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JEHU-DEATH OF JEZEBEL.
for at least six miles, and there was time enough to dispatch messenger after messenger to meet him. He, of course, came past Beisan, because Jabesh Gilead was east of it, on the other side of Jordan, and he was commander of the garrison there when proclaimed king by his fellow-officers. Immediately he sets out in hot haste to slay Joram, and seize the government. The whole history of this revolution shows Jehu to have been a man of vehement energy and desperate daring. When he met his victim, he drew a bow with his full strength and smote Joram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart.' Nor did he hesitate a moment to kill Ahaziah the king of Judah also. Then, entering the city, he ordered the eunuchs to tumble the infamous Jezebel out of the window of her palace; so they threw her down, and her blood was sprinkled on the wall and on the horses, and he trode her under foot.2
After this terrible day's work, Jehu went in to eat and drink; and, remembering Jezebel, he said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her, for she is a king's daughter.3 But they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of the hands. The word of the Lord by his servant Elijah was fulfilled, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel.*
The field of Naboth which Ahab coveted was doubtless near the great fountain of Jalûd, at the bottom of the valley east of the city. Water was necessary for a garden of herbs, and there is no other perennial fountain in this neighborhood. Joram, Ahab's son, went out against Jehu, who was coming up the valley of Jezreel, and they must have met somewhere near the fountain; and Jehu, having killed Joram, ordered his body to be cast into the portion of the field of Naboth, the Jezreelite; for, said he, the Lord laid this burden upon him, Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth and of his sons, saith the Lord."
The entire narrative in 2 Kings ix. is full of most emphatic lessons of instruction and warning to tyrants. The 2 Kings ix. 34.
12 Kings ix. 24. 2 Kings ix. 36.
22 Kings ix. 33.
blood of Naboth was trebly avenged; first upon Ahab himself, then upon his son Joram, and finally on the wicked Jezebel who had instigated the murder.
It must have been a strange state of things when dogs were so abundant and unscrupulous as to devour a human carcass in the streets of this city during the short time that elapsed before search was made for Jezebel's body; but the canine race always bear some resemblance in disposition to the character of the times and of their keepers. We may readily believe, therefore, that those under the palace of Jezebel were sufficiently savage. They may have been taught to devour the wretched victims of her cruelty, in which case the retribution would be remarkably appropriate and striking. What is meant by "making her eyes with paint,' as the Hebrew has it?
Simply that which has been and is still the favorite mode of beautifying the face among the ladies of this country. They "paint" or blacken the eyelids and brows with kohl, and prolong the application in a decreasing pencil, so as to lengthen and reduce the eye in appearance to what is called almond shape. The practice is extremely ancient, for such painted eyes are found in the oldest Egyptian tombs. It imparts a peculiar brilliancy to the eye, and a languishing, amorous cast to the whole countenance. Brides are thus painted, and many heighten the effect by application to the cheeks of colored cosmetics. The powder from which kohl is made is collected from burning almond shells, or frankincense, and is intensely black. Antimony, and various ores of lead, are also employed. The powder is kept in phials or pots, which are often disposed in a handsomely-worked cover or case; and it is applied to the eye by a small probe of wood, ivory,
MEEL AND MUKHOLY.
PAINTING THE EYE-VALLEY OF JEZREEL.
or silver, which is called meel, while the whole apparatus is named mukhuly.
This neighborhood is celebrated for its wheat, and a peculiar kind is called Nûrsy, from this village of that name on the mountain. The grain is long and slender, while that of the Hauran is short and plump. The latter bears the highest price in market. The name Jezreel-God will sow -seems to have reference to the adaptation of this place for growing grain.
Hosea' intimates that the final overthrow of Israel should be in this valley of Jezreel, where it is farther said that God would punish the house of Jehu for the blood there shed. by him. Treason and murder must be remembered and avenged, even though vengeance slumbers through many generations. What is the explanation of that singular passage in Hosea ii. 21-23: It shall come to pass in that day I will hear, saith the Lord. I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth, and the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil, and they shall hear Jezreel.
You may read thus: the Lord will hear the heavens calling for the vapor and the cloud. These clouds shall hear the parched earth calling for rain. The earth, in turn, shall hear the languishing corn, and wine, and oil, and grant the nourishment required. Jezreel, also, the valley of vengeance and destruction, shall in that happy time be heard calling for the peaceful products of husbandry. Jezreel-God himself will sow her with the seed of peace and righteousness. The Orientals are delighted with this sort of hazy, indistinct figure. There is evidently a play upon the name Jezreel, and an unexpressed blending of the bloody tragedies enacted in this valley with promises of better things in reserve for the true people of Israel. The passage begins with another most obscure, but pregnant figure: I will give herIsrael-the valley of Achor for a door of hope. That valley runs up from Gilgal toward Bethel. There Achan was stoned to death, and by that act the anger of the Lord was turned away from Israel, and the door of entrance to the
Hos. i. 4, 5.
promised inheritance thrown open. Achor means trouble, affliction, from whence comes our word ache, perhaps. Thus the valley of affliction was the door through which Israel at first entered the land of Canaan. And thus again the Lord, by his prophet, promised to lead Israel to peace and rest through the valley of trouble. The very indistinctness makes this mode of speaking the more suggestive. The valley of Achor-a door of hope. Not a bad motto for those who through much tribulation must enter the promised land -the Canaan of eternal peace and rest. But it is time to pass away from Jezreel, with all its lessons of wisdom. There is nothing of interest in the plain itself from this to Jenîn. That village to which we are coming, called Jelâmy, is prettily situated, but nearly ruined; and Em Gabeleh (or Mukeibileh), southwest of it, is quite deserted. The one on the left among the hills is Arrâmy, celebrated for its wheat and tobacco. Between it and Jenîn the plain runs far up into the eastern hills, and at the head of it is Beit Kod. The mountain of Gilboa is that just in front of us to the southeast-that is, the name Jelbûn is now specifically attached only to this part, but in ancient times, I think, the whole rocky region between Jelbûn and the valley of Jezreel was so called. Saul and Jonathan were probably slain somewhere farther north, possibly on the lofty promontory of El Mazar. There may even be an allusion to this very conspicuous place in the opening stanza of David's lament. "The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places." And this very name Mazar (a sacred tomb to which pilgrimages are made) may have been given to it because the daughters of Israel went thither to weep over Saul, who clothed them in scarlet, and put an ornament of gold upon their apparel.1
This dry channel proves that a large stream flows from Beit Kod and the mountains above it during the winter rains. The soil appears to be eminently fertile, and how beautifully the orchards of Jenîn stretch this way down the plain! but I can not yet see the town itself.
It is hid away in a ravine, and farther concealed by the
12 Samuel i. 24.