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Meanwhile Elisha had summoned one of the young prophets.

“Get ready to go to Ramoth-gilead,” he told him. “Take this vial of oil with you and find Jehu (the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi). Call him into a private room away from his friends, and pour the oil over his head. Tell him that the Lord has anointed him to be the king of Israel; then run for your life!”

So the young prophet did as he was told. When he arrived in Ramoth-gilead, he found Jehu sitting around with the other army officers.

“I have a message for you, sir,” he said.

“For which one of us?” Jehu asked.

“For you,” he replied.

So Jehu left the others and went into the house, and the young man poured the oil over his head and said, “The Lord God of Israel says, ‘I anoint you king of the Lord’s people, Israel. You are to destroy the family of Ahab; you will avenge the murder of my prophets and of all my other people who were killed by Jezebel. The entire family of Ahab must be wiped out—every male, no matter who. I will destroy the family of Ahab as I destroyed the families of Jeroboam (son of Nebat) and of Baasha (son of Ahijah). 10 Dogs shall eat Ahab’s wife Jezebel at Jezreel, and no one will bury her.’”

Then he opened the door and ran.

11 Jehu went back to his friends and one of them asked him, “What did that crazy fellow want? Is everything all right?”

“You know very well who he was and what he wanted,” Jehu replied.

12 “No, we don’t,” they said. “Tell us.”

So he told them what the man had said and that he had been anointed king of Israel!

13 They quickly carpeted the bare steps with their coats and blew a trumpet, shouting, “Jehu is king!”

14 That is how Jehu (son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi) rebelled against King Joram. (King Joram had been with the army at Ramoth-gilead, defending Israel against the forces of King Hazael of Syria. 15 But he had returned to Jezreel to recover from his wounds.)

“Since you want me to be king,” Jehu told the men who were with him, “don’t let anyone escape to Jezreel to report what we have done.”

16 Then Jehu jumped into a chariot and rode to Jezreel himself to find King Joram, who was lying there wounded. (King Ahaziah of Judah was there too, for he had gone to visit him.) 17 The watchman on the Tower of Jezreel saw Jehu and his company approaching and shouted, “Someone is coming.”

“Send out a rider and find out if he is friend or foe,” King Joram shouted back. 18 So a soldier rode out to meet Jehu.

“The king wants to know whether you are friend or foe,” he demanded. “Do you come in peace?”

Jehu replied, “What do you know about peace? Get behind me!”

The watchman called out to the king that the messenger had met them but was not returning. 19 So the king sent out a second rider. He rode up to them and demanded in the name of the king to know whether their intentions were friendly or not.

Jehu answered, “What do you know about friendliness? Get behind me!”

20 “He isn’t returning either!” the watchman exclaimed. “It must be Jehu, for he is driving so furiously.”

21 “Quick! Get my chariot ready!” King Joram commanded.

Then he and King Ahaziah of Judah rode out to meet Jehu. They met him at the field of Naboth, 22 and King Joram demanded, “Do you come as a friend, Jehu?”

Jehu replied, “How can there be friendship as long as the evils of your mother Jezebel are all around us?”

23 Then King Joram reined the chariot horses around and fled, shouting to King Ahaziah, “There is treachery, Ahaziah! Treason!”

24 Then Jehu drew his bow with his full strength and shot Joram between the shoulders; and the arrow pierced his heart, and he sank down dead in his chariot.

25 Jehu said to Bidkar, his assistant, “Throw him into the field of Naboth, for once when you and I were riding along behind his father Ahab, the Lord revealed this prophecy to me: 26 ‘I will repay him here on Naboth’s property for the murder of Naboth and his sons.’ So throw him out on Naboth’s field, just as the Lord said.”

27 Meanwhile, King Ahaziah of Judah had fled along the road to Beth-haggan. Jehu rode after him, shouting, “Shoot him too.”

So they shot him in his chariot at the place where the road climbs to Gur, near Ibleam. He was able to go on as far as Megiddo, but died there. 28 His officials took him by chariot to Jerusalem where they buried him in the royal cemetery. 29 (Ahaziah’s reign over Judah had begun in the twelfth year[a] of the reign of King Joram of Israel.)

30 When Jezebel heard that Jehu had come to Jezreel, she painted her eyelids and fixed her hair and sat at a window. 31 When Jehu entered the gate of the palace, she shouted at him, “How are you today, you murderer! You son of a Zimri who murdered his master!”

32 He looked up and saw her at the window and shouted, “Who is on my side?” And two or three eunuchs looked out at him.

33 “Throw her down!” he yelled.

So they threw her out the window, and her blood spattered against the wall and on the horses; and she was trampled by the horses’ hoofs.

34 Then Jehu went into the palace for lunch. Afterwards he said, “Someone go and bury this cursed woman, for she is the daughter of a king.”

35 But when they went out to bury her, they found only her skull, her feet, and her hands.

36 When they returned and told him, he remarked, “That is just what the Lord said would happen. He told Elijah the prophet that dogs would eat her flesh 37 and that her body would be scattered like manure upon the field, so that no one could tell whose it was.”

Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 9:29 twelfth year, implied in 8:25; literally, “eleventh.”

Jehu Anointed King of Israel

The prophet Elisha summoned a man from the company(A) of the prophets and said to him, “Tuck your cloak into your belt,(B) take this flask of olive oil(C) with you and go to Ramoth Gilead.(D) When you get there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go to him, get him away from his companions and take him into an inner room. Then take the flask and pour the oil(E) on his head and declare, ‘This is what the Lord says: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and run; don’t delay!”

So the young prophet went to Ramoth Gilead. When he arrived, he found the army officers sitting together. “I have a message for you, commander,” he said.

“For which of us?” asked Jehu.

“For you, commander,” he replied.

Jehu got up and went into the house. Then the prophet poured the oil(F) on Jehu’s head and declared, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anoint you king over the Lord’s people Israel. You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge(G) the blood of my servants(H) the prophets and the blood of all the Lord’s servants shed by Jezebel.(I) The whole house(J) of Ahab will perish. I will cut off from Ahab every last male(K) in Israel—slave or free.[a] I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam(L) son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha(M) son of Ahijah. 10 As for Jezebel, dogs(N) will devour her on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and no one will bury her.’” Then he opened the door and ran.

11 When Jehu went out to his fellow officers, one of them asked him, “Is everything all right? Why did this maniac(O) come to you?”

“You know the man and the sort of things he says,” Jehu replied.

12 “That’s not true!” they said. “Tell us.”

Jehu said, “Here is what he told me: ‘This is what the Lord says: I anoint you king over Israel.’”

13 They quickly took their cloaks and spread(P) them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet(Q) and shouted, “Jehu is king!”

Jehu Kills Joram and Ahaziah(R)

14 So Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, conspired against Joram. (Now Joram and all Israel had been defending Ramoth Gilead(S) against Hazael king of Aram, 15 but King Joram[b] had returned to Jezreel to recover(T) from the wounds the Arameans had inflicted on him in the battle with Hazael king of Aram.) Jehu said, “If you desire to make me king, don’t let anyone slip out of the city to go and tell the news in Jezreel.” 16 Then he got into his chariot and rode to Jezreel, because Joram was resting there and Ahaziah(U) king of Judah had gone down to see him.

17 When the lookout(V) standing on the tower in Jezreel saw Jehu’s troops approaching, he called out, “I see some troops coming.”

“Get a horseman,” Joram ordered. “Send him to meet them and ask, ‘Do you come in peace?(W)’”

18 The horseman rode off to meet Jehu and said, “This is what the king says: ‘Do you come in peace?’”

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

The lookout reported, “The messenger has reached them, but he isn’t coming back.”

19 So the king sent out a second horseman. When he came to them he said, “This is what the king says: ‘Do you come in peace?’”

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

20 The lookout reported, “He has reached them, but he isn’t coming back either. The driving is like(X) that of Jehu son of Nimshi—he drives like a maniac.”

21 “Hitch up my chariot,” Joram ordered. And when it was hitched up, Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah rode out, each in his own chariot, to meet Jehu. They met him at the plot of ground that had belonged to Naboth(Y) the Jezreelite. 22 When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Have you come in peace, Jehu?”

“How can there be peace,” Jehu replied, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel(Z) abound?”

23 Joram turned about and fled, calling out to Ahaziah, “Treachery,(AA) Ahaziah!”

24 Then Jehu drew his bow(AB) and shot Joram between the shoulders. The arrow pierced his heart and he slumped down in his chariot. 25 Jehu said to Bidkar, his chariot officer, “Pick him up and throw him on the field that belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite. Remember how you and I were riding together in chariots behind Ahab his father when the Lord spoke this prophecy(AC) against him: 26 ‘Yesterday I saw the blood of Naboth(AD) and the blood of his sons, declares the Lord, and I will surely make you pay for it on this plot of ground, declares the Lord.’[c] Now then, pick him up and throw him on that plot, in accordance with the word of the Lord.”(AE)

27 When Ahaziah king of Judah saw what had happened, he fled up the road to Beth Haggan.[d] Jehu chased him, shouting, “Kill him too!” They wounded him in his chariot on the way up to Gur near Ibleam,(AF) but he escaped to Megiddo(AG) and died there. 28 His servants took him by chariot(AH) to Jerusalem and buried him with his ancestors in his tomb in the City of David. 29 (In the eleventh(AI) year of Joram son of Ahab, Ahaziah had become king of Judah.)

Jezebel Killed

30 Then Jehu went to Jezreel. When Jezebel heard about it, she put on eye makeup,(AJ) arranged her hair and looked out of a window. 31 As Jehu entered the gate, she asked, “Have you come in peace, you Zimri,(AK) you murderer of your master?”[e]

32 He looked up at the window and called out, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked down at him. 33 “Throw her down!” Jehu said. So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered the wall and the horses as they trampled her underfoot.(AL)

34 Jehu went in and ate and drank. “Take care of that cursed woman,” he said, “and bury her, for she was a king’s daughter.”(AM) 35 But when they went out to bury her, they found nothing except her skull, her feet and her hands. 36 They went back and told Jehu, who said, “This is the word of the Lord that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs(AN) will devour Jezebel’s flesh.[f](AO) 37 Jezebel’s body will be like dung(AP) on the ground in the plot at Jezreel, so that no one will be able to say, ‘This is Jezebel.’”

Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 9:8 Or Israel—every ruler or leader
  2. 2 Kings 9:15 Hebrew Jehoram, a variant of Joram; also in verses 17 and 21-24
  3. 2 Kings 9:26 See 1 Kings 21:19.
  4. 2 Kings 9:27 Or fled by way of the garden house
  5. 2 Kings 9:31 Or “Was there peace for Zimri, who murdered his master?”
  6. 2 Kings 9:36 See 1 Kings 21:23.

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