2 Kings 9:30
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then Jehu went to Jezreel. When Jezebel heard about it, she put on eye makeup, arranged her hair and looked out of a window.

King James Bible
And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jehu came to Jizreel; and Jezebel heard of it, and she put paint to her eyes, and decked her head, and looked out at the window.

World English Bible
When Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her eyes, and attired her head, and looked out at the window.

Young's Literal Translation
And Jehu cometh in to Jezreel, and Jezebel hath heard, and putteth her eyes in paint and maketh right her head, and looketh out through the window.

2 Kings 9:30 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

She painted her face, and tired her head - She endeavored to improve the appearance of her complexion by paint, and the general effect of her countenance by a tiara or turban head-dress. Jonathan, the Chaldee Targumist, so often quoted, translates this וכחלת בצדידא עינהא vechachalath bitsdida eynaha: "She stained her eyes with stibium or antimony." This is a custom in Astatic countries to the present day. From a late traveler in Persia, I borrow the following account: -

"The Persians differ as much from us in their notions of beauty as they do in those of taste. A large soft, and languishing black eye, with them constitutes the perfection of beauty. It is chiefly on this account that the women use the powder of antimony, which, although it adds to the vivacity of the eye, throws a kind of voluptuous languor over it, which makes it appear, (if I may use the expression), dissolving in bliss. The Persian women have a curious custom of making their eye-brows meet; and if this charm be denied them, they paint the forehead with a kind of preparation made for that purpose." E. S. Waring's Tour to Sheeraz, 4th., 1807, page 62.

This casts light enough on Jezebel's painting, etc., and shows sufficiently with what design she did it, to conquer and disarm Jehu, and induce him to take her for wife, as Jarchi supposes. This staining of the eye with stibium and painting was a universal custom, not only in Asiatic countries, but also in all those that bordered on them, or had connections with them. The Prophet Ezekiel mentions the painting of the eyes, Ezekiel 23:40.

That the Romans painted their eyes we have the most positive evidence. Pliny says, Tanta est decoris affectatio, ut tinguantur oculi quoque. Hist. Nat. lib. xi., cap. 37. "Such is their affection of ornament, that they paint their eyes also." That this painting was with stibium or antimony, is plain from these words of St. Cyprian, De Opere et Eleemosynis, Inunge aculos tuos non stibio diaboli, sed collyrio Christi, "Anoint your eyes, not with the devil's antimony, but with the eye-salve of Christ." Juvenal is plain on the same subject. Men as well as women in Rome practiced it: -

Ille supercilium madida fuligine tactum

Obliqua producit acu pingitque trementes

Attollens oculos.

Sat. ii., ver. 93.

"With sooty moisture one his eye-brows dyes,

And with a bodkin paints his trembling eyes."

The manner in which the women in Barbary do it Dr. Russel particularly describes: -

"Upon the principle of strengthening the sight, as well as an ornament, it is become a general practice among the women to black the middle of their eye-lids by applying a powder called ismed. Their method of doing it is by a cylindrical piece of silver, steel, or ivory, about two inches long, made very smooth, and about the size of a common probe. This they wet with water, in order that the powder may stick to it, and applying the middle part horizontally to the eye, they shut the eye-lids upon it, and so drawing it through between them, it blacks the inside, leaving a narrow black rim all round the edge. This is sometimes practiced by the men, but is then regarded as foppish." Russel's Nat. Hist. of Aleppo, page 102. See Parkhurst, sub voc. פך

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


1 Kings 19:1,2 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and with how he had slain all the prophets with the sword...

painted her face [heb] put her eyes in painting

Jeremiah 4:30 And when you are spoiled, what will you do? Though you clothe yourself with crimson, though you deck you with ornaments of gold...

Ezekiel 23:40 And furthermore, that you have sent for men to come from far, to whom a messenger was sent; and, see, they came...


Isaiah 3:18-24 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls...

Ezekiel 24:17 Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of your head on you, and put on your shoes on your feet...

1 Timothy 2:9,10 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with modesty and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold...

1 Peter 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

The Fall of the House of Ahab
[This chapter is based on 1 Kings 21; 2 Kings 1.] The evil influence that Jezebel had exercised from the first over Ahab continued during the later years of his life and bore fruit in deeds of shame and violence such as have seldom been equaled in sacred history. "There was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up." Naturally of a covetous disposition, Ahab, strengthened and sustained in wrongdoing by Jezebel, had followed
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

Cross References
1 Samuel 29:1
The Philistines gathered all their forces at Aphek, and Israel camped by the spring in Jezreel.

1 Kings 16:9
Zimri, one of his officials, who had command of half his chariots, plotted against him. Elah was in Tirzah at the time, getting drunk in the home of Arza, the palace administrator at Tirzah.

1 Kings 21:23
"And also concerning Jezebel the LORD says: 'Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.'

Proverbs 6:25
Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.

Jeremiah 4:30
What are you doing, you devastated one? Why dress yourself in scarlet and put on jewels of gold? Why highlight your eyes with makeup? You adorn yourself in vain. Your lovers despise you; they want to kill you.

Ezekiel 23:40
"They even sent messengers for men who came from far away, and when they arrived you bathed yourself for them, applied eye makeup and put on your jewelry.

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