2 Kings 10 Temple to Latrine


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2 Kings 10:18 Then Jehu brought all the people together and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much. 19 Now summon all the prophets of Baal, all his servants and all his priests. See that no one is missing, because I am going to hold a great sacrifice for Baal. Anyone who fails to come will no longer live.” But Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy the servants of Baal.

20 Jehu said, “Call an assembly in honor of Baal.” So they proclaimed it. 21 Then he sent word throughout Israel, and all the servants of Baal came; not one stayed away. They crowded into the temple of Baal until it was full from one end to the other. 22 And Jehu said to the keeper of the wardrobe, “Bring robes for all the servants of Baal.” So he brought out robes for them.

23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rekab went into the temple of Baal. Jehu said to the servants of Baal, “Look around and see that no one who serves the Lord is here with you—only servants of Baal.” 24 So they went in to make sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had posted eighty men outside with this warning: “If one of you lets any of the men I am placing in your hands escape, it will be your life for his life.”

25 As soon as Jehu had finished making the burnt offering, he ordered the guards and officers: “Go in and kill them; let no one escape.” So they cut them down with the sword. The guards and officers threw the bodies out and then entered the inner shrine of the temple of Baal. 26 They brought the sacred stone out of the temple of Baal and burned it. 27 They demolished the sacred stone of Baal and tore down the temple of Baal, and people have used it for a latrine to this day.​

The commentary this morning is from enduringword.com.

Ahab served Baal a little, Jehu will serve him much: Jehu feigned devotion to Baal to lure the priests and worshippers of Baal into a trap. Jehu acted deceptively, with the intent of destroying the worshippers of Baal.

I have a great sacrifice: “The person who made the sacrifice is not stated, it may be indefinite… The text does not say that Jehu acted as sacrificing priest.” (Wiseman)

The priests of Baal believed the deception. “They were excited that their new king, Jehu, and the famous sheik of the Rechabites, Jehonadab, were now distinguished converts and were joining them in a ceremonial sacrifice to Baal.” (Dilday)​

And tore down the temple of Baal and made it a refuse dump: Ahab built this temple for his wife Jezebel (1 Kings 16:32); Jehu tore it down. He worked to completely eliminate the worship of Baal from Israel, making him a unique king among the other rulers of the Northern Kingdom.

Beginning with the first king of Israel – Jeroboam – Israel was steeped in idolatry. Jeroboam began with false representations of the true God (the golden calves described in 1 Kings 12:25-33). The successive kings of Israel continued his idolatry (Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, and Omri), until the reign of Ahab. Under King Ahab, Israel moved from the false worship of the true God to the state-supported worship of Baal (1 Kings 16:29-34). The son of Ahab (Jehoram/Joram) continued this practice until he was assassinated by Jehu, who destroyed the infrastructure of state-sponsored Baal worship in Israel.

He destroyed this temple of Baal and utterly desecrated it. To say he made it a refuse dump is literally that he made it a public toilet. “A place for human excrement; so all the versions understand it. Nothing could be more degrading than this.” (Clarke)​

So why did God choose Jehu for this particular job? This is from GodVine.

As soon as he had made an end of offering - Had Jehu been a man of any conscientious principle in religion, he would have finished the tragedy before he offered the burnt-offering; but to a man of no religion, the worship of Jehovah and of Baal are alike. If he prefers either, it is merely as a statesman, for political purposes.

To the guard and to the captains - לרצים ולשלשים leratsim uleshalashim; to the couriers or runners, and the shalashim, the men of the third rank, those officers who were next to the nobles, the king and these being only their superiors. The runners were probably a sort of light infantry.

The city of the house of Baal - Does not this mean a sort of holy of holies, where the most sacred images of Baal were kept? A place separated from the temple of Baal, as the holy of holies in the temple of Jehovah was separated from what was called the holy place.

I wonder.... leaving out the mass slaughter that took place here.... there's something else going on here. A place where people use to worship has been turned into an outhouse. If someone were to change a church building into a public toilet.... do you think it would be in the news?

I know there was a mass murder. I know it was a bad day for the worshipers of Baal. I wonder though... without the murder.... do you think turning a temple into a public bathroom that would stink up the whole area..... would make the news today?