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2 Kings 10

Jehu kills Ahab's family

1 Ahab had 70 sons. They were in Samaria. So Jehu wrote letters and he sent them to Samaria. He sent them to the officers in Jezreel. He also sent them to the important older men and to the people who made Ahab's children safe. 2 This was what the letter said. ‘When this letter reaches you, your master's sons will be with you. You have chariots and horses, a strong city and weapons. 3 Choose the best person to be king from among your master's sons. Make him king instead of his father. Then fight on behalf of your master's family.’ 4 But they were so very afraid. They said, ‘Two kings could not beat Jehu. So we cannot beat him!’

5 So these people sent a message to Jehu:

the servant with most authority in the king's house

the man that ruled the city called Samaria

the important older men

the people who made Ahab's children safe.

The message said, ‘We are your servants. We will do anything that you say. We will not make anyone king. You do what is best.’

6 So Jehu wrote to them a second letter. It said, ‘If you agree with me, maybe you will obey me. If you do, bring the heads of your master's sons to Jezreel. Be here by this time tomorrow.’ At that time, the 70 sons of Ahab were with the leaders of the city. The leaders were teaching them. 7 When the letter arrived, these men went to the sons of King Ahab. They killed all 70 of them and they put their heads in baskets. Then they sent them to Jehu in Jezreel. 8 The man with the message arrived in Jezreel. He told Jehu, ‘They have brought the heads of King Ahab's sons.’ Then Jehu said, ‘Put them in two groups. Leave them at the gate of the city until the morning.’ 9 The next morning, Jehu went out. He stood in front of all the people. He said to them, ‘You have not done anything that is wrong to Ahab. It was I that decided to kill my master. I killed him. But we do not know who killed all these people. 10 You can know this: Everything that the LORD has spoken against the family of Ahab will happen. The LORD has done what he promised to do. He promised it by his servant Elijah.’ 11 So Jehu killed everybody in Jezreel who was in the family of Ahab. Jehu also killed Ahab's officers, his friends and his priests. They were all dead.

12 Jehu then left Jezreel, and he went towards Samaria. He came to Beth Eked. Some men who kept sheep safe were there. 13 And Jehu also met some people from Ahaziah's family. Ahaziah was the king of Judah. Jehu asked them, ‘Who are you?’ They said, ‘We belong to Ahaziah's family. We have come down here to say “welcome!” to the families of the king and his mother.’ 14 ‘Catch them while they are alive!’ shouted Jehu. So they caught them while they were alive. Then they killed them by the well of Beth Eked. They killed 42 men. Jehu left none of them alive.

15 When Jehu left Beth Eked, he met Jehonadab. Jehonadab was the son of Rechab and he was coming to meet Jehu. ‘Welcome!’ said Jehu. ‘Do you agree with me, as I agree with you?’ Jehonadab answered, ‘I do!’ ‘So give me your hand’, said Jehu. So he did, and Jehu helped him up into his chariot. 16 Jehu said, ‘Come with me. You will see that I really want to be the LORD's servant.’ So Jehonadab rode with Jehu in his chariot. 17 So Jehu came to Samaria. There, he killed everyone in Ahab's family that was still alive. He killed them all. The LORD had told Elijah that this would happen.

18 Then Jehu caused all the people to come together. He said to them, ‘Ahab was not a good servant of Baal. But Jehu will be a much better servant of Baal! 19 So, ask all the prophets of Baal to come here. Also, fetch all Baal's servants and his priests. Be sure that they are all here. Do this, because I want to have a big sacrifice for Baal. Any person who does not come will not continue to be alive.’ But Jehu was being very clever. His idea was to kill all Baal's servants. 20 Then Jehu said, ‘Say that there will be a special meeting to worship Baal.’ So Jehu's servants told everybody about it. 21 Then Jehu sent a notice to everyone in Israel, and all the servants of Baal came to the meeting. There was nobody that did not come. They all went into the house of Baal, so that it was full from one end to the other. 22 Then Jehu said to the keeper of the clothes, ‘Bring out all the special clothes, for the servants of Baal to wear.’ So he brought out the special clothes for them. 23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab, who was the son of Rechab, went into the house of Baal. Jehu said to the servants of Baal, ‘Look all round you. Be sure that there are no servants of the LORD here with you. Be sure that there are only servants of Baal here.’ 24 So they went in to the house of Baal to make sacrifices. And they burned animals to offer to Baal. But Jehu had put 80 of his men outside the house of Baal. He had said to them, ‘Do not let any of these men run away. If one of you does, it will be your life for his life.’ 25 When Jehu had finished the sacrifice, he said to his soldiers and officers, ‘Go in to the house of Baal and kill his servants. Do not let one of them run away.’ So they cut them into pieces with their swords. The soldiers and their officers threw their dead bodies out of the house of Baal. Then they went into the inside part of the house of Baal. 26 They brought out the special stones from the house of Baal and they destroyed them. 27 They destroyed the special stone of Baal and they tore down the house of Baal. People have used it as a toilet to this day!

28 So Jehu destroyed Baal in Israel. 29 But Jehu continued to let people do the sins of Jeroboam. Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, had caused Israel to worship young cows. They had made the young cows with gold. They were at Bethel and Dan. 30 The LORD said to Jehu, ‘You have done well. I have seen that you have done what is right. You have done everything to Ahab's family that I wanted someone to do. So, your descendants will be kings of Israel for 4 generations.’ 31 But Jehu did not try as much as he could to obey the rules of the LORD, the God of Israel. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to do.

32 In those days, the LORD began to make Israel smaller. Hazael was stronger than Israel's people in all their country 33 east of the river Jordan. That was the place called Gilead, where the tribes of Gad, Reuben and Manasseh were. Gilead started in Aroer and it went through the Arnon Valley to Bashan. 34 Other things happened while Jehu was king. Everything that he did is in a book. It is called ‘the reports about the kings of Israel’. 35 Jehu died like his ancestors and people buried him in Samaria. His son Jehoahaz became king after him. 36 Jehu ruled over Israel in Samaria for 28 years.

Notes about chapter 10

10:36Verse 9 ‘These people’ were the 70 sons of Ahab.
10:36Verse 13 Some Bible students think that ‘welcome’ is a bad translation. They had come to kill the people that had killed Ahaziah, 2 Kings 9:27!
10:36Verses 15 & 23 Some translations have ‘drove a chariot’ instead of ‘was the son of Rechab’.
10:36Verse 30 ‘for 4 generations’ means Jehu's son, Jehu's grandson, his son's grandson and his grandson's grandson.