2 Kings 9:27
But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there.
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(27) But when . . . saw this.Now Ahaziah . . . had seen it; and he fled, &c.

By the way of the garden house—i.e., in the direction of the garden house, which was probably a sort of arbour or drinking pavilion near the gates of the palace gardens, of which Naboth’s vineyard formed a part. Ahaziah wished to escape from the royal park as fast as he could.

Smite him also in the chariot.—The Hebrew is much more suited to the excitement of the occasion: Him too! shoot him in the chariot! (Here and in 2Kings 9:13, supra, ‘el, “into,” seems equivalent to ‘al, “upon.”)

And they did so.—Some such words as these may have fallen out of the Hebrew text. So the Syriac: “Him also! slay him! and they slew him in his chariot, on the ascent of Gur,” &c. But the rendering of the LXX. involves the least change, and is probably right: “Him too! And he smote him in the chariot, in the going up,” &c. This is more graphic. Jehu simply ejaculates,” Him too! “and, after a hot pursuit, shoots his second victim, at the ascent or declivity of Gur, where Ahaziah’s chariot would be forced to slacken speed.

The ascent of Gur is not mentioned elsewhere. Ibleam lay between Jezreel and Megiddo. (Comp. Judges 1:27; Joshua 17:11.)

And he fled to Megiddo, and died there.—See the Note on 2Chronicles 22:9, where a different tradition respecting the end of Ahaziah is recorded. The definite assignment of localities in the present account is a mark of greater trustworthiness. The way in which Rashi, whom Keil follows, attempts to combine the two accounts, is revolting to common sense. It would be better to assume a corruption of the text in one or the other narrative.

Megiddo.—Identified in the cuneiform inscriptions as Magidû or Magadû.

2 Kings 9:27-28. He fled by the way of the garden-house — By some secret way, hoping to escape while they were busy about Joram. Jehu said, Smite him also — As you have done Joram, for he also is of the house of Ahab, chap. 2 Kings 8:18. And they did so — They wounded him, but not mortally; being the more remiss in executing Jehu’s sentence against him, either because they were not so much concerned in his, as in Joram’s death; or because they had some regard for him for Jehoshaphat’s sake. He fled to Megiddo, and died there — The account of his death is briefly and imperfectly given here, and the defects are supplied in the book of Chronicles, (which was in a great part written to supply things omitted in the book of Kings,) and out of both, the history may be thus completed. He fled first to Megiddo, and thence to Samaria, where he was taken, and thence brought to Jehu, and by his sentence was put to death at Megiddo. And his servants carried him to Jerusalem, &c. — Which they did, by Jehu’s permission, out of respect to Jehoshaphat’s memory, 2 Chronicles 22:9.

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.By the way of the garden-house - Or "by the way of Beth-Gan," which has been conjectured to be another name for En-Gannim, "the spring of the gardens." Both are considered identical with Ginaea, the modern Jenin, which lies due south of Jezreeh The road from Jezreel (Zerin) to Jenin passes at first along the plain of Esdraelon, but after a while begins to rise over the Samaritan hills. Here probably was "the ascent of Gur, by Ibleam," which may have occupied the site of the modern Jelama. Whether the soldiers attacked him there or not is uncertain. The words, "And they did so," are not in the original.

Megiddo - On its situation, see Joshua 12:21 note; and on the possible reconcilement of this passage with 2 Chronicles 22:9, see the note there.

2Ki 9:27-35. Ahaziah Is Slain.

27. Ahaziah—was grandnephew to King Joram, and great-grandson to King Ahab.

Ibleam—near Megiddo, in the tribe of Issachar (Jos 17:11; Jud 1:27); and Gur was an adjoining hill.

By the way of the garden-house; by some secret way, hoping to escape whilst they were busy about Joram.

Smite him also, as you have done Joram; for he also is of the house of Ahab, 2 Kings 8:18.

They did so; they smote or wounded him, but not mortally; either supposing that the wound was mortal; or being more remiss in executing Jehu’s sentence against him, because they were not so much concerned in his as in Joram’s design; or because they had some kindness for him, either for his own or for Jehoshaphat’s sake.

He fled to Megiddo, and died there.

Quest. How doth this agree with 2 Chronicles 22:9, He sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, for he was hid in Samaria, and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him, &c.

Answ. Either, first, Samaria is there to be understood, not of the city, but of the kingdom or territory so called, 1 Kings 13:32, and elsewhere, in which Megiddo was; and so that may be noted to show that he could not flee into his own kingdom, where he might have been safe; but was forced to take up in another part of the kingdom of Israel, in the territory of Samaria, and there to hide himself. Or, secondly, If Samaria be the city, then the history is briefly and imperfectly described here, and the defects supplied there; (the Book of Chronicles being in great part written for that end, to supply things omitted in the Book of Kings;) and out of both the history may be thus completed: He fled first to Megiddo, and thence to Samaria, where he was caught, and thence brought to Jehu, and by his sentence was put to death at Megiddo, either because Jehu was there at that time upon some occasion, or for some other reason, which at this distance of time we cannot understand.

But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this,.... That Joram was slain:

he fled by the way of the garden house, which perhaps stood upon the spot where Naboth's vineyard was, turned into a garden by Ahab:

and Jehu followed after him; as far as Samaria, where he was hid, 2 Chronicles 22:9,

and said, smite him also in the chariot; this order he gave to his soldiers, to do to him as he had done to Joram: and they did so:

at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam; a city in the tribe of Manasseh, Joshua 17:11,

and he fled to Megiddo; after he was wounded; another city in the same tribe, Joshua 17:11,

and died there; at Megiddo; though some think that from thence he was had by his servants to Samaria, and there hid, and, being found, was brought from thence to Jezreel, where he was slain, and died. Jehu was ordered to destroy the whole house of Ahab, and Ahaziah was of that house by his mother's side, and walked in the way of it, and was in conjunction with it, and perished therewith; this, though here recorded, was after the death of Jezebel, and of the seventy sons of Ahab, and of the brethren of Ahaziah.

But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to {i} Megiddo, and died there.

(i) After he was wounded in Samaria, he fled to Megiddo, a city of Judah.

27–29. Death of Ahaziah king of Judah (2 Chronicles 22:7-9)

27. by the way of the garden house] The events took place close to the royal grounds, for Naboth’s vineyard lay in the neighbourhood. The garden house may have been some building at the extremity of the domain by which flight from the scene of destruction appeared easy to Ahaziah. The LXX. however treats it as a proper name, writing Βαιθγάν. This has been supposed to be the same as En-gannim = ‘the well of the gardens’ which is identified with the modern Jenin. This place lies south from Jezreel on the road to Samaria, and would be on the shortest route by which Ahaziah could make his way to Jerusalem.

And Jehu followed after him] i.e. In the person of his partizans and followers, to whom he gave the order ‘Smite him also’. Jehu wished to get into Jezreel as soon as possible, and left the fate of the king of Judah to others.

Smite him also in the chariot] In the original the command continues ‘at the going up to Gur’ (R.V. at the ascent of Gur), as though Jehu knowing the country specified to his men the place where they would be most likely to overtake Ahaziah, where the ground began to rise, and so would retard his flight. This seeming somewhat unnatural, the A.V. inserted ‘And they did so’, the R.V. ‘and they smote him’. Neither Gur nor Ibleam have been identified, and there is some difference between the statements here and the narrative in Chronicles. There we read (2 Chronicles 22:9) that Jehu ‘sought Ahaziah, and they caught him (for he was hid in Samaria) and brought him to Jehu, and when they had slain him they buried him’. The LXX. in this passage has a rendering which suggests how the two accounts may be reconciled. There it is said that Ahaziah had gone to Samaria to be cured (ἰατρευόμενον). Suppose that in the pursuit Jehu’s command to smite him had been carried out, and the wounded king escaped to Samaria in which direction he was hurrying. If he remained there to have his wound attended to, the emissaries of Jehu might discover him, when the new king came to his capital to take possession, and Ahaziah might then be taken to Megiddo and slain. The Chronicler speaks more at length on the particulars of Ahaziah’s death, as the evil issue of an alliance between a king of Judah and the house of Ahab was the sort of lesson on which it suited his purpose to dwell.

And he fled to Megiddo] Megiddo was on the southern extremity of the plain of Esdraelon, and by its position was a place of much strategical importance. It had a king when the Israelites entered Canaan, and it was the scene of the battle against the Canaanites in the days of Deborah. It was a place of importance in the days of Solomon (1 Kings 4:12) for he made it one of his commissariat stations. At a later period it was the scene of Josiah’s death (2 Kings 23:29) when he had taken part with Assyria against Pharaoh-necho, king of Egypt. If we consider ‘Samaria’ in 2 Chronicles 22:9 to mean ‘the land of Samaria’ and not the city, Megiddo was a part thereof, and in that way another method of reconciling the narratives in Kings and Chronicles would be found.

and died there] It was part of Jehu’s commission to have Ahaziah slain, for he was Ahab’s grandson.

Verses 27-29. - Murder of Ahaziah. Verse 27. - But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. As soon as Ahaziah saw Jehu shoot his arrow, he too took to flight; not, however, in the same direction as Joram, but southwards, towards his own land. If "garden house" is the right translation of בֵית הַגַּן, we can say no more than that it was probably one of the lodges of the royal demesne, which lay south-east and south of Jezreel, whereof nothing more is known. But it is quite possible that we ought to translate, with the LXX., "by the way of Beth-Gan" - ἔφυγεν ὁδὸν Βαιθ(γάν. In this case "Beth-Gan" would be a village or town, probably identical with En-gannim, which lay at the foot of the hills bounding the Plain of Esdraelon, nearly due south of Jezreel (Zerin), and which is now known as Jenin (see the Map of Western Palestine, by Mr. Trelawney Saunders, compiled from the surveys of the Palestine Exploration Fund, where Ahaziah's flight is well traced. And Jehu followed after him; and said, Smite him also in the chariot; rather, in his chariot, not in that of Jehoram, since the two kings rode respectively in their own chariots (ver. 21). It was a bold step in a pretender not yet settled upon the throne to provoke the hostility of a neighboring country by murdering its monarch; but Jehu probably thought he had more to fear from Ahaziah himself, who had been on such close terms of friendship with Jehoram, than from any probable successors. He, therefore, finding him in his power, pursued after him and slew him. From a religious point of view he could justify the act; since the commission given to him (ver. 7) was to smite all the house of Ahab, and Ahaziah was Ahab's grandson. And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. The "ascent of Gur," מַעֲלֵה־גוּר, was probably the rising ground between the southern edge of the Plain of Esdraslon and the place known as" Ibleam," or "Bileam" (1 Chronicles 6:70), which is reasonably identified with the modern Bir-el-Belameh, two miles south of Jenin. Here the steep ascent necessarily delayed the chariot, and Ahaziah's pursuers gained upon him, approached him, and wounded him. And he fled to Megiddo. Wounded at the ascent of Gur, and despairing of making his way through the rough mountainous country which lay between him and Jerusalem, Ahaziah suddenly changed his route, perhaps thereby baffling his pursuers, and, skirting the hills, had himself conveyed to Megiddo (Ledjun), where he died, either of his wounds, or through some fresh violence on the part of Jehu (see 2 Chronicles 12:8, 9). The reconciliation of 2 Chronicles 12:8, 9 with the present passage is difficult, but not wholly impossible. Perhaps the Chronicler means by "Samaria" the kingdom, not the town. 2 Kings 9:27When Ahaziah saw this, he fled by the way to the garden-house, but was smitten, i.e., mortally wounded, by Jehu at the height of Gur near Jibleam, so that as he was flying still farther to Megiddo he died, and was carried as a corpse by his servants to Jerusalem, and buried there. After הכּהוּ, "and him also, smite him," we must supply ויּכּהוּ, "and they smote him," which has probably only dropped out through a copyist's error. The way by which Ahaziah fled, and the place where he was mortally wounded, cannot be exactly determined, as the situation of the localities named has not yet been ascertained. The "garden-house" (הגּן בּית הגּ) cannot have formed a portion of the royal gardens, but must have stood at some distance from the city of Jezreel, as Ahaziah went away by the road thither, and was not wounded till he reached the height of Gur near Jibleam. מעלה־גוּר, the ascent or eminence of Gur, is defined by Jibleam. Now, as Ahaziah fled from Jezreel to Megiddo past Jibleam, Thenius thinks that Jibleam must have been situated between Jezreel and Megiddo. But between Jezreel and Megiddo there is only the plain of Jezreel or Esdrelom, in which we cannot suppose that there was any such eminence as that of Gur. Moreover Jibleam or Bileam (1 Chronicles 6:55, see at Joshua 17:11) was probably to the south of Jenin, where the old name בּלעם has been preserved in the well of Arab. bl'mh, Belameh, near Beled Sheik Manssr, which is half an hour's journey off. And it is quite possible to bring this situation of Jibleam into harmony with the account before us. For instance, it is a priori probable that Ahaziah would take the road to Samaria when he fled from Jezreel, not only because his father's brothers were there (2 Kings 10:13), but also because it was the most direct road to Jerusalem; and he might easily be pursued by Jehu and his company to the height of Gur near Jibleam before they overtook him, since the distance from Jezreel (Zern) to Jenin is only two hours and a half (Rob. Pal. iii. p. 828), and the height of Gur might very well be an eminence which he would pass on the road to Jibleam. But the wounded king may afterwards have altered the direction of his flight for the purpose of escaping to Megiddo, probably because he thought that he should be in greater safety there than he would be in Samaria.

(Note: In 2 Chronicles 22:8-9, the account of the slaying of Ahaziah and his brethren (2 Kings 10:12.) is condensed into one brief statement, and then afterwards it is stated with regard to Ahaziah, that "Jehu sought him, and they seized him when he was hiding in Samaria, and brought him to Jehu and slew him, "from which it appears that Ahaziah escaped to Samaria. From the brevity of these accounts it is impossible to reconcile the discrepancy with perfect certainty. On the one hand, our account, which is only limited to the main fact, does not preclude the possibility that Ahaziah really escaped to Samaria, and was there overtaken by Jehu's followers, and then brought back to Jehu, and wounded upon the height of Gur near Jibleam, whence he fled to Megiddo, where he breathed out his life. On the other hand, in the perfectly summary account in the Chronicles, בשׁמרון מתחבּא והוּא may be understood as referring to the attempt to escape to Samaria and hide himself there, and may be reconciled with the assumption that he was seized upon the way to Samaria, and when overtaken by Jehu was mortally wounded.)

- In 2 Kings 9:29 we are told once more in which year of Joram's reign Ahaziah became king. The discrepancy between "the eleventh year" here and "the twelfth year" in 2 Kings 8:25 may be most simply explained, on the supposition that there was a difference in the way of reckoning the commencement of the years of Joram's reign.

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