2 Kings 15:25
But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain of his, conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king's house, with Argob and Arieh, and with him fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his room.
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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.A captain of his - A mere "captain," a person, therefore, of very moderate rank. The low birth of Pekah is probably glanced at in Isaiah's favorite designation of him as "Remaliah's son" Isaiah 7:4-5, Isaiah 7:9; Isaiah 8:6.

From the fact that Pekah employed Gileadites to carry out his designs, it has been conjectured that he himself belonged to the trans-Jordanic region.

In the palace of the king's house - Rather, "In the tower of the king's palace;" or possibly "in the harem of the king's palace" (1 Kings 16:18 note).

25. with Argob and Arieh, &c.—Many commentators view these as the captain's accomplices. But it is more probable that they were influential friends of the king, who were murdered along with him. Argob and Arieh might be either Pekah’s partners in this treason, or the king’s courtiers or officers, who were now slain with him.

Fifty men of the Gileadites; who assisted him in the execution of his treason. But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain of his,.... The word signifies a "third" man, the third to the king, as some think; Josephus (a) calls him a "chiliarch", one that had the command of a thousand men:

conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king's house; Josephus (b) says it was at a banquet:

with Argob, and Arieh; whom, according to Abarbinel, Pekah slew with the king, being mighty men, who were always about him; but they seem rather to be conspirators with Pekah, and assisting to him in smiting the king; the former of these, Ben Gersom thinks, was governor of Argob, a country on the other side Jordan, and the latter had his name from his fortitude, which signifies a lion:

and with him fifty men of the Gileadites; which may seem to strengthen the above notion concerning Argob, since the Gileadites were of the same side of Jordan, and were near Argob, see Deuteronomy 3:13.

and he killed him, and reigned in his room, as his father killed Shallum, and reigned in his stead.

(a) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 9. c. 11. sect. 1.) (b) Ibid.

But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain of his, conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king's house, with {i} Argob and Arieh, and with him fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his room.

(i) Which were of the same conspiracy.

23–26. Reign of Pekahiah king of Israel. He is slain by Pekah, the son of Remaliah, who succeeds him (Not in Chronicles)

25. Pekah … a captain of his] R.V. his captain. The word is the same which in 2 Kings 7:2 is used for the captain (A.V. lord) on whose hand the king of Israel leaned. Probably Pekah occupied some such position about the king, which gave him the opportunity of attacking his master, for the murder was perpetrated ‘in the castle of the king’s house’. From the mention of the fifty men of the Gileadites who took part with him in the conspiracy, it has been conjectured that Pekah was himself a native of that wild land, the home in former days of Jephthah and of Elijah. His conduct is of the kind to be expected from one nursed in such wild localities.

in the palace [R.V. castle] of the king’s house] The word is rendered ‘palace’ everywhere in A.V. except Proverbs 18:19 ‘like the bars of a castle’. But here and in 1 Kings 16:18 (see note there) the sense requires some word expressive of security and protection from a foe. Hence the change in R.V. We know so little of the construction of the royal houses of Israel that it is difficult to be precise about what is meant. But it seems most likely that the king when he knew that Pekah and his fifty comrades were bent on his murder would take refuge in the most fortified place he could reach.

with Argob and Arieh] Doubtless two friends who had remained with Pekahiah to the last.

of the Gileadites] The LXX. has in some MSS. the words ἀπὸ τῶν τετρακοσίων=of the four hundred. I have found no means of explaining the reading. Before ‘fifty’ in this clause R.V. inserts were.

and he killed [R.V. slew] him and reigned in his room] R.V. stead. The words are exactly the same in the original as the closing words of verse 10 above. Both should be alike in the English.Verse 25. - But Pekah the son of Remaliah. Remaliah was probably a man of some importance, since Pekah seems to have been almost better known by his patronymic, Ben-Remaliah, "son of Remaliah," than by his own proper name (see Isaiah 7:4, 5, 9; Isaiah 8:6). A captain of his - "captain of a thousand," according to Josephus (l.s.c.) - conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king's house; literally, in the tower (or keep) of the king's house, the loftiest part (אַרְמון is from רוּם, to be high) - certainly not the harem (Ewald), if Pekahiah was feasting there with his friends (δολοφονηθεὶς ἐν συμποσίῳ μετὰ φίλων ἀπέθανε), as Josephus says. With Argob and Arieh. These seem to be the "friends" of Josephus, who were with the king and shared his fate, not fellow-conspirators with Pekah. The names are uncommon ones. And with him - i.e. Pekah - fifty men of the Gileadites; fifty men of "the Four Hundred," according to the LXX. "The Four Hundred" were probably the royal body-guard, which at this time may have consisted of Gileadites. And he killed him, and reigned in his room. It does not appear that Pekah had any grievance. His crime seems to have been simply prompted by ambition. In the time of Menahem, Pul king of Assyria invaded the land, and Menahem gave him 1000 talents of silver - more than two and a half millions of thalers (375,000) - "that his hands might be with him, to confirm the kingdom in his hand." These words are understood by the majority of commentators from the time of Ephraem Syrus, when taken in connection with Hosea 5:13, as signifying that Menahem invited Pul, that he might establish his government with his assistance. But the words of Hosea, "Ephraim goes to the Assyrian," sc. to seek for help (2 Kings 5:13, cf. 2 Kings 7:11 and 2 Kings 8:9), are far too general to be taken as referring specially to Menahem; and the assumption that Menahem invited Pul into the land is opposed by the words in the verse before us, "Pul came over the land." Even the further statement that Menahem gave to Pul 1000 talents of silver when he came into the land, that he might help him to establish his government, presupposes at the most that a party opposed to Menahem had invited the Assyrians, to overthrow the usurper. At any rate, we may imagine, in perfect harmony with the words of our account, that Pul marched against Israel of his own accord, possibly induced to do so by Menahem's expedition against Thapsacus, and that his coming was simply turned to account as a good opportunity for disputing Menahem's possession of the throne he had usurped, so that Menahem, by paying the tribute mentioned, persuaded the Assyrian to withdraw, that he might deprive the opposing party of the Assyrian support, and thereby establish his own rule.
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