2 Kings 10 International Children’s Bible (ICB)
Families of Ahab and Ahaziah Killed
10 Ahab’s family had 70 sons in Samaria. Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria. He sent them to the officers and elders of Jezreel. He also sent them to the guardians of the sons of Ahab. Jehu said, 2 “You have chariots, horses and a city with strong walls. You also have weapons. When you get this letter, 3 choose the best and most worthy person among your master’s sons. Make him king. Then fight for your master’s family.”
4 But the officers and elders of Jezreel were very frightened. They said, “The two kings could not stop Jehu. So, surely we can’t either.”
5 The palace manager, the city governor, the elders and the guardians sent a message to Jehu. They said, “We are your servants. We will do everything you tell us to do. We won’t make any man king. Do whatever you think is best.”
6 Then Jehu wrote a second letter. It said, “If you are on my side and will obey me, cut off the heads of your master’s sons. And come to me at Jezreel tomorrow about this time.”
Now there were 70 sons of the king’s family. They were with the leading men of the city who were their guardians. 7 The leaders received the letter. Then they took the king’s sons and killed all 70 of them. They put their heads in baskets. And they sent them to Jehu at Jezreel. 8 The messenger came to Jehu. He told Jehu, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons!”
Then Jehu said, “Lay the heads in two piles at the city gate until morning.”
9 In the morning, Jehu went out and stood before the people. He said to them, “You are innocent. Look, I made plans against my master. I killed him. But who killed all these? 10 You should know that nothing the Lord said will fail. Everything the Lord said about Ahab’s family will come true. The Lord has spoken through his servant Elijah. And the Lord has done what he said.” 11 So Jehu killed everyone of Ahab’s family in Jezreel who was still alive. He also killed all Ahab’s leading men, close friends and priests. No one was left alive who had helped Ahab.
12 Then Jehu left and went to Samaria. He went on the road to Beth Eked of the Shepherds. 13 There Jehu met some relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah. Jehu said, “Who are you?”
They answered, “We are relatives of Ahaziah. We have come down to visit the families of the king and the king’s mother.”
14 Then Jehu said, “Take them alive!” So they captured Ahaziah’s relatives alive. But they killed them at the well near Beth Eked. There were 42 of them. Jehu did not leave anyone alive.
15 After Jehu left there, he met Jehonadab son of Recab. He was also on his way to meet Jehu. Jehu greeted him and said, “Are you as good a friend to me as I am to you?”
Jehonadab answered, “Yes, I am.”
Jehu said, “If you are, then give me your hand.” So Jehonadab gave him his hand, and Jehu pulled him into the chariot. 16 Jehu said, “Come with me. You can see how strong my feelings are for the Lord.” So Jehu had Jehonadab ride in his chariot.
17 When Jehu came to Samaria, he killed all of Ahab’s family. He did this until he had destroyed all of those who were left. Jehu did what the Lord had told Elijah would happen.
Baal Worshipers Killed
18 Then Jehu gathered all the people together. He said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little. But Jehu will serve Baal much. 19 Now call for me all Baal’s prophets and priests. Call all the people who worship Baal. Don’t let anyone miss this meeting. I have a great sacrifice for Baal. Anyone who is not there will not remain alive.” But Jehu was tricking them so he could destroy the worshipers of Baal. 20 He said, “Prepare a holy meeting for Baal.” So they announced the meeting. 21 Then Jehu sent word through all Israel. All the worshipers of Baal came. Not one stayed home. They came into the temple of Baal. The temple was filled from one side to the other.
22 Jehu spoke to the man who kept the robes. He said, “Bring out robes for all the worshipers of Baal.” So he brought out robes for them. 23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Recab went into the temple of Baal. Jehu said to the worshipers of Baal, “Look around. Be sure there are no servants of the Lord with you. Be sure there are only people here who worship Baal.” 24 So the worshipers of Baal went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings.
But Jehu had 80 men waiting outside. He told them, “Don’t let anyone escape. If you let anyone escape, you must pay with your own life.”
25 Jehu finished offering the burnt offering. Then he spoke to the guards and the captains. He said, “Go in and kill the worshipers of Baal! Don’t let anyone come out.” So the guards and captains killed the worshipers of Baal with the sword. They threw the bodies of the worshipers of Baal out. Then they went to the inner rooms of the temple. 26 They brought out the pillars of the temple of Baal and burned them. 27 Then they tore down the stone pillar of Baal. They also tore down the temple of Baal. They made it into a sewage pit, and it is still one today.
28 So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel. 29 But he did not stop doing the sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had done. Jeroboam had caused Israel to sin. They worshiped the golden calves in Bethel and Dan.
30 The Lord said to Jehu, “You have done well. You have done what I said was right. You have done to the family of Ahab as I wanted. Your descendants as far as your great-great-grandchildren will be kings of Israel.” 31 But Jehu was not careful to keep the teachings of the Lord with all his heart. He did not stop doing the same sins Jeroboam had done. Jeroboam had caused Israel to sin.
32 At that time the Lord began to make Israel smaller. Hazael defeated the Israelites in all the land of Israel. 33 He took all the land on the east side of the Jordan. This was the land of Gilead. (It was the region of Gad, Reuben and Manasseh.) He took land from Aroer by the Arnon Ravine through Gilead to Bashan.
34 The other things Jehu did are written down. Everything he did and all his victories are recorded. They are in the book of the history of the kings of Israel. 35 Jehu died and was buried in Samaria. Jehu’s son Jehoahaz became king in his place. 36 Jehu was king over Israel in Samaria for 28 years.
2 Kings 10 New International Version (NIV)
Ahab’s Family Killed
10 Now there were in Samaria seventy sons of the house of Ahab. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria: to the officials of Jezreel,[a] to the elders and to the guardians of Ahab’s children. He said, 2 “You have your master’s sons with you and you have chariots and horses, a fortified city and weapons. Now as soon as this letter reaches you, 3 choose the best and most worthy of your master’s sons and set him on his father’s throne. Then fight for your master’s house.”
4 But they were terrified and said, “If two kings could not resist him, how can we?”
5 So the palace administrator, the city governor, the elders and the guardians sent this message to Jehu: “We are your servants and we will do anything you say. We will not appoint anyone as king; you do whatever you think best.”
6 Then Jehu wrote them a second letter, saying, “If you are on my side and will obey me, take the heads of your master’s sons and come to me in Jezreel by this time tomorrow.”
Now the royal princes, seventy of them, were with the leading men of the city, who were rearing them. 7 When the letter arrived, these men took the princes and slaughtered all seventy of them. They put their heads in baskets and sent them to Jehu in Jezreel. 8 When the messenger arrived, he told Jehu, “They have brought the heads of the princes.”
Then Jehu ordered, “Put them in two piles at the entrance of the city gate until morning.”
9 The next morning Jehu went out. He stood before all the people and said, “You are innocent. It was I who conspired against my master and killed him, but who killed all these? 10 Know, then, that not a word the Lord has spoken against the house of Ahab will fail. The Lord has done what he announced through his servant Elijah.” 11 So Jehu killed everyone in Jezreel who remained of the house of Ahab, as well as all his chief men, his close friends and his priests, leaving him no survivor.
12 Jehu then set out and went toward Samaria. At Beth Eked of the Shepherds, 13 he met some relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah and asked, “Who are you?”
They said, “We are relatives of Ahaziah, and we have come down to greet the families of the king and of the queen mother.”
14 “Take them alive!” he ordered. So they took them alive and slaughtered them by the well of Beth Eked—forty-two of them. He left no survivor.
15 After he left there, he came upon Jehonadab son of Rekab, who was on his way to meet him. Jehu greeted him and said, “Are you in accord with me, as I am with you?”
“I am,” Jehonadab answered.
“If so,” said Jehu, “give me your hand.” So he did, and Jehu helped him up into the chariot. 16 Jehu said, “Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord.” Then he had him ride along in his chariot.
17 When Jehu came to Samaria, he killed all who were left there of Ahab’s family; he destroyed them, according to the word of the Lord spoken to Elijah.
Servants of Baal Killed
18 Then Jehu brought all the people together and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much. 19 Now summon all the prophets of Baal, all his servants and all his priests. See that no one is missing, because I am going to hold a great sacrifice for Baal. Anyone who fails to come will no longer live.” But Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy the servants of Baal.
20 Jehu said, “Call an assembly in honor of Baal.” So they proclaimed it. 21 Then he sent word throughout Israel, and all the servants of Baal came; not one stayed away. They crowded into the temple of Baal until it was full from one end to the other. 22 And Jehu said to the keeper of the wardrobe, “Bring robes for all the servants of Baal.” So he brought out robes for them.
23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rekab went into the temple of Baal. Jehu said to the servants of Baal, “Look around and see that no one who serves the Lord is here with you—only servants of Baal.” 24 So they went in to make sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had posted eighty men outside with this warning: “If one of you lets any of the men I am placing in your hands escape, it will be your life for his life.”
25 As soon as Jehu had finished making the burnt offering, he ordered the guards and officers: “Go in and kill them; let no one escape.” So they cut them down with the sword. The guards and officers threw the bodies out and then entered the inner shrine of the temple of Baal. 26 They brought the sacred stone out of the temple of Baal and burned it. 27 They demolished the sacred stone of Baal and tore down the temple of Baal, and people have used it for a latrine to this day.
28 So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel. 29 However, he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit—the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan.
30 The Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” 31 Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit.
32 In those days the Lord began to reduce the size of Israel. Hazael overpowered the Israelites throughout their territory 33 east of the Jordan in all the land of Gilead (the region of Gad, Reuben and Manasseh), from Aroer by the Arnon Gorge through Gilead to Bashan.
34 As for the other events of Jehu’s reign, all he did, and all his achievements, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
35 Jehu rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son succeeded him as king. 36 The time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.