Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
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:8. The Anointing of Jehu
1. The commission (2Kings 9:1-3)
2. Jehu anointed (2Kings 9:4-10)
The hour of judgment for the house of Ahab has come. The instrument for it, mentioned long ago to Elijah (1Kings 19:16-17), appears now upon the scene. The army of Joram, King of Israel, besieged Ramoth-gilead and Jehu was the captain of the forces. Joram was recovering from his wounds in Jezreel. Then Elisha called one of the sons of the prophets. Handing him a box of oil he sent him to Ramoth-gilead. He was to look out for Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, and anoint him King over Israel. Then he was not to tarry, but to flee. Jehu means “Jehovah is He”; Jehoshaphat, “Jehovah judges”; Nimshi, “Jehovah reveals.” Significant names!)
The messenger carried out the commission and at the same time states the judgment work into which God had called him. He was to execute judgment on the house of Ahab, to avenge the blood of the prophets and the Lord’s servants at the hand of Jezebel. The whole house of Ahab was to perish like Jeroboam (1Kings 14:10) and that of Baasha (1Kings 16:3). “And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her.” More than fifteen years had passed since Jehovah through Elijah had announced the doom of the house of Ahab and the doom of Jezebel. And now the hour of execution had come. God will judge in the end, though He is never in haste to execute His threatened judgments. The day is surely coming when the Lord will judge this world, when especially Jezebel (Revelation 2:20), Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth, drunken with the blood of the saints, the Romish apostate “church,” will receive her judgment. “And in her was found the blood of the prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain on the earth” (Revelation 17:5-6; Revelation 18:24).
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.III. THE PERIOD OF DECLENSION AND APOSTASY
1. Jehu, King of Israel and His Deeds
1. Jehu is king (2Kings 9:11-13)
2. Jehoram, King of Israel slain (2Kings 9:14-26)
3. Ahaziah slain (2Chronicles 22:9)
4. Jezebel and her end (2Kings 9:30-37)
Jehu revealed the secret anointing as King over Israel, and under the blare of the trumpets the army hails him as King. “Jehu is King!” Oh! for that day when our Lord Jesus will be hailed as King to begin His righteous judgment over the earth.
The Assyrian monuments bear interesting testimony to a good deal of the history contained in 2 Kings. Our space forbids a fuller mention of this. The name of Jehu has a place in the obelisk of black marble which Layard discovered at Nimrood. The Assyrian form of his name is “Yahua.” Shalmaneser II (860- 825 B.C.) erected this obelisk and inscribed on it the annals of his reign in 190 lines in cuneiform characters. Five rows of bas-relief illustrate the annals. The second row pictures the bearers of the tribute of Jehu to the Assyrian King. The obelisk is in the British Museum.
He begins at once his awful judgment-work. He is just an instrument used by a holy and righteous God to execute His vengeance. Of real communion with the Lord he knew nothing. Nothing of the fear of the Lord or exercise of soul towards Him is recorded, nor do we read that he ever worshipped or called upon the name of the Lord. There was zeal and obedience in the execution of the judgments of the Lord.
“But how awful in its character! On what a fearful journey does it send this sword of the Lord! From Ramoth to the vineyard of Naboth, from thence to the going up to Gur, from thence to Jezreel, from thence to the shearinghouse, and from thence to Samaria, and all the road marked by blood!--blood, too, appointed in righteousness to be shed! For though the sword that shed it cared not for righteousness, yet in its action the Lord was pleading with the flesh of Ahab and his house--as, by and by, He will have a greater pleading, even with all flesh, and the slain of the Lord shall be many. And what shall be the rapidity and the stretch of the divine judgment then! What will be the journey of the sword of the Lord, or the ‘grounded staff’ in that day, when ‘as the lightning cometh out of the east and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be!’“
The record itself of how Joram and Ahaziah fell under the judgment executed by Jehu needs but little comment. Jehoram sent messengers from Jezreel, which Jehu detained, while he drove on furiously. Then Joram, with his nephew Ahaziah, King of Judah, went to meet Jehu. When they met, the arrow of Jehu, pierced Joram’s heart and his body was cast into the field of Naboth, the Jezreelite, “according to the word of the LORD.” Ahaziah fled, but was smitten “at the going up of Gur.” He tried to reach Megiddo and there he died.
Then comes Jezebel, the wicked. She died as she had lived, in wickedness and pride. She knew she had to die. The evil tidings had reached Jezreel, where once in younger days she was queen and mistress. She painted her face to make herself look beautiful. Did she attempt to attract Jehu? Hardly that, for she was an old woman, having a grandson twenty-two years old (2Kings 8:26). It was a proud defiance--she would meet death like a queen. The miserable, doomed woman, the dunghill of all vileness (Jezebel means “dunghill”), the instigator of crimes, looked out of the window, while Jehu’s chariot came thundering on. Then she spoke, “Is it peace--Zimri! murderer of his master?” It was a bold taunt. Zimri had murdered his master, but reigned only seven days (1Kings 16:9-19). She reminds him of Zimri’s deed and Zimri’s fate. Eunuchs threw her out of the window. The blood bespattered the wall and the prancing horses. The chariot of Jehu rushed on over her body. He did not pay any attention to her mangled body. Jehu entered the royal palace to feast and afterwards gave command to bury the cursed woman. But little was left of her. And Jehu 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.” God’s judgments are often slow, but they are sure.