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2 Kings 9:11-28

Context

9:11 When Jehu rejoined 1  his master’s servants, they 2  asked him, “Is everything all right? 3  Why did this madman visit you?” He replied, “Ah, it’s not important. You know what kind of man he is and the kinds of things he says.” 4  9:12 But they said, “You’re lying! Tell us what he said.” So he told them what he had said. He also related how he had said, 5  “This is what the Lord says, ‘I have designated you as king over Israel.’” 9:13 Each of them quickly took off his cloak and they spread them out at Jehu’s 6  feet on the steps. 7  The trumpet was blown 8  and they shouted, “Jehu is 9  king!” 9:14 Then Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi conspired against Joram.

Jehu the Assassin

Now Joram had been in Ramoth Gilead with the whole Israelite army, 10  guarding against an invasion by King Hazael of Syria. 9:15 But King Joram had returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds he received from the Syrians 11  when he fought against King Hazael of Syria. 12  Jehu told his supporters, 13  “If you really want me to be king, 14  then don’t let anyone escape from the city to go and warn Jezreel.” 9:16 Jehu drove his chariot 15  to Jezreel, for Joram was recuperating 16  there. (Now King Ahaziah of Judah had come down to visit 17  Joram.)

9:17 Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel and saw Jehu’s troops approaching. 18  He said, “I see troops!” 19  Jehoram ordered, 20  “Send a rider out to meet them and have him ask, ‘Is everything all right?’” 21  9:18 So the horseman 22  went to meet him and said, “This is what the king says, ‘Is everything all right?’” 23  Jehu replied, “None of your business! 24  Follow me.” The watchman reported, “The messenger reached them, but hasn’t started back.” 9:19 So he sent a second horseman out to them 25  and he said, “This is what the king says, ‘Is everything all right?’” 26  Jehu replied, “None of your business! Follow me.” 9:20 The watchman reported, “He reached them, but hasn’t started back. The one who drives the lead chariot drives like Jehu son of Nimshi; 27  he drives recklessly.” 9:21 Jehoram ordered, “Hitch up my chariot.” 28  When his chariot had been hitched up, 29  King Jehoram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah went out in their respective chariots 30  to meet Jehu. They met up with him 31  in the plot of land that had once belonged to Naboth of Jezreel.

9:22 When Jehoram saw Jehu, he asked, “Is everything all right, Jehu?” He replied, “How can everything be all right as long as your mother Jezebel promotes idolatry and pagan practices?” 32  9:23 Jehoram turned his chariot around and took off. 33  He said to Ahaziah, “It’s a trap, 34  Ahaziah!” 9:24 Jehu aimed his bow and shot an arrow right between Jehoram’s shoulders. 35  The arrow went through 36  his heart and he fell to his knees in his chariot. 9:25 Jehu ordered 37  his officer Bidkar, “Pick him up and throw him into the part of the field that once belonged to Naboth of Jezreel. Remember, you and I were riding together behind his father Ahab, when the Lord pronounced this judgment on him, 9:26 ‘“Know for sure that I saw the shed blood of Naboth and his sons yesterday,” says the Lord, “and that I will give you what you deserve right here in this plot of land,” 38  says the Lord.’ So now pick him up and throw him into this plot of land, just as the Lord said.” 39 

9:27 When King Ahaziah of Judah saw what happened, he took off 40  up the road to Beth Haggan. Jehu chased him and ordered, “Shoot him too.” They shot him while he was driving his chariot up the ascent of Gur near Ibleam. 41  He fled to Megiddo 42  and died there. 9:28 His servants took his body 43  back to Jerusalem 44  and buried him in his tomb with his ancestors in the city of David.

1 tn Heb “went out to.”

2 tc The MT has the singular, “he said,” but many witnesses correctly read the plural.

3 tn Heb “Is there peace?”

4 tn Heb “He said, ‘You, you know the man and his thoughts.’” Jehu tries to deflect their question by reminding them that the man is an eccentric individual who says strange things. His reply suggests that the man said nothing of importance. The translation seeks to bring out the tone and intent of Jehu’s reply.

5 tn Heb “So he said, ‘Like this and like this he said to me, saying.’” The words “like this and like this” are probably not a direct quote of Jehu’s words to his colleagues. Rather this is the narrator’s way of avoiding repetition and indicating that Jehu repeated, or at least summarized, what the prophet had said to him.

6 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Jehu) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Heb “and they hurried and took, each one his garment, and they placed [them] beneath him on the bone [?] of the steps.” The precise nuance of גֶרֶם (gerem), “bone,” is unclear. Some suggest the nuance “bare” here; it may be a technical architectural term in this context.

8 tn Heb “they blew the trumpet.” This has been translated as a passive to avoid the implication that the same ones who shouted had all blown trumpets.

9 tn Or “has become.”

10 tn Heb “he and all Israel.”

11 tn Heb “which the Syrians inflicted [on] him.”

12 sn See 2 Kgs 8:28-29a.

13 tn The words “his supporters” are added for clarification.

14 tn Heb “If this is your desire.” נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) refers here to the seat of the emotions and will. For other examples of this use of the word, see BDB 660-61 s.v.

15 tn Heb “rode [or, ‘mounted’] and went.”

16 tn Heb “lying down.”

17 tn Heb “to see.”

18 tn Heb “the quantity [of the men] of Jehu, when he approached.” Elsewhere שִׁפְעַה (shifah), “quantity,” is used of a quantity of camels (Isa 60:6) or horses (Ezek 26:10) and of an abundance of water (Job 22:11; 38:34).

19 tn The term שִׁפְעַת (shifat) appears to be a construct form of the noun, but no genitive follows.

20 tn Heb “said.”

21 tn Heb “Get a rider and send [him] to meet him and let him ask, ‘Is there peace?’”

22 tn Heb “the rider of the horse.”

23 tn Heb “Is there peace?”

24 tn Heb “What concerning you and concerning peace?” That is, “What concern is that to you?”

25 tn Heb “and he came to them.”

26 tc The MT has simply “peace,” omitting the prefixed interrogative particle. It is likely that the particle has been accidentally omitted; several ancient witnesses include it or assume its presence.

27 tn Heb “and the driving is like the driving of Jehu son of Nimshi.”

28 tn The words “my chariot” are added for clarification.

29 tn Heb “and he hitched up his chariot.”

30 tn Heb “each in his chariot and they went out.”

31 tn Heb “they found him.”

32 tn Heb “How [can there be] peace as long as the adulterous acts of Jezebel your mother and her many acts of sorcery [continue]?” In this instance “adulterous acts” is employed metaphorically for idolatry. As elsewhere in the OT, worshiping other gods is viewed as spiritual adultery and unfaithfulness to the one true God. The phrase “many acts of sorcery” could be taken literally, for Jezebel undoubtedly utilized pagan divination practices, but the phrase may be metaphorical, pointing to her devotion to pagan customs in general.

33 tn Heb “and Jehoram turned his hands and fled.” The phrase “turned his hands” refers to how he would have pulled on the reins in order to make his horses turn around.

34 tn Heb “Deceit, Ahaziah.”

35 tn Heb “and Jehu filled his hand with the bow and he struck Jehoram between his shoulders.”

36 tn Heb “went out from.”

37 tn Heb “said to.”

38 tn Heb “and I will repay you in this plot of land.”

39 tn Heb “according to the word of the Lord.”

40 tn Heb “and Ahaziah king of Judah saw and fled.”

41 tn After Jehu’s order (“kill him too”), the MT has simply, “to the chariot in the ascent of Gur which is near Ibleam.” The main verb in the clause, “they shot him” (וַיִּכְהוּ, vayyikhhu), has been accidentally omitted by virtual haplography/homoioteleuton. Note that the immediately preceding form הַכֻּהוּ (hakkuhu), “shoot him,” ends with the same suffix.

42 map For location see Map1 D4; Map2 C1; Map4 C2; Map5 F2; Map7 B1.

43 tn Heb “drove him.”

44 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.



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