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with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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2 Kings 9

Elisha sends to anoint Jehu. (1-10) Jehu and the captains. (11-15) Joram and Ahaziah slain by Jehu. (16-29) Jezebel eaten by dogs. (30-37)

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Elisha sends to anoint Jehu

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 Ramothgilead:

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 Ramothgilead.

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, and fled.

Jehu and the captains

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 communication.

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 Ramothgilead, 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 in Jezreel.

Joram and Ahaziah slain by Jehu

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 an 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 many?

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 David.

29 And in the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah.

Jezebel eaten by dogs

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 window.

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 eunuchs.

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 daughter.

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.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. One. The Rabbins say Jonas; who at this rate, must have been very young, as he prophesied 50 years afterwards, under Jeroboam II. C. — Eliseus did not go himself, to avoid giving umbrage, and in obedience to God’s order. M.

Ver. 2. Brethren. The captains, v. 5.

Ver. 3. Bottle. See 1 K. x. 1. Elias had received orders to anoint Jehu, 3 K. xix 16. C. — There. The utmost expedition was necessary, that Joram might be surprised, as well as Ochozias, and their devoted families. M.

Ver. 7. Jezabel, who had persecuted the prophets unto death, 3 K. xviii. 4.

Ver. 8. Israel. See Deut. xxxii. 36. and 3 K. xiv. 10. for an explanation of these expressions. C.

Ver. 10. Field, between the inner and the outer wall. Her body shall be left exposed to be eaten by the dogs.

Ver. 11. 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, (M.) and to despise men who lead a retired and penitential life. H. — How often were Ezechiel and Jeremias treated as fools, (Ezec. xxxiii. 30. Jeremias xxix. 26. C.) as well as our divine Saviour? The pagans looked upon those who were inspired by Apollo in the same light. H. — Ut primum cessit furor & rabida ora quierunt, Virg. ├ćneid 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.

Ver. 12. 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. H.

Ver. 13. Garment, out of respect, as the multitude honoured Jesus Christ, Mat. xxi. 7. The pagans sometimes did the like when they carried their idols in procession. Plut. in Alcib. The king of Persia walked on carpets in the court of the guards, who were styled immortal. Athen. 12. — Trumpet, according to custom, 3 K. i. 40. C.

Ver. 14. Conspired, with the captains. M. — Besieged, as it is observed above. C. xxviii. 29. Heb. “had kept (H.) or observed;” watching the motions of Hazael, lest he should return, or succour the citadel.

Ver. 17. Watchman. Such were very common, (2 K. xviii. 24. 1 Mac. xii. 26.) and as the army was at Ramoth, the attention of the people would be drawn that way. C. — Troop. Sept. “the dust of the,” &c. M.

Ver. 18. Peace? As this expression sufficiently vindicated the designs of Jehu, he would not suffer the messenger to return before him. H.

Ver. 20. Furiously. The Chal. and Arab. 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.

Ver. 22. Jehu? The king supposed that he had meet with some defeat, (C.) of that he wished to announce the good tidings in person. M. Salien, A.C. 902. — Vigour? How can Israel prosper? H.

Ver. 23. Hand. Or ordered his charioteer to flee with all speed. M.

Ver. 25. Sitting. Heb. “rode together after,” as if they were two abreast. C. — Burden, or dreadful misfortune. M.

Ver. 26. 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, (C.) as there were no heirs probably left. M. W.

Ver. 27. House. Sept. retain “Baithgan,” the original term, as if it were the name of that road. M. — 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 Par. xxii. 9. (C.) or lurking in that kingdom, (M.) and slain by Jehu as being the grandson of Jezabel. Great troubles took place in Juda, in consequence of his death. C.

Ver. 29. Eleventh, or rather the twelfth, (C. viii. 25. Houbigant) unless he had been associated with his father on the throne a year before his death. C. D.

Ver. 30. Stone, or antimony, to make the eyes look black and large. If (C.) 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. C. T. — The women of the Eastern countries delight much in painting, (Pliny xi. 37. and xxxiii. 6.) and some men have not been ashamed to follow their example. S. Cyp. — Sardanapalus had his eyes and his eye-lids painted. Athen. 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, Heb. has, “she placed her eyes in antimony,” (fuc, or puc, whence the Latin fucus is visibly derived) as if she plunged them in it. C.

Ver. 31. Master. Being convinced that she could not gain the affections of Jehu, (H.) and thinking that he would not lay hands on a woman, (M.) she insolently, or in despair, (H.) upbraids him as a new Zambri, who might expect a similar fate, 3 K. xvi. C. — The name of Zambri was used proverbially to denote an ungrateful rebel; as with us Judas is used for a traitor. T.

Ver. 32. This. “Who dares address me with such provoking language?” Heb. “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. Heb. “and the horses, and he trod her under foot.” H. — Jehu shewed the example. M.

Ver. 34. Bury. He had forgotten the prediction of Elias, v. 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. C. — Her great connexions seemed to entitle her to the rights of sepulture. H.

Ver. 35. Hands. All the rest had been presently devoured, or carried off by dogs. H. — Her precious jewels had been plundered by the soldiers. M.

Ver. 36. Field, or space between the walls, 3 K. xxi. 23. C.

Ver. 37. Jezabel? So fallen (M.) and degraded, though once possessed of so much power and beauty! sic transit gloria mundi. Heb. and Sept. “that they shall not say, This is Jezabel!” H. — No monument shall recall her to the remembrance of men. C. — Her body cannot be recognized. This will be the fate of the greatest mortal beauties, a few days after their departure. S. 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. H. — 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; (T.) Salien says in the 16th year of Jehu. A.C. 887. H.