April 24, 2007
II Kings 9-11
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- And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead:
- And when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber;
- Then take the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not.
- So the young man, even the young man the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead.
- And when he came, behold, the captains of the host were sitting; and he said, I have an errand to thee, O captain. And Jehu said, Unto which of all us? And he said, To thee, O captain.
- And he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the LORD, even over Israel.
- And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel.
- For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel:
- And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah:
- And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. And he opened the door, and fled.
- Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and one said unto him, Is all well? wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication.
- And they said, It is false; tell us now. And he said, Thus and thus spake he to me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel.
- Then they hasted, and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king.
- So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramoth-gilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria.
- But king Joram was returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) And Jehu said, If it be your minds, then let none go forth nor escape out of the city to go to tell it in Jezreel.
- So Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to Jezreel; for Joram lay there. And Ahaziah king of Judah was come down to see Joram.
- And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, Is it peace?
- So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again.
- Then he sent out a second on horseback, which came to them, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu answered, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me.
- And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously.
- And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite.
- And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?
- And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, O Ahaziah.
- And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot.
- Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain, Take up, and cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite: for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the LORD laid this burden upon him;
- Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons, saith the LORD; and I will requite thee in this plat, saith the LORD. Now therefore take and cast him into the plat of ground, according to the word of the LORD.
- But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there.
- And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city of David.
- And in the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah.
- And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.
- And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?
- And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs.
- And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot.
- And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter.
- And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands.
- Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel:
- And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.
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- And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought up Ahab's children, saying,
- Now as soon as this letter cometh to you, seeing your master's sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, a fenced city also, and armour;
- Look even out the best and meetest of your master's sons, and set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house.
- But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand?
- And he that was over the house, and he that was over the city, the elders also, and the bringers up of the children, sent to Jehu, saying, We are thy servants, and will do all that thou shalt bid us; we will not make any king: do thou that which is good in thine eyes.
- Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye be mine, and if ye will hearken unto my voice, take ye the heads of the men your master's sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time. Now the king's sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, which brought them up.
- And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king's sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent him them to Jezreel.
- And there came a messenger, and told him, saying, They have brought the heads of the king's sons. And he said, Lay ye them in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning.
- And it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, Ye be righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him: but who slew all these?
- Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spake concerning the house of Ahab: for the LORD hath done that which he spake by his servant Elijah.
- So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests, until he left him none remaining.
- And he arose and departed, and came to Samaria. And as he was at the shearing house in the way,
- Jehu met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who are ye? And they answered, We are the brethren of Ahaziah; and we go down to salute the children of the king and the children of the queen.
- And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house, even two and forty men; neither left he any of them.
- And when he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me thine hand. And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot.
- And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. So they made him ride in his chariot.
- And when he came to Samaria, he slew all that remained unto Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed him, according to the saying of the LORD, which he spake to Elijah.
- And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much.
- Now therefore call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests; let none be wanting: for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal; whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live. But Jehu did it in subtilty, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal.
- And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it.
- And Jehu sent through all Israel: and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came not. And they came into the house of Baal; and the house of Baal was full from one end to another.
- And he said unto him that was over the vestry, Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal. And he brought them forth vestments.
- And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants of the LORD, but the worshippers of Baal only.
- And when they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings, Jehu appointed fourscore men without, and said, If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escape, he that letteth him go, his life shall be for the life of him.
- And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, Go in, and slay them; let none come forth. And they smote them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the captains cast them out, and went to the city of the house of Baal.
- And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them.
- And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day.
- Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.
- Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel, and that were in Dan.
- And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.
- But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin.
- In those days the LORD began to cut Israel short: and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel;
- From Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan.
- Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, and all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
- And Jehu slept with his fathers: and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his stead.
- And the time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty and eight years.
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- And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.
- But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain.
- And he was with her hid in the house of the LORD six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land.
- And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard, and brought them to him into the house of the LORD, and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of the LORD, and shewed them the king's son.
- And he commanded them, saying, This is the thing that ye shall do; A third part of you that enter in on the sabbath shall even be keepers of the watch of the king's house;
- And a third part shall be at the gate of Sur; and a third part at the gate behind the guard: so shall ye keep the watch of the house, that it be not broken down.
- And two parts of all you that go forth on the sabbath, even they shall keep the watch of the house of the LORD about the king.
- And ye shall compass the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand: and he that cometh within the ranges, let him be slain: and be ye with the king as he goeth out and as he cometh in.
- And the captains over the hundreds did according to all things that Jehoiada the priest commanded: and they took every man his men that were to come in on the sabbath, with them that should go out on the sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest.
- And to the captains over hundreds did the priest give king David's spears and shields, that were in the temple of the LORD.
- And the guard stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, round about the king, from the right corner of the temple to the left corner of the temple, along by the altar and the temple.
- And he brought forth the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king.
- And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the temple of the LORD.
- And when she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets: and Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried, Treason, Treason.
- But Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of the hundreds, the officers of the host, and said unto them, Have her forth without the ranges: and him that followeth her kill with the sword. For the priest had said, Let her not be slain in the house of the LORD.
- And they laid hands on her; and she went by the way by the which the horses came into the king's house: and there was she slain.
- And Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and the people, that they should be the LORD'S people; between the king also and the people.
- And all the people of the land went into the house of Baal, and brake it down; his altars and his images brake they in pieces thoroughly, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of the LORD.
- And he took the rulers over hundreds, and the captains, and the guard, and all the people of the land; and they brought down the king from the house of the LORD, and came by the way of the gate of the guard to the king's house. And he sat on the throne of the kings.
- And all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was in quiet: and they slew Athaliah with the sword beside the king's house.
- Seven years old was Jehoash when he began to reign.
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Thought for the day:
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Chapters nine and
ten deal with the reign of Jehu. His tenure as king is very interesting both for what he did accomplish for the Lord as well as for what he failed to accomplish. In
verses 6 and
7 of chapter nine, Jehu is anointed by the prophet and given the specific responsibility to wipe out all vestiges of Ahab's wicked reign. He is to get rid of all of Ahab's household and destroy the false worship that Ahab established. Over the next chapter and a half we see Jehu carrying our his assignment. He first killed Ahaziah, the king of Judah. He follows this with the execution of Jezebel, Ahab's perverse wife. Of course, this was in fulfillment of the prophecy of Elijah that had been given long before concerning the fact that the dogs would eat her flesh, (
I Kings 21:23). Seventy of the kings sons were slain next.
II Kings 10:11 then tells us that
"Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests, until he left him none remaining."
The following verses state that he went into Samaria and killed Ahaziah's brethren, and anyone else in that city who was related to Ahab. Finally, when all that destruction was completed, he pretended to be an ardent follower of Baal, and called for a large celebration to that pagan idol. All the prophets of Baal were gathered together, as well as other worshippers. Followers of Jehovah were removed in anticipation of this great ceremony. At the climax, Jehu had the entire group of people slain. He then destroyed the images of Baal and turned that place of worship into a place of filth. II Kings 10:28 summarizes this part of his work this way:
"Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel."
verse thirty the Lord praises him for this, saying
"Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel."
Jehu was given a job to do by God, and he accomplished it in complete fulfillment of what the Lord had said would happen. From this we learn that God does not make idle threats. When He says that He is going to do something, He does it. Both Ahab and Jezebel came to bizarre endings; one being eaten by dogs, and one having his blood lapped by dogs. Yet both happened because God said that they would. Ahab's entire family, and a large one it was, was destroyed. Why? Because Jehovah said that it would be so.
One would think that Jehu would have been a great king because of his faithful completion of his divine assignment. Yet that is not the case.
II Kings 10:29,
31 teach us that
"Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel, and that were in Dan... But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin."
Although Jehu took vengeance upon the family of Ahab, he still did not obey the Lord totally. He pleased the Lord is some respects, but he displeased Him in others. Look at his two failures. First of all, although he destroyed Baal worship, he allowed "calf worship" to continue. Remember that the calves had been set up by Jeroboam to "represent" Jehovah (
I Kings 12:28-30). They were not pagan deities, but they were still created in contradiction to what the Lord had commanded about not making graven images (
Ex. 20:4). Many people today feel that, as long as they are not worshipping a false god, they can worship the God of Heaven in any manner that they wish. Some choose to use worldly methodologies to worship Him. This was what calf worship was, and God hated it! So while Jehu worshipped the correct God, he did it in the wrong way. Second, he did not walk in the law of the Lord "with all his heart." He wanted to obey in some areas, but he did not want to obey in others. He wanted to worship Jehovah, but he did not care if his pagan method of worship (the calves) turned the hearts of the other Israelites away from God. He was, at best, a half-hearted follower of the Lord. This is not what God expected from Jehu, and it is not what He expects from us. The Biblical standard is
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, (Mark 12:30).
Anything less is unacceptable.
Jehu accomplished much during his reign that was pleasing to God. However, he never accomplished what he could have, because he refused to submit his entire heart to the Lord. He allowed compromise when it came to the worship of Jehovah, and this spelled doom for himself and the nation. May we learn from his example, and worship the Lord the way He desires, and with a heart that is committed to Him.
Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery