2 Kings 10:14
And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house, even two and forty men; neither left he any of them.
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(14) Take them alive.—Perhaps they made some show of resistance. Jehu slew them because of their connection with the doomed house of Ahab. Keil thinks he dreaded their conspiring with the partisans of the fallen dynasty in Samaria.

Slew them at the pit of the shearing house.—Literally, slaughtered them into the cistern of Betheked. Either they cut their throats over the cistern, or threw the corpses into it.

Two and forty.—Curiously parallel with 2Kings 2:24; and perhaps a definite for an indefinite number.

10:1-14 In the most awful events, though attended by the basest crimes of man, the truth and justice of God are to be noticed; and he never did nor can command any thing unjust or unreasonable. Jehu destroyed all that remained of the house of Ahab; all who had been partners in his wickedness. When we think upon the sufferings and miseries of mankind, when we look forward to the resurrection and last judgment, and think upon the vast number of the wicked waiting their awful sentence of everlasting fire; when the whole sum of death and misery has been considered, the solemn question occurs, Who slew all these? The answer is, SIN. Shall we then harbour sin in our bosoms, and seek for happiness from that which is the cause of all misery?The brethren of Ahaziah - Not the actual brothers of Ahaziah, who had all been slain by the Arabs before his accession to the throne 2 Chronicles 21:17; 2 Chronicles 22:1; but his nephews, the sons of his brothers (marginal reference). It is remarkable that they should have penetrated so far into the kingdom of Israel without having heard of the revolution.

The children of the king ... - i. e." the sons of Jehoram, and the children (sons and grandsons) of the queen-mother, Jezebel." Some of both may well have been at Jezreel, though the younger branches of the royal family were at Samaria 2 Kings 10:1.

13, 14. We are the brethren of Ahaziah—that is, not full, but step-brothers, sons of Jehoram by various concubines. Ignorant of the revolution that had taken place, they were travelling to Samaria on a visit to their royal relatives of Israel, when they were seized and put to death, because of the apprehension that they might probably stimulate and strengthen the party that still remained faithful in their allegiance to Ahab's dynasty.

children of the queen—that is, of the queen mother, or regent, Jezebel.

They took them alive, and slew them; partly in compliance with God’s command, 2 Kings 9:8, for these were of the house of Ahab by the mother’s side, 2 Kings 8:18; and partly that they might neither claim the kingdom of Israel in right of their grandmother; as they might well have done, if God had not given it to Jehu; nor revenge the deaths of their near relations.

At the pit of the shearing-house, where he intended to bury them. And he said, take them alive,.... Gave orders to his guards to seize them, and make them captives:

and they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house; where they washed the sheep when they sheered them:

even forty and two men, neither left he any of them; they being, by their grandmother's side, of the house of Ahab, and so within the commission of Jehu to slay them, at least as he thought; though his chief view might be, lest they should make any pretensions to the crown, being descended from that house, or should hereafter attempt to avenge the death of their relations; but by the judgment of God they were cut off as idolaters.

And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house, even two and forty men; {f} neither left he any of them.

(f) Thus God's vengeance is on them who have any part or familiarity with the wicked.

14. Take them alive] i.e. Make them prisoners. Perhaps for a moment he was uncertain what he should do with them, however being of Ahab’s lineage they must share the fate of the rest of that house.

And they took them alive] The LXX. has nothing to represent these words. The ‘pit’ (R.V. margin, cistern) was the great pond or pool in which the sheep were washed before shearing.Verse 14. - And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them. The Brevity of the narrative leaves many points of it obscure. It is impossible to say why the order was given, "Take them alive," when, immediately afterwards, they were massacred. Perhaps Jehu at first intended to spare their lives, but afterwards thought that it would be safer to have them put out of his way. It must be borne in mind that they were descendants of Ahab. At the pit of the shearing-house; rather, at the well of Beth-Eked. Probably the bodies were thrown into the well (comp. Jeremiah 41:7). Even two and forty men. It is this number which makes the idea of a visit of compliment incredible. Neither left he any of them. The Greeks said, Νήπιος ο}ς πατέρα κτείτας παῖδας καταλείπει; and the general Hebrew practice was to give effect to the teaching conveyed by the maxim (see Joshua 7:24, 25; 2 Kings 9:26; 2 Kings 14:6). When the heads were brought, Jehu had them piled up in two heaps before the city-gate, and spoke the next morning to the assembled people in front of them: "Ye are righteous. Behold I have conspired against my lord, and have slain him, but who has slain all these?" Jehu did not tell the people that the king's sons had been slain by his command, but spake as if this had been done without his interfering by a higher decree, that he might thereby justify his conspiracy in the eyes of the people, and make them believe what he says still further in 2 Kings 10:10 : "See then that of the word of the Lord nothing falls to the ground (i.e., remains unfulfilled) which Jehovah has spoken concerning the house of Ahab; and Jehovah has done what He spake through His servant Elijah."
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