By April 7, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

2 Kings 9–10

800px-andrea_celesti_-_queen_jezabel_being_punished_by_jehu_-_wga46229Then the prophet Elisha summoned one of the disciples of the prophets and said to him, “Tie up your skirts, and take along this flask of oil, and go to Ramoth-gilead. 2When you arrive there, go and see Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi; get him to leave his comrades, and take him into an inner room. 3Then take the flask of oil and pour some on his head, and say, ‘Thus said the Lord- I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee without delay.”

4The young man, the servant of the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. 5When he arrived, the army commanders were sitting together. He said, “Commander, I have a message for you.” “For which one of us?” Jehu asked. He answered, “For you, commander.” 6So [Jehu] arose and went inside; and [the disciple] poured the oil on his head, and said to him, “Thus said the Lord, the God of Israel- I anoint you king over the people of the Lord, over Israel. 7You shall strike down the House of Ahab your master; thus will I avenge on Jezebel the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of the other servants of the Lord. 8The whole House of Ahab shall perish, and I will cut off every male belonging to Ahab, bond and free in Israel. 9I will make the House of Ahab like the House of Jeroboam son of Nebat, and like the House of Baasha son of Ahijah. 10The dogs shall devour Jezebel in the field of Jezreel, with none to bury her.” Then he opened the door and fled.

11Jehu went out to the other officers of his master, and they asked him, “Is all well? What did that madman come to you for?” He said to them, “You know the man and his ranting!” 12“You’re lying,” they said. “Tell us [the truth].” Then he replied, “Thus and thus he said- Thus said the Lord- I anoint you king over Israel!” 13Quickly each man took his cloak and placed it under him, on the top step. They sounded the horn and proclaimed, “Jehu is king!” 14Thus Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi conspired against Joram.

Joram and all Israel had been defending Ramoth-gilead against King Hazael of Aram, 15but King Joram had gone back to Jezreel to recover from the wounds which the Arameans had inflicted on him in his battle with King Hazael of Aram.

Jehu said, “If such is your wish, allow no one to slip out of the town to go and report this in Jezreel.” 16Then Jehu mounted his chariot and drove to Jezreel; for Joram was lying ill there, and King Ahaziah of Judah had gone down to visit Joram. 17The lookout was stationed on the tower in Jezreel, and he saw the troop of Jehu as he approached. He called out, “I see a troop!” Joram said, “Dispatch a horseman to meet them and let him ask- Is all well?” 18The horseman went to meet him, and he said, “The king inquires- Is all well?” Jehu replied, “What concern of yours is it whether all is well? Fall in behind me.” The lookout reported- “The messenger has reached them, but has not turned back.” 19So he sent out a second horseman. He came to them and said, “Thus says the king- Is all well?” Jehu answered, “What concern of yours is it whether all is well? Fall in behind me.” 20And the lookout reported, “The messenger has reached them, but has not turned back. And it looks like the driving of Jehu son of Nimshi, who drives wildly.”

21Joram ordered, “Hitch up [the chariot]!” They hitched up his chariot; and King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah went out, each in his own chariot, to meet Jehu. They met him at the field of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22When Joram saw Jehu, he asked, “Is all well, Jehu?” But Jehu replied, “How can all be well as long as your mother Jezebel carries on her countless harlotries and sorceries?” 23Thereupon Joram turned his horses around and fled, crying out to Ahaziah, “Treason, Ahaziah!” 24But Jehu drew his bow and hit Joram between the shoulders, so that the arrow pierced his heart; and he collapsed in his chariot.

25Jehu thereupon ordered his officer Bidkar, “Pick him up and throw him into the field of Naboth the Jezreelite. Remember how you and I were riding side by side behind his father Ahab, when the Lord made this pronouncement about him- 26‘I swear, I have taken note of the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons yesterday—declares the Lord. And I will requite you in this plot—declares the Lord.’ So pick him up and throw him unto the plot in accordance with the word of the Lord.”
27On seeing this, King Ahaziah of Judah fled along the road to Beth-haggan. Jehu pursued him and said, “Shoot him down too!” [And they shot him] in his chariot at the ascent of Gur, which is near Ibleam. He fled to Megiddo and died there. 28His servants conveyed him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and they buried him in his grave with his fathers, in the City of David. (29Ahaziah had become king over Judah in the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab.)

30Jehu went on to Jezreel. When Jezebel heard of it, she painted her eyes with kohl and dressed her hair, and she looked out of the window. 31As Jehu entered the gate, she called out, “Is all well, Zimri, murderer of your master?” 32He looked up toward the window and said, “Who is on my side, who?” And two or three eunuchs leaned out toward him. 33“Throw her down,” he said. They threw her down; and her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, and they trampled her.
34Then he went inside and ate and drank. And he said, “Attend to that cursed woman and bury her, for she was a king’s daughter.” 35So they went to bury her; but all they found of her were the skull, the feet, and the hands. 36They came back and reported to him; and he said, “It is just as the Lord spoke through His servant Elijah the Tishbite- The dogs shall devour the flesh of Jezebel in the field of Jezreel; 37and the carcass of Jezebel shall be like dung on the ground, in the field of Jezreel, so that none will be able to say- ‘This was Jezebel.’”

10Ahab had seventy descendants in Samaria. Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the elders and officials of Jezreel and to the guardians of [the children] of Ahab, as follows- 2“Now, when this letter reaches you—since your master’s sons are with you and you also have chariots and horses, and a fortified city and weapons—3select the best and the most suitable of your master’s sons and set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.” 4But they were overcome by fear, for they thought, “If the two kings could not stand up to him, how can we?” 5The steward of the palace and the governor of the city and the elders and the guardians sent this message to Jehu- “We are your subjects, and we shall do whatever you tell us to. We shall not proclaim anyone king; do whatever you like.”

6He wrote them a second time- “If you are on my side and are ready to obey me, take the heads of the attendants of your master’s sons and come to me in Jezreel tomorrow at this time.” Now the princes, seventy in number, were with the notables of the town, who were rearing them. 7But when the letter reached them, they took the princes and slaughtered all seventy of them; they put their heads in baskets and sent them to him in Jezreel. 8A messenger came and reported to him- “They have brought the heads of the princes.” He said, “Pile them up in two heaps at the entrance of the gate before morning.” 9In the morning he went out and stood there; and he said to all the people, “Are you blameless? True, I conspired against my master and killed him; but who struck down all of these? 10Know, then, that nothing that the Lord has spoken concerning the House of Ahab shall remain unfulfilled, for the Lord has done what he announced through His servant Elijah.” 11And Jehu struck down all that were left of the House of Ahab in Jezreel—and all his notables, intimates, and priests—till he left him no survivor.

12He then set out for Samaria. On the way, when he was at Beth-eked of the shepherds, 13Jehu came upon the kinsmen of King Ahaziah of Judah. “Who are you?” he asked. They replied, “We are the kinsmen of Ahaziah, and we have come to pay our respects to the sons of the king and the sons of the queen mother.” 14“Take them alive!” he said. They took them alive and then slaughtered them at the pit of Beth-eked, forty-two of them; he did not spare a single one.
15He went on from there, and he met Jehonadab son of Rechab coming toward him. He greeted him and said to him, “Are you as wholehearted with me as I am with you?” “I am,” Jehonadab replied. “If so,” [said Jehu,] “give me your hand.” He gave him his hand and [Jehu] helped him into the chariot. 16“Come with me,” he said, “and see my zeal for the Lord.” And he was taken along in the chariot. 17Arriving in Samaria, [Jehu] struck down all the survivors of [the House of] Ahab in Samaria, until he wiped it out, fulfilling the word that the Lord had spoken to Elijah.

18Jehu assembled all the people and said to them, “Ahab served Baal little; Jehu shall serve him much! 19Therefore, summon to me all the prophets of Baal, all his worshipers, and all his priests- let no one fail to come, for I am going to hold a great sacrifice for Baal. Whoever fails to come shall forfeit his life.” Jehu was acting with guile in order to exterminate the worshipers of Baal. 20Jehu gave orders to convoke a solemn assembly for Baal, and one was proclaimed. 21Jehu sent word throughout Israel, and all the worshipers of Baal came, not a single one remained behind. They came into the temple of Baal, and the temple of Baal was filled from end to end. 22He said to the man in charge of the wardrobe, “Bring out the vestments for all the worshipers of Baal”; and he brought vestments out for them. 23Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rechab came into the temple of Baal, and they said to the worshipers of Baal, “Search and make sure that there are no worshipers of the Lord among you, but only worshipers of Baal.” 24So they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. But Jehu had stationed eighty of his men outside and had said, “Whoever permits the escape of a single one of the men I commit to your charge shall forfeit life for life.”

25When Jehu had finished presenting the burnt offering, he said to the guards and to the officers, “Come in and strike them down; let no man get away!” The guards and the officers struck them down with the sword and left them lying where they were; then they proceeded to the interior of the temple of Baal. 26They brought out the pillars of the temple of Baal and burned them. 27They destroyed the pillar of Baal, and they tore down the temple of Baal and turned it into latrines, as is still the case. 28Thus Jehu eradicated the Baal from Israel. 29However, Jehu did not turn away from the sinful objects by which Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to sin, namely, the golden calves at Bethel and at Dan.

30The Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have acted well and done what was pleasing to Me, having carried out all that I desired upon the House of Ahab, four generations of your descendants shall occupy the throne of Israel.” 31But Jehu was not careful to follow the Teaching of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart; he did not turn away from the sins that Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit.

32In those days the Lord began to reduce Israel; and Hazael harassed them throughout the territory of Israel 33east of the Jordan, all the land of Gilead—the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the Manassites—from Aroer, by the Wadi Arnon, up to Gilead and Bashan.
34The other events of Jehu’s reign, and all his actions, and all his exploits, are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 35Jehu slept with his fathers and he was buried in Samaria; he was succeeded as king by his son Jehoahaz. 36Jehu reigned over Israel for twenty-eight years in Samaria.

Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, (Philadelphia, Jerusalem- Jewish Publication Society) 1985.

Posted in: Exodus

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