from WL Worcester (H Blackmer, ed.), 
The Sower.  Helps to the Study of the Bible in Home and Sunday School
(Boston: Massachusetts New-Church Union, n.d.)

Table of Contents


Lesson 9

2 Kings 10:11-36: Jehonadab

The Story


Tell me about Jehu's coming to Jezreel. Where did he come from? Why did he come? What happened at his coming? We remember how king Joram, Ahab's son, and Jezebel, Ahab's wife, were killed. Others of Ahab's family were in Samaria: Jehu wrote letters from Jezreel to Samaria, and these all were killed - seventy sons (perhaps sons and grandsons) of Ahab. The prediction spoken by the prophet who anointed Jehu king was being fulfilled.

Look on the map and see the way that Jehu took in his journey across the plain and through the hills from Jezreel to Samaria. He could make the journey in a day. Two things happened by the way. He was near a shearing house, a place where shepherds sheared their sheep. The pit or cistern of the shearing house was the pool where the sheep were washed. Near this place Jehu met a company of travelers: they were brethren of Ahaziah the king of Judah whom Jehu had just met at Jezreel, and who had been killed by Jehuís men. The travelers seem not to have known what had happened but were on their way to visit the family of Joram and of Jezebel. The kings of Israel and of Judah were related, for Ahaziah's mother Athaliah was a daughter of Ahab. (2 Kings 8:18, 26) We shall soon learn more about Athaliah. This partly accounts for the friendly visits, and also for Jehu's killing Ahaziah and his brethren, for they were a part of the family of Ahab.

Another man met Jehu on his journey from Jezreel to Samaria, who was kindly treated and taken up into his chariot as a sign of friendship. He went with Jehu to help him: it was Jehonadab the son of Rechab. Later on in the history (Jer. 35), we read about this Jehonadab or Jonadab, how he commanded his people not to drink wine, and not to build houses, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyards, but to live a wandering life in tents. They faithfully kept this charge, and the blessing of the Lord was upon them. It is said in 1 Chron. 2:55 that the Rechabites were of the descendants of Moses' father-in-law, the priest of Midian, who with his family had joined the children of Israel on their journey through the desert, and had made their home among them in the land of Canaan. What we learn in Jeremiah leads us to think of the family of Jehonadab as good, faithful people and to think of Jehonadab as a man of influence, an important help to Jehu in his work of putting an end to the evil worship of Baal.

Jehu came with Jehonadab to Samaria. He proclaimed a great meeting and sacrifice to Baal, which brought the priests and worshipers of Baal together not only from the city of Samaria but from all the land of Israel. Then when they were all gathered in the temple they were killed at Jehuís command. The images or pillars which were brought forth and burnt were made of wood. The image of Baal and the temple itself which were broken down were probably of stone. ďThus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.Ē

Still the worship of the calves remained which Jeroboam (Who was he?) had set up at Bethel and Dan. And Hazael the king of Syria was still the enemy of Israel and took away from them the country on the east of Jordan. The Arnon is the brook that runs into the Dead Sea in the middle of its eastern side, and it was the southern boundary of the land which Israel claimed. South of the Arnon was Moab. Gilead was the middle district east of Jordan, and Bashan stretched away to the north. This was the rich pasture land which had been given to Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh. Israel and Syria had often fought for it, and now the Syrians took it away.

I. From what place did Jehu come to Jezreel? To what place did he go from Jezreel?

2. What two things happened on this journey?

3. What family did Jehu destroy?

4. What idolatry did he destroy? But what other idolatry did he follow?

Spiritual Study


How can a story like this, in which so many persons are killed, be a part of the Lord's Word? What can it describe in the regenerating life? The overcoming of something false and evil, in obedience to the Lord. The wicked king of Israel is the type of what is false, and the wicked king of Judah of what is evil. The families of these kings were killed, representing the thorough overcoming of the false and evil thing in all its developments and branches. We may notice that it speaks of Ahab's sons, and of Ahaziah's brethren; for sons represent developments of truth or falsity, and brethren forms of good or evil. (A. 489, 3815, 4750)

We recognize in Jehu the type of a strong reforming spirit; his chariot and his bow and his furious driving all suggest a bold use of truth in the correction of evil. The house of Ahab and Jezebel, against which the power of Jehu was especially directed, represents the life of evil pleasures and the false thoughts and excuses justifying evil pleasure, which need correction in this strong, bold spirit. The Jehu spirit may not be deep and spiritual, but it is prompt and thorough and not afraid of pain or sacrifice. Jehonadab, whose heart was with Jehu, and who rode with him in his chariot, must represent a kindred spirit, helpful in the same work of reformation. We may see a suggestion of John the Baptist in the command to drink no wine, which Jehonadab gave to his people. If Jehu stands especially for the power of truth and reason in reform, perhaps Jehonadab (of the family of the Kenites) may stand for the perception of right which belongs to a child and to one of good natural heart. (A. 6827)

Jehu's strength was also turned against the evil worship of Baal, and it is said that he destroyed Baal out of Israel. The idol Baal was associated with the sun, and the sun in an evil sense is a type of self-love ruling in the heart. This may help us to understand and to remember, that the worship of Baal represents a life given up to the loves of self and the world and to their evil pleasures. (R, 132; E. 160, 324) The vestments given to Baal's worshipers by Jehu (compare the wedding garments in the Lordís parable) must represent the outward evil life which is the expression of self-love. This love and life, this Baal worship, can lead only to spiritual death.

The Jehu spirit, while it is bold and strong, is too natural and external to do perfect work. This is represented by Jehuís continuing to worship the idol calves of Jeroboam, and by the encroachment of Hazael king of Syria upon his power. The Syrians represent intellectual power of a merely worldly kind. Calves represent an affection for what is good and pleasant in natural life, and the worship of the calves represents a regard for mere forms of truth and goodness, without care for the spirit which makes them genuinely good. (A. 1186, 3249, 9391; E. 391 near end)

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