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2 Kings 10 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Jehu Kills the House of Ahab

10 Since Ahab had 70 sons in Samaria, Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria to the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to the guardians of Ahab’s sons,[a] saying:

When this letter arrives, since your master’s sons are with you and you have chariots, horses, a fortified city, and weaponry, select the most qualified[b] of your master’s sons, set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.

However, they were terrified and reasoned, “Look, two kings couldn’t stand against him; how can we?”

So the overseer of the palace, the overseer of the city, the elders, and the guardians sent a message to Jehu: “We are your servants, and we will do whatever you tell us. We will not make anyone king. Do whatever you think is right.”[c]

Then Jehu wrote them a second letter, saying:

If you are on my side, and if you will obey me, bring me the heads of your master’s sons at this time tomorrow at Jezreel.

All 70 of the king’s sons were being cared for by the city’s prominent men. When the letter came to them, they took the king’s sons and slaughtered all 70, put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jehu at Jezreel. When the messenger came and told him, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons,” the king said, “Pile them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until morning.”

The next morning when he went out and stood at the gate, he 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 not a word the Lord spoke against the house of Ahab will fail, for the Lord has done what He promised through His servant Elijah.” 11 So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel—all his great men, close friends, and priests—leaving him no survivors.

12 Then he set out and went on his way to Samaria. On the way, while he was at Beth-eked of the Shepherds, 13 Jehu met the relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah and asked, “Who are you?”

They answered, “We’re Ahaziah’s relatives. We’ve come down to greet the king’s sons and the queen mother’s sons.”

14 Then Jehu ordered, “Take them alive.” So they took them alive and then slaughtered them at the pit of Beth-eked—42 men. He didn’t spare any of them.

15 When he left there, he found Jehonadab son of Rechab coming to meet him. He greeted him and then asked, “Is your heart one with mine?”[d]

“It is,” Jehonadab replied.

Jehu said, “If it is,[e] give me your hand.”

So he gave him his hand, and Jehu pulled him up into the chariot with him. 16 Then he said, “Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord!” So he let him ride with him in his chariot. 17 When Jehu came to Samaria, he struck down all who remained from the house of Ahab in Samaria until he had annihilated his house, according to the word of the Lord spoken to Elijah.

Jehu Kills the Baal Worshipers

18 Then Jehu brought all the people together and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him a lot. 19 Now, therefore, summon to me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests. None must be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal. Whoever is missing will not live.” However, Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy the servants of Baal. 20 Jehu commanded, “Consecrate a solemn assembly for Baal.” So they called one.

21 Then Jehu sent messengers throughout all Israel, and all the servants of Baal[f] came; there was not a man left who did not come. They entered the temple of Baal, and it was filled from one end to the other. 22 Then he said to the custodian of the wardrobe, “Bring out the garments for all the servants of Baal.” So he brought out their garments.

23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rechab entered the temple of Baal, and Jehu said to the servants of Baal, “Look carefully to see that there are no servants of the Lord here among you—only servants of Baal.” 24 Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings.

Now Jehu had stationed 80 men outside, and he warned them, “Whoever allows any of the men I am delivering into your hands to escape will forfeit his life for theirs.” 25 When he finished offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guards and officers, “Go in and kill them. Don’t let anyone out.” So they struck them down with the sword. Then the guards and officers threw the bodies out and went into the inner room of the temple of Baal. 26 They brought out the pillars of the temple of Baal and burned them 27 and tore down the pillar of Baal. Then they tore down the temple of Baal and made it a latrine—which it is to this day.

Evaluation of Jehu’s Reign

28 Jehu eliminated Baal worship from Israel, 29 but he did not turn away from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit—worshiping the gold calves that were in Bethel and Dan. 30 Nevertheless, the Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in My sight and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, four generations of your sons will sit on the throne of Israel.”

31 Yet Jehu was not careful to follow the instruction of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart. He did not turn from the sins that Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit.

32 In those days the Lord began to reduce the size of Israel. Hazael defeated the Israelites throughout their territory: 33 from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead—the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the Manassites—from Aroer which is by the Arnon Valley through Gilead to Bashan.[g]

34 Now the rest of the events of Jehu’s reign, along with all his accomplishments and all his might, are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings. 35 Jehu rested with his fathers and was buried in Samaria. His son Jehoahaz became king in his place. 36 The length of Jehu’s reign over Israel in Samaria was 28 years.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Kings 10:1 LXX; MT reads of Ahab
  2. 2 Kings 10:3 Lit the good and the upright
  3. 2 Kings 10:5 Lit Do what is good in your eyes
  4. 2 Kings 10:15 Lit heart upright like my heart is with your heart
  5. 2 Kings 10:15 LXX, Syr, Vg; MT reads mine?” Jehonadab said, “It is and it is
  6. 2 Kings 10:21 LXX adds —all his priests and all his prophets
  7. 2 Kings 10:33 Lit Arnon Valley and Gilead and Bashan

2 Kings 10 New International Version (NIV)

Ahab’s Family Killed

10 Now there were in Samaria seventy sons of the house of Ahab. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria: to the officials of Jezreel,[a] to the elders and to the guardians of Ahab’s children. He said, “You have your master’s sons with you and you have chariots and horses, a fortified city and weapons. Now as soon as this letter reaches you, choose the best and most worthy of your master’s sons and set him on his father’s throne. Then fight for your master’s house.”

But they were terrified and said, “If two kings could not resist him, how can we?”

So the palace administrator, the city governor, the elders and the guardians sent this message to Jehu: “We are your servants and we will do anything you say. We will not appoint anyone as king; you do whatever you think best.”

Then Jehu wrote them a second letter, saying, “If you are on my side and will obey me, take the heads of your master’s sons and come to me in Jezreel by this time tomorrow.”

Now the royal princes, seventy of them, were with the leading men of the city, who were rearing them. When the letter arrived, these men took the princes and slaughtered all seventy of them. They put their heads in baskets and sent them to Jehu in Jezreel. When the messenger arrived, he told Jehu, “They have brought the heads of the princes.”

Then Jehu ordered, “Put them in two piles at the entrance of the city gate until morning.”

The next morning Jehu went out. He stood before all the people and said, “You are innocent. It was I who conspired against my master and killed him, but who killed all these? 10 Know, then, that not a word the Lord has spoken against the house of Ahab will fail. The Lord has done what he announced through his servant Elijah.” 11 So Jehu killed everyone in Jezreel who remained of the house of Ahab, as well as all his chief men, his close friends and his priests, leaving him no survivor.

12 Jehu then set out and went toward Samaria. At Beth Eked of the Shepherds, 13 he met some relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah and asked, “Who are you?”

They said, “We are relatives of Ahaziah, and we have come down to greet the families of the king and of the queen mother.

14 “Take them alive!” he ordered. So they took them alive and slaughtered them by the well of Beth Eked—forty-two of them. He left no survivor.

15 After he left there, he came upon Jehonadab son of Rekab, who was on his way to meet him. Jehu greeted him and said, “Are you in accord with me, as I am with you?”

“I am,” Jehonadab answered.

“If so,” said Jehu, “give me your hand.” So he did, and Jehu helped him up into the chariot. 16 Jehu said, “Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord.” Then he had him ride along in his chariot.

17 When Jehu came to Samaria, he killed all who were left there of Ahab’s family; he destroyed them, according to the word of the Lord spoken to Elijah.

Servants of Baal Killed

18 Then Jehu brought all the people together and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much. 19 Now summon all the prophets of Baal, all his servants and all his priests. See that no one is missing, because I am going to hold a great sacrifice for Baal. Anyone who fails to come will no longer live.” But Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy the servants of Baal.

20 Jehu said, “Call an assembly in honor of Baal.” So they proclaimed it. 21 Then he sent word throughout Israel, and all the servants of Baal came; not one stayed away. They crowded into the temple of Baal until it was full from one end to the other. 22 And Jehu said to the keeper of the wardrobe, “Bring robes for all the servants of Baal.” So he brought out robes for them.

23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rekab went into the temple of Baal. Jehu said to the servants of Baal, “Look around and see that no one who serves the Lord is here with you—only servants of Baal.” 24 So they went in to make sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had posted eighty men outside with this warning: “If one of you lets any of the men I am placing in your hands escape, it will be your life for his life.”

25 As soon as Jehu had finished making the burnt offering, he ordered the guards and officers: “Go in and kill them; let no one escape.” So they cut them down with the sword. The guards and officers threw the bodies out and then entered the inner shrine of the temple of Baal. 26 They brought the sacred stone out of the temple of Baal and burned it. 27 They demolished the sacred stone of Baal and tore down the temple of Baal, and people have used it for a latrine to this day.

28 So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel. 29 However, he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit—the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan.

30 The Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” 31 Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit.

32 In those days the Lord began to reduce the size of Israel. Hazael overpowered the Israelites throughout their territory 33 east of the Jordan in all the land of Gilead (the region of Gad, Reuben and Manasseh), from Aroer by the Arnon Gorge through Gilead to Bashan.

34 As for the other events of Jehu’s reign, all he did, and all his achievements, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?

35 Jehu rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son succeeded him as king. 36 The time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Kings 10:1 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts and Vulgate of the city
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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