in the next clause, it seems more correct to take ‘the elders’ as in apposition to ‘the rulers of Jezreel’.

and to [R.V. unto] them that brought up Ahab’s children] [R.V. the sons of Ahab]. The change in the preposition is merely to indicate that it is the same word as that before ‘rulers’ in the previous clause. In the final words the Hebrew is somewhat irregular. ‘Them that brought up’ should properly be in construction with some noun, but as ‘children’ or ‘sons’ is not expressed, the word stands absolutely, and ‘Ahab’ is put without connection after it. No doubt the sense is expressed in the translation. Of course it was only for the ‘sons’ of the royal family that this provision of tutors was made, because out of them would come the successor to the throne.Verses 1-11. - The destruction of the seventy seas of Ahab. Verse 1. - And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. By " sons" we must understand "male descendants. Most of the seventy wore probably his grandsons (see ver. 3); some may have been great-grandsons. They lived in Samaria; since Samaria was the principal residence of the court, Jezreel being simply a country palace - the "Versailles," as it has been called, or "Windsor" of the Israelite kings. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel. "Jezreel" is almost certainly a corrupt reading. The "rulers of Jezreel" would be at Jezreel; and, if Jehu wished to communicate with them, he would not need to "write." Had any chance taken them to Samaria - a very improbable circumstance - they would have had no authority there, and to address them would have been useless. John's letters were, no doubt, addressed to the rulers of Samaria; and so the LXX. expressly state (ἀπέστειλεν ἐν Σαμαρείᾳ πρὸς τοὺς ἄρχοντας Σαμαρείας); but the reading "Jezreel" can scarcely have arisen out of "Samaria" (יזרעאל out of שׁמרון), since the difference of the two words is so great. Most probably the original word was "Israel" (ישׂראל), which is easily corrupted into "Jezreel" (יזרעאל). The rulers of Samaria, the capital, might well be called "the rulers of Israel." To the elders rather, even the elders. Not distinct persons from the "rulers," but the same under another name (see 1 Kings 21:8, 13; and compare the Revised Version). And to them that brought up Ahab's children - i.e. the tutors, or governors, under whose charge they were placed - saying - But Jehu did not deign to answer the worthless woman; he simply looked up to the window and inquired: "Who is (holds) with me? who?" Then two, three chamberlains looked out (of the side windows), and by Jehu's command threw the proud queen out of the window, so that some of her blood spirted upon the wall and the horses (of Jehu), and Jehu trampled her down, driving over her with his horses and chariot.
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