So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus said the king, Is it peace? And Jehu said, What have you to do with peace? turn you behind me. And the watchman told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he comes not again.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)One on horseback.—Literally, the rider of the horse.
What hast thou to do with peace?—A rough evasion: “What business is it of yours, on what ground I am come?” Conscious of his strength, Jehu can despise the royal message, and the messenger durst not disobey the fierce general, when ordered summarily to the rear. Of course Jehu wished to prevent an alarm being raised in Jezreel.
Came to them.—Literally, came right up to them. (The Hebrew text should be corrected from 2Kings 9:20.)What hast thou to do with peace? what right hast thou, or thy master that sent thee, to peace?
and Jehu said, what hast thou to do with peace? or to ask such a question:
turn thee behind me; which he was obliged to do, Jehu having such a company of soldiers with him; and this he did, that he might carry no tidings to Joram, that he might not know as yet who he and his company were:So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)18. What hast thou to do with peace?] What concern is it of thine whether I come peaceably or not? My errand is not to thee. Josephus says the messenger’s enquiry was about affairs in the camp, for that the king’s questions were about them. Jehu bade him not to worry about these things but to follow him (Ant. IX. 6. 3). The design of Jehu’s order was that no information should be brought to Joram.Verse 18. - So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou to do with peace! turn thee behind me. Jehu chooses to accept the messenger's words as if they were his own, and not those of the king. "What does it matter to such a one as thee, a mere common man, whether my tidings are peaceful or the contrary? I shall not tell thee my errand. Turn and follow in my train." The messenger had no choice but to obey. An attempt at flight would have led to his being seized or slain. And the watchman told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again. The watchman evidently thought his not returning suspicious, and reported it at once. Joram should now have taken alarm, but he did not. He appears to have had no notion that any danger could be approaching.
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