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2 Kings 9:30-31

Context

9:30 Jehu approached Jezreel. When Jezebel heard the news, she put on some eye liner, 1  fixed up her hair, and leaned out the window. 9:31 When Jehu came through the gate, she said, “Is everything all right, Zimri, murderer of his master?” 2 

1 tn Heb “she fixed her eyes with antimony.” Antimony (פּוּךְ, pukh) was used as a cosmetic. The narrator portrays her as a prostitute (see Jer 4:30), a role she has played in the spiritual realm (see the note at v. 22).

2 sn Jezebel associates Jehu with another assassin, Zimri, who approximately 44 years before had murdered King Elah, only to meet a violent death just a few days later (1 Kgs 16:9-20). On the surface Jezebel’s actions seem contradictory. On the one hand, she beautifies herself as if to seduce Jehu, but on the other hand, she insults and indirectly threatens him with this comparison to Zimri. Upon further reflection, however, her actions reveal a clear underlying motive. She wants to retain her power, not to mention her life. By beautifying herself, she appeals to Jehu’s sexual impulses; by threatening him, she reminds him that he is in the same precarious position as Zimri. But, if he makes Jezebel his queen, he can consolidate his power. In other words through her actions and words Jezebel is saying to Jehu, “You desire me, don’t you? And you need me!”



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