Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 9

Sermon Bible CommentarySermon Bible Commentary

Verses 1-3

2 Kings 9:1-3

I. The Jewish prophet was not primarily or characteristically a foreteller. The sole power which the prophet possessed of declaring that which should be arose from his knowledge of that which had been and which was. He meditated in the law of the Lord, and in that law did he exercise himself day and night. The fruits of revolt his inward monitor enabled him to foresee and to predict. Everything that was sudden in his utterances bore witness to previous trains of thought and habits of reflection.

II. Supposing the habitual belief and work of the prophet to have been of this kind, it does not seem very strange that he should have been an educator of others, or that one main object of his education should have been to fit them for functions like his own. God had given His law to the whole nation. All were under it; therefore all might study it and delight themselves in it; and since light is given that it may be communicated, there was no reason why any of the Lord's people should not be prophets.

III. The sons of the prophets were a continual witness to the Israelites against certain errors into which they were apt to fall respecting the prophetical office. The man of God might have been looked upon as a mere separate being, cut off by the awfulness of his character and dignity from the rest of his countrymen, an object of distant admiration and dread, not an example of what they should be. These men, taken from among themselves and associated with him, declared that he was only withdrawn from their communion that he might the better claim privileges for them which they were in hazard of losing, that he was only chosen out by the Lord God of Israel that he might the more clearly understand and help them to understand their national calling.

IV. Jehu, the son of Nimshi, had been declared to Elijah as the joint successor with Elisha in the work that he had left unperformed. No two men in Israel could have been more unlike. Yet Jehu had the kind of faith which might be expected in a soldier, somewhat reckless, but with his sense of right not quenched by religious falsehood. Esteeming himself a scourge of God and rejoicing in the office, he gave full play to all his bloody instincts. We meet such characters in the world, characters with something devilish lying close beside something which is really Divine; and though the devilish is the obtrusive, and may become the pervading, part of the man's soul, you cannot help feeling that the other is in the very depth of it, and marks out what he is meant to be and can be.

F. D. Maurice, Prophets and Kings of the Old Testament, p. 141.

References: 2 Kings 9:1-37 . Clergyman's Magazine, vol. v., p. 89. 2 Kings 9:17 . F. O. Morris, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxviii., p. 403.

Verse 18

2 Kings 9:18

I. The dispensation of judgment and the dispensation of love, so opposite in all points, did, in fact, proceed from one and the same Divine will. The sword of Jehu and the healing voice of Christ had, in fact, this common origin; they were both part of the Divine economy for the conquest over evil. One of them flashed forth in vengeance and retribution; the other breathed love even to the most unworthy. But both were alike in this point Divine, that they marked the enormity of sin in the sight of God, albeit the one consumed the sinner and his house, and the other lifted up the sinner and let him go free, because One who had done no sin was ready to suffer in his stead.

II. The new law of the Gospel, so full of love, so profound, so ennobling in its observance, may begin at once to do its work in the heart as soon as its Divine prescriptions are understood. But when we look round and find a world full of resistance to that law, we understand that the very fact that it is resisted limits us in our adoption of it as a rule. When the invader, in his cruel selfishness, breaks through the silken cords of the Gospel, and seems to know no law but that of selfishness, it seems that stern language would alone be understood. "What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me."

III. War is a remnant of the old and harsher covenant, which must endure into the covenant of love, simply because of the evil tempers of mankind that are still unsubdued, and because the law of Christ cannot have its perfect operation except where it is leavening the whole mass. We are soldiers of Christ, and His war is ever being carried on. He will fight for us; He will ever find us service.

Archbishop Thomson, Life in the Light of God's Word, p. 71.

References: 2 Kings 9:18 . J. M. Neale, Sermons in Sackville College, vol. ii., pp. 145, 155. 2 Kings 9:20 . G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 267. 2 Kings 9:36 . J. W. Burgon, Ninety-one Short Sermons, No. 73. 2 Kings 9:37 . E. Monro, Practical Sermons on the Old Testament, vol. ii., p. 173. 2 Kings 9:0 Parker, vol. viii., p. 203. 2 Kings 10:10 . R. Heber, Parish Sermons, vol. ii., p. 148.

Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on 2 Kings 9". "Sermon Bible Commentary".