1:4Jezreel. Lit. “God sows” or “plants.” This is the name of a beautiful and fertile valley between the mountain ranges of Samaria and Galilee (the site of Gideon’s victory over the Midianites, Judg. 6:33), and of a town at the valley’s southern end, where Jehu came to power through violence (1 Kin. 21:1; 2 Kin. 9; 10). This valley became the place of judgment in 733 b.c. (2 Kin. 15:29). This punishment through military defeat suggests the theme of covenant breaking since it reflects the curses recorded in Lev. 26:17; Deut. 28:25, 49–57. Yet Jezreel is also a sign of blessing and fertility in Hos. 2:22.
the house of Jehu. Jeroboam II was from the house of Jehu, a dynasty established through the bloodbath at Jezreel (2 Kin. 9:14–37; cf. 1 Kin. 19:16, 17) and ending with the murder of Zechariah (2 Kin. 15:8–10).
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