2 Kings 9 Bible Commentary

John Darby’s Synopsis

(Read all of 2 Kings 9)
The following commentary covers Chapters 9 and 10.

Judgment on Ahab's house begun by Jehu

In chapter 9 the judgment on Ahab's house commences. He who executes it does not remove, in so doing, the rod which God had lifted up against Israel in the person of Hazael. By means of Jehu God judges the house of Ahab; but Israel was oppressed by the Syrians, and their land overrun by them during the whole of Jehu's reign. Going farther than Jehoram, Jehu destroyed Baal and his worship at the same time as the house of Ahab: but he did not return unto Jehovah. He saw the folly of idolatry: energetic and ambitious, his interest lay on the other side. When the prophet of the Lord announces to him the near possession of the throne, he hearkens unto him. Sincere perhaps in the conviction that Jehovah was God, he was quite ready to honour Him when his interest agreed with his convictions. He displayed all his energies in accomplishing a work to which he had devoted himself. Ahab's religion had no charm for him. He had felt in his conscience the power of Elijah's testimony; and he understood that it was madness to fight against Jehovah, whose part he had taken. What he did for Jehovah, he did well, according to his wonted energy. Nevertheless his vengeance is without the fear of Jehovah; it is carnal (see Hosea 1: 4). At the same time the golden calves still existed, as the sanctuary of the kingdom, with whose origin they were connected, and of which they were the national religion. This Jehu did not care to touch. God recognises a zeal which had judged evil uprightly; for the question here was His outward government, and not His judgment of the secrets of the heart; and in fact Jehu acted faithfully in destroying Baal root and branch. Thus he slays the king of Judah, who was confederate with the evil, and the royal family of Judah, who had come to visit that of Israel. Everything falls before his avenging sword, and the words of Elijah, the servant of Jehovah, are fulfilled. Thus it is Elisha who performs the function of Elijah [1] in his stead, prophetically anointing Hazael and Jehu, although not with his own hands.

[1] In this respect Elijah and Elisha form but one prophet, with the difference that has been pointed out. Elisha was a "prophet in his room," an expression not used with regard to prophets in general. In fact it is Christ risen who will execute, or cause to be executed judgments of God upon apostate Israel (see Psalms 20, 21).