2 Kings 9:20
And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) Driving.—Correct. The margin is wrong.

The son of Nimshi.—Jehu was son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi. The former phrase may have fallen out of the text here. (Yet comp. 2Kings 8:26, “Athaliah daughter of Omri.”) The Syriac and Arabic call Jehu “the son of Nimshi” in 2Kings 9:2 also.

He driveth ſuriouslyi.e., the foremost charioteer so drives. The word rendered “furiously” is related to that rendered “mad fellow” in 2Kings 9:11. (Comp. margin here.) Jehu’s chariot swayed unsteadily as he drove madly on. LXX., ἐν παραλλαγῇ. The Targum explains in an exactly opposite sense, “quietly;” and so Josephus: “Jehu was driving rather slowly, and in orderly fashion” (perhaps confounding shiggā‘ôn, “madness,” Deuteronomy 28:28, with shiggāyôn, “a slow, mournful song,” or elegy).

9:16-29 Jehu was a man of eager spirit. The wisdom of God is seen in the choice of those employed in his work. But it is not for any man's reputation to be known by his fury. He that has rule over his own spirit, is better than the mighty. Joram met Jehu in the portion of Naboth. The circumstances of events are sometimes ordered by Divine Providence to make the punishment answer to the sin, as face answers to face in a glass. The way of sin can never be the way of peace, Isa 57:21. What peace can sinners have with God? No peace so long as sin is persisted in; but when it is repented of and forsaken, there is peace. Joram died as a criminal, under the sentence of the law. Ahaziah was joined with the house of Ahab. He was one of them; he had made himself so by sin. It is dangerous to join evil-doers; we shall be entangled in guilt and misery by it.The driving ... furiously - The word translated "driving" means "leading" or "conducting" a band. The watchman observed that the "company" (or, multitude) was led forward madly, and associated this strange procedure with the known character of Jehu. It is curious that some versions, as well as Josephus, give an opposite sense: "he driveth quietly."

Jehu was properly "the grandson" of Nimshi, who was probably a more famous person than Jehoshaphat 2 Kings 9:2.

17-24. there stood a watchman on the tower of Jezreel—The Hebrew palaces, besides being situated on hills had usually towers attached to them, not only for the pleasure of a fine prospect, but as posts of useful observation. The ancient watchtower of Jezreel must have commanded a view of the whole region eastward, nearly down to the Jordan. Beth-shan stands on a rising ground about six or seven miles below it, in a narrow part of the plain; and when Jehu and his retinue reached that point between Gilboa and Beth-shan, they could be fully descried by the watchman on the tower. A report was made to Joram in his palace below. A messenger on horseback was quickly despatched down into the plain to meet the ambiguous host and to question the object of their approach. "Is it peace?" We may safely assume that this messenger would meet Jehu at the distance of three miles or more. On the report made of his being detained and turned into the rear of the still advancing troops, a second messenger was in like manner despatched, who would naturally meet Jehu at the distance of a mile or a mile and a half down on the plain. He also being turned into the rear, the watchman now distinctly perceived "the driving to be like the driving of Jehu, the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously." The alarmed monarch, awakened to a sense of his impending danger, quickly summoned his forces to meet the crisis. Accompanied by Ahaziah, king of Judah, the two sovereigns ascended their chariots to make a feeble resistance to the impetuous onset of Jehu, who quickly from the plain ascended the steep northern sides of the site on which Jezreel stood, and the conflicting parties met "in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite," where Joram was quickly despatched by an arrow from the strong arm of Jehu. We were impressed with the obvious accuracy of the sacred historian; the localities and distances being such as seem naturally to be required by the incidents related, affording just time for the transactions to have occurred in the order in which they are recorded [Howe]. As his temper is hasty and fierce, so is his march.

And the watchman told, saying, he came even unto them, and cometh not again,.... Was detained, as the other was:

and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for, coming nearer, the watchman could discern the manner of his driving:

for he driveth furiously; in great haste, making much speed, being a man of a very warm and active spirit; and now being eager to come up with Joram, and seize him unprepared, and ascend the throne; the Targum is the reverse,

"for he driveth quietly or slowly,''being desirous of drawing Joram out of the city, and get him into his hands, and slay him, that he might not have the trouble of besieging the place, which was able to hold out some time against him; and besides, he remembered the prophecy of Elisha, that Naboth's blood would be requited in the field of Jezreel, 2 Kings 9:26, and therefore was desirous of drawing him out of the city, in order to slay him there.

And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth {f} furiously.

(f) As one that went earnestly about his business.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. the driving is like the driving of Jehu] It is clear from this that Jehu was well known, and the manner in which he would lead forward his men was unmistakeable.

the son of Nimshi] Really ‘grandson’, see verse 2, and the note on chapter 2 Kings 8:28.

he driveth furiously] The word rendered ‘furiously’ is from the same root as that rendered ‘mad’ in verse 11. This is the sense given by the Greek and Latin versions, but Josephsus as if explaining this word says ‘Jehu journeyed leisurely and in good order’. The Chaldee and Arabic also explain it by ‘quietly’.

Verse 20. - And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again. A still stranger circumstance, and one still more suspicious. The second messenger could only have been sent out because the king disapproved the detention or the first. Whoever, therefore, had detained the second messenger must be consciously acting in opposition to the wishes of the king. And the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi. It is not meant that Jehu was driving his own chariot (which great men never did, 2 Kings 22:3-4), and drove in a furious manner, but that the "company" was being urged forward at an unusual pace, in a reckless and hot-headed way. The watchman conjectured, therefore, that Jehu must be leading them, since he had a character for impetuosity. For he driveth furiously; or, madly - " like a madman" (Keil) - "praecipitanter" (Vatabl.). The LXX. translate ἐν παραλλαγῇ - which has, perhaps, the same meaning (comp. Eur., 'Hipp.,' 935; Lysias, Ft., 58). 2 Kings 9:20As the horsemen, who were sent to meet him on the announcement of the watchman upon the tower at Jezreel that a troop was approaching, joined the followers of Jehu, and eventually the watchman, looking down from the tower, thought that he could discover the driving of Jehu in the approaching troop, Joram and Ahaziah mounted their chariots to drive and meet him, and came upon him by the portion of the ground of Naboth the Jezreelite. The second שׁפעת in 2 Kings 9:17 is a rarer form of the absolute state (see Ges. 80, 2, Anm. 2, and Ewald, 173, d.). - וּלשׁלום מה־לּך: "what hast thou to do with peace?" i.e., to trouble thyself about it. אל־אחרי סב: "turn behind me," sc. to follow me. כם המּנהג: "the driving is like the driving of Jehu; for he drives like a madman." בּשׁגּעון, in insania, i.e., in actual fact in praecipitatione (Vatabl.). "The portion of Naboth" is the vineyard of Naboth mentioned in 1 Kings 21, which formed only one portion of the gardens of the king's palace.
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