91Meanwhile the prophet Elisha called one of the young prophets and said to him, “Get ready and go to Ramoth in Gilead. Take this jar of olive oil with you, 2and when you get there look for Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat and grandson of Nimshi. Take him to a private room away from his companions, 3pour this olive oil on his head, and say, ‘The LORD proclaims that he anoints you king of Israel.’ Then leave there as fast as you can.”
4So the young prophet went to Ramoth, 5where he found the army officers in a conference. He said, “Sir, I have a message for you.”
Jehu asked, “Which one of us are you speaking to?”
“To you, sir,” he replied. 6
Then the two of them went indoors, and the young prophet poured the olive oil on Jehu's head and said to him, “The LORD, the God of Israel, proclaims: ‘I anoint you king of my people Israel. 7You are to kill your master the king, that son of Ahab, so that I may punish Jezebel for murdering my prophets and my other servants. 8All Ahab's family and descendants are to die; I will get rid of every male in his family, young and old alike. 9I will treat his family as I did the families of King Jeroboam of Israel and of King Baasha of Israel. 10
Jezebel will not be buried; her body will be eaten by dogs in the territory of Jezreel.’ ” After saying this, the young prophet left the room and fled.
11Jehu went back to his fellow-officers, who asked him, “Is everything all right? What did that crazy fellow want with you?”
“You know what he wanted,” Jehu answered.
12“No we don't!” they replied. “Tell us what he said!”
“He told me that the LORD proclaims: ‘I anoint you king of Israel.’ ”
13At once Jehu's fellow-officers spread their cloaks at the top of the steps for Jehu to stand on, blew trumpets, and shouted, “Jehu is king!”
14-15Then Jehu plotted against King Joram, who was in Jezreel, where he had gone to recover from the wounds which he had received in the battle at Ramoth against King Hazael of Syria. So Jehu said to his fellow-officers, “If you are with me, make sure that no one slips out of Ramoth to go and warn the people in Jezreel.” 16Then he got into his chariot and set off for Jezreel. Joram had still not recovered, and King Ahaziah of Judah was there, visiting him.
17A guard on duty in the watchtower at Jezreel saw Jehu and his men approaching. “I see some men riding up!” he called out.
Joram replied, “Send a rider to find out if they are friends or enemies.”
18The messenger rode out to Jehu and said to him, “The king wants to know if you come as a friend.”
“That's none of your business!” Jehu answered. “Fall in behind me.”
The guard on the watchtower reported that the messenger had reached the group but was not returning. 19Another messenger was sent out, who asked Jehu the same question. Again Jehu answered, “That's none of your business! Fall in behind me.”
20Once more the guard reported that the messenger had reached the group but was not returning. And he added, “The leader of the group is driving his chariot like a madman, just like Jehu!”
21“Get my chariot ready,” King Joram ordered. It was done, and he and King Ahaziah rode out, each in his own chariot, to meet Jehu. They met him at the field which had belonged to Naboth. 22“Are you coming in peace?” Joram asked him.
“How can there be peace,” Jehu answered, “when we still have all the witchcraft and idolatry that your mother Jezebel started?”
23“It's treason, Ahaziah!” Joram cried out, as he turned his chariot round and fled. 24Jehu drew his bow, and with all his strength shot an arrow that struck Joram in the back and pierced his heart. Joram fell dead in his chariot, 25and Jehu said to his aide Bidkar, “Get his body and throw it in the field that belonged to Naboth. Remember that when you and I were riding together behind King Joram's father Ahab, the LORD spoke these words against Ahab: 26
‘I saw the murder of Naboth and his sons yesterday. And I promise that I will punish you here in this same field.’ So take Joram's body,” Jehu ordered his aide, “and throw it in the field that belonged to Naboth, so as to fulfil the LORD's promise.”
27King Ahaziah saw what happened, so he fled in his chariot towards the town of Beth Haggan, pursued by Jehu. “Kill him too!” Jehu ordered his men, and they wounded him9.27 Some ancient translations and they wounded him; Hebrew does not have these words. as he drove his chariot on the road up to Gur, near the town of Ibleam. But he managed to keep going until he reached the city of Megiddo, where he died. 28His officials took his body back to Jerusalem in a chariot and buried him in the royal tombs in David's City.
29Ahaziah had become king of Judah in the eleventh year that Joram son of Ahab was king of Israel.
30Jehu arrived in Jezreel. Jezebel, having heard what had happened, put on eyeshadow, arranged her hair, and stood looking down at the street from a window in the palace. 31As Jehu came through the gate, she called out, “You Zimri!9.31 Zimri: An Israelite army officer who assassinated the king of Israel (see 1 Kgs 16.8–12). You assassin! Why are you here?”
32Jehu looked up and shouted, “Who is on my side?” Two or three palace officials looked down at him from a window, 33and Jehu said to them, “Throw her down!” They threw her down, and her blood spattered the wall and the horses. Jehu drove his horses and chariot over her body, 34entered the palace, and had a meal. Only then did he say, “Take that cursed woman and bury her; after all, she is a king's daughter.” 35But the men who went out to bury her found nothing except her skull, and the bones of her hands and feet. 36
When they reported this to Jehu, he said, “This is what the LORD said would happen, when he spoke through his servant Elijah: ‘Dogs will eat Jezebel's body in the territory of Jezreel. 37Her remains will be scattered there like dung, so that no one will be able to identify them.’ ”
101There were seventy descendants of King Ahab living in the city of Samaria. Jehu wrote a letter and sent copies to the rulers of the city,10.1 Some ancient translations the city; Hebrew Jezreel. to the leading citizens, and to the guardians of Ahab's descendants. The letter read: 2“You are in charge of the king's descendants and you have at your disposal chariots, horses, weapons, and fortified cities. So then, as soon as you receive this letter, 3you are to choose the best qualified of the king's descendants, make him king, and fight to defend him.”
4The rulers of Samaria were terrified. “How can we oppose Jehu,” they said, “when neither King Joram nor King Ahaziah could?” 5So the officer in charge of the palace and the official in charge of the city, together with the leading citizens and the guardians, sent this message to Jehu: “We are your servants and we are ready to do anything you say. But we will not make anyone king; do whatever you think best.”
6Jehu wrote them another letter: “If you are with me, and are ready to follow my orders, bring the heads of King Ahab's descendants to me at Jezreel by this time tomorrow.”
The seventy descendants of King Ahab were under the care of the leading citizens of Samaria, who were bringing them up. 7When Jehu's letter was received, the leaders of Samaria killed all seventy of Ahab's descendants, put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jehu at Jezreel.
8When Jehu was told that the heads of Ahab's descendants had been brought, he ordered them to be piled up in two heaps at the city gate and to be left there until the following morning. 9In the morning, he went out to the gate and said to the people who were there, “I was the one who plotted against King Joram and killed him; you are not responsible for that. But who killed all these? 10This proves that everything that the LORD said about the descendants of Ahab will come true. The LORD has done what he promised through his prophet Elijah.” 11
Then Jehu put to death all the other relatives of Ahab living in Jezreel, and all his officers, close friends, and priests; not one of them was left alive.
12Jehu left Jezreel to go to Samaria. On the way, at a place called “Shepherds' Camp”, 13he met some relatives of the late King Ahaziah of Judah and asked them, “Who are you?”
“Ahaziah's relatives,” they answered. “We are going to Jezreel to pay our respects to the children of Queen Jezebel and to the rest of the royal family.” 14Jehu ordered his men, “Take them alive!” They seized them, and he put them to death near a pit there. There were 42 people in all, and not one of them was left alive.
15Jehu started out again, and on his way he was met by Jonadab son of Rechab. Jehu greeted him and said, “You and I think alike. Will you support me?”
“I will,” Jonadab answered.
“Give me your hand, then,” Jehu replied. They clasped hands, and Jehu helped him up into the chariot, 16saying, “Come with me and see for yourself how devoted I am to the LORD.” And they rode on together to Samaria. 17When they arrived there, Jehu killed all of Ahab's relatives, not sparing even one. This is what the LORD had told Elijah would happen.
18Jehu called the people of Samaria together and said, “King Ahab served the god Baal a little, but I will serve him much more. 19Call together all the prophets of Baal, all his worshippers, and all his priests. No one is excused; I am going to offer a great sacrifice to Baal, and whoever is not present will be put to death.” (This was a trick on the part of Jehu by which he meant to kill all the worshippers of Baal.) 20Then Jehu ordered, “Proclaim a day of worship in honour of Baal!” The proclamation was made, 21and Jehu sent word throughout all the land of Israel. All who worshipped Baal came; not one of them failed to come. They all went into the temple of Baal, filling it from one end to the other. 22Then Jehu ordered the priest in charge of the sacred robes to bring the robes out and give them to the worshippers. 23After that, Jehu himself went into the temple with Jonadab son of Rechab and said to the people there, “Make sure that only worshippers of Baal are present and that no worshipper of the LORD has come in.” 24Then he and Jonadab went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings to Baal. He had stationed eighty men outside the temple and had instructed them: “You are to kill all these people; anyone who lets one of them escape will pay for it with his life!”
25As soon as Jehu had presented the offerings, he said to the guards and officers, “Go in and kill them all; don't let anyone escape!” They went in with drawn swords, killed them all, and dragged the bodies outside. Then they went on into the inner sanctuary of the temple, 26brought out the sacred pillar that was there, and burnt it. 27So they destroyed the sacred pillar and the temple, and turned the temple into a latrine — which it still is today.
28That was how Jehu wiped out the worship of Baal in Israel. 29
But he imitated the sin of King Jeroboam, who led Israel into the sin of worshipping the gold bull calves he set up in Bethel and in Dan. 30The LORD said to Jehu, “You have done to Ahab's descendants everything I wanted you to do. So I promise you that your descendants, down to the fourth generation, will be kings of Israel.” 31But Jehu did not obey with all his heart the law of the LORD, the God of Israel; instead, he followed the example of Jeroboam, who led Israel into sin.
32At that time the LORD began to reduce the size of Israel's territory. King Hazael of Syria conquered all the Israelite territory 33east of the Jordan, as far south as the town of Aroer on the River Arnon — this included the territories of Gilead and Bashan, where the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and East Manasseh lived.
34Everything else that Jehu did, including his brave deeds, is recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel. 35He died and was buried in Samaria, and his son Jehoahaz succeeded him as king. 36Jehu had ruled in Samaria as king of Israel for 28 years.
111As soon as King Ahaziah's mother Athaliah learnt of her son's murder, she gave orders for all the members of the royal family to be killed. 2Only Ahaziah's son Joash escaped. He was about to be killed with the others, but was rescued by his aunt Jehosheba, who was King Jehoram's daughter and Ahaziah's half-sister. She took him and his nurse into a bedroom in the Temple and hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not killed. 3For six years Jehosheba took care of the boy and kept him hidden in the Temple, while Athaliah ruled as queen.
4But in the seventh year Jehoiada the priest sent for the officers in charge of the royal bodyguard and of the palace guards, and told them to come to the Temple, where he made them agree under oath to what he planned to do. He showed them King Ahaziah's son Joash 5and gave them the following orders: “When you come on duty on the Sabbath, one third of you are to guard the palace; 6another third are to stand guard at the Sur Gate, and the other third are to stand guard at the gate behind the other guards.11.6 Hebrew has an additional word, the meaning of which is unclear. 7The two groups that go off duty on the Sabbath are to stand guard at the Temple to protect the king. 8You are to guard King Joash with drawn swords and stay with him wherever he goes. Anyone who comes near you is to be killed.”
9The officers obeyed Jehoiada's instructions and brought their men to him — those going off duty on the Sabbath and those going on duty. 10He gave the officers the spears11.10 Some ancient translations (and see 2 Chr 23.9) spears; Hebrew spear. and shields that had belonged to King David and had been kept in the Temple, 11and he stationed the men with drawn swords all round the front of the Temple, to protect the king. 12Then Jehoiada led Joash out, placed the crown on his head, and gave him a copy of the laws governing kingship. Then Joash was anointed and proclaimed king. The people clapped their hands and shouted, “Long live the king!”
13Queen Athaliah heard the noise being made by the guards and the people, so she hurried to the Temple, where the crowd had gathered. 14
There she saw the new king standing by the column at the entrance of the Temple, as was the custom. He was surrounded by the officers and the trumpeters, and the people were all shouting joyfully and blowing trumpets. Athaliah tore her clothes in distress and shouted, “Treason! Treason!”
15Jehoiada did not want Athaliah killed in the temple area, so he ordered the army officers: “Take her out between the rows of guards, and kill anyone who tries to rescue her.” 16They seized her, took her to the palace, and there at the Horse Gate they killed her.
17The priest Jehoiada made King Joash and the people enter into a covenant with the LORD that they would be the LORD's people; he also made a covenant between the king and the people. 18Then the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down; they smashed the altars and the idols, and killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, in front of the altars.
Jehoiada put guards on duty at the Temple, 19and then he, the officers, the royal bodyguard, and the palace guards escorted the king from the Temple to the palace, followed by all the people. Joash entered by the Guard Gate and took his place on the throne. 20All the people were filled with happiness, and the city was quiet, now that Athaliah had been killed in the palace.
21Joash became king of Judah at the age of seven.