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,
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?
how then shall
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.
We are thy servants
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.
If ye be mine
Heb. If ye be for me.
your master's sons
which brought them up
"The rich," says Mr. Morier, "hire a dedeh, or wet nurse for their children. If a boy, the father appoints a steady man from the age of two years to be his laleh, who, I conjecture, must stand in the same capacity as the bringers up of children mentioned in the catastrophe of Ahab's sons. But if it be a daughter, she has a gees sefeed, or white head, attached to her for the same purpose as the laleh."
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.
Lay ye them
Such barbarities are by no means uncommon in the East. "It has been know to occur," says Mr. Morier, "after the combat was over, that prisoners have been put to death in cold blood, in order that the heads, which are immediately despatched to the king, and deposited in heaps at the place gates, might make a more considerable show."
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?
Ye be righteous
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.
fall unto the earth
the Lord hath done
Heb. by the hand of.
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.
or, acquaintance. his priests.
And he arose and departed, and came to Samaria. And as he was at the shearing house in the way,
Heb. house of shepherds binding sheep.
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.
Heb. found. the brethren.
Heb. the peace of, etc.
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.
Take them alive
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.
Is thine heart right
he took him
Jehu asked for the hand of Jehonadab not merely for the purpose of assisting him into the chariot, but that he might give him an assurance that he would assist him in the prosecution of his desires; for giving the hand is considered as a pledge of friendship and fidelity, or a form of entering into a contract, among all nations. Mr. Bruce relates, that when he entreated the protection of a sheikh, the great people who were assembled came, "and after joining hands, repeated a kind of prayer, of about two minutes long; by which they declared themselves and their children accursed, if ever they lifted their hands against me in the tell, (or field) in the desert, or on the river; or, in case that I, or mine, should fly to them for refuge, if they did not protect us at the risk of their lives, their families, and their fortunes, or, as they emphatically expressed it, to the death of the last male child among them." Another striking instance occurs in Ockley's History of the Saracens. Telha, just before he died, asked one of Ali's men if he belonged to the emperor of the faithful; and being informed that he did, "Give me then," said he, "your hand, that I may put mine in it, and by this action renew the oath of fidelity which I have already made to Ali."
And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. So they made him ride in his chariot.
Come with me
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.
Ahab served Baal
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.
all the prophets
all his servants
all his priests
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 they came
the house of Baal
full from one end to another
or, so full that they stood mouth to mouth.
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.
If any of the men
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.
1 Kings 14:23 *marg:
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.
brake down the image
made it a draught house
This was an ancient mode of degradation, which still continues in the East; and we are informed, that Abbas the Great, king of Persia, having conquered Bagdad, treated the tomb of Hanifah, one of the fathers of the church among the Turks, in a similar manner.
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.
A. M. 3120-3148. B.C. 884-856. the sins
the golden calves
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.
Because thou hast
according to all that
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.
took no heed
Heb. observed not.
In those days the LORD began to cut Israel short: and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel;
Heb. cut off the ends of. Hazael.
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.
Heb. toward the rising of the sun. the land of Gilead.
or, even to.
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.
A. M. 3148. B.C. 856. Jehu slept
And the time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty and eight years.
Heb. the days were.