2 Kings 1 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of 2 Kings 1)
1:1 Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab.

The Argument - This second book contains the acts of the kings of Judah and Israel: that is, of Israel, from the death of Ahab to the last king Hoshea, who was imprisoned by the king of Assyria, and his city Samaria taken, and the ten tribes led into captivity by the just plague of God for their idolatry and disobedience to God. Also of Judah, from the reign of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat to Zedekiah, who for contemning the Lord's commandment by his prophets, and neglecting his many admonitions by famine and other means was taken by his enemies, saw his sons most cruelly slain before his face, and his own eyes put out, as the Lord had declared to him before by his prophet Jeremiah. By the just vengeance of God for contempt of his word Jerusalem was destroyed, the temple burnt, and he and all his people were led away captives into Babylon. In this book are notable examples of God's favour toward those rulers and people who obey his prophets, and embrace his word: and contrariwise of his plagues on those who neglect his ministers, and do not obey his commandments.

1:2 And a Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that [was] in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, enquire of b Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.

(a) So that he was punished for his idolatry in two ways: for the Moabites which were wont to pay him tribute rebelled and he fell out a window which was high in his house to give light beneath.
(b) The Philistines who lived at Ekron worshipped this idol, the god of flies, thinking that he could preserve them from the biting of flies: or else he was so called, because flies were drawn in great abundance by the blood of the sacrifices that were offered to that idol.

1:3 But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, c [Is it] not because [there is] not a God in Israel, [that] ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron?

(c) He shows that idolaters do not have the true God, or else they would seek none but him alone.

1:6 And they said unto him, There came a man up to meet us, and said unto us, Go, turn again unto the king that sent you, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, d [Is it] not because [there is] not a God in Israel, [that] thou sendest to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? therefore thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.

(d) Ignorance is the mother of error and idolatry.

1:8 And they answered him, [He was] an e hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It [is] Elijah the Tishbite.

(e) Some think that this meant his garments, which were rough and made of hair.

1:9 Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top f of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down.

(f) That is, Carmel.

1:10 And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I [be] a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. g And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.

(g) He declares the power God's word has in the mouth of his servants, when they threaten God's judgments against the wicked.

1:11 Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, h O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly.

(h) He spoke this in mockery, and therefore provoked God's wrath so much more.

1:12 And Elijah answered and said unto them, i If I [be] a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.

(i) Meaning, that God would show by effect whether he was a true prophet or not.

1:13 And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my k life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be l precious in thy sight.

(k) Which humble myself before God and his servant.
(l) That is, spare my life, and do not let me die as the other two.

1:15 And the angel of the LORD said unto Elijah, Go down with him: be m not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king.

(m) Thus the Lord gives boldness to his, that they fear not the threatenings of tyrants, who otherwise of themselves are afraid to do God's message.

1:17 So he died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. And n Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son.

(n) Jehoshaphat going to battle against the Syrians, made his son Jehoram king in the 17th year of his reign: and in the 18th year which was the second year of his son, Jehoram the son of Ahab reigned in Israel: and in the fifth year of this Jehoram Jehoshaphat died, and the kingdom of Judah was confirmed to his son.