Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
One. The Rabbins say Jonas; who at this rate, must have been very young, as he prophesied 50 years afterwards, under Jeroboam II. (Calmet) --- Eliseus did not go himself, to avoid giving umbrage, and in obedience to God's order. (Menochius)
Brethren. The captains, ver. 5.
Bottle. See 1 Kings x. 1. Elias had received orders to anoint Jehu, 3 Kings xix 16. (Calmet) --- There. The utmost expedition was necessary, that Joram might be surprised, as well as Ochozias, and their devoted families. (Menochius)
Jezabel, who had persecuted the prophets unto death, 3 Kings xviii. 4.
Israel. See Deuteronomy xxxii. 36., and 3 Kings xiv. 10., for an explanation of these expressions. (Calmet)
Field, between the inner and the outer wall. Her body shall be left exposed to be eaten by the dogs.
Madman. The extravagant motions of the false prophets caused even the true ones to be treated with contempt. Warriors are but too apt to give way to sentiments of irreligion, (Menochius) and to despise men who lead a retired and penitential life. (Haydock) --- How often were Ezechiel and Jeremias treated as fools, (Ezechiel xxxiii. 30., and Jeremias xxix. 26.; Calmet) as well as our divine Saviour? The pagans looked upon those who were inspired by Apollo in the same light. (Haydock) --- Ut primum cessit furor & rabida ora quierunt, Virgil, Æneid vi. "What authority has this fury, which you call divine, that the insane should behold what escapes the observation of the wise, and that he who has lost common (human) sense should possess divine?" ea videat insanus, & is qui humanos sensus amiserit, divinos assecutus sit? (Cicero, Divin. ii.)
False. We know not who he was, or what he said; though, from his conduct, we judge that he was one of the prophets. Hence they so readily acquiesced in saluting Jehu king. (Haydock)
Garment, out of respect, as the multitude honoured Jesus Christ, Matthew xxi. 7. The pagans sometimes did the like when they carried their idols in procession. (Plutarch, in Alcib.) The king of Persia walked on carpets in the court of the guards, who were styled immortal. (Atheneus 12.) --- Trumpet, according to custom, 3 Kings i. 40. (Calmet)
Conspired, with the captains. (Menochius) -- Besieged, as it is observed above, chap. xxviii. 29. Hebrew, "had kept (Haydock) or observed;" watching the motions of Hazael, lest he should return, or succour the citadel.
Watchman. Such were very common, (2 Kings xviii. 24., and 1 Machabees xii. 26.) and as the army was at Ramoth, the attention of the people would be drawn that way. (Calmet) --- Troop. Septuagint, "the dust of the," &c. (Menochius)
Peace? As this expression sufficiently vindicated the designs of Jehu, he would not suffer the messenger to return before him. (Haydock)
Furiously. The Chaldean and Arabic say, "he marcheth slowly." But the whole conduct of Jehu was marked with eagerness and severity, like that of Cato of Utica, (Grotius) and the utmost expedition was requisite.
Jehu? The king supposed that he had meet with some defeat, (Calmet) of that he wished to announce the good tidings in person. (Menochius) (Salien, the year before Christ 902.) --- Vigour? How can Israel prosper? (Haydock)
Hand. Or ordered his charioteer to flee with all speed. (Menochius)
Sitting. Hebrew, "rode together after," as if they were two abreast. (Calmet) --- Burden, or dreadful misfortune. (Menochius)
Children. We do not read these words before, or that the children of Naboth were slain; but it is very usual to supply in one place what has been omitted in another, and Achab was not required to make restitution, (Calmet) as there were no heirs probably left. (Menochius) (Worthington)
House. Septuagint retain "Baithgan," the original term, as if it were the name of that road. (Menochius) --- Ochozias wanted to reach the palace by the garden, which was the source of the miseries of Achab's family. --- There. Being brought back from Samaria, 2 Paralipomenon xxii. 9., (Calmet) or lurking in that kingdom, (Menochius) and slain by Jehu as being the grandson of Jezabel. Great troubles took place in Juda, in consequence of his death. (Calmet)
Eleventh, or rather the twelfth, (chap. viii. 25.; Houbigant) unless he had been associated with his father on the throne a year before his death. (Calmet) (Du Hamel)
Stone, or antimony, to make the eyes look black and large. If (Calmet) Jezabel thought that she would thus command respect or love, (Abulensis) she was extremely imprudent and rash, in her present condition. Pride might suggest that she ought not to appear unadorned. (Calmet) (Tirinus) --- The women of the Eastern countries delight much in painting, (Pliny, [Natural History?] xi. 37., and xxxiii. 6.) and some men have not been ashamed to follow their example. (St. Cyprian) --- Sardanapalus had his eyes and his eye-lids painted. (Atheneus xii.) The Arabs, &c., think that this black colour protects the eyes against the sun-beams. (Valle ii. Ep. 17.) To express the affection of Jezabel, Hebrew has, "she placed her eyes in antimony," (fuc, or puc, whence the Latin fucus is visibly derived) as if she plunged them in it. (Calmet)
Master. Being convinced that she could not gain the affections of Jehu, (Haydock) and thinking that he would not lay hands on a woman, (Menochius) she insolently, or in despair, (Haydock) upbraids him as a new Zambri, who might expect a similar fate, 3 Kings xvi. (Calmet) --- The name of Zambri was used proverbially to denote an ungrateful rebel; as with us Judas is used for a traitor. (Tirinus)
This. "Who dares address me with such provoking language?" Hebrew, "Who with me, who?" will punish the wretch? The eunuchs, who had hitherto waited upon Jezabel, immediately shewed their readiness to take part with her enemy: so little dependence can be placed on servants in the hour of adversity, when they have long been witnesses of their masters' crimes. --- Hoofs. Hebrew, "and the horses, and he trod her under foot." (Haydock) --- Jehu shewed the example. (Menochius)
Bury. He had forgotten the prediction of Elias, ver. 36. (Salien) --- Daughter of Ethbaal, wife of Achab, mother of Joram king of Israel, and mother-in-law of Joram king of Juda, and grandmother of his son Ochozias. (Calmet) --- Her great connexions seemed to entitle her to the rights of sepulture. (Haydock)
Hands. All the rest had been presently devoured, or carried off by dogs. (Haydock) --- Her precious jewels had been plundered by the soldiers. (Menochius)
Field, or space between the walls, 3 Kings xxi. 23. (Calmet)
Jezabel? So fallen (Menochius) and degraded, though once possessed of so much power and beauty! sic transit gloria mundi. Hebrew and Septuagint, "that they shall not say, This is Jezabel!" (Haydock) --- No monument shall recall her to the remembrance of men. (Calmet) --- Her body cannot be recognized. This will be the fate of the greatest mortal beauties, a few days after their departure. St. Francis Borgia durst not take an oath that the corpse which he had to attend, was that of the late beautiful empress Isabella: so much was it already disfigured. This sight was the beginning of his conversion, and of that eminent sanctity to which he attained, by despising all that the world can give or take away. (Haydock) --- The Spanish interpreters call Achab's widow, Isabella: and she seems to have been the sister, or relation, of Dido, who founded Carthage about this time; (Tirinus) Salien says in the 16th year of Jehu, the year before Christ 887. (Haydock)