An ethical dilemma in Hosea (part 5)

This is part of a series. I recommend starting with the first installment.

Welcome back to the series where we are exploring the dilemma that Hosea presents in the opening passages. If you are just joining the series I recommend starting with part one.

In the prior posts we examined three ways in which some commentators and scholars attempt to solve the dilemma. They are all rooted in the broad idea that Jehu went beyond what God commanded and that the excessive actions were not part of what was praised.

In this post we will look at a different approach to solving the dilemma. We saw what this approach was in the Gill entry regarding the slaughter of the Baal worshipers.

… because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes: in rooting out the idolatry of Baal, which was right in the sight of God, and was materially a good work, though it might not be done from a good principle, nor every step taken in doing it justifiable (Gill)

Gill argues, as did the prior post, that wiping out the worship of Baal was right but the motives behind the act were not. Therefore the punishment that will be brought against the house of Jehu will be rooted in the motives not the acts themselves.

Continue reading

An ethical dilemma in Hosea (part 4)

This is part of a series. I recommend starting with the first installment.

In the first part of this series we laid out the dilemma that Hosea presents that suggests God sought revenge for an act that he both commanded and praised.

And the Lord said to him, “Call his name Jezreel, for in just a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. (Hosea 1:4)

In the second and third part of the series, we examined ways some commentators attempt to get out of this dilemma and how they do not work.

In this installment we will examine another, related premise, as to how the dilemma may be solved.

The third related premise is that Jehu exceeded his mandate when he killed the worshippers of Baal.

After Jehu has managed to secure his claim to the throne of Israel through the killing of Jehoram and others in the line of Ahab, he begins to wipe out the Baal cult (2 Kings 10:18-28).

The way Jehu went about this itself was rooted in deceit. He called together the people and claimed that he would follow Baal even more than Ahab had. In gathering the Baal worshippers together, under the pretense of a major sacrifice, as well as the threat of death for missing it, Jehu has them all slaughtered.

The wiping out of the Baal worshipers is cited in an AiG article (emphasis added) as part of the solution to the dilemma presented in Hosea (link).

Jehu also slaughtered a large gathering of Baal worshipers and essentially “destroyed Baal from Israel” (2 Kings 10:28). Yet, as far as we know, God never commanded Jehu to do this, even though the Lord despised the worship of Baal. Jehu was never commended for this action either.

In Gill’s exposition of the 2 Kings passage, he argues that the ends were valid but that the means were not (link).

… because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes: in rooting out the idolatry of Baal, which was right in the sight of God, and was materially a good work, though it might not be done from a good principle, nor every step taken in doing it justifiable

In this article, from Ligonier, we find the author agreeing that Jehu was right in wiping out the worshipers of Baal (link).

Continue reading

An ethical dilemma in Hosea (part 3)

This is part of a series. I recommend starting with the first installment.

In the first part we laid out the dilemma that Hosea presents. The accounts in 2 Kings 9:6-10 and 2 Kings 10:30 when compared to a prophecy made by Hosea (1:4) suggests that God commanded an act be done, praised the act and then threatened punishment for that same act. In the last post we examined one of the claims that Jehu exceeded what God had commanded. In this post we will examine another aspect to that claim.

The second related premise is that Jehu exceeded his mandate when he killed Ahaziah the king of Judah. The AiG article suggests this when they write that Jehu “even went so far as to kill King Ahaziah of Judah”.

An article on Ligonier also makes this claim (emphasis added).

In 2 Kings 10:12–14, we read that (Jehu) put to death the relatives of King Ahaziah of Judah who were on their way to visit the king at Jezreel. Ahaziah, of course, had met a deserved end at the hands of Jehu for his own idolatry and friendship with Israel (8:25–29; 9:27–28). But the Lord never told Jehu to destroy the family and friends of Judah’s king. Jehu took things too far, showing that he was not motivated solely by a desire to accomplish God’s will with respect to Ahab’s descendants. The prophet Hosea declared that Jehu’s house would eventually fall as a punishment for this bloodshed at Jezreel (Hos. 1:4–5). (link)

It is true that we don’t have text that explicitly shows that God asked Jehu to kill Ahaziah the king of Judah. But if we examine other texts we can present a reasonable case that Jehu killing Ahaziah was right in the eyes of God as well.

Continue reading