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2 Kings 9-11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Anointing of Jehu

Then the prophet Elisha called a member of the company of prophets[a] and said to him, “Gird up your loins; take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead. When you arrive, look there for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi; go in and get him to leave his companions, and take him into an inner chamber. Then take the flask of oil, pour it on his head, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee; do not linger.”

So the young man, the young prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. He arrived while the commanders of the army were in council, and he announced, “I have a message for you, commander.” “For which one of us?” asked Jehu. “For you, commander.” So Jehu[b] got up and went inside; the young man poured the oil on his head, saying to him, “Thus says the Lord the God of Israel: I anoint you king over the people of the Lord, over Israel. You shall strike down the house of your master Ahab, so that I may avenge on Jezebel the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord. For the whole house of Ahab shall perish; I will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, 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 shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and no one shall bury her.” Then he opened the door and fled.

11 When Jehu came back to his master’s officers, they said to him, “Is everything all right? Why did that madman come to you?” He answered them, “You know the sort and how they babble.” 12 They said, “Liar! Come on, tell us!” So he said, “This is just what he said to me: ‘Thus says the Lord, I anoint you king over Israel.’” 13 Then hurriedly they all took their cloaks and spread them for him on the bare[c] steps; and they blew the trumpet, and proclaimed, “Jehu is king.”

Joram of Israel Killed

14 Thus Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. Joram with all Israel had been on guard at Ramoth-gilead against King Hazael of Aram; 15 but King Joram had returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him, when he fought against King Hazael of Aram. So Jehu said, “If this is your wish, then let no one slip out of the city to go and tell the news in Jezreel.” 16 Then Jehu mounted his chariot and went to Jezreel, where Joram was lying ill. King Ahaziah of Judah had come down to visit Joram.

17 In Jezreel, the sentinel standing on the tower spied the company of Jehu arriving, and said, “I see a company.” Joram said, “Take a horseman; send him to meet them, and let him say, ‘Is it peace?’” 18 So the horseman went to meet him; he said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’” Jehu responded, “What have you to do with peace? Fall in behind me.” The sentinel reported, saying, “The messenger reached them, but he is not coming back.” 19 Then he sent out a second horseman, who came to them and said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’” Jehu answered, “What have you to do with peace? Fall in behind me.” 20 Again the sentinel reported, “He reached them, but he is not coming back. It looks like the driving of Jehu son of Nimshi; for he drives like a maniac.”

21 Joram said, “Get ready.” And they got his chariot ready. Then King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah set out, each in his chariot, and went to meet Jehu; they met him at the property of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 When Joram saw Jehu, he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?” He answered, “What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?” 23 Then Joram reined about and fled, saying to Ahaziah, “Treason, Ahaziah!” 24 Jehu drew his bow with all his strength, and shot Joram between the shoulders, so that the arrow pierced his heart; and he sank in his chariot. 25 Jehu said to his aide Bidkar, “Lift him out, and throw him on the plot of ground belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite; for remember, when you and I rode side by side behind his father Ahab how the Lord uttered this oracle against him: 26 ‘For the blood of Naboth and for the blood of his children that I saw yesterday, says the Lord, I swear I will repay you on this very plot of ground.’ Now therefore lift him out and throw him on the plot of ground, in accordance with the word of the Lord.”

Ahaziah of Judah Killed

27 When King Ahaziah of Judah saw this, he fled in the direction of Beth-haggan. Jehu pursued him, saying, “Shoot him also!” And they shot him[d] in the chariot at the ascent to Gur, which is by Ibleam. Then he fled to Megiddo, and died there. 28 His officers carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his tomb with his ancestors in the city of David.

29 In the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab, Ahaziah began to reign over Judah.

Jezebel’s Violent Death

30 When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; she painted her eyes, and adorned her head, and looked out of the window. 31 As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of your master?” 32 He looked up to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked out at him. 33 He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down; some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, which trampled on her. 34 Then he went in and ate and drank; he said, “See to that cursed woman and bury her; for she is a king’s daughter.” 35 But when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. 36 When they came back and told him, he said, “This is the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, ‘In the territory of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; 37 the corpse of Jezebel shall be like dung on the field in the territory of Jezreel, so that no one can say, This is Jezebel.’”

Massacre of Ahab’s Descendants

10 Now Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel,[e] to the elders, and to the guardians of the sons of[f] Ahab, saying, “Since your master’s sons are with you and you have at your disposal chariots and horses, a fortified city, and weapons, select the son of your master who is the best qualified, set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.” But they were utterly terrified and said, “Look, two kings could not withstand him; how then can we stand?” So the steward of the palace, and the governor of the city, along with the elders and the guardians, sent word to Jehu: “We are your servants; we will do anything you say. We will not make anyone king; do whatever you think right.” Then he wrote them a second letter, saying, “If you are on my side, and if you are ready to obey me, take the heads of your master’s sons and come to me at Jezreel tomorrow at this time.” Now the king’s sons, seventy persons, were with the leaders of the city, who were charged with their upbringing. When the letter reached them, they took the king’s sons and killed them, seventy persons; they put their heads in baskets and sent them to him at Jezreel. When the messenger came and told him, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons,” he said, “Lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until the morning.” Then in the morning when he went out, he stood and 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 there shall fall to the earth nothing of the word of the Lord, which the Lord spoke concerning the house of Ahab; for the Lord has done what he said through his servant Elijah.” 11 So Jehu killed all who were left of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, all his leaders, close friends, and priests, until he left him no survivor.

12 Then he set out and went to Samaria. On the way, when he was at Beth-eked of the Shepherds, 13 Jehu met relatives of King Ahaziah of Judah and said, “Who are you?” They answered, “We are kin of Ahaziah; we have come down to visit the royal princes and the sons of the queen mother.” 14 He said, “Take them alive.” They took them alive, and slaughtered them at the pit of Beth-eked, forty-two in all; he spared none of them.

15 When he left there, he met Jehonadab son of Rechab coming to meet him; he greeted him, and said to him, “Is your heart as true to mine as mine is to yours?”[g] Jehonadab answered, “It is.” Jehu said,[h] “If it is, give me your hand.” So he gave him his hand. Jehu took him up with him into the chariot. 16 He said, “Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord.” So he[i] had him ride in his chariot. 17 When he came to Samaria, he killed all who were left to Ahab in Samaria, until he had wiped them out, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke to Elijah.

Slaughter of Worshipers of Baal

18 Then Jehu assembled all the people and said to them, “Ahab offered Baal small service; but Jehu will offer much more. 19 Now therefore summon to me all the prophets of Baal, all his worshipers, and all his priests; let none be missing, for I have a great sacrifice to offer to Baal; whoever is missing shall not live.” But Jehu was acting with cunning in order to destroy the worshipers of Baal. 20 Jehu decreed, “Sanctify a solemn assembly for Baal.” So they proclaimed it. 21 Jehu sent word throughout all Israel; all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was no one left who did not come. They entered the temple of Baal, until the temple of Baal was filled from wall to wall. 22 He said to the keeper of the wardrobe, “Bring out the vestments for all the worshipers of Baal.” So he brought out the vestments for them. 23 Then Jehu entered the temple of Baal with Jehonadab son of Rechab; he said to the worshipers of Baal, “Search and see that there is no worshiper of the Lord here among you, but only worshipers of Baal.” 24 Then they proceeded to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings.

Now Jehu had stationed eighty men outside, saying, “Whoever allows any of those to escape whom I deliver into your hands shall forfeit his life.” 25 As soon as he had finished presenting the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guards and to the officers, “Come in and kill them; let no one escape.” So they put them to the sword. The guards and the officers threw them out, and then went into the citadel of the temple of Baal. 26 They brought out the pillar[j] that was in the temple of Baal, and burned it. 27 Then they demolished the pillar of Baal, and destroyed the temple of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day.

28 Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel. 29 But Jehu did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he caused Israel to commit—the golden calves that were in Bethel and in Dan. 30 The Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in carrying out what I consider right, and in accordance with all that was in my heart have dealt with the house of Ahab, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.” 31 But Jehu was not careful to follow the law of the Lord the God of Israel with all his heart; he did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, which he caused Israel to commit.

Death of Jehu

32 In those days the Lord began to trim off parts of Israel. Hazael defeated them throughout the territory of Israel: 33 from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the Wadi Arnon, that is, Gilead and Bashan. 34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, all that 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 ancestors, and they buried him in Samaria. His son Jehoahaz succeeded him. 36 The time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.

Athaliah Reigns over Judah

11 Now when Athaliah, Ahaziah’s mother, saw that her son was dead, she set about to destroy all the royal family. But Jehosheba, King Joram’s daughter, Ahaziah’s sister, took Joash son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s children who were about to be killed; she put[k] him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus she[l] hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not killed; he remained with her six years, hidden in the house of the Lord, while Athaliah reigned over the land.

Jehoiada Anoints the Child Joash

But in the seventh year Jehoiada summoned the captains of the Carites and of the guards and had them come to him in the house of the Lord. He made a covenant with them and put them under oath in the house of the Lord; then he showed them the king’s son. He commanded them, “This is what you are to do: one-third of you, those who go off duty on the sabbath and guard the king’s house (another third being at the gate Sur and a third at the gate behind the guards), shall guard the palace; and your two divisions that come on duty in force on the sabbath and guard the house of the Lord[m] shall surround the king, each with weapons in hand; and whoever approaches the ranks is to be killed. Be with the king in his comings and goings.”

The captains did according to all that the priest Jehoiada commanded; each brought his men who were to go off duty on the sabbath, with those who were to come on duty on the sabbath, and came to the priest Jehoiada. 10 The priest delivered to the captains the spears and shields that had been King David’s, which were in the house of the Lord; 11 the guards stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the south side of the house to the north side of the house, around the altar and the house, to guard the king on every side. 12 Then he brought out the king’s son, put the crown on him, and gave him the covenant;[n] they proclaimed him king, and anointed him; they clapped their hands and shouted, “Long live the king!”

Death of Athaliah

13 When Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she went into the house of the Lord to the people; 14 when she looked, there was the king standing by the pillar, according to custom, with the captains and the trumpeters beside the king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, “Treason! Treason!” 15 Then the priest Jehoiada commanded the captains who were set over the army, “Bring her out between the ranks, and kill with the sword anyone who follows her.” For the priest said, “Let her not be killed in the house of the Lord.” 16 So they laid hands on her; she went through the horses’ entrance to the king’s house, and there she was put to death.

17 Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and people, that they should be the Lord’s people; also between the king and the people. 18 Then all the people of the land went to the house of Baal, and tore it down; his altars and his images they broke in pieces, and they killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, before the altars. The priest posted guards over the house of the Lord. 19 He took the captains, the Carites, the guards, and all the people of the land; then they brought the king down from the house of the Lord, marching through the gate of the guards to the king’s house. He took his seat on the throne of the kings. 20 So all the people of the land rejoiced; and the city was quiet after Athaliah had been killed with the sword at the king’s house.

21 [o] Jehoash[p] was seven years old when he began to reign.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Kings 9:1 Heb sons of the prophets
  2. 2 Kings 9:6 Heb he
  3. 2 Kings 9:13 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. 2 Kings 9:27 Syr Vg Compare Gk: Heb lacks and they shot him
  5. 2 Kings 10:1 Or of the city; Vg Compare Gk
  6. 2 Kings 10:1 Gk: Heb lacks of the sons of
  7. 2 Kings 10:15 Gk: Heb Is it right with your heart, as my heart is with your heart?
  8. 2 Kings 10:15 Gk: Heb lacks Jehu said
  9. 2 Kings 10:16 Gk Syr Tg: Heb they
  10. 2 Kings 10:26 Gk Vg Syr Tg: Heb pillars
  11. 2 Kings 11:2 With 2 Chr 22.11: Heb lacks she put
  12. 2 Kings 11:2 Gk Syr Vg Compare 2 Chr 22.11: Heb they
  13. 2 Kings 11:7 Heb the Lord to the king
  14. 2 Kings 11:12 Or treaty or testimony; Heb eduth
  15. 2 Kings 11:21 Ch 12.1 in Heb
  16. 2 Kings 11:21 Another spelling is Joash; see verse 19
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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