King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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2 Kings 10

Ahab’s sons and Ahaziah’s brethren put to death. (1-14) Jehu destroys the worshippers of Baal. (15-28) Jehu follows Jeroboam’s sins. (29-36)

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Ahab’s sons and Ahaziah’s brethren put to death

1 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,

2 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;

3 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.

4 But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand?

5 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.

6 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.

7 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.

8 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.

9 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?

10 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.

11 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.

12 And he arose and departed, and came to Samaria. And as he was at the shearing house in the way,

13 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.

14 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.

Jehu destroys the worshippers of Baal

15 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.

16 And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. So they made him ride in his chariot.

17 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.

18 And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much.

19 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.

20 And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it.

21 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.

22 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.

23 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.

24 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.

25 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.

26 And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them.

27 And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day.

28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.

Jehu follows Jeroboam’s sins

29 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.

30 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.

31 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.

32 In those days the LORD began to cut Israel short: and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel;

33 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.

34 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?

35 And Jehu slept with his fathers: and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his stead.

36 And the time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty and eight years.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Seventy sons, as he had many wives. Gedeon had 70. C. — Grand-children might also be included. D. — But this is not necessary. C. — City, Heb. “of Jezrahel,” a word which has probably been substituted instead of “Israel,” which is more conformable to the Sept. and Vulg. Those who adhere to the Heb. pretend that the princes had all fled from Jezrahel. — Children. This is the sense generally given to Nutritios Achab, which literally signifies, “nursing-fathers (preceptors, counsellors, &c.) of Achab,” v. 5. The king’s children were perhaps educated in the most noble families, (v. 6.) and in the best cities, 2 Par. xi. 23. Isaias (xlix. 23.) foretelling the happiness of the Israelites after the captivity, says, that kings and queens will nurse them.

Ver. 3. Master. Jehu would lead them into a snare, and insultingly challenges them to battle, shewing how little he feared their power. C. — He speaks ironically. D.

Ver. 8. Morning, that all the people might see them. C. — Jehu did not choose to admit the Samaritans into the city during the night. M.

Ver. 9. Just executioners of the divine wrath. D. — You know what is right. M. — You are now in the same predicament with myself. H. — All the chief men had thus rendered themselves odious to the people, who could not choose them for leaders. He captiously infers, from his astonishing success, (C.) that his conduct is pleasing to God. M. — All the people seeing that so many had armed (T.) against the house of Achab, might conclude that what they did was just. H.

Ver. 11. Chief men, probably including those perfidious wretches, who had so basely betrayed their trust, and slain the 70 sons of Achab, “the nobles of the kingdom, his kinsmen, and friends.” Chal. Arab. — Friends. Some copies of the Sept. have connoisseurs, of magicians. Lev. xix. 31. — Priests, princes of the court (2 K. viii. 18.) and those who offered sacrifice to idols, (C.) being of Achab’s descendants. M. — He afterwards inveigled all the priests of Baal, to their entire ruin, v. 19. H.

Ver. 12. Cabin. Heb. Beth-heked, (H.) a term which the Sept. do not translate. It means, “house of tying,” as the sheep were tied to be shorn. M. — Eusebius places it in the great plain, 15 miles from Legion. C. — It was not a despicable hut, (H.) but like the houses where Nabal and Absalom shore their sheep, 1 K. xxv. &c. T.

Ver. 13. Brethren. The Arabs had destroyed all his brothers by the same mother; (2 Par. xxii. 1.) but these were near relations, and they durst not deny the fact. M. — In 2 Par. xxii. 8, they are styled princes of Juda, and sons of the brethren of Ochozias. Jehu must have used surprising diligence (C.) and secrecy (H.) to prevent the many important transactions and changes which had lately taken place from being known at Jerusalem, or even at Bethheked, v. 12. which was so little distant from Samaria. C. — Queen. The wife of Joram, or the children of Jezabel, (M.) with whom they were connected by affinity and friendship, to their great detriment. H.

Ver. 14. Alive. That they might not attempt to defend themselves, (M.) as they might hope that Jehu would, at least, spare their lives. H. — Of them, as they were in some degree related to Achab, (M.) or might endeavour to obstruct his dominion. T.

Ver. 15. Jonadab, a holy personage. Jer. xxxv. 6. The Rechabites were a sort of religious, descended from Jethro and the Cinites. C. — They dwelt in the country, and fed sheep, &c. Num. x. 29. T. — John of Jerus. (c. 25.) says that Jonadab was a disciple of Eliseus, and followed his institute in all things, except continency. M. — Blessed him, wishing his peace and prosperity. M. — It is not clear whether Jehu or Jonadab pronounced this blessing. H. — Heart. Art thou friendly to my cause? — Thy hand, in sign of concord, and to help him up into his chariot. C. — It was of great consequence to obtain the approbation of a man H. who must have been so revered by the people. M. — Jehu acted with the utmost policy. H.

Ver. 18. I will worship him more. Jehu sinned in thus pretending to worship Baal, and causing sacrifices to be offered to him: because evil in not to be done, that good may come of it. Rom. iii. 8. Ch. W. — S. Jerom, &c. excuse him from mortal sin, as his intention was good. T. — If he had not thus dissembled, he could not have so effectually destroyed the adorers of Baal, who would have concealed themselves. But God rewarded his zeal, and not his falsehood. C. — He might speak ironically; though Theodoret, &c. admit a lie. M.

Ver. 19. Servants. The number had greatly decreased under Joram. M.

Ver. 20. Proclaim. Lit. “sanctify (Heb.) a prohibition” to work, or to be absent, (C.) “and they proclaimed it.

Ver. 21. Other. Lit. “from top to top.” Heb. “from mouth to mouth,” H. like a vessel brimfull. C. — Every corner was filled. All the priests and prophets made their appearance, through zeal to re-establish the honour of their idol, and for fear of death. M.

Ver. 22. Wardrobe, of vestments used in the service of Baal. The worship chiefly consisted in such outward pomp. The priests were probably adorned like those at the pillars of Hercules, who were from the same country. Sil. Ital. iii. velantur corpora lino, &c.

Ver. 24. Life. These 80 were stationed at the doors, while the rest slaughtered the unhappy idolaters, (M.) who were all by themselves, like the reprobate separated from the elect, at the last day. H.

Ver. 25. Soldiers. Heb. “runners, (or foot-guards, 3 K. i. 5,) and chief officers.” Ex. xiv. 7. — Out. Heb. “cast out” their carcasses, or “rushed out (themselves) into the city,” which was styled “the temple of Baal;” or “penetrated into the fortress” and inmost recesses of that structure. Osiander. — We read of such a fortress. Judg. ix. 46. H. — In every city where there was a temple of Baal, the fabric and idols were demolished. Salien.

Ver. 27. A jakes, or necessary. H. — See 1 Esd. vi. 11. Dan. ii. 5.

Ver. 29. Dan. This wicked policy, which was designed to prevent his subjects from submitting again to the kings of Juda, proved his ruin.

Ver. 30. Generation. So Joachaz, Joas, Jeroboam II. and Zacharias, succeeded to the throne. This small temporal reward he obtained for the little good which he had done; while, on the other hand, he was punished for his manifold transgressions. Osee (i. 4,) reproaches him even for the blood which he had spilt in Jezrahel; for, though Achab and Joram were guilty, was Jehu innocent? Can this murder of Ochozias be justified? C. — “What advantage was it to him that he received some little transitory reward of a temporal kingdom, for his obedience in exterminating the house of Achab; which he indeed exhibited to gratify his own lust of dominion?” S. Aug. c. mend. ii. c. 2. This holy doctor observes, that moral good works are thus rewarded. W.

Ver. 32. Weary. Heb. “to retrench or destroy.” Hazael took occasion, from the absence of Jehu (C.) from Galaad, and the disturbances on the west of the Jordan, to dismember the provinces on the east, and to commit the horrid ravages foretold by Eliseus. C. viii. 12. H.

Ver. 33. Aroer. See Jos. xiii. 25. This was a most severe scourge, (M.) as all the eastern tribes were lost to Israel. H.