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2 Kings 9-11 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Jehu Anointed as Israel’s King

The prophet Elisha called one of the sons of the prophets and said, “Tuck your mantle under your belt, take this flask of oil with you, and go to Ramoth-gilead. When you get there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi. Go in, get him away from his colleagues, and take him to an inner room. Then take the flask of oil, pour it on his head, and say, ‘This is what the Lord says: “I anoint you king over Israel.”’ Open the door and escape. Don’t wait.” So the young prophet[a] went to Ramoth-gilead.

When he arrived, the army commanders were sitting there, so he said, “I have a message for you, commander.”

Jehu asked, “For which one of us?”

He answered, “For you, commander.”

So Jehu got up and went into the house. The young prophet poured the oil on his head and said, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I anoint you king over the Lord’s people, Israel. You are to strike down the house of your master Ahab so that I may avenge the blood shed by the hand of Jezebel—the blood of my servants the prophets and of all the servants of the Lord. The whole house of Ahab will perish, and I will wipe out all of Ahab’s males,[b] both slave and free,[c] in Israel. I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah. 10 The dogs will eat Jezebel in the plot of land at Jezreel—no one will bury her.’” Then the young prophet opened the door and escaped.

11 When Jehu came out to his master’s servants, they asked, “Is everything all right? Why did this crazy person come to you?”

Then he said to them, “You know the sort and their ranting.”

12 But they replied, “That’s a lie! Tell us!”

So Jehu said, “He talked to me about this and that and said, ‘This is what the Lord says: I anoint you king over Israel.’”

13 Each man quickly took his garment and put it under Jehu on the bare steps.[d] They blew the ram’s horn and proclaimed, “Jehu is king!”

14 Then Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi, conspired against Joram. Joram and all Israel had been at Ramoth-gilead on guard against King Hazael of Aram. 15 But King Joram had returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him when he fought against Aram’s King Hazael. Jehu said, “If you commanders wish to make me king,[e] then don’t let anyone escape from the city to go tell about it in Jezreel.”

Jehu Kills Joram and Ahaziah

16 Jehu got into his chariot and went to Jezreel since Joram was laid up there and King Ahaziah of Judah had gone down to visit Joram. 17 Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel. He saw Jehu’s mob approaching and shouted, “I see a mob!”

Joram responded, “Choose a rider and send him to meet them and have him ask, ‘Do you come in peace?’”

18 So a horseman went to meet Jehu and said, “This is what the king asks: ‘Do you come in peace?’”

Jehu replied, “What do you have to do with peace?[f] Fall in behind me.”

The watchman reported, “The messenger reached them but hasn’t started back.”

19 So he sent out a second horseman, who went to them and said, “This is what the king asks: ‘Do you come in peace?’”

Jehu answered, “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me.”

20 Again the watchman reported, “He reached them but hasn’t started back. Also, the driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi—he drives like a madman.”

21 “Get the chariot ready!” Joram shouted, and they got it ready. Then King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah set out, each in his own chariot, and met Jehu at the plot of land of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Do you come in peace, Jehu?”

He answered, “What peace can there be as long as there is so much prostitution and sorcery from your mother Jezebel?”

23 Joram turned around and fled, shouting to Ahaziah, “It’s treachery, Ahaziah!”

24 Then Jehu drew his bow and shot Joram between the shoulders. The arrow went through his heart, and he slumped down in his chariot. 25 Jehu said to Bidkar his aide, “Pick him up and throw him on the plot of ground belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite. For remember when you and I were riding side by side behind his father Ahab, and the Lord uttered this pronouncement against him: 26 ‘As surely as I saw the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons yesterday’—this is the Lord’s declaration—’so will I repay you on this plot of land’—this is the Lord’s declaration. So now, according to the word of the Lord, pick him up and throw him on the plot of land.”

27 When King Ahaziah of Judah saw what was happening, he fled up the road toward Beth-haggan. Jehu pursued him, shouting, “Shoot him too!” So they shot him in his chariot[g] at Gur Pass near Ibleam, but he fled to Megiddo and died there. 28 Then his servants carried him to Jerusalem in a chariot and buried him in his fathers’ tomb in the city of David. 29 It was in the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab that Ahaziah had become king over Judah.

Jehu Kills Jezebel

30 When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard about it, so she painted her eyes, fixed her hair,[h] and looked down from the window. 31 As Jehu entered the city gate, she said, “Do you come in peace, Zimri, killer of your master?”

32 He looked up toward the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked down at him, 33 and he said, “Throw her down!” So they threw her down, and some of her blood splattered on the wall and on the horses, and Jehu rode over her.

34 Then he went in, ate and drank, and said, “Take care of this cursed woman and bury her, since she’s a king’s daughter.” 35 But when they went out to bury her, they did not find anything but the skull, the feet, and the hands. 36 So they went back and told him, and he said, “This fulfills the Lord’s word that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: ‘In the plot of land at Jezreel, the dogs will eat Jezebel’s flesh. 37 Jezebel’s corpse will be like manure on the surface of the ground in the plot of land at Jezreel so that no one will be able to say: This is Jezebel.’”

Jehu Kills the House of Ahab

10 Since Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria, Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria to the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to the guardians of Ahab’s sons,[i] saying:

Your master’s sons are with you, and you have chariots, horses, a fortified city, and weaponry, so when this letter arrives select the most qualified[j] of your master’s sons, set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.

However, they were terrified and reasoned, “Look, two kings couldn’t stand against him; how can we?”

So the overseer of the palace, the overseer of the city, the elders, and the guardians sent a message to Jehu: “We are your servants, and we will do whatever you tell us. We will not make anyone king. Do whatever you think is right.”[k]

Then Jehu wrote them a second letter, saying:

If you are on my side, and if you will obey me, bring me the heads of your master’s sons[l] at this time tomorrow at Jezreel.

All seventy of the king’s sons were being cared for by the city’s prominent men. When the letter came to them, they took the king’s sons and slaughtered all seventy, put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jehu at Jezreel. When the messenger came and told him, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons,” the king said, “Pile them in two heaps at the entrance of the city gate until morning.”

The next morning when he went out and stood at the gate, he said to all the people, “You are innocent. It was I who conspired against my master and killed him. But who struck down all these? 10 Know, then, that not a word the Lord spoke against the house of Ahab will fail, for the Lord has done what he promised through his servant Elijah.” 11 So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel—all his great men, close friends, and priests—leaving him no survivors.

12 Then he set out and went to Samaria. On the way, while he was at Beth-eked of the Shepherds, 13 Jehu met the relatives of King Ahaziah of Judah and asked, “Who are you?”

They answered, “We’re Ahaziah’s relatives. We’ve come down to greet the king’s sons and the queen mother’s sons.”

14 Then Jehu ordered, “Take them alive.” So they took them alive and then slaughtered them at the pit of Beth-eked—forty-two men. He didn’t spare any of them.

15 When he left there, he found Jehonadab son of Rechab coming to meet him. He greeted him and then asked, “Is your heart one with mine?” [m]

“It is,” Jehonadab replied.

Jehu said, “If it is,[n] give me your hand.”

So he gave him his hand, and Jehu pulled him up into the chariot with him. 16 Then he said, “Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord!” So he let him ride with him in his chariot. 17 When Jehu came to Samaria, he struck down all who remained from the house of Ahab in Samaria until he had annihilated his house, according to the word of the Lord spoken to Elijah.

Jehu Kills the Baal Worshipers

18 Then Jehu brought all the people together and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him a lot. 19 Now, therefore, summon to me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests. None must be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal. Whoever is missing will not live.” However, Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy the servants of Baal. 20 Jehu commanded, “Consecrate a solemn assembly for Baal.” So they called one.

21 Then Jehu sent messengers throughout all Israel, and all the servants of Baal[o] came; no one failed to come. They entered the temple of Baal, and it was filled from one end to the other. 22 Then he said to the custodian of the wardrobe, “Bring out the garments for all the servants of Baal.” So he brought out their garments.

23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rechab entered the temple of Baal, and Jehu said to the servants of Baal, “Look carefully to see that there are no servants of the Lord here among you—only servants of Baal.” 24 Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings.

Now Jehu had stationed eighty men outside, and he warned them, “Whoever allows any of the men I am placing in your hands to escape will forfeit his life for theirs.” 25 When he finished offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guards and officers, “Go in and kill them. Don’t let anyone out.” So they struck them down with the sword. Then the guards and officers threw the bodies out and went into the inner room of the temple of Baal. 26 They brought out the pillar of the temple of Baal and burned it, 27 and they tore down the pillar of Baal. Then they tore down the temple of Baal and made it a latrine—which it still is today.

Evaluation of Jehu’s Reign

28 Jehu eliminated Baal worship from Israel, 29 but he did not turn away from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit—worshiping the gold calves that were in Bethel and Dan. 30 Nevertheless, the Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in carrying out 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 Yet Jehu was not careful to follow the instruction of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart. He did not turn from the sins that Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit.

32 In those days the Lord began to reduce the size of Israel. Hazael defeated the Israelites throughout their territory 33 from the Jordan eastward: the whole land of Gilead—the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the Manassites—from Aroer which is by the Arnon Valley through Gilead to Bashan.[p]

34 The rest of the events of Jehu’s reign, along with all his accomplishments and all his might, are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings. 35 Jehu rested with his fathers and was buried in Samaria. His son Jehoahaz became king in his place. 36 The length of Jehu’s reign over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.

Athaliah Usurps the Throne

11 When Athaliah, Ahaziah’s mother, saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to annihilate all the royal heirs. Jehosheba, who was King Jehoram’s daughter and Ahaziah’s sister, secretly rescued Joash son of Ahaziah from among the king’s sons who were being killed and put him and the one who nursed him in a bedroom. So he was hidden from Athaliah and was not killed. Joash was in hiding with her in the Lord’s temple six years while Athaliah reigned over the land.

Athaliah Overthrown

In the seventh year, Jehoiada sent for the commanders of hundreds, the Carites, and the guards. He had them come to him in the Lord’s temple, where he made a covenant with them and put them under oath. He showed them the king’s son and commanded them, “This is what you are to do: A third of you who come on duty on the Sabbath are to provide protection for the king’s palace. A third are to be at the Foundation[q] Gate and a third at the gate behind the guards. You are to take turns providing protection for the palace.[r]

“Your two divisions that go off duty on the Sabbath are to provide the king protection at the Lord’s temple. Completely surround the king with weapons in hand. Anyone who approaches the ranks is to be put to death. Be with the king in all his daily tasks.”[s]

So the commanders of hundreds did everything the priest Jehoiada commanded. They each brought their men—those coming on duty on the Sabbath and those going off duty—and came to the priest Jehoiada. 10 The priest gave to the commanders of hundreds King David’s spears and shields that were in the Lord’s temple. 11 Then the guards stood with their weapons in hand surrounding the king—from the right side of the temple to the left side, by the altar and by the temple.

12 Jehoiada brought out the king’s son, put the crown on him, gave him the testimony,[t] and made him king. They anointed him and clapped their hands and cried, “Long live the king!”

13 When Athaliah heard the noise from the guard and the crowd, she went out to the people at the Lord’s temple. 14 She looked, and there was the king standing by the pillar according to the custom. The commanders and the trumpeters were by the king, and all the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Athaliah tore her clothes and screamed “Treason! Treason!”

15 Then the priest Jehoiada ordered the commanders of hundreds in charge of the army, “Take her out between the ranks, and put to death by the sword anyone who follows her,” for the priest had said, “She is not to be put to death in the Lord’s temple.” 16 So they arrested her, and she went through the horse entrance to the king’s palace, where she was put to death.

Jehoiada’s Reforms

17 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord, the king, and the people that they would be the Lord’s people and another covenant between the king and the people.[u] 18 So all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed its altars and images to pieces, and they killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, at the altars.

Then Jehoiada the priest appointed guards for the Lord’s temple. 19 He took the commanders of hundreds, the Carites, the guards, and all the people of the land, and they brought the king from the Lord’s temple. They entered the king’s palace by way of the guards’ gate. Then Joash sat on the throne of the kings. 20 All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet, for they had put Athaliah to death by the sword in the king’s palace.

Judah’s King Joash

21 Joash[v] was seven years old when he became king.

Footnotes:

  1. 9:4 Or the young man, the attendant of the prophet
  2. 9:8 Lit wipe out Ahab’s one who urinates against a wall
  3. 9:8 Or males, even the weak and impaired; Hb obscure
  4. 9:13 Lit on the bones of the steps
  5. 9:15 Lit “If your desire exists
  6. 9:18 Lit What to you and to peace, also in v. 19
  7. 9:27 LXX, Syr, Vg; MT omits So they shot him
  8. 9:30 Lit made her head pleasing
  9. 10:1 LXX; MT reads of Ahab
  10. 10:3 Lit the good and the upright
  11. 10:5 Lit Do what is good in your eyes
  12. 10:6 Lit heads of the men of the sons of your master
  13. 10:15 Lit heart upright like my heart is with your heart
  14. 10:15 LXX, Syr, Vg; MT reads mine?” Jehonadab said, “It is and it is
  15. 10:21 LXX adds—all his priests and all his prophets
  16. 10:33 Lit Arnon Valley and Gilead and Bashan
  17. 11:6 See 2Ch 23:5; MT here reads Sur
  18. 11:6 Hb obscure
  19. 11:8 Lit king when he goes out and when he comes in
  20. 11:12 Or him the copy of the covenant, or him a diadem, or him jewels
  21. 11:17 Some Gk versions, 2Ch 23:16 omit and another covenant between the king and the people
  22. 11:21 = The Lord Has Bestowed
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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