2 Kings 10
Expositor's Dictionary of Texts
And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought up Ahab's children, saying,
A Full House

2 Kings 10:21

Here is a record of a full house. So full it was that, in the original, it is described as a vessel filled to the brim. But what was its moral significance?

I. A Full Congregation but no True Worship.—If you read the tragical story, you will find that you do it no injustice when you say that two principal motives had filled the house that fateful day: first, the desire to curry favour with the ruling powers, and secondly, the constraint of fashion.

II. Quantity but no Noble Quality.

1. Great lack of conviction characterized this full house. They were not there (most of them at least) because of real loyalty to Baal. It is depth and splendour of conviction which gives quality to an assembly for worship.

2. Very unintelligent was this houseful. They had not thought the claims of Baal out. Their presence in the house of Baal did not represent a process of deliberation. They were the fevered devotees of a popular crusade.

3. Fickle with contemptible fickleness was this Baalite constituency. At quite an alien shrine would they bow presently, did custom or authority look that way. Mere numbers are of little worth. Two or three with Jesus in the midst transcend with incalculable transcendency a house 'full from one end to another' of those whose hearts will not bear the piercing scrutiny of heaven.

III. The Popularity of Error—The house of Baal was undeniably popular in Samaria. But it was the 'house of Baal,' and that is sufficient condemnation of the popularity. There is a popularity which is true, and there is a false popularity.

Error is always assured of a large popularity. False doctrine often draws a crowd, though that crowd does not long cohere.

IV. A Crowd Drawn by Unworthy Means.—When a house of God is crowded by unworthy means it is a dishonour to God and to man alike.

V. A Crowd Composed of Evildoers.—Often is a crowd assembled in an evil place. And too often an evil crowd may be in a holy place.

VI. A Concourse Unconscious of Approaching Doom.—The fearful lot of the misguided worshippers who filled Baal's house is but a faint representation of that which awaits the evildoers who reject a dying Saviour's love.

VII. Truth Transcendent over Numbers.—God's truth must and will ultimately conquer. Baal may gather the crowd, but this shall not be so for ever. Numbers may seem an insuperable menace to Gospel truth; but that truth shall prevail, for the mighty Spirit of God is behind it, yea and in it.

—Dinsdale T. Young, The Travels of the Heart, p. 133.

References.—X. 31.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xii. No. 685. R. W. Hiley, A Year's Sermons, vol. iii. p. 294. H. Goodwin, Parish Sermons, iii. 48. Reading, Sermons, ii. 443. Simeon, Works iii. 523. Wordsworth, Occasional Sermons, iv. 161. XI. 1-16.—A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture2 Kings from chap. viii., etc., p. 13. XI. 10.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xvii. No. 972. XII. 4-15.—A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture2 Kings from chap. viii. p. 19. XIII.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxxix. No. 2303. A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture2 Kings from chap. viii. p. 24.

Now as soon as this letter cometh to you, seeing your master's sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, a fenced city also, and armour;
Look even out the best and meetest of your master's sons, and set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house.
But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand?
And he that was over the house, and he that was over the city, the elders also, and the bringers up of the children, sent to Jehu, saying, We are thy servants, and will do all that thou shalt bid us; we will not make any king: do thou that which is good in thine eyes.
Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye be mine, and if ye will hearken unto my voice, take ye the heads of the men your master's sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time. Now the king's sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, which brought them up.
And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king's sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent him them to Jezreel.
And there came a messenger, and told him, saying, They have brought the heads of the king's sons. And he said, Lay ye them in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning.
And it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, Ye be righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him: but who slew all these?
Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spake concerning the house of Ahab: for the LORD hath done that which he spake by his servant Elijah.
So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests, until he left him none remaining.
And he arose and departed, and came to Samaria. And as he was at the shearing house in the way,
Jehu met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who are ye? And they answered, We are the brethren of Ahaziah; and we go down to salute the children of the king and the children of the queen.
And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house, even two and forty men; neither left he any of them.
And when he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me thine hand. And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot.
And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. So they made him ride in his chariot.
And when he came to Samaria, he slew all that remained unto Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed him, according to the saying of the LORD, which he spake to Elijah.
And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much.
Now therefore call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests; let none be wanting: for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal; whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live. But Jehu did it in subtilty, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal.
And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it.
And Jehu sent through all Israel: and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came not. And they came into the house of Baal; and the house of Baal was full from one end to another.
And he said unto him that was over the vestry, Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal. And he brought them forth vestments.
And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants of the LORD, but the worshippers of Baal only.
And when they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings, Jehu appointed fourscore men without, and said, If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escape, he that letteth him go, his life shall be for the life of him.
And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, Go in, and slay them; let none come forth. And they smote them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the captains cast them out, and went to the city of the house of Baal.
And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them.
And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day.
Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.
Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel, and that were in Dan.
And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.
But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin.
In those days the LORD began to cut Israel short: and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel;
From Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan.
Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, and all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
And Jehu slept with his fathers: and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his stead.
And the time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty and eight years.
Nicoll - Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

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