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11 He even built high places in the mountains of Judah to honor those gods, leading the citizens of Jerusalem and Judah to prostitute themselves spiritually to other gods.

This is a particularly bloody time for Israel in the north and Judah in the south. Each king—or queen in the case of Athaliah in Judah—has to watch his or her back constantly for international threats from Aram north of Israel, Egypt south of Judah, or Ammon, Moab, and Edom on the other side of the Jordan River and Dead Sea. As well, there is political and familial intrigue and deception in the palace households of some of these kings. Being a monarch is a very dangerous position, and some do not fare well.

In just a few years, King Jehu from Israel carries out a bloody campaign against anyone associated with the House of Ahab in order to eradicate idolatry and rebellion from the land. But this move by Jehu only buys Israel another century before the Neo-Assyrians move in and exile the people.

12 Having heard about Jehoram’s actions, Elijah the prophet sent a letter to the king.

Elijah’s Letter: I received this message from the Eternal One, True God of your ancestor David: “You have not followed Me as Jehoshaphat, your father, and as Asa, your grandfather, did during their reigns 13 but have instead followed the gods of the kings of Israel. You have caused the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem to prostitute themselves spiritually as Ahab and his family did. You have murdered your brothers, your own family, who were better men than you.

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