2 Kings 10:3
Look even out the best and meetest of your master's sons, and set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house.
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(3) The best and meetesti.e., the one you think best qualified in every sense (not merely in the moral sense).

Your master’s sons.—“Your master” need not mean Jehoram. The story relates to Ahab (2Kings 10:1).

His father’s thronei.e., Ahab’s throne. (Comp. 2Chronicles 17:3; 2Chronicles 21:12; 2Chronicles 29:2, where David is called the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Hezekiah in turn.)

Fight for your master’s house.—Jehu thus declares his own warlike intentions, leaving the nobles, whom his prompt and decisive action had taken by surprise, no choice between improvised resistance and instant submission. Knowing Jehu’s character as a soldier, they chose the latter.

2 Kings 10:3. Fight ye for your master’s house — This he said, because, perhaps, he had received notice of their intentions to do so, and that they were consulting about a successor to Joram: or to try them, whether they would do so, or would be true to him and his designs: or, which is still more likely, he insults over them, and denounces war against them with scorn and derision, being secure of the event, and knowing that they were not able to oppose him.

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?Jehu, placing his adversaries' advantages before them in the most favorable light, called upon them to decide what they would do. The unscrupulous soldier shows shrewdness as well as courage, a sharp wit as well as a bold heart. 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.

Thus he speaks, either because he had some notice of their intentions thus to do; or to make trial of them, whether they would do so, or would be true to him and his designs; or to signify to them his intentions of fighting against them, if they did so, that by the terror hereof he might bring them to a compliance with him.

Look even out the best and meetest of your master's sons,.... Most fit for government, whether on account of age or proper qualifications, and wisdom, courage, &c.

and set him on his father's throne; proclaim him king:

and fight for your master's house; that the crown may continue in his family; all which he did not desire might be, but in this sarcastic and sneering manner dares them to do it.

Look even out the best and meetest of your master's sons, and {b} set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house.

(b) He wrote this, to prove them whether they would take his side or not.

3. look even [R.V. look ye] out the best] The insertion of ‘even’ gives a false emphasis, and the conjunction of the original is merely the mark of the apodosis, and is properly left unrendered in English. No doubt in the popular mind some prince had been marked out as heir to the throne, and some order of succession may have been indicated by Ahab himself, if his elder sons died without issue, but at such a juncture he would be chosen who would rally to him most assistance. Jehu sends his message like one perfectly confident in the effect it will produce.

Verse 3. - Look even out the belt and meetest of your master's sons, and set him on his father's throne. "Choose," i.e., "among the sons of Joram the strongest, the boldest, and the ablest, and make him king in his father's zoom; take him for your leader against me; do not hesitate and beat about the bush; but at once make up your minds, and let me know what I have to expect." And fight for your master's house. There had been a civil war before the dynasty of Omri succeeded in settling itself on the throne (1 Kings 16:21, 22). Jehu believes, or affects to believe, that there will now be another. He does not deprecate it, but invites it. Probably he felt tolerably confident that the garrison of Samaria, even if called upon by the municipality, would not venture to take up arms against the army of Ramoth-Gilead, which had declared itself in his favor. Still, supposing that it did, he was not fearful of the result. 2 Kings 10:3Extermination of the Seventy Sons of Ahab in Samaria. - 2 Kings 10:1-3. As Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria (בּנים in the wider sense, viz., sons, including grandsons see at 2 Kings 10:13, as is evident from the fact that אמנים, foster-fathers, are mentioned, whereas Ahab had been dead fourteen years, and therefore his youngest sons could not have had foster-fathers any longer), Jehu sent a letter to the elders of the city and to the foster-fathers of the princes, to the effect that they were to place one of the sons of their lord upon the throne. There is something very strange in the words הזּקנים יזרעאל אל־שׂרי, "to the princes of Jezreel, the old men," partly on account of the name Jezreel, and partly on account of the combination of הזּקנים with שׂרי. If we compare 2 Kings 10:5, it is evident that הזּקנים cannot be the adjective to יז שׂרי, but denotes the elders of the city, so that the preposition אל has dropped out before הזקנים. יזרעאל שׂרי, the princes or principal men of Jezreel, might certainly be the chief court-officials of the royal house of Ahab, since Ahab frequently resided in Jezreel. But against this supposition there is not only the circumstance that we cannot discover any reason why the court-officials living in Samaria should be called princes of Jezreel, but also 2 Kings 10:5, where, instead of the princes of Jezreel, the governor of the city and the governor of the castle are mentioned. Consequently there is an error of the text in יזרעאל, which ought to read אל העיר, though it is older than the ancient versions, since the Chaldee has the reading יזרעאל, and no doubt the Alexandrian translator read the same, as the Septuagint has sometimes τῆς πόλεως, like the Vulgate, and sometimes Σαμαρείας, both unquestionably from mere conjecture. The "princes of the city" are, according to 2 Kings 10:5, the prefect of the palace and the captain of the city; the זקנים, "elders," the magistrates of Samaria; and אחאב אמנים, the foster-fathers and tutors appointed by Ahab for his sons and grandsons. אחאב is governed freely by האמנים. In 2 Kings 10:2 the words from ואתּכם to הנּשׁק form an explanatory circumstantial clause: "since the sons of your lord are with you, and with you the war-chariots and horses, and a fortified city and arms," i.e., since you have everything in your hands, - the royal princes and also the power to make one of them king. It is perfectly evident from the words, "the sons of your lord," i.e., of king Joram, that the seventy sons of Ahab included grandsons also. This challenge of Jehu was only a ruse, by which he hoped to discover the feelings of the leading men of the capital of the kingdom, because he could not venture, without being well assured of them, to proceed to Samaria to exterminate the remaining members of the royal family of Ahab who were living there. על נלחם, to fight concerning, i.e., for a person, as in Judges 9:17.
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