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Asbury Bible Commentary – H. Jehu Reigns Over Israel (9:1–10:36)
H. Jehu Reigns Over Israel (9:1–10:36)

In addition to the prophets, there were others in the northern kingdom who disliked Omri's dynasty. There must have been considerable public displeasure, for example, over the incident involving Naboth's vineyard (1Ki 21). And indeed, the coup here in ch. 9 was led by Jehu, the commander of Joram's own army. Among his supporters, mention is made here of the Recabites (10:15), a clan that later, in the time of Jeremiah, was still recognized as an example of steadfastness (Jer 35). Clearly, when Jehu rebelled, others went with him.

According to the rationale for Jehu's kingship given here in 9:7, he was to destroy the house of Ahab. This he did with considerable zeal. After being anointed king, Jehu killed Joram (9:24); the Judahite king Ahaziah, who was a relative of Ahab (9:27-28); Jezebel (9:33); Ahab's friends, priests, and associates (10:11); Ahaziah's relatives (10:14); and all the ministers of Baal (10:25). Although surely concerned about advancing his own political cause, Jehu was, in the mind of the editor, simply an instrument in God's hands.

Yet the final evidence with respect to Jehu is mixed at best. While he was certainly anti-Baal, he was perhaps not as pro-Yahweh as he might at first appear. Even here in 10:31-32 we see that he was somewhat unconcerned about keeping the law and ridding his kingdom of Jeroboam's influences. Likewise, the reduction in territory is seen as a sign of God's displeasure. But the reviews given by the prophet Hosea are even more severe. According to Hos 1:4, God intended to punish the house of Jehu because of the aforementioned massacre. Apparently Jehu not only disregarded the law, but he also went well beyond the parameters of the task assigned to him.