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Jehu Of Israel
Jehu, meaning Jehovah is he, was the tenth king of Israel (i.e. The Northern Kingdom of "Israel," which after The Division Of Israel was separate and independent from The Southern Kingdom of "Judah"). He was the son of Jehoshaphat (2 Kings 9:2), and grandson of Nimshi, although, according to ancient custom, he is sometimes referred to as the son of Nimshi.
Jehu is first recorded in Bible History as a soldier in wicked King Ahab's army (see Ahab Of Israel), however the LORD commanded Elijah (see The Prophets: Elijah) to anoint Jehu king over Israel, which was later done through Elisha (see The Prophets: Elisha), who was designated by the LORD as Elijah's successor after Elijah was taken away (see Where Did Elijah Go?). Jehu's rise to power was one of the bloodiest in Israel's history, although in obedience to the command of the LORD (Who was Jesus Christ - see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM', 'The God Of The Old Testament' and The Day That Christ Incinerated Sodom) to destroy the corrupt and wicked from the land.
"And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right ... thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel"
At a time when Israel and Judah were at war with Syria (as has again happened a few times since the modern state of Israel was founded in 1948), King Joram of Israel (see Joram Of Israel) was wounded in battle, and retired to Jezreel to recover. While there, his ally King Ahaziah of Judah (see Ahaziah Of Judah) went to express his concern.
"8:28 And he went with Joram the son of Ahab to the war against Hazael king of Syria in Ramothgilead; and the Syrians wounded Joram. 8:29 And king Joram went back to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria.
With both kings away, the military commanders, including Jehu, met to discuss strategy. Just as this was happening, a young prophet sent by Elisha arrived, asked to see Jehu, and while speaking with him privately, he anointed him king over Israel and ordered him to destroy the house of Ahab, in accordance with God's will. When the other officers were told of what had been done, they proclaimed Jehu king.
"9:1 And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramothgilead: 9:2 And when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber; 9:3 Then take the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not.
Jehu then went to Jezreel, as commanded by the LORD. When Joram came out of the city in his chariot to meet Jehu, he was shot with an arrow and killed by Jehu himself. When the king of Judah, Ahaziah, who also happened to still be there, saw what was happening, he fled in his chariot, but he too was hit with an arrow. He later died in Megiddo.
"9:22 And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu?
Jehu then entered Jezreel where he was immediately met by one of the most infamously wicked people of the Bible - Jezebel. Jehu, as he had been commanded by the LORD, ordered the palace eunuchs to throw her out of a window, which they unhesitatingly did, where she died in the street.
"9:30 And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window. 9:31 And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?
Continuing on, Jehu ordered the officials of the capital city of Samaria (see Baal's Samaria) to kill all of the royal princes of the former king, thereby ending his dynasty - as the LORD commanded Jehu to do. The next morning, their severed heads were delivered to Jehu in Jezreel. The purge continued the next day until the house of Ahab was completely destroyed, in keeping with the LORD's condemnation of the house of Ahab and Jezebel.
"10:1 And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought up Ahab's children, saying, 10:2 Now as soon as this letter cometh to you, seeing your master's sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, a fenced city also, and armour; 10:3 Look even out the best and meetest of your master's sons, and set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house.
Jehu then turned his attention to the idolatry in the land. Upon entering Samaria, he lured all of the 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.
"10:18 And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much. 10:19 Now therefore call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests; let none be wanting: for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal; whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live. But Jehu did it in subtlety, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal.
Although he had some shortcomings in obedience to the LORD, particularly with idolatry, Jehu was nevertheless an overall good servant of the LORD. Jehu died after a reign of twenty-eight years, and was buried in Samaria. His dynasty (see the Fact Finder question below) ruled Israel, the northern kingdom, for about a century.
"10:30 And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel." (2 Kings 10:30 KJV)