2 Kings 15:10
And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and smote him before the people, and slew him, and reigned in his stead.
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(10) Son of Jabesh.Not man of Jabesh Gilead, as Hitzig explains. The father’s name is always given in the case of usurpers.

Before the people.—Rather, before peoplei.e., in public. So all the versions except the LXX. The open assassination of the king is noted, in contrast with the secrecy with which former conspiracies had been concerted. It is a symptom of the rapidly-increasing corruption of morals, which allowed people to look on with indifference while the king was being murdered. (The LXX. puts the Hebrew words into Greek letters thus: κεβλααμ. The word qobol—“before”—is Aramaic rather than Hebrew, and only occurs here. Ewald acutely conjectured that Qobol’ām—“before people”—was really the proper name of another usurper, comparing Zechariah 11:8, “the third king during that month;” but in that case the narrative is hardly coherent of complete. Grätz suggests the correction “in Ibleam.”

2 Kings 15:10. Shallum the son of Jabesh — Probably one of his chief captains; conspired against him — On what pretence is quite uncertain. And smote him before the people — Openly and impudently, which, it is likely, he presumed to do, either because he remembered that the promise of the kingdom, made to Jehu, was confined to the fourth generation, (2 Kings 10:30,) which he observed to be now expired; or because he perceived the people were generally disaffected to their king, and favourable to his attempt.

15:8-31 This history shows Israel in confusion. Though Judah was not without troubles, yet that kingdom was happy, compared with the state of Israel. The imperfections of true believers are very different from the allowed wickedness of ungodly men. Such is human nature, such are our hearts, if left to themselves, deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. We have reason to be thankful for restraints, for being kept out of temptation, and should beg of God to renew a right spirit within us.Before the people - i. e. openly and publicly. The Septuagint turns the original of the above words into a proper name, Keblaam, and makes him the actual assassin, but without much ground. 2Ki 15:8-16. Zechariah's Reign over Israel.

8-10. In the thirty and eighth year of Azariah king of Judah did Zechariah the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel—There was an interregnum from some unknown cause between the reign of Jeroboam and the accession of his son, which lasted, according to some, for ten or twelve years, according to others, for twenty-two years, or more. This prince pursued the religious policy of the calf-worship, and his reign was short, being abruptly terminated by the hand of violence. In his fate was fulfilled the prophecy addressed to Jehu (2Ki 10:30; also Ho 1:4), that his family would possess the throne of Israel for four generations; and accordingly Jehoahaz, Joash, Jehoram, and Zechariah were his successors—but there his dynasty terminated; and perhaps it was the public knowledge of this prediction that prompted the murderous design of Shallum.

Shallum the son of Jabesh; one of his chief captains.

Before the people openly and impudently; which he presumed to do, either because he remembered that the promise of the kingdom made to Jehu was confined to the fourth generation, 2 Kings 10:30, which he observed to be now expired; or because he perceived that the people were generally disaffected to their king, and favourable to his attempt.

And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him,.... A friend of his, as Josephus (q) calls him, encouraged by the dissatisfaction of the people to him:

and smote him before the people, and slew him; in a public manner, the people consenting to it, and approving of it, not liking Zachariah to be their king:

and reigned in his stead; though but a very short time.

(q) Antiqu. l. 9. c. 11. sect. 1.

And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and smote him before the people, and {e} slew him, and reigned in his stead.

(e) Zachariah was the last in Israel, that had the kingdom by succession, save only Pekahiah the son of Menahem, who reigned only two years.

10. Shallum the son of Jabesh] Nothing more is known of him than is given in this verse. The death of the last scion of the house of Jehu by the sword appears to be foretold in Amos 7:9, ‘I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword’.

before the people] i.e. Publicly. Hence it would seem that the conspiracy of Shallum had large popular support. But the LXX. here has plural verbs ‘they conspired’, ‘they smote’ and ‘they slew’ and writes the two words translated ‘before the people’ as though they were one proper name Κεβλαὰμ. Hence some have thought that Shallum had a fellow-conspirator of whom this was the name. The words occur in such a combination and sense nowhere else, and the preposition, rendered ‘before’, is not found except in the Chaldee portions of the Old Testament. But there is nothing in the Hebrew to warrant the changes of the LXX., though Ewald, and after him the late Dean Stanley, adopted them as representing a more correct text. Stanley says (Jewish Church 2:308) ‘Zechariah was, it would seem, succeeded by a king, whose very name is almost lost to us, Kobolam, and Kobolam was succeeded by Shallum’. There needs a great deal of manipulation of even the text of the LXX. to extract any such statement from it. A much more reasonable conjecture is to make Κεβλαὰμ (though found nowhere else) the name of the place where Zachariah was murdered.

Verse 10. - And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him. Josephus calls Shallum Zachariah's "friend," but otherwise adds nothing to the present narrative. And smote him before the people. The phrase employed is very unusual, and has justly excited suspicion. It was not understood by the LXX., who translate ἐπάταξαν αὐτὸν Κεβλαάμ, which gives no sense. Ewald sought to solve the difficulty by inventing a king, "Zobolam," but other critics have found this expedient too bold. The rendering of our translators is generally accepted, though qobal, "before," only occurs here and in Daniel. If we accept this rendering, we must suppose that the act of violence was done openly, like Jehu's murder of Jehoram. And slew him, and reigned in his stead (comp. ver. 13). 2 Kings 15:10Zechariah also persevered in the sin of his fathers in connection with the calf-worship therefore the word of the Lord pronounced upon Jehu (2 Kings 10:30) was fulfilled in him. - Shallum the son of Jabesh formed a conspiracy and put him to death קבל־עם, before people, i.e., openly before the eyes of all.

(Note: Ewald in the most marvellous manner has made קבל־עם into a king (Gesch. iii. p. 598).)

As Israel would not suffer itself to be brought to repentance and to return to the Lord, its God and King, by the manifestations of divine grace in the times of Joash and Jeroboam, any more than by the severe judgments that preceded them, and the earnest admonitions of the prophets Hosea and Amos; the judgment of rejection could not fail eventually to burst forth upon the nation, which so basely despised the grace, long-suffering, and covenant-faithfulness of God. We therefore see the kingdom hasten with rapid steps towards its destruction after the death of Jeroboam. In the sixty-two years between the death of Jeroboam and the conquest of Samaria by Shalmaneser anarchy prevailed twice, in all for the space of twenty years, and six kings followed one another, only one of whom, viz., Menahem, died a natural death, so as to be succeeded by his son upon the throne. The other five were dethroned and murdered by rebels, so that, as Witsius has truly said, with the murder of Zachariah not only was the declaration of Hosea (Hosea 1:4) fulfilled, "I visit the blood-guiltiness of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu," but also the parallel utterance, "and I destroy the kingdom of the house of Israel," since the monarchy in Israel really ceased with Zachariah. "For the successors of Zachariah were not so much kings as robbers and tyrants, unworthy of the august name of kings, who lost with ignominy the tyranny which they had wickedly acquired, and as wickedly exercised." - Witsius, Δεκαφυλ. p. 320.

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