2 Kings 10:15
And when he was departed there, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, Is your heart right, as my heart is with your heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me your hand. And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) Jehonadab the son of Rechab.—Comp. Jeremiah 35:6-11; and 1Chronicles 2:55. Ewald supposes that the Rechabites were one of the new societies formed after the departure of Elijah for the active support of the true religion. Their founder in this sense was Jonadab, who, despairing of being able to practise the legitimate worship in the bosom of the community, retired into the desert with his followers, and, like Israel of old, preferred the rough life of tents to all the allurements of city life. Only unusual circumstances could induce them (like their founder, in the present instance) to re-enter the circle of common life. “The son of Rechab” means the Rechabite.

And he saluted him.—It was important to Jehu to be seen acting in concert with a man revered for sanctity, and powerful as a leader of the orthodox party.

Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart?—The Hebrew is: Is there with thy heart right (sincerity)? but this does not agree with the rest of the question. Some MSS. omit the particle ’eth (“with”); but the original reading is probably preserved in the Vatican LXX: “Is thy heart right [i.e., sincere, honest] with my heart, as my heart with thy heart?” This secures a parallelism of expression. (Syriac: “Is there in thy heart sincerity, like that of my heart with thy heart?”)

If it be.—Literally, An it be (the old English idiom, i.e., and it be). Jehu makes this reply. The LXX. (Alex.) has: “And Jehu said;” Vulg., saith he; Syriac, “It is, and it is; and he said to him” (perhaps an accidental transposition).

Give me thine hand.—As a pledge of good faith and token of amity. Striking hands sealed a compact. (Comp. Isaiah 2:6; and Cheyne’s Note.)

2 Kings 10:15-16. He lighted on Jehonadab — A Kenite, (1 Chronicles 2:55,) and a man of singular prudence and piety, as appears from this history, and from Jeremiah 35:6; from him descended the race of the Rechabites. And he saluted him — That is, Jehu saluted Jehonadab. It is likely Jehonadab was in great favour with the people, on account of the strictness of his life and virtue, and that this, in part, induced Jehu to speak so kindly to him, and court his friendship. And said, Is thy heart right, &c. — Dost thou love me as sincerely and fervently as I love thee, and approve of my present proceedings, as I approve of thy institutions? If it be, give me thy hand — As a sign of friendship and fidelity. These seem to be the words of Jehu. And he said, Come, and see my zeal for the Lord — For the vindication of his honour, and the execution of his commands. Do not believe my words, but mine actions, which thine eyes shall behold. So they made him ride in his chariot — The servants opened the door of his chariot, and Jehu took him up into it. And while he thus put some honour upon Jehonadab, he received more honour from him. For all pious and sober people would think the better of Jehu when they saw Jehonadab in the chariot with him. “This is not the only time,” says Henry, “that the piety of some has been made to serve the policy of others; and that designing men have strengthened themselves by drawing good men into their interests.” 10:15-28 Is thine heart right? This is a question we should often put to ourselves. I make a fair profession, have gained a reputation among men, but, is my heart right? Am I sincere with God? Jehonadab owned Jehu in the work, both of revenge and of reformation. An upright heart approves itself to God, and seeks no more than his acceptance; but if we aim at the applause of men, we are upon a false foundation. Whether Jehu looked any further we cannot judge. The law of God was express, that idolaters were to be put to death. Thus idolatry was abolished for the present out of Israel. May we desire that it be rooted out of our hearts.Jehonadab (compare the margin) belonged to the tribe of the Kenites, one of the most ancient in Palestine Genesis 15:19. Their origin is unknown, but their habits were certainly those of Arahs. Owing to their connection with Moses (Numbers 24:21 note), they formed a friendship with the Israelites, accompanied them in their wanderings, and finally receivcd a location in the wilderness of Judah Judges 1:16. The character of this chief, Jonadab, is best seen in the rule which he established for his descendants Jeremiah 35:6-7 - a rule said to be still observed at the present day. It would seem that he sympathised strongly with Jehu's proceedings, and desired to give the countenance of his authority, such as it was, to the new reign. According to the Hebrew text, Jehu "saluted" (or blessed) Jehonadab. According to the Septuagint and Josephus, Jehonadab "saluted" (or blessed) the king. Further, the Hebrew text runs - "And Jehonadab answered, It is, it is. Give (me) thy hand. And he gave (him) his hand, and took him up to him into the chariot." Our translators appear to have preferred the Septuagint; but the Hebrew is more graphic. Jehu was no doubt glad to have the countenance of Jehonadab on his public entrance into Samaria. The ascetic had a reputation for sanctity, which could not fail to make his companionship an advantage to the but half-established monarch. 15-18. Jehonadab the son of Rechab—(See 1Ch 2:55). A person who, from his piety and simple primitive manner of life (Jer 35:1-19), was highly esteemed, and possessed great influence in the country. Jehu saw in a moment the advantage that his cause would gain from the friendship and countenance of this venerable man in the eyes of the people, and accordingly paid him the distinguished attention of inviting him to a seat in his chariot.

give me thine hand—not simply to aid him in getting up, but for a far more significant and important purpose—the giving, or rather joining hands, being the recognized mode of striking a league or covenant, as well as of testifying fealty to a new sovereign; accordingly, it is said, "he [Jehonadab] gave him [Jehu] his hand."

Jehonadab the son of Rechab; a Kenite, 1 Chronicles 2:55, and a man of singular prudence and piety; as appears from this history, and from Jeremiah 35:6.

Coming to meet him, to congratulate with him for the destruction of that wicked family, and to encourage and advise him to proceed in fulfilling the will of God revealed to him.

He saluted him; Jehu saluted Jehonadab.

Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? dost thou heartily approve of and affect me, and my present proceedings, as my heart doth as sincerely cleave to thee as thine own heart doth?

Give me thine hand, as a sign of friendship and consent. See Galatians 2:9. These may be the words, either,

1. Of Jehu; and so here is an ellipsis, If it be, for And Jehu said, If it be. Compare 1 Kings 20:34. Or,

2. Of Jehonadab, who having said, It is, adds, If it be, i.e. if thine heart be with mine, as thou sayest it is, give me thine hand. But this the ellipsis is larger than the former. And it seems not so decent and proper for Jehonadab, a stranger and subject, to speak thus to the king, as for the king to say so to him. And when he was departed thence,.... From Betheked, or the shearing house:

he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him; a Kenite, a descendant of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, a wise and good man, as appears by the laws and rules he gave to his posterity, who continued to the times of Jeremiah, and were then observant of them, Jeremiah 35:6 this good man hearing of Jehu's coming to the throne, and of his destruction of the idolatrous family of Ahab, and of his zeal for the worship of God, and against idolatry, came forth from his tent to meet him, and congratulate him upon it:

and he saluted him; Jonadab saluted Jehu, according to Abarbinel; or "blessed him" (r), wished him all happiness in his kingdom, and success in the reformation of it; though most understand it of Jehu's saluting Jonadab, which seems best to agree with the following:

and said to him, is thy heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? that is, hast thou the same cordial affection and sincere respect for me as I have for thee?

and Jehonadab answered, it is: to which some join the next clause, and read, "and it is"; which is doubling the answer, for the confirmation of it, as Kimchi says; though he also observes, that the latter may be interpreted as the answer of Jehu, by way of interrogation, "is it?":

then give me thine hand; and to the same purpose is our version:

if it be, and he gave him his hand; Jonadab gave Jehu his hand as a token of sincere friendship (s), and cordial respect, and for the confirmation of the covenant between them, as Ben Melech; who also observes, that Jehu might bid him give him his hand to help him up into the chariot, since it follows:

and he took him up to him into the chariot; to ride with him to Samaria; the company of such a man, so famous for wisdom and goodness, he knew would give him much countenance among the people, and sanction to what he did.

(r) "et benedixit ei", V. L. Montanus. (s) "Ipse pater dextram Anchises", &c. Virgil. Aeneid. l. 3. prope finem. Vid. Servium in ib. Vid. Cornel. Nepot. Vit. Themistocl. l. 2. c. 8. & Datam. l. 14. c. 10.

And when he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he {g} 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.

(g) For he feared God, and lamented the wickedness of those times: therefore Jehu was glad to join with him: of Rechab read Jer 35:2.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. Jehonadab the son of Rechab] We are told (1 Chronicles 2:55) that the house of Rechab belonged to the Kenites. The marriage of Moses to a Kenite wife (Jdg 1:16) led to the Kenites going up with the children of Judah into the wilderness, and so they came to dwell among the people of Israel. We read of them several times in the history of Israel. Jael, who slew Sisera, was the wife of Heber the Kenite (Jdg 4:17), and Saul shewed kindness to the Kenites when he was sent to destroy Amalek (1 Samuel 15:6). Of Jehonadab (the name is also written Jonadab) we learn (Jeremiah 35:6-7) that he forbade his descendants to drink wine, or to live in cities, and follow settled occupations. They were always to lead a nomad life; we find too that this ordinance of Jonadab had been observed down to the days of Jeremiah. It is clear therefore that he, who was able to lay it down, and cause it to be kept, must have been a man of much influence, and one whose friendship and countenance might serve Jehu’s cause at the outset of his reign. We see also that Jonadab was thoroughly at one with Jehu in the destruction of Baal-worship. We may therefore count his kinsmen as among the more faithful portion of the people of Israel. With the double form, Jonadab and Jehonadab, compare Johanan and Jehohanan, Joiada and Jehoiada, Joram and Jehoram.

Josephus (Ant. IX. 6. 6) describes Jonadab as ‘a good man and a just, who had been long a friend of Jehu, and who greeted him and began to applaud all that he had done according to God’s will for the destruction of the house of Ahab’.

Is thine heart right] Here the LXX. adds ‘with my heart’, and later in the verse after Jonadab’s answer ‘It is’ there is inserted in the LXX. ‘And Jehu said’. These insertions make the dialogue more distinct, but there is no need to suppose that anything has fallen out from the Hebrew text in either place.

If it be] The Hebrew is literally ‘and it is’. But this form is often employed as equivalent to ‘if it is’. Cf. Jdg 6:13, where ‘if the Lord be with us’ is literally ‘and the Lord is with us’. See also Driver, Heb. Tenses, 149.

into the chariot] For a great personage to cause another to ride with him in his chariot was a mark of distinction. Cf. 1 Kings 20:33. It is noteworthy that Jehu appears to have attached much importance to Jonadab’s support and sympathy. He must therefore have considered that the people of Samaria would be influenced thereby, and if they were likely to be so influenced we may judge that many in Israel regarded a servant of Jehovah with a respect which even the Baal-worship and calf-worship had not been able to destroy.Verses 15-17. - Jehonadab the son of Rechab associated by Jehu in his acts. Verse 15. - And when he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab. Between Beth-Eked and Samaria Jehu fell in with the great Kenite chief, Jehonadab, the founder of the remarkable tribe and sect of the Rechabites (Jeremiah 35:6-19). Jehonadab is mentioned only here and in the passage of Jeremiah just quoted; but it is evident that he was an important personage. His tribe, the Kenites, was probably of Arab origin, and certainly of Arab habits. It attached itself to the Israelites during their wanderings in the Sinaitic desert, and was given a settlement in "the wilderness of Judah," on the conquest of Palestine (Judges 1:16). Jehonadab seems to have been of an ascetic turn, and to have laid down for his tribe a rule of life stricter and more severe than any known previously. He required them not merely to dwell in tents, and, unless under the compulsion of war, never to enter cities, but also to abstain wholly from the use of wine, and to have neither house, nor field, nor vineyard (Jeremiah 35:8-10). Gautama, between three and four centuries later, enjoined a somewhat similar rule upon his disciples. It is indicative of much strength of character in either case, that so strict a rule was accepted, adopted, and acted upon for centuries. On the present occasion, Jehu, it would seem, desired the sanction of Jehonadab to the proceedings upon which he was about to enter, as calculated to legitimate them in the eyes of some who might otherwise have regarded them with disapproval. Jehonadab had, no doubt, the influence which is always wielded by an ascetic in Oriental countries. Coming to meet him. This expression tells us nothing of Jehonadab's intent. The meeting may have been merely a chance one. And he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? literally, he blessed him; but the word used (barak) has frequently the sense of "to salute" (see 1 Samuel 13:10; 1 Samuel 25:14; 2 Kings 4:29, etc.). Jehu's inquiry was made to assure himself of Jehonadab's sympathy, on which no doubt he counted, but whereof he was glad to receive a positive promise. Jehonadab must have been known as a zealous servant of Jehovah, and might therefore be assumed to be hostile to the house of Ahab. And Jehonadab answered, It is. Unhesitatingly, without a moment's pause, without the shadow of a doubt, the Kenite chief cast in his lot with the revolutionist. Heart and soul he would join him in an anti-Ahab policy. If it he, Give me thine hand. The Hebrews did not clench agreements, like the Greeks and Romans, by grasping each other's hands. Jehu merely means to say, "If this is so, if thou art heart and. soul with me in the matter, put out thy hand, and I will take thee into my chariot." Jehu intended at once to do honor to the Kenite chief, and to strengthen his own position by being seen to be so familiar with him. And he - i.e. Jehonadab - gave him - i.e. Jehu - his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot. There was always room in a chariot for at least three or four persons - the charioteer and the owner of the chariot in front, and one or two guards behind. When the heads were brought, Jehu had them piled up in two heaps before the city-gate, and spoke the next morning to the assembled people in front of them: "Ye are righteous. Behold I have conspired against my lord, and have slain him, but who has slain all these?" Jehu did not tell the people that the king's sons had been slain by his command, but spake as if this had been done without his interfering by a higher decree, that he might thereby justify his conspiracy in the eyes of the people, and make them believe what he says still further in 2 Kings 10:10 : "See then that of the word of the Lord nothing falls to the ground (i.e., remains unfulfilled) which Jehovah has spoken concerning the house of Ahab; and Jehovah has done what He spake through His servant Elijah."
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