And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramothgilead:Box - Rather, "flask," or "vial" 1 Samuel 10:1. Oil and ointment were commonly kept in open-mouthed jars, vases, or bottles made of glass, alabaster, or earthen-ware. Many such vessels have been found both in Egypt and Assyria. The "oil" was the holy oil, compounded after the receipt given in Exodus Exo 30:23-25.
And when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber;
Then take the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not.Flee, and tarry not - The probable object of these directions was at once to prevent questioning, and to render the whole thing more striking.
So the young man, even the young man the prophet, went to Ramothgilead.
And when he came, behold, the captains of the host were sitting; and he said, I have an errand to thee, O captain. And Jehu said, Unto which of all us? And he said, To thee, O captain.The chief officers - the generals - were assembled together in Jehu's quarters, perhaps holding a council of war. The place of assembly seems to have been the great court. Hence, Jehu "went into the house" 2 Kings 9:6 entered, that is, one of the rooms opening into the court.
And he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the LORD, even over Israel.
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.
For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel:
And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah:
And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. And he opened the door, and fled.
Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and one said unto him, Is all well? wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication.This mad fellow - The captains, seeing his excited look, his strange action, and his extreme haste, call him (as soldiers would) "this wild fellow."
And they said, It is false; tell us now. And he said, Thus and thus spake he to me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel.
Then they hasted, and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king.Took every man his garment, and put it under him - The outer cloak of the Jews was a sort of large shawl or blanket, which might well serve for a carpet of state. Such a carpet is commonly represented on the seat of an Assyrian throne in the Nineveh sculptures.
The stairs rose against the walI of the house from the pavement of the court to the level of the upper story, or of the roof. At the top of the stairs would be a flat platform, and this would form a throne, on which the new king could exhibit himself to his subjects.
So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramothgilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria.Had kept - Rather, "was keeping watch." The city had been taken: but the war continuing, and there being a danger of the Syrians recovering it, Joram and all Israel (i. e., the whole military force) were guarding the recent conquest, while Hazael threatened it.
But king Joram was returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) And Jehu said, If it be your minds, then let none go forth nor escape out of the city to go to tell it in Jezreel.
So Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to Jezreel; for Joram lay there. And Ahaziah king of Judah was come down to see Joram.
And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, Is it peace?
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.What hast thou to do with peace? - i. e., "What does it matter to thee whether my errand is one of peace or not?"
Then he sent out a second on horseback, which came to them, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu answered, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me.
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.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.
And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite.Make ready - literally, (as in margin) "Blind," i. e., "Harness the horses to the chariot." The king had no suspicion of Jehu's treason. Probably he imagined that he was bringing him important news from the seat of war. Ahaziah's accompanying him is significant of the close friendship which united the uncle and the nephew. They went out not "against" Jehu, but rather "to meet him."
In the portion of Naboth - This is no longer called a "vineyard" 1 Kings 21:1-18; probably because it had been thrown into the palace garden, and applied to the purpose for which Ahab originally wanted it. The approach to the city on this side must have lain either through it, or close by it.
And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?Joram had asked the usual question, "Is it peace?" - meaning simply, "Is all well?" In Jehu's reply, by "whoredoms" we are probably to understand "idolatries," acts of spiritual unfaithfulness; by "witchcrafts," dealings with the Baal prophets and oracles. Compare 2 Kings 1:2 note.
And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, O Ahaziah.Turned his hands - The meaning is that Joram ordered his charioteer to turn round and drive back to the town.
And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot.Jehu drew a bow ... - literally, as in the margin, i. e., "Jehu took a bow in his hand." The arrow struck Jehoram's back, between his two shoulders, as he fled.
Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain, Take up, and cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite: for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the LORD laid this burden upon him;Rode together after Ahab - The Assyrian sculptures make it probable that Josephus was right in interpreting this "rode side by side behind Ahab in his chariot." The Assyrian monarchs, when they go out to war, are frequently attended hy two guards, who stand behind them in the same chariot.
Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons, saith the LORD; and I will requite thee in this plat, saith the LORD. Now therefore take and cast him into the plat of ground, according to the word of the LORD.The passage from "Surely I have seen" to "Saith the Lord," is exegetical of 2 Kings 9:25, containing the "burden" there spoken of.
And the blood of his sons - The murder of Naboth's sons is here for the first time mentioned; but as the removal of the sons was necessary, if the vineyard was to pass to Ahab, we can well understand that Jezebel would take care to clear them out of the way.
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.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.
And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city of David.
And in the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah.In the eleventh year - The twelfth according to 2 Kings 8:25. The discrepancy may be best explained from two ways of reckoning the accession of Ahaziah, who is likely to have been regent for his father during at least one year. See 2 Chronicles 21:19.
And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.Painted her face - literally, "put her eyes in antimony " - i. e., dyed the upper and under eyelids, a common practice in the East, even at the present day. The effect is at once to increase the apparent size of the eye, and to give it unnatural brilliancy. Representations of eyes thus embellished occur on the Assyrian sculptures, and the practice existed among the Jews (marginal reference; and Jeremiah 4:30).
Tired her head - Dressed (attired) her head, and no doubt put on her royal robes, that she might die as became a queen, in true royal array.
A window - Rather, "the window." The gate-tower had probably, as many of those in the Assyrian sculptures, one window only.
And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?
And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs.
And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot.
And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter.Leaving the mangled body on the bare earth, Jehu went to the banquet. It was, no doubt, important that he should at once show himself to the court as king. In calling Jezebel "this cursed one," Jehu means to remind his hearers that the curse of God had been pronounced upon her by Elijah 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.
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.
Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel:
And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.