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2 Kings 9:30-37

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  9:32 He looked up at the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three 3  eunuchs looked down at him. 9:33 He said, “Throw her down!” So they threw her down, and when she hit the ground, 4  her blood splattered against the wall and the horses, and Jehu drove his chariot over her. 5  9:34 He went inside and had a meal. 6  Then he said, “Dispose of this accursed woman’s corpse. Bury her, for after all, she was a king’s daughter.” 7  9:35 But when they went to bury her, they found nothing left but 8  the skull, feet, and palms of the hands. 9:36 When they went back and told him, he said, “The Lord’s word through his servant, Elijah the Tishbite, has come to pass. He warned, 9  ‘In the plot of land at Jezreel, dogs will devour Jezebel’s flesh. 9:37 Jezebel’s corpse will be like manure on the surface of the ground in the plot of land at Jezreel. People will not be able to even recognize her.’” 10 

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!”

3 tn Heb “two, three.” The narrator may be intentionally vague or uncertain here, or the two numbers may represent alternate traditions.

4 tn The words “when she hit the ground” are added for stylistic reasons.

5 tn Heb “and he trampled her.”

6 tn Heb “and he went and ate and drank.”

7 tn Heb “Attend to this accursed woman and bury her for she was the daughter of a king.”

8 tn Heb “they did not find her, except for.”

9 tn Heb “It is the word of the Lord, which he spoke by the hand of his servant, Elijah the Tishbite, saying.”

10 tn Heb “so that they will not say, ‘This is Jezebel.’”



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