2 Kings 15:12
This was the word of the LORD which he spoke to Jehu, saying, Your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation. And so it came to pass.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) This was the word of the Lord.—Thenius considers this remark as added by the Judæan editor to the short abstract of Zachariah’s reign.

2 Kings 15:12. This was the word of the Lord, Thy sons, &c. — How unfaithful soever they proved to God, he faithfully performed the promise which he made to Jehu, whose sons, to the fourth generation, succeeded him in the throne of Israel. But this Shallum put an end to that family, and fulfilled the prophecy of Hosea, (Hosea 1:4,) I will average the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. For though Jehu had a command from God to destroy the house of Ahab, yet because he did it not so much in obedience to God, and with a view to his glory, as to satisfy his own private ambition, and in a way of cruelty quite abhorrent to the divine nature, God cut his family short, as soon as he had fulfilled his promise, and avenged that blood by this man, who slew Zachariah, and the rest of his posterity, if there were any. At least, he made the kingdom to cease in his family, and, not long after, it ceased in all Israel, who were rooted out, and never restored to their own country, as Judah was.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.

No text from Poole on this verse. This was the word of the Lord which he spake unto Jehu,.... Which was now fulfilled in the short reign of Zachariah:

saying, thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation; see 2 Kings 10:30, and so it came to pass; as every word of the Lord does, not one fails; for after Jehu reigned Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Jeroboam the second, and Zachariah, all descendants of Jehu.

This was the word of the LORD which he spake unto Jehu, saying, Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation. And so it came to pass.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. the word of the Lord which he spake unto Jehu] For the promise, see above, 2 Kings 10:30.

thy sons] The R.V. brings the words ‘to the fourth generation’ forward in the verse and places them after ‘sons’ thus making the sentence conform, as it does in the original, to the order of the words in the promise (2 Kings 10:30).Verse 12. - This was the word of the Lord which he spake unto Jehu (comp. 2 Kings 10:30), saying, Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation. The direct promise was, "Thy house shall hold the throne so long;" the implied prophecy, "They shall not hold it longer." There had not been wanting other indications of the coming troubles. Hosea had declared that God would avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu (Hosea 1:4). Amos had gone further, and had openly proclaimed that God would "rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword" (Amos 7:9). The threat had been understood as a threat against Jeroboam himself (Amos 7:11), but this was a misinterpretation. The words plainly pointed, to a revolution in the time of his son. And so it came to pass. The house of Jehu ceased to reign in the fourth generation of the descendants of its founder. No considerations of prudence or of gratitude could keep the nation faithful to any dynasty for a longer time than this. In breaking off from the divinely chosen house of David, and choosing to themselves a king, the Israelites had sown the seeds of instability in their state, and put themselves at the mercy of any ambitious pretender. Five dynasties had already borne rule in the two hundred years that the kingdom had lasted; four more were about to hold the throne in the remaining fifty years of its existence. "Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel," though said of Reuben only (Genesis 49:4), fairly expressed the character of the entire kingdom, with which Reuben cast in its lot at the time of the separation. Beside the general characteristics of Uzziah's fifty-two years' reign, which are given in the standing formula, not a single special act is mentioned, although, according to 2 Chronicles 26, he raised his kingdom to great earthly power and prosperity; probably for no other reason than because his enterprises had exerted no permanent influence upon the development of the kingdom of Judah, but all the useful fruits of his reign were destroyed again by the ungodly Ahaz. Uzziah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father Amaziah had done. For as the latter was unfaithful to the Lord in the closing years of his reign, so did Uzziah seek God only so long as Zechariah, who was experienced in divine visions, remained alive, and God gave success to his enterprises, so that during this time he carried on successful wars against the Philistines and Arabians, fortified the walls of Jerusalem with strong towers, built watch-towers in the desert, and constructed cisterns for the protection and supply of his numerous flocks, promoted agriculture and vine-growing, and organized a numerous and well-furnished army (2 Chronicles 26:5-15). But the great power to which he thereby attained produced such haughtiness, that he wanted to make himself high priest in his kingdom after the manner of the heathen kings, and usurping the sacred functions, which belonged according to the law to the Levitical priests alone, to offer incense in the temple, for which he was punished with leprosy upon the spot (2 Kings 15:5 compared with 2 Chronicles 26:16.). The king's leprosy is described in our account also as a punishment from God. יי ויננּע: Jehovah smote him, and he became leprous. This presupposes an act of guilt, and confirms the fuller account of this guilt given in the Chronicles, which Thenius, following the example of De Wette and Winer, could only call in question on the erroneous assumption "that the powerful king wanted to restore the regal high-priesthood exercised by David and Solomon" Oehler (Herzog's Cycl.) has already shown that such an opinion is perfectly "groundless," since it is nowhere stated that David and Solomon performed with their own hands the functions assigned in the law to the priests in connection with the offering of sacrifice, as the co-operation of the priests is not precluded in connection with the sacrifices presented by these kings (2 Samuel 6:17, and 1 Kings 3:4, etc.). - Uzziah being afflicted with leprosy, was obliged to live in a separate house, and appoint his son Jotham as president of the royal house to judge the people, i.e., to conduct the administration of the kingdom. - The time when this event occurred is not stated either in our account or in the Chronicles. But this punishment from God cannot have fallen upon him before the last ten years of his fifty-two years' reign, because his son, who was only twenty-five years old when his father died (2 Kings 15:33, and 2 Chronicles 27:1), undertook the administration of the affairs of the kingdom at once, and therefore must have been at least fifteen years old. החפשׁית בּית is taken by Winer, Gesenius, and others, after the example of Iken, to signify nosocomium, an infirmary or lazar-house, in accordance with the verb Arab. xfs̆, fecit, II debilis, imbecillis fuit. But this meaning cannot be traced in Hebrew, where חפשׁי is used in no other sense than free, set at liberty, manumissus. Consequently the rendering adopted by Aquila is correct, οἶκος ἐλευθερίας; and the explanation given by Kimchi of this epithet is, that the persons who lived there were those who were sent away from human society, or perhaps more correctly, those who were released from the world and its privileges and duties, or cut off from intercourse with God and man.
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