Judgment upon Ahab’s House
10 Ahab had seventy sons [and grandsons] in Samaria. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to the guardians of the children of Ahab, saying, 2 “Now as soon as this letter comes to you, since your master’s sons (male descendants) are with you, as well as chariots and horses and a fortified city and weapons, 3 select the best and most capable of your master’s sons, and set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s [royal] house.” 4 But they were extremely afraid and said, “Look, the two kings did not stand before Jehu; so how can we stand?” 5 And the one who was in charge of the household, and the one who was overseer of the city, the elders, and the guardians [of the children] sent word to Jehu, saying, “We are your servants and we will do whatever you tell us, but we will not make any man king; do what is good in your eyes.” 6 Then Jehu wrote a second letter to them, saying, “If you are with me and will obey me, take the heads of your master’s [a]sons, and come to me at Jezreel tomorrow about this time.” Now the [dead] king’s sons, seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, who were rearing them. 7 When the letter came to them, they took the king’s sons and slaughtered them, seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jehu at Jezreel. 8 When a messenger came and told him, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons,” he said, “Put them in two heaps at the entrance of the city gate until morning.” 9 The next morning he went out and stood and said to all the people, “You are just and innocent; behold, I conspired against [Joram] my master and killed him, but who killed all these? 10 Know then [without any doubt] 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 [b]through His servant Elijah.”(A) 11 So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men and his familiar friends and his priests, until he left him without a survivor.
12 And he set out and went to Samaria. On the way as he was at the [c]place of the sand heaps [meeting place] for the shepherds, 13 Jehu met the relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah and said, “Who are you?” They answered, “We are the relatives of Ahaziah; and we came down to greet the royal princes and the sons of the queen mother [Jezebel].” 14 Then Jehu said, “Take them alive.” So they took them alive and [later] slaughtered them at the well by the place of the sand heaps, forty-two men; he left none of them [alive].
15 When Jehu went on from there, he met Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him. He greeted him and said to him, “Is your heart right, as my heart is with yours?” Jehonadab answered, “It is.” Jehu said “If it is, give me your hand.” He gave him his hand, and Jehu pulled him up into the chariot. 16 And he said, “Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord.” So he had Jehonadab in his chariot. 17 When Jehu came to Samaria, he killed everyone who remained of Ahab’s family in Samaria, until he had destroyed all of them, in accordance with the word of the Lord which He spoke to Elijah.
Jehu Destroys Baal Worshipers
18 Jehu assembled all the people and said [in pretense] to them, “Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much [more]. 19 Now, summon unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his worshipers and all his priests. Let no one be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal; whoever is missing shall not live.” But Jehu did it with trickery, in order to destroy the worshipers of Baal. 20 Jehu said, “Consecrate a festive assembly (celebration) for Baal.” And they proclaimed it. 21 Then Jehu sent throughout Israel, and all the worshipers of Baal came; there was no one left who did not come. They went to the house (temple) of Baal, and the house of Baal was filled from one end to the other. 22 He said to the man in charge of the wardrobe, “Bring out garments for all the worshipers of Baal.” And he brought the garments out to them. 23 Then Jehu with Jehonadab the son of Rechab went into the house of Baal; and he said to the worshipers of Baal, “Search carefully and see that there are no servants of the Lord here with you, but only the worshipers of Baal.” 24 Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings.
Now Jehu had stationed eighty men outside for himself and said, “If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escape, the one who lets him go shall forfeit his own life for that man’s life.”
25 Then it came about, as soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guards and to the royal officers, “Go in and kill them; let no one come out.” And they killed them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the royal officers threw their bodies out, and went to the inner room of the house of Baal. 26 They brought out the sacred pillars (obelisks) of the house of Baal and burned them. 27 They also tore down the sacred pillar of Baal and tore down the house of Baal, and made it into a latrine [forever unclean] [d]to this day.
28 Thus Jehu eradicated Baal from Israel. 29 However, Jehu did not turn from the [idolatrous] sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, that is, [led them to worship] the golden calves which were at Bethel and Dan.(B) 30 The Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in executing what is right in My eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab in accordance with everything that was in My heart, [e]your sons (descendants) shall sit on Israel’s throne to the fourth generation.”(C) 31 But Jehu did not take care to walk in the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart; he did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, who made Israel sin.
32 So in those days the Lord began to cut off portions of Israel; Hazael [of Aram] defeated them throughout the territory of Israel: 33 from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites and the Reubenites and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the Arnon River, even Gilead and Bashan.
Jehoahaz Succeeds Jehu
34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehu and everything that he did and all his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 35 Jehu slept with his fathers [in death], and they buried him in Samaria. Jehoahaz his son became king in his place. 36 The time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.
- 2 Kings 10:6 The relative of one who had been killed had the right to avenge the death by killing the guilty person (Num 35:12).
- 2 Kings 10:10 Lit by the hand.
- 2 Kings 10:12 Or Beth-eked.
- 2 Kings 10:27 I.e. to the date of this writing.
- 2 Kings 10:30 The descendants of Jehu: Jehoahaz, Jehoash (Joash), Jeroboam II, and Zechariah, ruled nearly a hundred years.