And you shall smite the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The house of Ahab thy master.—Not Ahab thy master, but the house of Ahab thy lords. The LXX. adds, from before me.
The blood of all the servants of the Lord.—We are not told elsewhere, but the thing is in itself probable, that Jezebel persecuted to the death those who clung to the exclusive worship of Jehovah.
At the hand of Jezebel.—Comp. Genesis 9:5. Jezebel (Heb., ’Izèbel) means immaculata—i.e., virgo. Is it the original of Isabel, Isabella, Isbel?2 Kings 9:7. And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab — Thou shalt execute my judgment upon them, pronounced long ago. That I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, &c. — That they were idolaters was bad enough, and merited all that was brought upon them; yet this is not mentioned here; but the controversy God has with them is for their being persecutors. Nothing fills up the measure of the iniquity of any prince or people so much as this doth; nor brings a surer or sorer ruin. This was the sin which principally brought on Jerusalem both its first and its final destruction, 2 Chronicles 36:16, and Matthew 23:37-38. Jezebel’s whoredoms and witchcrafts were not so provoking to God as her persecuting the prophets and other faithful worshippers of God, killing some, and driving the rest into corners and caves, 1 Kings 18:4.2 Kings 9:6 entered, that is, one of the rooms opening into the court. Smite, i.e. kill and destroy, as that word is used, Genesis 8:21, and elsewhere.
Thy master; thy former lord and king. 2 Kings 9:25, but this was to be no objection with him to the destroying of his house, as being an act of high treason, since he had an order for it from the King of kings, and Lord of lords; which otherwise would have seemed unlawful and criminal, and what follows will sufficiently vindicate the justice of God in it:
that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord, at the hand of Jezebel; who killed the prophets of the Lord, and caused to be put to death Naboth the servant of the Lord, and now their blood was to be avenged on her and her son Joram, and all her family.And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master] The punishment of Ahab had been postponed because of his repentance (1 Kings 21:29) but the sins of the father, which have blossomed and borne evil fruit in his children, will at last be thoroughly punished. The instrument chosen is one who had been in the service of Ahab, and so was aware of the evil that had been wrought by him.
my servants, the prophets] Although Obadiah was able to save a hundred, Jezebel still made havoc of the rest. And it appears from the words that follow that not the prophets only, but all the servants of the Lord, had been the objects of her rage. And she was yet alive and in power. There must have been much zeal for Jehovah to sustain the righteous spirit which manifests itself so frequently in the history of Elijah and Elisha.
at the hand of Jezebel] i.e. God will require from her and her family the penalty for all the evil that has been wrought.Verse 7. - And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master. This is plainly a command, not a prophecy. Jehu is expressly ordered by God to "smite," i.e. destroy utterly, the whole house of Ahab. This command he carried out (vers. 24, 33; 2 Kings 10:1-11); and his obedience to it obtained for him the temporal reward that his children to the fourth generation should sit on the throne of Israel (2 Kings 10:30). Yet still his conduct in destroying the house of Ahab is spoken of by the Prophet Hosea as a sin, and God declares, by Hosea's mouth, that he will "avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu" (Hosea 1:4). It is naturally asked - "How could Jehu's shedding this blood, at God's command and in fulfillment of his will, be a sin?" And it is rightly answered, "Because, if we do what is the will of God for any end of our own, for anything except God, we do in fact our own will, not God's. It was not lawful for Jehu to depose and slay the king his master, except at the express command of God, who, as the supreme King, sets up and puts down earthly rulers as he wills. For any other end, and done otherwise than at God's express command, such an act is sin. Jehu was rewarded for the measure in which he fulfilled God's commands, as Ahab, 'who had sold himself to work wickedness,' had yet a temporal reward for humbling himself publicly, when rebuked by God for his sin, and so honoring God, amid an apostate people. But Jehu, by cleaving, against the will of God, to Jeroboam's sin (2 Kings 10:29, 31), which served his own political ends, showed that, in the slaughter of his master, he acted, not as he pretended, out of zeal for the will of God (2 Kings 10:16), but served his own will and his own ambition only. By his disobedience to the one command of God, he showed that he would have equally disobeyed the other, had it been contrary to his own will or interest. He had no principle of obedience. And so the blood which was shed according to the righteous judgment of God, became sin to him that shed it in order to fulfill, not the will of God, but his own" (see Dr. Pusey's 'Minor Prophets, with a Commentary,' p. 9, col. 1). That I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets. Comp. 1 Kings 18:4 and 1 Kings 19:14. Elijah believed all the prophets of Jehovah, except himself, to have been either slain or banished under Ahab, as we see from 1 Kings 18:22 and 1 Kings 19:10, 14. And the blood of all the servants of the Lord. There had evidently been a general persecution of the followers of Jehovah, and not merely a persecution of the prophets. It was only after a number of martyrdoms that the followers of Jehovah in Israel were reduced (1 Kings 19:18) to the scanty number of "seven thousand." At the hand of Jezebel. Jezebel was at the bottom of all the persecutions. Sometimes she took matters into her own hands, gave her own orders, and saw them carried out (1 Kings 18:13; 1 Kings 21:8-14). At other times she was content to "stir her husband up" (1 Kings 21:25) and incite him to evil courses. 2 Kings 9:1-3 contain the instructions which Elisha gave to the pupil of the prophets. השׁמן פּך as in 1 Samuel 10:1. יהוּא שׁם ראה, look round there for Jehu. וגו הקמתו, let him (bid him) rise up from the midst of his brethren, i.e., of his comrades in arms. בּחדר חדר: the true meaning is, "into the innermost chamber" (see at 1 Kings 20:30). 2 Kings 9:3 contains only the leading points of the commission to Jehu, the full particulars are communicated in the account of the fulfilment in 2 Kings 9:6. "And flee, and thou shalt not wait." Elisha gave him this command, not to protect him from danger on the part of the secret adherents of Ahab (Theodoret, Cler.), but to prevent all further discussions, or "that he might not mix himself up with other affairs" (Seb. Schmidt).
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