2 Kings 9
Hazael and Jehu were the men that were designed to be the instruments
of God's justice in punishing and destroying the house of Ahab. Elijah
was told to appoint them to this service; but, upon Ahab's humiliation,
a reprieve was granted, and so it was left to Elisha to appoint them.
Hazael's elevation to the throne of Syria we read of in the foregoing
chapter; and we must now attend Jehu to the throne of Israel; for him
that escapeth the sword of Hazael, as Joram and Ahaziah did, Jehu must
slay, of which this chapter gives us an account.
I. A commission is sent to Jehu by the hand of one of the prophets, to
take upon him the government, and destroy the house of Ahab,
2 Kings 9:1-10.
II. Here is his speedy execution of this commission.
1. He communicates it to his captains,
2 Kings 9:11-15.
2. He marches directly to Jezreel
(2 Kings 9:16-20),
and there dispatches
(1.) Joram king of Israel,
2 Kings 9:21-26.
(2.) Ahaziah king of Judah,
2 Kings 9:27-29.
2 Kings 9:30-37.
|Jehu Anointed King.
||B. C. 884.|
1 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 Ramoth-gilead:
2 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;
3 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.
4 So the young man, even the young man the prophet, went to
5 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.
6 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.
7 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.
8 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:
9 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:
10 And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel,
and there shall be none to bury her. And he opened the door,
We have here the anointing of Jehu to be king, who was, at this time, a
commander (probably commander-in-chief) of the forces employed at
2 Kings 9:14.
There he was fighting for the king his master, but received orders from
a higher king to fight against him. It does not appear that Jehu aimed
at the government, or that he ever thought of it, but the commission
given him was a perfect surprise to him. Some think that he had been
anointed before by Elijah, whom God ordered to do it, but privately,
and with an intimation that he must not act till further orders, as
Samuel anointed David long before he was to come to the throne: but
that it not at all probable, for then we must suppose Elijah had
anointed Hazael too. No, when God bade him do these things he bade him
anoint Elisha to be prophet in his room, to do them when he was
gone, as God should direct him. Here is,
I. The commission sent.
1. Elisha did not go himself to anoint Jehu, because he was old and
unfit for such a journey and so well known that he could not do it
privately, could not go and come without observation; therefore he
sends one of the sons of the prophets to do it,
2 Kings 9:1.
They not only reverences him as their father
(2 Kings 2:15),
but observed and obeyed him as their father. This service of anointing
(1.) Had danger in it
(1 Samuel 16:2),
and therefore it was not fit that Elisha should expose himself, but one
of the sons of the prophets, whose life was of less value, and who
could do it with less danger.
(2.) It required labour and was therefore fitter for a young man in his
full strength. Let youth work and age direct.
(3.) Yet it was an honourable piece of service, to anoint a king, and
he that did it might hope to be preferred for it afterwards, and
therefore, for the encouragement of the young prophets, Elisha employed
one of them: he would not engross all the honours to himself, nor
grudge the young prophets a share in them.
2. When he sent him,
(1.) He put the oil into his hand with which he must anoint Jehu:
Take this box of oil Solomon was anointed with oil out of the
1 Kings 1:39.
That could not now be had, but oil from a prophet's hand was equivalent
to oil out of God's house. Probably it was not the constant practice to
anoint kings, but upon the disturbance of the succession, as in the
case of Solomon, or the interruption of it, as in the case of Joash
(2 Kings 11:12),
or the translation of the government to a new family, as here and in
the case of David; yet it might be used generally, though the scripture
does not mention it.
(2.) He put the words into his mouth which he must say
(2 Kings 9:3)--
I have anointed thee king, and, no doubt, told him all the rest
that he said,
2 Kings 9:7-10.
Those whom God sends on his errands shall not go without full
(3.) He also ordered him,
[1.] To do it privately, to single out Jehu from the rest of the
captains and anoint him in an inner chamber
(2 Kings 9:2),
that Jehu's confidence in his commission might be tried, when he had no
witness to attest it. His being suddenly animated for the service would
be proof sufficient of his being anointed to it. There needed no other
proof. The thing signified was the best evidence of the sign.
[2.] To do it expeditiously. When he went about it he must gird up
his loins; when he had done it he must flee and not tarry
for a fee, or a treat, or to see what Jehu would do. It becomes the
sons of the prophets to be quick and lively at their work, to go about
it and go through it as men that hate sauntering and trifling. They
should be as angels that fly swiftly.
II. The commission delivered. The young prophet did his business with
despatch, was at Ramoth-Gilead presently,
2 Kings 9:4.
There he found the general officers sitting together, either at dinner
or in a council of war,
2 Kings 9:5.
With the assurance that became a messenger from God, notwithstanding
the meanness of his appearance, he called Jehu out from the rest, not
waiting his leisure, or begging his pardon for disturbing him, but as
one having authority: I have an errand to thee, O captain.
Perhaps Jehu had some intimation of his business; and therefore, that
he might not seem too forward to catch at the honour, he asked, To
which of all us? that it might not be said afterwards he got it by
speaking first, but they might all be satisfied he was indeed the
person designed. When the prophet had him alone he anointed him,
2 Kings 9:6.
The anointing of the Spirit is a hidden thing, that new name which none
knows but those that have it. Herewith,
1. He invests him with the royal dignity: Thus saith the Lord God of
Israel, whose messenger I am, in his name I have anointed thee
king over the people of the Lord. He gives him an incontestable
title, but reminds him that he was made king,
(1.) By the God of Israel; from him he must see his power
derived (for by him kings reign), for he must use it, and to him he
must be accountable. Magistrates are the ministers of God, and must
therefore act in dependence upon him and with an entire devotedness to
him and to his glory.
(2.) Over the Israel of God. Though the people of Israel were
wretchedly corrupted, and had forfeited all the honour of relationship
to God, yet they are here called the people of the Lord, for he
had a right to them and had not yet given them a bill of divorce. Jehu
must look upon the people he was made king of as the people of the
Lord, not as his vassals, but God's freemen, his sons, his
first-born, not to be abused or tyrannized over, God's people,
and therefore to be ruled for him, and according to his laws.
2. He instructs him in his present service, which was to destroy all
the house of Ahab
(2 Kings 9:7),
not that he might clear his own way to the throne, and secure to
himself the possession of it, but that he might execute the judgments
of God upon that guilty and obnoxious family. He calls Ahab his
master, that the relation might be no objection. "He was thy
master, and to lift up thy hand against his son and successor would be
not only base ingratitude, but treason, rebellion, and all that is bad,
if thou hadst not an immediate command from God to do it. But thou art
under higher obligations to thy Master in heaven than to thy master
Ahab. He has determined that the whole house of Ahab shall
perish, and by thy hand; fear not: has not he commanded
thee? Fear not sin; his command will justify thee and bear thee out:
fear not danger; his command will secure and prosper thee." That he
might intelligently, and in a right manner, do this great execution on
the house of Ahab, he tells him,
(1.) What was their crime, what the ground of the controversy, and
wherefore God had quarrel with them, that he might have an eye to that
which God had an eye to, and that was the blood of God's servants,
the prophets and others, faithful worshippers, which they had shed,
and which must now be required at the hand of Jezebel. That they were
idolaters was bad enough, and merited all that was brought upon them;
yet that is not mentioned here, but the controversy God has with them
is for their being persecutors, not so much their throwing down
God's altars as their slaying his prophets with the sword.
Nothing fills the measure of the iniquity of any prince or people as
this does nor brings a surer or a sorer ruin. This was the sin that
brought on Jerusalem its first destruction
(2 Chronicles 36:16)
and its final one,
Jezebel's whoredoms and witchcrafts were not so provoking as her
persecuting the prophets, killing some and driving the rest into
corners and caves,
1 Kings 18:4.
(2.) What was their doom. They were sentenced to utter destruction; not
to be corrected, but to be cut off and rooted out. This Jehu must know,
that his eye might not spare for pity, favour, or affection. All that
belonged to Ahab must be slain,
2 Kings 9:8.
A pattern is given him of the destruction intended, in the destruction
of the families of Jeroboam and Baasha
(2 Kings 9:9),
and he is particularly directed to throw Jezebel to the dogs,
2 Kings 9:10.
The whole stock of royal blood was little enough, and too little, to
atone for the blood of the prophets, the saints and martyrs, which, in
God's account, is of great price.
The prophet, having done this errand, made the best of his way home
again, and left Jehu alone to consider what he had to do and beg
direction from God.
11 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
12 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.
13 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.
14 So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired
against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramoth-gilead, he and all
Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria.
15 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
Jehu, after some pause, returned to his place at the board, taking no
notice of what had passed, but, as it should seem, designing, for the
present, to keep it to himself, if they had not urged him to disclose
it. Let us therefore see what passed between him and the captains.
I. With what contempt the captains speak of the young prophet
(2 Kings 9:11):
"Wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? What business had he
with thee? And why wouldst thou humour him so far as to retire for
conversation with him? Are prophets company for captains?" They are
called him a mad fellow, because he was one of those that would
not run with them to an excess of riot
(1 Peter 4:4),
but lived a life of self-denial, mortification, and contempt of the
world, and spent their time in devotion; for these things they thought
the prophets were fools and the spiritual men were mad,
Note, Those that have no religion commonly speak with disdain of those
that are religious, and look upon them as mad. They said of our
Saviour, He is beside himself, of John Baptist, He has a
devil (is a poor melancholy man), of St. Paul, Much learning has
made him mad. The highest wisdom is thus represented as folly, and
those that best understand themselves are looked upon as beside
themselves. Perhaps Jehu intended it for a rebuke to his friends when
he said, "You know the man to be a prophet, why then do you call
him a mad fellow? You know the way of his communication to be not from
madness, but inspiration." Or, "Being a prophet, you may guess what his
business is, to tell me of my faults, and to teach me my duty; I need
not inform you concerning it." Thus he thought to put them off, but
they urged him to tell them. "It is false," say they, "we cannot
conjecture what was his errand, and therefore tell us." Being thus
pressed to it, he told them that the prophet had anointed him
king, and it is probable showed them the oil upon his head,
2 Kings 9:12.
He knew not but some of them either out of loyalty to Joram or envy of
him, might oppose him, and go near to crush his interest in its
infancy; but he relied on the divine appointment, and was not afraid to
own it, knowing whom he had trusted: he that raised him would stand by
II. With what respect they compliment the new king upon the first
notice of his advancement,
2 Kings 9:13.
How meanly soever they thought of the prophet that anointed him, and of
his office, they expressed a great veneration for the royal dignity of
him that was anointed, and were very forward to proclaim him and sound
of trumpet. In token of their subjection and allegiance to him, their
affection to his person and government, and their desire to see him
high and easy in it, they put their garments under him, that he might
stand or sit upon them on the top of the stairs, in sight of the
soldiers, who, upon the first intimation, came together to grace the
solemnity. God put it into their hearts thus readily to own him, for he
turns the hearts of people as well as kings, like the rivers of water,
into what channel he pleases. Perhaps they were disquieted at Joram's
government or had a particular affection for Jehu; or, however this
might be, things it seems were ripe for the revolution, and they all
came into Jehu's interest and conspired against Joram,
2 Kings 9:14.
III. With what caution Jehu proceeded. He had advantages against Joram,
and he knew how to improve them. He had the army with him. Joram had
left it, and had gone home badly wounded. Jehu's good conduct appears
in two things:--
1. That he complimented the captains, and would do nothing without
their advice and consent ("If it be your minds, we will do so and so,
else not"), thereby intimating the deference he paid to their judgment
and the confidence he had in their fidelity, both which tended to
please and fix them. It is the wisdom of those that would rise fast,
and stand firm, to take their friends along with them.
2. That he contrived to surprise Joram; and, in order thereto, to come
upon him with speed, and to prevent his having notice of what was now
done: "Let none go forth to tell it in Jezreel, that, as a
snare, the ruin may come on him and his house." The suddenness of an
attack sometimes turns to as good an account as the force of it.
|Jehu's Approach to Jezreel.
||B. C. 884.|
16 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.
17 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 a horseman, and send to meet them, and let
him say, Is it peace?
18 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.
19 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.
20 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.
21 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.
22 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
23 And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah,
There is treachery, O Ahaziah.
24 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.
25 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;
26 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.
27 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.
28 And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and
buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city of
29 And in the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began
Ahaziah to reign over Judah.
From Ramoth-Gilead to Jezreel was more than one day's march; about the
mid-way between them the river Jordan must be crossed. We may suppose
Jehu to have marched with all possible expedition, and to have taken
the utmost precaution to prevent the tidings from getting to Jezreel
before him; and, at length, we have him within sight first, and then
within reach, of the devoted king.
I. Joram's watchman discovers him first at a distance, him and his
retinue, and gives notice to the king of the approach of a company,
whether of friends or foes he cannot tell. But the king (impatient to
know what is the matter, and perhaps jealous that the Syrians, who had
wounded him, had traced him by the blood to his own palace, and were
coming to seize him) sent first one messenger, and then another, to
bring him intelligence,
2 Kings 9:17-19.
He had scarcely recovered from the fright he was put into in the
battle, and his guilty conscience put him into a continual terror. Each
messenger asked the same question: "Is it peace? are you for us
or for our adversaries? Do you bring good tidings or bad?" Each had the
same answer: What hast thou to do with peace? Turn thee behind
2 Kings 9:18,19.
As if he had said, "It is not to thee, but to him that sent thee, that
I will give answer; for thy part, if thou consult thy own safety,
turn thee behind me, and enlist thyself among my followers." The
watchman gave notice that the messengers were taken prisoners, and at
length observed that the leader of this troop drove like Jehu, who it
seems was noted for driving furiously, thereby discovering himself to
be a man of a hot eager spirit, intent upon his business, and pushing
forward with all his might. A man of such a violent temper was fittest
for the service to which Jehu was designated. The wisdom of God is seen
in the choice of proper instruments to be employed in his work. But it
is not much for any man's reputation to be known by his fury. He that
has rule over his own spirit is better than the mighty. The Chaldee
paraphrase gives this a contrary sense: The leading is like that of
Jehu, for he leads quietly. And, it should seem, he did not come up
very fast, for then there would not have been time for all this that
passed. And some think he chose to march slowly, that he might give
Joram time to come out to him, and so dispatch him before he entered
II. Joram himself goes out to meet him, and takes Ahaziah king of Judah
along with him, neither of them equipped for war, as not expecting an
enemy, but in haste to have their curiosity satisfied. How strangely
has Providence sometimes ordered it, that men have been in haste to
meet their ruin when their day has come to fall.
1. The place where Joram met Jehu was ominous: In the portion of
Naboth the Jezreelite,
2 Kings 9:21.
The very sight of that ground was enough to make Joram tremble and Jehu
triumph; for Joram had the guilt of Naboth's blood fighting against him
and Jehu had the force of Elijah's curse fighting for him. The
circumstances of events are sometimes so ordered by divine Providence
as to make the punishment answer to the sin as face answers to face in
2. Joram's demand was still the same: "Is it peace, Jehu? Is all
well? Dost thou come home thus flying from the Syrians or more than a
conqueror over them?" It seems, he looked for peace, and could not
entertain any other thought. Note, It is very common for great sinners,
even when they are upon the brink of ruin, to flatter themselves with
an opinion that all is well with them, and to cry peace to
3. Jehu's reply was very startling. He answered him with a question:
What peace canst thou expect, so long as the whoredoms of thy
mother Jezebel (who, though queen dowager, was in effect queen
regent) and her witchcrafts are so many? See how plainly Jehu
deals with him. Formerly he durst not do so, but now he had another
spirit. Note, Sinners will not always be flattered; one time or other,
they will have their own given them,
(1.) He charges upon him his mother's wickedness, because he had at
first learned it and then with his kingly power protected it. She
stands impeached for whoredom, corporal and spiritual (serving idols
and serving them with the very acts of lewdness), for witchcraft
likewise, enchantments and divinations, used in honour of her idols;
and these multiplied, the whoredoms and the witchcrafts many; for those
that abandon themselves to wicked courses know not where they will
stop. One sin begets another.
(2.) Upon that account he throws him off from all pretensions to peace:
"What peace can come to that house in which there is so much wickedness
unrepented of?" Note, The way of sin can never be the way of peace,
What peace can sinners have with God, what peace with their own
consciences, what good, what comfort, can they expect in life, in
death, or after death, who go on still in their trespasses? No peace so
long as sin is persisted in; but, as soon as it is repented of and
forsaken, there is peace.
4. The execution was done immediately. When Joram heard of his mother's
crimes his heart failed him; he presently concluded the long-threatened
day of reckoning had now come, and cried out, "There is treachery, O
Ahaziah! Jehu is our enemy, and it is time for us to shift for our
safety." Both fled, and,
(1.) Joram king of Israel was slain presently,
2 Kings 9:24.
Jehu dispatched him with his own hands. The bow was not drawn at a
venture, as that which sent the fatal arrow through the joints of his
father's harness, but Jehu directed the arrow between his shoulders as
he fled (it was one of God's arrows which he has ordained against
and it reached to his heart, so that he died upon the spot. He was now
the top branch of Ahab's house, and therefore was first cut off. He
died a criminal, under the sentence of the law, which Jehu, the
executioner, pursues in the disposal of the dead body. Naboth's
vineyard was hard by, which put him in mind of that circumstance of the
doom Elijah passed upon Ahab, "I will requite thee in this plat,
said the Lord
(2 Kings 9:25,26),
for the blood of Naboth himself, and for the blood of his
sons," who were either put to death with him as partners in his
crime, or secretly murdered afterwards, lest they should bring an
appeal, or find some way to avenge their father's death, or break their
hearts for the loss of him, or (his whole estate being confiscated, as
well as his vineyard) lose their livelihoods, which was in effect to
lose their lives. For this the house of Ahab must be reckoned with; and
that very piece of ground which he, with so much pride and pleasure,
had made himself master of at the expense of the guilt of innocent
blood, now became the theatre on which his son's dead body lay exposed
a spectacle to the world. Thus the Lord is known by the judgment
which he executeth. Higgaion. Selah.
(2.) Ahaziah king of Judah was pursued, and slain in a little time, and
not far off,
2 Kings 9:27,28.
[1.] Though he was now in Joram's company, he would not have been slain
but that he was joined with the house of Ahab both in affinity and in
iniquity. He was one of them (so he had made himself by his sins) and
therefore he must fare as they fared. Jehu justly construed his
commission as extending to them. Yet,
[2.] Perhaps he would not at this time have fallen with them if he had
not been found in company with them. It is a dangerous thing to
associate with evil-doers; we may be entangled both in guilt and misery
|Joram and Ahaziah Slain.
||B. C. 884.|
30 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
31 And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri
peace, who slew his master?
32 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
33 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.
34 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
35 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.
36 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:
37 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.
The greatest delinquent in the house of Ahab was Jezebel: it was she
that introduced Baal, slew the Lord's prophets, contrived the murder of
Naboth, stirred up her husband first, and then her sons, to do
wickedly; a cursed woman she is here called
(2 Kings 9:34),
a curse to the country, and whom all that wished well to their country
had a curse for. Three reigns her reign had lasted, but now, at length,
her day had come to fall. We read of a false prophetess in the church
of Thyatira that is compared to Jezebel, and called by her name
her wickedness the same, seducing God's servants to idolatry, a long
space given her to repent
(2 Kings 9:21)
as to Jezebel, and a fearful ruin brought upon her at last
(2 Kings 9:22,23),
as here upon Jezebel. So that Jezebel's destruction may be looked upon
as typical of the destruction of idolaters and persecutors, especially
that great whore, that mother of harlots, that hath made herself
drunk with the blood of saints and the nations drunk with the
wine of her fornications, when God shall put it into the heart of
the kings of the earth to hate her,
Now here we have,
I. Jezebel daring the judgment. She heard that Jehu had slain her son,
and slain him for her whoredoms and witchcrafts, and thrown his dead
body into the portion of Naboth, according to the word of the Lord, and
that he was now coming to Jezreel, where she could not but expect
herself to fall next a sacrifice to his revenging sword. Now see how
she meets her fate; she posted herself in a window at the entering of
the gate, to affront Jehu and set him at defiance.
1. Instead of hiding herself, as one afraid of divine vengeance, she
exposed herself to it and scorned to flee, mocked at fear and was not
affrighted. See how a heart hardened against God will brave it out to
the last, run upon him, even upon his neck,
But never did any thus harden their hearts against him and prosper.
2. Instead of humbling herself, and putting herself into close mourning
for her son, she painted her face, and tired her head, that she
might appear like herself, that is (as she thought), great and
majestic, hoping thereby to daunt Jehu, to put him out of countenance,
and to stop his career. The Lord God called to baldness and girding
with sackcloth, but behold painting and dressing, walking contrary
There is not a surer presage of ruin than an unhumbled heart under
humbling providences. Let painted faces look in Jezebel's glass, and
see how they like themselves.
3. Instead of trembling before Jehu, the instrument of God's vengeance,
she thought to make him tremble with that threatening question, Had
Zimri peace, who slew his master? Observe,
(1.) She took no notice of the hand of God gone out against her family,
but flew in the face of him that was only the sword in his hand. We are
very apt, when we are in trouble, to break out into a passion against
the instruments of our trouble, when we ought to be submissive to God
and angry at ourselves only.
(2.) She pleased herself with the thought that what Jehu was now doing
would certainly end in his own ruin, and that he would not have peace
in it. He had cut her off from all pretensions to peace
(2 Kings 9:22),
and now she thought to cut him off likewise. Note, It is no new thing
for those that are doing God's work to be looked upon as out of the way
of peace. Active reformers, faithful reprovers, are threatened with
trouble; but let them be in nothing terrified,
(3.) She quoted a precedent, to deter him from the prosecution of this
enterprise: "Had Zimri peace? No, he had not; he came to the
throne by blood and treachery, and within seven days was constrained to
burn the palace over his head and himself in it: and canst thou expect
to fare any better?" Had the case been parallel, it would have been
proper enough to give him this memorandum; for the judgments of God
upon those that have gone before us in any sinful way should be
warnings to us to take heed of treading in their steps. But the
instance of Zimri was misapplied to Jehu. Zimri had no warrant for what
he did, but was incited to it merely by his own ambition and cruelty;
whereas Jehu was anointed by one of the sons of the prophets, and did
this by order from heaven, which would bear him out. In comparing
persons and things we must carefully distinguish between the precious
and the vile, and take heed lest from the fate of sinful men we read
the doom of useful men.
II. Jehu demanding aid against her. He looked up to the window, not
daunted at the menaces of her impudent but impotent rage, and cried,
Who is on my side? Who?
2 Kings 9:32.
He was called out to do God's work, in reforming the land and punishing
those that had debauched it; and here he calls out for assistance in
the doing of it, looked as if there were any to help, any to uphold,
He lifts up a standard, and makes proclamation, as Moses
Who is on the Lord's side? And the Psalmist
Who will rise up for me against the evil-doers? Note, When
reformation-work is set on foot, it is time to ask, "Who sides with
III. Her own attendants delivering her up to his just revenge. Two or
three chamberlains looked out to Jehu with such a countenance as
encouraged him to believe they were on his side, and to them he called
not to seize or secure her till further orders, but immediately to
throw her down, which was one way of stoning malefactors, casting them
headlong from some steep place. Thus was vengeance taken on her for the
stoning of Naboth. They threw her down,
2 Kings 9:33.
If God's command would justify Jehu, his command would justify them.
Perhaps they had a secret dislike of Jezebel's wickedness, and hated
her, though they served her; or, it may be, she was barbarous and
injurious to those about her, and they were pleased with this
opportunity of being avenged on her; or, observing Jehu's success, they
hoped thus to ingratiate themselves with him, and keep their places in
his court. However it was, thus she was most shamefully put to death,
dashed against the wall and the pavement, and then trodden on by the
horses, which were all besmeared with her blood and brains. See the end
of pride and cruelty, and say, The Lord is righteous.
IV. The very dogs completing her shame and ruin, according to the
prophecy. When Jehu had taken some refreshment in the palace, he
bethought himself of showing so much respect to Jezebel's sex and
quality as to bury her. As bad as she was, she was a daughter, a king's
daughter, a king's wife, a king's mother: Go and bury her,
2 Kings 9:34.
But, though he had forgotten what the prophet said
(2 Kings 9:10,
Dogs shall eat Jezebel), God had not forgotten it. While he was
eating and drinking, the dogs had devoured her dead body, the dogs that
went about the city
and fed upon the carrion, so that there was nothing left but her bare
skull (the painted face gone) and her feet and hands. The hungry dogs
had no respect to the dignity of her extraction; a king's daughter was
no more to them than a common person. When we pamper our bodies, and
use them deliciously, let us think how vile they are, and that shortly
they will be either a feast for worms under ground or beasts above
ground. When notice was brought of this to Jehu, he remembered the
(1 Kings 21:23),
The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. Nothing
should remain of her but the monuments of her infamy. She had been used
to appear on public days in great state, and the cry was, "This is
Jezebel. What a majestic port and figure! How great she looks!" But now
it shall be said no more. We have often seen the wicked buried
yet sometimes, as here, they have no burial,
Jezebel's name nowhere remained, but as stigmatized in sacred writ:
they could not so much as say, "This is Jezebel's dust, This is
Jezebel's grave," or "This is Jezebel's seed." Thus the name of the
wicked shall rot--rot above ground.