The Second Book of the Kings

Chapter 10

Jehu, by his letters, causes seventy of Ahab's children to be beheaded, 1-7. He excuses the fact by the prophecy of Elijah, 8-11. At the shearing house he slays forty-two of Ahaziah's brothers, 12-14. He takes Jehonadab into his company, 15-17. By subtlety he destroys all the worshipers of Baal, 18-28. Jehu follows Jeroboam's sins, 29-31. Hazael oppresses Israel, 32, 33. Jehoahaz succeeds Jehu, 34-36.

1 And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters and sent to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to those who brought up Ahab's children, saying, 2 "Now as soon as this letter comes to you, seeing your master's sons are with you and there are with you chariots and horses, a fortified city also, and armor, 3 Choose the best and fittest of your master's sons, 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 did not stand before him. How then shall we stand?" 5 And he who was over the house and he who was over the city, the elders also, and those who brought up the children, sent to Jehu, saying, "We are your servants and will do all that you shall bid us. We will not make any king. Do that which is good in your eyes." 6 Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, "If you are mine and if you will listen to my voice, take the heads of the men your master's sons and come to me to Jezreel by tomorrow this time." Now the king's sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city who brought them up. 7 And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king's sons and slew them, seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets and sent them to him to Jezreel. 8 And a messenger came and told him, saying, "They have brought the heads of the king's sons." And he said, "Lay them in two heaps at the entrance 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, "You are righteous. Behold, I conspired against my master and slew him. But who slew all these? 10 Know now that there shall fall to the earth nothing of the word of the LORD which the LORD spoke concerning the house of Ahab, for the LORD has done that which he spoke by his servant Elijah." 11 So Jehu slew all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel and all his great men, his kinsmen, and his priests until he left him without a remnant.

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 brothers of Ahaziah king of Judah and said, "Who are you?" And they answered, "We are the brothers 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 forty-two men. He did not leave any of them.

15 And when he had departed from there, he met Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him. And he saluted him and said to him, "Is your heart right, as my heart is with your heart?" And Jehonadab answered, "It is." "If it is, give me your 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 who remained to Ahab in Samaria until he had destroyed him, according to the saying of the LORD which he spoke to Elijah.

18 And Jehu convened all the people and said to them, "Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu shall serve him much. 19 Now therefore, call to me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests. Let no one be lacking, for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal. Whoever is lacking, he shall not live." But Jehu did it in subtlety to the intent that he might destroy the worshipers 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 worshipers of Baal came so that there was not a man left who did not come. And they came into the house of Baal. And the house of Baal was full from one end to another. 22 And he said to him who was over the wardrobe, "Bring forth clothing for all the worshipers of Baal." And he brought forth clothing for them. 23 And Jehu and Jehonadab the son of Rechab went into the house of Baal and said to the worshipers of Baal, "Search, and see that there are here with you none of the servants of the LORD, but the worshipers of Baal only." 24 And when they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt-offerings, Jehu appointed eighty men outside and said, "If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escape, he who lets 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 broke down the image of Baal. Then they broke down the house of Baal and made it a latrine-house to this day.

28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel. 29 Yet from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu did not depart from after them, namely, the golden calves that were in Beth-el and that were in Dan. 30 And the LORD said to Jehu, "Because you have done well in executing that which is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart, your 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 did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin.

32 In those days the LORD began to cut Israel short. And Hazael smote them in all the borders of Israel: 33 From the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the Arnon River, 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-eight years.


Matthew Henry Commentary - 2nd Kings, Chapter 10[➚]