2 Kings 10:23
And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said to the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants of the LORD, but the worshippers of Baal only.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23) And Jehu went . . . into the housei.e., into the outer court before the temple, where all the worshippers were waiting.

That there be here with you none of the servants of the Lord.—This precaution of Jehu’s suggests suspicion to a modern reader, but it would suggest the very contrary to the Baal-worshippers—viz., an extraordinary reverence for Baal; a dread lest some profane person should be present in his sanctuary.

Servants of the Lord.Worshippers of Jehovah.

2 Kings 10:23. And Jehonadab — Whom the Baalites, possibly, did not know, and therefore suspected nothing inimical to their worship: or, if any of the more sagacious began to suspect any thing, it was now too late to amend their error. Look that there be here with you none of the servants of the Lord — Intimating that their presence would offend Baal, and pollute his worship. Jehu’s real intention, however, was, that none but the worshippers of Baal should be slain, and therefore he caused this search to be made, lest any other Israelite, out of curiosity, or from any other motive, should have entered the temple.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.The presence of persons belonging to another religion was usually regarded by the ancients as a profanation of the rites. In the case of the Greek mysteries such intrusion is said to have been punished by death. Consequently Jehu could give these injunctions without arousing any suspicion. 22. Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal—The priests of Baal were clad, probably, in robes of white byssus while they were engaged in the functions of their office, and these were kept under the care of an officer in a particular wardrobe of Baal's temple. This treacherous massacre, and the means taken to accomplish it, are paralleled by the slaughter of the Janissaries and other terrible tragedies in the modern history of the East. The Baalites possibly did not know Jehonadab, and therefore suspected nothing; or if any of the more crafty sort suspected any thing, it was now too late to amend their error.

Look that there be here with you none of the servants of the Lord; because their presence will offend Baal, and deride or pollute his worship; whence profane persons have been oft excluded from solemn acts of worship, both by Jews and heathens. So this did not raise their suspicion. And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal,.... Who no doubt was led into the secret, and knew the design of Jehu, or he would not have gone into such an idolatrous place:

and said unto the worshippers of Baal, search and look, that there be here with you none of the servants of the Lord, but the worshippers of Baal only; pretending a great regard to the purity of their worship and sacrifices, that they might not be profaned (t) by the company of such who were not worshippers of Baal, but of Jehovah; whereas his view was to prevent any of the worshippers of God perishing with them, who might out of curiosity go in among them, to behold the manner of their service.

(t) "----procul, o procul este profani". Virgil. Aeneid. 6. ver. 258.

And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the {i} servants of the LORD, but the worshippers of Baal only.

(i) Thus God would have his servants preserved and idolaters destroyed, as in his law he gives express command, De 13:5.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
23. Search, and look, &c.] Not only did he manifest anxiety that all the Baal-worshippers should be present, but that none of the rest of the people should be included in the destruction. As the worshippers would be full of the thought that they were to become possessed of special privileges in the new reign, they were sure to be the best agents in excluding any who could not shew that he had belonged to Baal’s congregation before. Josephus strangely says ‘When he had come into the house with his friend Jonadab he gave commandment to search lest any alien or stranger should be among them. For he did not wish a foreigner to take part in their sacrifices’.Verse 23. - And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal. Keeping up the pretence that he was a devotee of Baal, anxious to "serve him much" (ver. 18), Jehu himself entered the sacred edifice, together with Jehonadab the son of Rechab, whom he wished to have as a witness to his "zeal for the Lord" (ver. 16). Having entered, he addressed the multitude, or the chief authorities among them, requiring that they should exercise extreme vigilance, and make it quite certain that none but true followers of Baal were present. And said unto the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants of the Lord, but the worshippers of Baal only. Jehu's real object was undoubtedly to save the lives of any "servants of Jehovah" who might incautiously have mixed themselves up with the Baal-wor-shippers, out of curiosity, or to have their share in the general holiday. That he should have thought such a thing possible or even probable indicates the general laxity of the time, and the want of any sharp line of demarcation between the adherents of the two religions. He cleverly masked his desire for the safety of his own religionists under a show of keen anxiety that the coming ceremonies should not be profaned by the presence of scoffers or indifferent persons. His requirement was in the spirit of that warning which the heathen commonly gave before entering upon the more sacred rites of their religion - "Proculeste, profani." As Jehu proceeded on his way, he met with Jehonadab the son of Rechab, and having saluted him, inquired, "Is they heart true as my heart towards thy heart?" and on his replying ישׁ, "it is (honourable or true)," he bade him come up into the chariot, saying וישׁ, "if it is (so), give me thy hand;" whereupon he said still further, "Come with me and see my zeal for Jehovah," and then drove with him to Samaria, and there exterminated all that remained of Ahab's family. Jehonadab the son of Rechab was the tribe-father of the Rechabites (Jeremiah 35:6). The rule which the latter laid down for his sons and descendants for all time, was to lead a simple nomad life, namely, to dwell in tents, follow no agricultural pursuits, and abstain from wine; which rule they observed so sacredly, that the prophet Jeremiah held them up as models before his own contemporaries, who broke the law of God in the most shameless manner, and was able to announce to the Rechabites that they would be exempted from the Chaldaean judgment for their faithful observance of their father's precept (Jeremiah 35). Rechab, from whom the descendants of Jehonadab derived their tribe-name, was the son of Hammath, and belonged to the tribe of the Kenites (1 Chronicles 2:55), to which Hobab the father-in-law of Moses also belonged (Numbers 10:29); so that the Rechabites were probably descendants of Hobab, since the Kenites the sons of Hobab had gone with the Israelites from the Arabian desert to Canaan, and had there carried on their nomad life (Judges 1:16; Judges 4:11; 1 Samuel 15:6; see Witsii Miscell. ss. ii. p. 223ff.). This Jehonadab was therefore a man distinguished for the strictness of his life, and Jehu appears to have received him in this friendly manner on account of the great distinction in which he was held, not only in his own tribe, but also in Israel generally, that he might exalt himself in the eyes of the people through his friendship.

(Note: According to C. a Lapide, Jehu took him up into his chariot "that he might establish his authority with the Samaritans, and secure a name for integrity by having Jehonadab as his ally, a man whom all held to be both an upright and holy man, that in this way he might the more easily carry out the slaughter of the Baalites, which he was planning, without any one daring to resist him.")

- In את־לבבך הישׁ, "is with regard to thy heart honourable or upright?" את is used to subordinate the noun to the clause, in the sense of quoad (see Ewald, 277, a.). לאחאב כּל־הנּשׁארים, "all that remained to Ahab," i.e., all the remaining members of Ahab's house.

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