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). 2 Kings 10:14Extermination of the Brothers of Ahaziah of Judah and of the Other Members of Ahab's Dynasty. - 2 Kings 10:12. Jehu then set out to Samaria; and on the way, at the binding-house of the shepherds, he met with the brethren of Ahaziah, who were about to visit their royal relations, and when he learned who they were, had them all seized, viz., forty-two men, and put to death at the cistern of the binding-house. ויּלך ויּבא, "he came and went," appears pleonastic; the words are not to be transposed, however, as Bttcher and Thenius propose after the Syriac, but ויּלך is added, because Jehu did not go at once to Samaria, but did what follows on the way. By transposing the words, the slaying of the relations of Ahaziah would be transferred to Samaria, in contradiction to 2 Kings 10:15. - The words from וגו בּית הוּא onwards, and from ויהוּא to יהוּדה מלך, are two circumstantial clauses, in which the subject יהוּא is added in the second clause for the sake of greater clearness: "when he was at the binding-house of the shepherds on the road, and Jehu (there) met with the brethren of Ahaziah, he said..." הרעים בּית־עקד (Βαιθακάθ, lxx) is explained by Rashi, after the Chaldee רעיּא כנישׁת בית, as signifying locus conventus pastorum, the meeting-place of the shepherds; and Gesenius adopts the same view. But the rest of the earlier translators for the most part adopt the rendering, locus ligationis pastorum, from עקד, to bind, and think of a house ubi pastores ligabant oves quando eas tondebant. In any case it was a house, or perhaps more correctly a place, where the shepherds were in the habit of meeting, and that on the road from Jezreel to Samaria; according to Eusebius on the Onom. s.v. Βαιθακάθ, a place fifteen Roman miles from Legio (Lejun, Megiddo), in the great plain of Jezreel: a statement which may be correct with the exception of the small number of miles, but which does not apply to the present village of Beit Kad to the east of Jenin (Rob. Pal. iii. p. 157), with which, according to Thenius, it exactly coincides. עחזיהוּ אחי, for which we have אח אחי בּני, Ahaziah's brothers' sons, in 2 Chronicles 22:8, were not the actual brothers of Ahaziah, since they had been carried off by the Arabians and put to death before he ascended the throne (2 Chronicles 21:17), but partly step-brothers, i.e., sons of Joram by his concubines, and partly Ahaziah's nephews and cousins. לשׁלום, ad salutandum, i.e., to inquire how they were, or to visit the sons of the king (Joram) and of the queen-mother, i.e., Jezebel, therefore Joram's brothers. In 2 Chronicles 22:1 they are both included among the "sons" of Ahab.
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