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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.

The Tribes Of Israel

"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.

And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick." (2 Kings 8:28-29 KJV)

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.

9:4 So the young man, even the young man the prophet, went to Ramothgilead. 9:5 And when he came, behold, the captains of the host were sitting; and he said, I have an errand to thee, O captain.

And Jehu said, Unto which of all us?

And he said, To thee, O captain.

9:6 And he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the LORD, even over Israel. 9:7 And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel. 9:8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel: 9:9 And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah: 9:10 And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. And he opened the door, and fled.

9:11 Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and one said unto him, Is all well? wherefore came this mad fellow to thee?

And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication.

9:12 And they said, It is false; tell us now.

And he said, Thus and thus spake he to me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel.

9:13 Then they hasted, and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king." (2 Kings 9:1-13 KJV)

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?

And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?

9:23 And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, O Ahaziah.

9:24 And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot." (2 Kings 9:22-24 KJV)

"9:27 But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there." (2 Kings 9:27 KJV)

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?

9:32 And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. 9:33 And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot.

9:34 And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter. 9:35 And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. 9:36 Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: 9:37 And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel." (2 Kings 9:30-37 KJV)

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.

10:4 But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand?

10:5 And he that was over the house, and he that was over the city, the elders also, and the bringers up of the children, sent to Jehu, saying, We are thy servants, and will do all that thou shalt bid us; we will not make any king: do thou that which is good in thine eyes.

10:6 Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye be mine, and if ye will hearken unto my voice, take ye the heads of the men your master's sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time.

Now the king's sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, which brought them up. 10:7 And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king's sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent him them to Jezreel." (2 Kings 10:1-7 KJV)

"10:10 Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spake concerning the house of Ahab: for the LORD hath done that which he spake by his servant Elijah. 10:11 So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests, until he left him none remaining." (2 Kings 10:10-11 KJV)

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.

10:20 And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it. 10:21 And Jehu sent through all Israel: and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came not. And they came into the house of Baal; and the house of Baal was full from one end to another. 10:22 And he said unto him that was over the vestry, Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal. And he brought them forth vestments.

10:23 And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants of the LORD, but the worshippers of Baal only. 10:24 And when they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings, Jehu appointed fourscore men without, and said, If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escape, he that letteth him go, his life shall be for the life of him.

10:25 And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, Go in, and slay them; let none come forth. And they smote them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the captains cast them out, and went to the city of the house of Baal. 10:26 And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them. 10:27 And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day.

10:28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel." (2 Kings 10:18-28 KJV)

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)

Fact Finder: Where is Jehu's reign and dynasty located in the history of the kings of Israel and Judah?
See Kings of Israel and Judah and Israelite Dynasties

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