2 Kings 9 Hit and Run


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2 Kings 9:The prophet Elisha summoned a man from the company of the prophets and said to him, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take this flask of olive oil with you and go to Ramoth Gilead. 2 When you get there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go to him, get him away from his companions and take him into an inner room. 3 Then take the flask and pour the oil on his head and declare, ‘This is what the Lord says: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and run; don’t delay!”​

These verses don't take a lot of commentary. I looked up a few, and they all agree, isn't much to see here.

The easy English site has the most clarification.

God told Elijah to appoint Jehu to be king of Israel (1 Kings 19:16). After Elijah went to heaven, this became Elisha’s responsibility. It would be Jehu’s task to kill everyone from Ahab’s family who escaped from Hazael (1 Kings 19:17). In particular, Joram (king of Israel) and Ahaziah (king of Judah) had just escaped from Hazael (2 Kings 8:28-29). That was why it was necessary for Elisha to appoint Jehu at this time. God had firmly decided that he would end the rule of Ahab’s family. This very wicked family controlled both Israel and Judah. Jehu would be God’s agent to carry out that punishment. If Jehu failed to do that, Elisha himself would have to carry out that punishment. But Jehu would not fail.

We are not sure why Elisha did not go to Ramoth Gilead to appoint Jehu. There are several possible reasons. Perhaps Elisha was too old to go on the journey. Or perhaps Elisha wanted this to be a secret, but of course, everyone knew him.

Instead, Elisha sent a young unknown prophet. He told the prophet what to do. And he told him what to say. Elisha told the prophet to anoint Jehu in a private room. And he told him to leave quickly then. These instructions emphasised the importance of the task.

There are just a couple things here that seem to shine out here.

Elisha told the young prophet to “Tuck your cloak into your belt".... I remember one children's Sunday School lesson about this. People wore long garments back in that day. Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you.... running in a long garment is dangerous. It's a major tripping hazard. So when they had to run, they would gather up all the garment and tuck it up in the belt so it wouldn't be in the way.


Elisha sent a young prophet instead of setting out himself. The commentaries don't seem to have the definitive reason for this particular path, but they do seem to agree that it was either because Elisha couldn't make the trip or Elisha wanted to maintain annonymity.

Jehu was anointed while the current king was still alive and well. This was not out of the normal. David was anointed to replace Saul long before David actually took the throne.

Elisha told him to get out quickly.... RUN... as soon as it was done. GodVine mentions the command to run but it really doesn't give a solid reason.

Flee, and tarry not - The probable object of these directions was at once to prevent questioning, and to render the whole thing more striking.​

I guess it was a marketing thing... make it all very mysterious.... or maybe it's more like "tag you're it".