2 Kings 10:20
And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it.
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(20) Proclaim a solemn assembly.—Rather, Sanctify a solemn meeting (Isaiah 1:13). Every person who wished to attend would have to “sanctify,” or purify, himself in due form.

They proclaimedi.e., gave notice of the festival by criers “through all Israel” (2Kings 10:21).

2 Kings 10:20-21. Jehu said, Proclaim, &c. — Hebrew, sanctify. Prepare yourselves and all things necessary for this solemn day, and sacrifice, and feast, which I intend to keep. There was not a man left that came not — It may seem strange, after what Jehu had done in destroying the family of Ahab, that the worshippers of Baal could be induced to assemble together. But it should be observed, that as Jehu was a person of known indifference in matters of religion, who in this respect had always conformed to the humours of the court, and in the reign of King Ahab had been a strenuous worshipper of Baal; the people could not tell, when they read his proclamation for a great feast to Baal, but that he had returned, in good earnest, to the religion which he once embraced, and only deserted for a while, in complacency to others. But whether they deluded themselves into this persuasion or not, they knew by experience that Jehu was a man of a fierce and bloody temper, who would not fail to put his threats in execution; and, therefore, reading in the same proclamation, Whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live, (2 Kings 10:19,) they found themselves reduced to this sad dilemma, either to go or die. Hence they thought it the wisest method to run the hazard, and throw themselves upon his mercy; having this, at least, to plead for themselves, that they were not disobedient to his commands. See Poole and Dodd.

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.A solemn assembly - Jehu applies to his proposed gathering the sacred name assigned in the Law to the chiefest festivals of Yahweh (see Leviticus 23:36; Numbers 29:35; Deuteronomy 16:8). 19. call unto me all the prophets of Baal—The votaries of Baal are here classified under the several titles of prophets, priests, and servants, or worshippers generally. They might be easily convened into one spacious temple, as their number had been greatly diminished both by the influential ministrations of Elijah and Elisha, and also from the late King Joram's neglect and discontinuance of the worship. Jehu's appointment of a solemn sacrifice in honor of Baal, and a summons to all his worshippers to join in its celebration, was a deep-laid plot, which he had resolved upon for their extinction, a measure in perfect harmony with the Mosaic law, and worthy of a constitutional king of Israel. It was done, however, not from religious, but purely political motives, because he believed that the existence and interests of the Baalites were inseparably bound up with the dynasty of Ahab and because he hoped that by their extermination he would secure the attachment of the far larger and more influential party who worshipped God in Israel. Jehonadab's concurrence must have been given in the belief of his being actuated solely by the highest principles of piety and zeal. Proclaim, Heb. sanctify. Prepare yourselves and all things necessary for this solemn day, and sacrifice, and feast, which I intend to keep.

And Jehu said, proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal,.... Such as with the Jews was an 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.

And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it.
20. Proclaim [R.V. Sanctify] a solemn assembly] The verb is not the same which is correctly rendered ‘they proclaimed’ in the next clause. It is constantly rendered ‘Sanctify’ elsewhere. Cf. Exodus 13:12; Joshua 7:13; Joel 1:14; Joel 2:15-16; and is the word used of making a holy war. See Jeremiah 6:4; Jeremiah 51:27-28, &c., where ‘prepare’ is the appropriate translation. ‘Proclaim’ is found as the equivalent nowhere but here.

a solemn assembly] The word (with a slightly different pointing) is used in Leviticus 23:36; Numbers 29:35; Deuteronomy 16:8; Nehemiah 8:18, of the solemn gatherings of God’s people for their sacred worship. Jehu by using such a term seems to be putting Baal entirely on a level with Jehovah, a proceeding that went, as he professed to do, beyond all Ahab’s practices.

Verse 20. - And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. The word translated "solemn assembly" is the same which is applied to the great feasts of Jehovah among the Israelites in Leviticus 23:36; Numbers 29:35; Deuteronomy 16:8; 2 Chronicles 7:9; Nehemiah 8:18; Isaiah 1:13; Joel 1:14; Joel 2:15; and Amos 5:21. Originally, it signified a time of repression, or abstention from worldly business; but it had probably grown to mean a day when worldly business was suspended for the sake of a religious gathering. Such gatherings had no doubt been held from time to time in honor of Baal; and Jehu's proclamation consequently excited no distrust. And they proclaimed it. No opposition was made to the king's wish. No Jehovist party showed itself. The "solemn assembly" was proclaimed for some day in the near future, when all the people had been apprised of it. 2 Kings 10:20Extermination of the Prophets and Priests of Baal and of the Baal-Worship. - 2 Kings 10:28. Under the pretence of wishing to serve Baal even more than Ahab had done, Jehu appointed a great sacrificial festival for this idol, and had all the worshippers of Baal throughout all the land summoned to attend it; he then placed eighty of his guards around the temple of Baal in which they were assembled, and after the sacrifice was offered, had the priests and worshippers of Baal cut down by them with the sword. Objectively considered, the slaying of the worshippers of Baal was in accordance with the law, and, according to the theocratical principle, was perfectly right; but the subjective motives which impelled Jehu, apart from the artifice, were thoroughly selfish, as Seb. Schmidt has correctly observed. For since the priests and prophets of Baal throughout the Israelitish kingdom were bound up with the dynasty of Ahab, with all their interests and with their whole existence, they might be very dangerous to Jehu, if on any political grounds he should happen not to promote their objects, whereas by their extermination he might hope to draw to his side the whole of the very numerous supporters of the Jehovah-worship, which had formerly been legally established in Israel, and thereby establish his throne more firmly. The very fact that Jehu allowed the calf-worship to continue, is a proof that he simply used religion as the means of securing his own ends (2 Kings 10:29). עצרה קדּשׁוּ (2 Kings 10:20), "sanctify a festal assembly," i.e., proclaim in the land a festal assembly for Baal (compare Isaiah 1:13; and for עצרה equals עצרת, see at Leviticus 23:36). ויּקראוּ, and they proclaimed, sc. the festal meeting.
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