And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Her hands.—Heb., the hands.2 Kings 9:36, and so to justify his own conduct.
A king's daughter - Merely as the widow of Ahab and mother of Jehoram, Jehu would not have considered Jezebel entitled to buriah. But she was the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians (marginal reference), and so a princess born. This would entitle her to greater respect. Wilfully to have denied her burial would have been regarded as an unpardonable insult by the reigning Sidonian monarch.
but they found no more of her than the scull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands; the flesh, and even all the rest of her bones, being devoured by dogs, so that there was scarce anything of her to be buried, as in 2 Kings 9:10, something similar to this happened to Ascletarion, a mathematician, as related by Suetonius (o).And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)35. they went to bury her] While Jehu was refreshing himself in the palace, the dogs gathered about the dead body of Jezebel and devoured it. So completely had the tide of popular favour turned towards Jehu, that there was not found one to protect the corpse of Jezebel.Verse 35. - And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. "The harder parts of the human frame" (Stanley); perhaps also the less palatable, since cannibals say that the palm of the human hand is excessively bitter. Dogs in Oriental countries are ever prowling about, especially in the vicinity of towns, on the lookout for food, and will eat flesh or offal of any kind. They have been called "the scavengers of the East," and the phrase well describes them. Dean Stanley saw "the wild dogs of Jezreel prowling about the mounds where the offal is cast outside the gates of the town by the inhabitants." 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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