2 Kings 10

Ahab’s Family Killed

1 Now there were in Samaria seventy sons of the house of Ahab. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria: to the officials of Jezreel,[a] to the elders and to the guardians of Ahab’s children. He said,
2 “You have your master’s sons with you and you have chariots and horses, a fortified city and weapons. Now as soon as this letter reaches you,
3 choose the best and most worthy of your master’s sons and set him on his father’s throne. Then fight for your master’s house.”
4 But they were terrified and said, “If two kings could not resist him, how can we?”
5 So the palace administrator, the city governor, the elders and the guardians sent this message to Jehu: “We are your servants and we will do anything you say. We will not appoint anyone as king; you do whatever you think best.”
6 Then Jehu wrote them a second letter, saying, “If you are on my side and will obey me, take the heads of your master’s sons and come to me in Jezreel by this time tomorrow.” Now the royal princes, seventy of them, were with the leading men of the city, who were rearing them.
7 When the letter arrived, these men took the princes and slaughtered all seventy of them. They put their heads in baskets and sent them to Jehu in Jezreel.
8 When the messenger arrived, he told Jehu, “They have brought the heads of the princes.” Then Jehu ordered, “Put them in two piles at the entrance of the city gate until morning.”
9 The next morning Jehu went out. He stood before all the people and said, “You are innocent. It was I who conspired against my master and killed him, but who killed all these?
10 Know, then, that not a word the LORD has spoken against the house of Ahab will fail. The LORD has done what he announced through his servant Elijah.”
11 So Jehu killed everyone in Jezreel who remained of the house of Ahab, as well as all his chief men, his close friends and his priests, leaving him no survivor.
12 Jehu then set out and went toward Samaria. At Beth Eked of the Shepherds,
13 he met some relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah and asked, “Who are you?” They said, “We are relatives of Ahaziah, and we have come down to greet the families of the king and of the queen mother.”
14 “Take them alive!” he ordered. So they took them alive and slaughtered them by the well of Beth Eked—forty-two of them. He left no survivor.
15 After he left there, he came upon Jehonadab son of Rekab, who was on his way to meet him. Jehu greeted him and said, “Are you in accord with me, as I am with you?” “I am,” Jehonadab answered. “If so,” said Jehu, “give me your hand.” So he did, and Jehu helped him up into the chariot.
16 Jehu said, “Come with me and see my zeal for the LORD.” Then he had him ride along in his chariot.
17 When Jehu came to Samaria, he killed all who were left there of Ahab’s family; he destroyed them, according to the word of the LORD spoken to Elijah.

Servants of Baal Killed

18 Then Jehu brought all the people together and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much.
19 Now summon all the prophets of Baal, all his servants and all his priests. See that no one is missing, because I am going to hold a great sacrifice for Baal. Anyone who fails to come will no longer live.” But Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy the servants of Baal.
20 Jehu said, “Call an assembly in honor of Baal.” So they proclaimed it.
21 Then he sent word throughout Israel, and all the servants of Baal came; not one stayed away. They crowded into the temple of Baal until it was full from one end to the other.
22 And Jehu said to the keeper of the wardrobe, “Bring robes for all the servants of Baal.” So he brought out robes for them.
23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rekab went into the temple of Baal. Jehu said to the servants of Baal, “Look around and see that no one who serves the LORD is here with you—only servants of Baal.”
24 So they went in to make sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had posted eighty men outside with this warning: “If one of you lets any of the men I am placing in your hands escape, it will be your life for his life.”
25 As soon as Jehu had finished making the burnt offering, he ordered the guards and officers: “Go in and kill them; let no one escape.” So they cut them down with the sword. The guards and officers threw the bodies out and then entered the inner shrine of the temple of Baal.
26 They brought the sacred stone out of the temple of Baal and burned it.
27 They demolished the sacred stone of Baal and tore down the temple of Baal, and people have used it for a latrine to this day.
28 So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel.
29 However, he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit—the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan.
30 The LORD said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.”
31 Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit.
32 In those days the LORD began to reduce the size of Israel. Hazael overpowered the Israelites throughout their territory
33 east of the Jordan in all the land of Gilead (the region of Gad, Reuben and Manasseh), from Aroer by the Arnon Gorge through Gilead to Bashan.
34 As for the other events of Jehu’s reign, all he did, and all his achievements, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
35 Jehu rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son succeeded him as king.
36 The time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.

2 Kings 10 Commentary

Chapter 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)

Verses 1-14 In the most awful events, though attended by the basest crimes of man, the truth and justice of God are to be noticed; and he never did nor can command any thing unjust or unreasonable. Jehu destroyed all that remained of the house of Ahab; all who had been partners in his wickedness. When we think upon the sufferings and miseries of mankind, when we look forward to the resurrection and last judgment, and think upon the vast number of the wicked waiting their awful sentence of everlasting fire; when the whole sum of death and misery has been considered, the solemn question occurs, Who slew all these? The answer is, SIN. Shall we then harbour sin in our bosoms, and seek for happiness from that which is the cause of all misery?

Verses 15-28 Is thine heart right? This is a question we should often put to ourselves. I make a fair profession, have gained a reputation among men, but, is my heart right? Am I sincere with God? Jehonadab owned Jehu in the work, both of revenge and of reformation. An upright heart approves itself to God, and seeks no more than his acceptance; but if we aim at the applause of men, we are upon a false foundation. Whether Jehu looked any further we cannot judge. The law of God was express, that idolaters were to be put to death. Thus idolatry was abolished for the present out of Israel. May we desire that it be rooted out of our hearts.

Verses 29-36 It is justly questionable whether Jehu acted from a good principle, and whether he did not take some false steps in doing it; yet no services done for God shall go unrewarded. But true conversion is not only from gross sin, but from all sin; not only from false gods, but from false worships. True conversion is not only from wasteful sins, but from gainful sins; not only from sins which hurt our worldly interests, but from those that support and befriend them; in forsaking which is the great trial whether we can deny ourselves and trust God. Jehu showed great care and zeal for rooting out a false religion, but in the true religion he cared not, took no heed to please God and do his duty. Those that are heedless, it is to be feared, are graceless. The people were also careless, therefore it is not strange that in those days the Lord began to cut Israel short. They were short in their duty to God, therefore God cut them short in their extent, wealth, and power.

Cross References 39

  • 1. S 1 Kings 13:32
  • 2. S Judges 8:30
  • 3. S 1 Kings 21:1
  • 4. ver 5
  • 5. Joshua 9:8; 1 Kings 20:4,32
  • 6. S 1 Kings 21:21
  • 7. S 2 Samuel 4:8
  • 8. 2 Kings 9:7-10
  • 9. S 1 Kings 21:29
  • 10. Hosea 1:4
  • 11. ver 14; Job 18:19; Malachi 4:1
  • 12. 2 Kings 8:24,29; 2 Chronicles 22:8
  • 13. S 1 Kings 2:19
  • 14. S ver 11
  • 15. Jer 35:6,14-19
  • 16. 1 Chronicles 2:55; Jeremiah 35:2
  • 17. Ezra 10:19; Ezekiel 17:18
  • 18. S Numbers 25:13; 1 Kings 19:10
  • 19. 2 Kings 9:8
  • 20. S Judges 2:11; 1 Kings 16:31-32
  • 21. 1 Kings 18:19; 1 Kings 22:6
  • 22. S Exodus 32:5; Joel 1:14
  • 23. S Joshua 2:14; 1 Kings 20:39
  • 24. S Exodus 22:20; S 2 Kings 11:18
  • 25. S 1 Kings 18:40
  • 26. S Exodus 23:24; 1 Kings 14:23
  • 27. S 1 Kings 16:32
  • 28. 1 Kings 19:17
  • 29. S 1 Kings 12:30
  • 30. S Exodus 32:4; 1 Kings 12:28-29
  • 31. 1 Kings 12:32
  • 32. ver 35; 2 Kings 15:12
  • 33. Deuteronomy 4:9; Proverbs 4:23
  • 34. 1 Kings 12:30
  • 35. 2 Kings 13:25; Psalms 107:39
  • 36. S 1 Kings 19:17; 2 Kings 8:12
  • 37. S Numbers 32:34; Deuteronomy 2:36; Judges 11:26; Isaiah 17:2
  • 38. S Numbers 21:13
  • 39. 1 Kings 15:31

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts and Vulgate "of the city"

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 KINGS 10

This chapter gives a further account of the destruction of the house of Ahab by Jehu, or his orders, even of all his sons and relations, 2Ki 10:1-11, and also of the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, 2Ki 10:12-14, of his taking up Jehonadab the son of Rechab into his chariot, to be a witness of his zeal for the Lord, 2Ki 10:15-17, and of his gathering together the prophets, priests, and worshippers of Baal, and slaying them, 2Ki 10:18-25 and of his extirpation of the idolatry of Baal, 2Ki 10:26-28, nevertheless he continued the worship of the calves, 2Ki 10:29-31 wherefore Israel was distressed by the king of Syria, 2Ki 10:32,33 and the chapter is concluded with the reign and death of Jehu, 2Ki 10:34,35.

2 Kings 10 Commentaries