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2 Kings 9-11
Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat, was chosen by The Lord as king of Israel for a primary purpose - to bring The Lord's wrath upon the evil and corrupt dynasty of Ahab and Jezebel (see also The Fall of Ahab and Jezebel).
"Then Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets and said to him, "Gird up your loins, and take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead. And when you arrive, look there for Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi; and go in and bid him rise from among his fellows, and lead him to an inner chamber. Then take the flask of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, 'Thus says The Lord, I anoint you king over Israel."
During another war against Syria, King Joram of Israel was wounded, so he retired to Jezreel to recover. Ahaziah, king of Judah, who was allied with king Joram of Israel (see Kings of Israel and Judah), went to Jezreel to visit his fellow king (Note how "Israel" and "Judah" were two independent kingdoms - see The Southern Kingdom and The Northern Kingdom). Jehu also went to Jezreel.
"Thus Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. Now Joram with all Israel had been on guard at Ramoth-gilead against Hazael king of Syria; but King Joram had returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria. So Jehu said, "If this is your mind, then let no one slip out of the city to go and tell the news in Jezreel." Then Jehu mounted his chariot, and went to Jezreel, for Joram lay there. And Ahaziah king of Judah had come down to visit Joram." (2 Kings 9:14-16 RSV)
When Joram encountered the two kings, it became immediately obvious that the meeting was not going to be friendly. Joram and Ahaziah were both killed.
"And when Joram saw Jehu, he said, "Is it peace, Jehu?" He answered, "What peace can there be, so long as the harlotries and the sorceries of your mother Jezebel are so many?" Then Joram reined about and fled, saying to Ahaziah, "Treachery, O Ahaziah!" And Jehu drew his bow with his full strength, and shot Joram between the shoulders, so that the arrow pierced his heart, and he sank in his chariot." (2 Kings 9:22-24 RSV)
Jehu then entered Jezreel where he was met by one of the most infamously wicked people of the Bible - Jezebel. Jehu ordered the palace eunuchs to throw her out of a window, which they unhesitatingly did, where she died in the street according to "the word of The Lord, which He spoke by his servant Elijah."
"When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her eyes, and adorned her head, and looked out of the window. And as Jehu entered the gate, she said, "Is it peace, you Zimri, murderer of your master?"
2 Kings Chapter 10
Jehu then ordered the officials of the capital city of Samaria to kill all of the royal princes of the former king, thereby ending his dynasty. The next morning, their severed heads were delivered to Jehu in Jezreel. The slaughter continued the next day until the house of Ahab was completely destroyed, in keeping with God's condemnation of the house of Ahab and Jezebel.
"Then he wrote to them a second letter, saying, "If you are on my side, and if you are ready to obey me, take the heads of your master's sons, and come to me at Jezreel tomorrow at this time." Now the king's sons, seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, who were bringing them up. And when the letter came to them, they took the king's sons, and slew them, seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent them to him at Jezreel." (2 Kings 10:6-7 RSV)
Jehu then used a ruse to lure all of the pagan ministers of Baal to unwittingly assemble together, upon which they too were all killed, their idols were destroyed, and the temple of Baal was demolished. He unfortunately maintained "the golden calves that were in Bethel and in Dan."
"Then Jehu assembled all the people, and said to them, "Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu will serve him much. Now therefore call to me all the prophets of Baal, all his worshipers and all his priests; let none be missing, for I have a great sacrifice to offer to Baal; whoever is missing shall not live." But Jehu did it with cunning in order to destroy the worshipers of Baal." (2 Kings 10:18-19 RSV)
"In those days The Lord began to cut off parts of Israel. Hazael defeated them throughout the territory of Israel: from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the valley of the Arnon, that is, Gilead and Bashan." (2 Kings 10:32-33 RSV)
Upon his death, Jehu was succeeded by his son Jehoahaz.
"Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, and all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? So Jehu slept with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his stead." (2 Kings 10:34-35 RSV)
2 Kings Chapter 11
Athaliah was the daughter of King Ahab of Israel and his Baal-worshipping wife Jezebel, and the granddaughter of King Omri of Israel. She married King Jehoram of Judah. Upon the death of both her husband (who died from a God-inflicted disease because of his idolatry, i.e. 2 Chronicles 21:12-20) and her son Ahaziah who became king after Jehoram (The Lord also had Ahaziah killed because of his unfaithfullness, i.e. 2 Chronicles 22:7-9), she had almost all of her royal grandsons murdered, and assumed the throne of Judah herself. Only one of the princes survived the slaughter, the infant Joash, who was rescued and given refuge in the Temple by Jehosheba, his aunt, who was married to the high priest Jehoiada. In so doing, she preserved that Messianic line from King David to Jesus Christ in Judah.
"Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family. But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king's sons who were about to be slain, and she put him and his nurse in a bedchamber. Thus she hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not slain; and he remained with her six years, hid in the house of The Lord, while Athaliah reigned over the land." (2 Kings 11:1-3 RSV)
The military, or at least the bulk of it, was supportive of the priesthhood. When Joash was proclaimed king, even though he was still just a child, he had the military and the priesthood to protect his throne against the usurper Athaliah.
"But in the seventh year Jehoiada sent and brought the captains of the Carites and of the guards, and had them come to him in the house of The Lord; and he made a covenant with them and put them under oath in the house of The Lord, and he showed them the king's son. And he commanded them, "This is the thing that you shall do: one third of you, those who come off duty on the Sabbath and guard the king's house, another third being at the gate Sur and a third at the gate behind the guards, shall guard the palace; and the two divisions of you, which come on duty in force on the sabbath and guard the house of The Lord, shall surround the king, each with his weapons in his hand; and whoever approaches the ranks is to be slain. Be with the king when he goes out and when he comes in." (2 Kings 11:4-8 RSV)
Athaliah claimed "treason" against the rightful heir to the throne, but it was in fact her that committed treason, and murder, when she seized the throne. Justice then came to Athaliah.
'Then he brought out the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they proclaimed him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, "Long live the king!"
The people's choice prevailed (see Royal Democracy).
"So all the people of the land rejoiced; and the city was quiet after Athaliah had been slain with the sword at the king's house. Jehoash was seven years old when he began to reign." (2 Kings 11:20-21 RSV)
Fact Finder: As stated above, The Lord allowed the eastern section of the northern kingdom of Israel to be conquered. What did The Lord eventually allow to happen to the rest of the northern kingdom? Why?