2 Kings 10
Jehu Kills All of Ahabs Descendants
- 1 Ahab still had seventy descendants
living in Samaria. So Jehu wrote a letter to each of the important
leaders and officials of the town, and to those who supported
Ahab. In the letters he wrote:
- 2 Your town is strong, and youre
protected by chariots and an armed cavalry. And I know that King
Ahabs descendants live there with you. So as soon as you
read this letter, 3 choose the best person for the job and make
him the next king. Then be prepared to defend Ahabs family.
- 4 The officials and leaders read
the letters and were very frightened. They said to each other,
Jehu has already killed King Joram and King Ahaziah! We
have to do what he says. 5 The prime minister, the mayor
of the city, as well as the other leaders and Ahabs supporters,
sent this answer to Jehu, We are your servants, Your Majesty,
and we will do whatever you tell us. But its not our place
to choose someone to be king. You do what you think is best.
6 Jehu then wrote another letter which
said, If you are on my side and will obey me, then prove
it. Bring me the heads of the descendants of Ahab! And be here
in Jezreel by this time tomorrow.
The seventy descendants
of King Ahab were living with some of the most important people
of the city. 7 And when these people read Jehus second
letter, they called together all seventy of Ahabs descendants.
They killed them, put their heads in baskets, and sent them to
8 When Jehu was told what had happened,
he said, Put the heads in two piles at the city gate, and
leave them there until morning.
9 The next morning, Jehu went out and
stood where everyone could hear him, and he said, You people
are not guilty of anything. Im the one who plotted against
Joram and had him killed. But who killed all these men? 10 Listen
to me. Everything the Lords servant Elijah promised about
Ahabs family will come true.
11 Then Jehu killed the rest of Ahabs
relatives living in Jezreel, as well as his highest officials,
his priests, and his closest friends. No one in Ahabs family
was left alive in Jezreel.
12 Jehu left for Samaria, and along the
way, he met some relatives of King Ahaziah of Judah at a place
where shepherds meet. He asked, Who are you?
We are relatives of Ahaziah,
they answered. Were going to visit his family.
14 Take them alive! Jehu
said to his officers. So they grabbed them and led them to the
well near the shepherds meeting place, where they killed
all forty-two of them.
15 As Jehu went on, he saw Jehonadab son of Rechab coming to
meet him. Jehu greeted him, then said, Jehonadab, Im
on your side. Are you on mine?
Yes, I am.
Then give me your hand, Jehu
answered. He helped Jehonadab into his chariot 16 and said, Come
with me and see how faithful I am to the Lord.
They rode together in Jehus chariot
17 to Samaria. Jehu killed everyone there who belonged to Ahabs
family, as well as all his officials. Everyone in his family
was now dead, just as the Lord had promised Elijah.
- Jehu Kills All the Worshipers of Baal
- 18 Jehu called together the people
in Samaria and said:
- King Ahab sometimes worshiped Baal,
but I will be completely faithful to Baal. 19 Im going
to offer a huge sacrifice to him. So invite his prophets and
priests, and be sure everyone who worships him is there. Anyone
who doesnt come will be killed.
- But this was a trickJehu was
really planning to kill the worshipers of Baal. 20 He said, Announce
a day of worship for Baal! After the day had been announced,
21 Jehu sent an invitation to everyone in Israel. All the worshipers
of Baal came, and the temple was filled from one end to the other.
22 Jehu told the official in charge of the sacred robes to make
sure that everyone had a robe to wear.
23 Jehu and Jehonadab went into the temple,
and Jehu said to the crowd, Look around and make sure that
only the worshipers of Baal are here. No one who worships the
Lord is allowed in. 24 Then they began to offer sacrifices
Earlier, Jehu had ordered eighty soldiers
to wait outside the temple. He had warned them, I will
get all these worshipers here, and if any of you let even one
of them escape, you will be killed instead!
25 As soon as Jehu finished offering
the sacrifice, he told the guards and soldiers, Come in
and kill them! Dont let anyone escape. They slaughtered
everyone in the crowd and threw the bodies outside. Then they
went back into the temple 26 and carried out the image of Baal.
They burned it 27 and broke it into pieces, then they completely
destroyed Baals temple. And since that time, its
been nothing but a public toilet.
28 Thats how Jehu stopped the worship
of Baal in Israel. 29 But he did not stop the worship of the
gold statues of calves at Dan and Bethel that Jeroboam had made
for the people to worship.
30 Later the Lord said, Jehu, you
have done right by destroying Ahabs entire family, just
as I had planned. So I will make sure that the next four kings
of Israel will come from your own family.
31 But Jehu did not completely obey the
commands of the Lord God of Israel. Instead, he kept doing the
sinful things that Jeroboam had caused the Israelites to do.
32 In those days the Lord began to reduce
the size of Israels territory. King Hazael of Syria defeated
the Israelites and took control 33 of the regions of Gilead and
Bashan east of the Jordan River and north of the town of Aroer
near the Arnon River. This was the land where the tribes of Gad,
Reuben, and Manasseh had once lived.
34 Everything else Jehu did while he
was king, including his brave deeds, is written in The History
of the Kings of Israel. 35 Jehu died and was buried in Samaria,
and his son Jehoahaz became king. 36 Jehu had ruled Israel twenty-eight
years from Samaria.
The Contemporary English Version c1995 by the American
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary