2 Kings 10
Modern English Version
Ahab’s Seventy Sons Killed
10 Now Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria to the captains of Jezreel, to the elders, and to the guardians of the sons of Ahab, saying, 2 “Now as soon as this letter comes to you—since you are with your master’s sons, chariots, horses, a fortified city, and weapons— 3 select the best and most fitting of your master’s sons, put him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.”
4 But they were extremely afraid and said, “Two kings could not stand before him. How can we stand?”
5 So he who was over the house, and he who was over the city, the elders, and the guardians sent word to Jehu, saying, “We are your servants, and everything you say to us we will do. We will not appoint a man king. Do what is good in your eyes.”
6 Then he wrote a second letter to them, saying, “If you belong to me and will obey me, take the heads of your master’s sons and come to me at Jezreel at this time tomorrow.”
Now the king’s sons, seventy men, were with the great men of the city who brought them up. 7 When the letter came to them, they took the king’s sons, slaughtered all seventy, put their heads in baskets, and sent them to him in Jezreel. 8 So the messenger came and told him, saying, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons.”
Then he said, “Put them in two heaps at the entry of the gate until morning.”
9 When morning came, he went out and stood and said to all the people, “You are innocent. I conspired against my master and killed him, but who struck all these? 10 Know then that the words of the Lord which He spoke about the house of Ahab will not fall to the ground. The Lord has done that which He spoke by His servant Elijah.” 11 So Jehu struck all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel and all his great men, his confidants, and his priests, until he left him no survivor.
Ahaziah’s Forty-Two Brothers Killed
12 Then he got up and went to Samaria. When he was at Beth Eked of the Shepherds on the way, 13 Jehu found the brothers of Ahaziah king of Judah and said, “Who are you?”
And they said, “We are brothers of Ahaziah, and we have come down to visit the sons of the king and the sons of the queen mother.”
14 He said, “Capture them alive.” So they took them alive and slaughtered them at the pit of Beth Eked, forty-two men. Not a man of them remained.
15 Then he left there and found Jehonadab son of Rekab coming to meet him. He greeted him and said to him, “Is your heart right with me, as my heart is with yours?”
And Jehonadab said, “It is.”
“If it is, give me your hand.” So he gave him his hand, and he pulled him up to him into the chariot. 16 He said, “Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord.” So he made him ride in his chariot.
17 Then he came to Samaria and struck all that remained to Ahab in Samaria until he exterminated them, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke to Elijah.
Worshippers of Baal Killed
18 Then Jehu gathered all the people and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him much. 19 Now call to me all the prophets of Baal, all his worshippers, and all his priests. Let none go unaccounted for, because I have a great sacrifice for Baal. All who are not accounted for will not live.” But Jehu did it with cunning in order to destroy the servants of Baal.
20 Jehu said, “Sanctify a festive assembly for Baal.” So they proclaimed it. 21 Jehu sent word through all Israel, and all the worshippers of Baal came. Not a man remained who did not come. They came into the house of Baal, and the house of Baal was full from one end to the other. 22 He said to the one in charge of the wardrobe, “Bring out garments for all the worshippers of Baal.” So he brought them garments.
23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab the son of Rekab went into the house of Baal and said to the worshippers of Baal, “Search and see that there are no worshippers of the Lord here with you and only worshippers of Baal.” 24 Then they went to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings, but Jehu put eighty men outside and said, “If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escapes, the one who lets him go will die in his place.”
25 As soon as he had finished making the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guards and the officers, “Go in. Kill them. No one comes out.” So they struck them with the edge of the sword. The guards and the officers threw them out and went to the city of the house of Baal. 26 They brought out the sacred pillar from the house of Baal and burned it. 27 They broke down the sacred pillar of Baal, and tore down the house of Baal and made it a latrine to this day.
28 So Jehu exterminated Baal from Israel. 29 But from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin, Jehu did not turn aside (that is, the golden calves that were in Bethel and Dan).
30 And the Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well by doing what is right in My sight, and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, four generations of your sons will sit on the throne of Israel.” 31 But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart. He did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam, who caused Israel to sin.
The Death of Jehu
32 In those days the Lord began to trim off parts of Israel, and Hazael struck them in all the territory of Israel: 33 from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, the Reubenites, the Manassites from Aroer, which is by the River Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan.
34 Now the rest of the deeds of Jehu, all he did and all his power, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
35 So Jehu slept with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. Jehoahaz his son became king in his place. 36 The days that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria were twenty-eight years.