2 Kings 9

Jehu becomes king of Israel

1 The prophet Elisha told a man from the group of prophets to come to him. Elisha said to him, ‘Tie your belt around you and prepare to travel. Take this bottle of olive oil with you and go to Ramoth Gilead. 2 When you arrive there, look for Jehu. He is the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go to him and take him into a room away from his friends. 3 Pour the oil from the bottle onto his head. Say to him, “This is what the Lord says to you: I have now chosen you to be king of Israel.” Then open the door and run away quickly!’

4 The young prophet that Elisha had sent went to Ramoth Gilead. 5 When he arrived there, he found the army officers. They were sitting together. The prophet said, ‘Captain, I have a message for you.’ Jehu asked him, ‘The message is for which of us?’ The prophet replied, ‘It is for you, sir.’ 6 So Jehu stood up and he went into the house. The young prophet poured the oil onto Jehu's head. He said to him, ‘This is what the Lord, Israel's God, says to you: “I have now chosen you to be king of the Lord's people, Israel. 7 You will destroy the family of your master, Ahab. In this way I will punish Ahab's wife Jezebel, because she killed the prophets and other people who served me. 8 The whole family of Ahab must die. I will kill every male among his descendants in Israel, whoever they are. 9 I will destroy Ahab's family as I did to the family of Nebat's son Jeroboam and the family of Ahijah's son Baasha. 10 Dogs will eat Jezebel's body on the ground in Jezreel. Nobody will bury her.” ’

Then the young prophet opened the door and he ran away.

11 Jehu went out to the other army officers. They asked him, ‘Is everything well? Why did that crazy man come to you?’ Jehu replied, ‘It was not important. You know what that man is like and the kind of things he says.’ 12 But the officers said, ‘That is not true! Tell us what he said.’ So Jehu told them what the prophet had said. He told them, ‘The prophet said, “This is what the Lord says: I have now chosen you to be the king of Israel.” ’

13 The other officers then quickly took their coats. They put them on the stone steps for Jehu to walk on. Then they made a loud noise with a trumpet. They shouted, ‘Jehu is king!’

Jehu kills Joram

14 So Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat and grandson of Nimshi, became an enemy of King Joram.

Joram had been in Ramoth Gilead with the whole army of Israel. They were fighting against Hazael, the king of Syria, who wanted to attack Israel. 15 The Syrian soldiers had hurt King Joram in the battle against King Hazael. So he returned to Jezreel to get well again.

Jehu said to his men, ‘If you really want to help me, do not let anyone leave this city. Nobody must go to warn the people in Jezreel.’ 16 Then Jehu got into his chariot and he rode to Jezreel, because King Joram was resting there. Ahaziah, the king of Judah, had also gone to Jezreel to visit King Joram.

17 A guard was standing on the tower in Jezreel to watch for enemies. He saw Jehu's soldiers coming towards the city. He shouted, ‘I can see a group of soldiers who are coming here on horses.’

King Joram said, ‘Send out a man on a horse to meet the soldiers. Ask them. “Are you coming to us as friends?” ’ 18 The man on the horse rode out of the city to meet Jehu. He said to Jehu, ‘The king asks you, “Are you coming here as friends?” ’ Jehu replied, ‘Whether we are friends or not, turn round and ride behind me!’

The guard on the tower reported to Joram, ‘The man that you sent with the message has reached them. But he is not coming back yet.’ 19 So King Joram sent a second man out on a horse. The rider said to Jehu, ‘The king asks you, “Are you coming here as friends?” ’ Jehu replied, ‘Whether we are friends or not, turn round and ride behind me!’

20 The guard reported to Joram, ‘The man has reached them, but he is not coming back yet either. Their leader is driving his chariot like Nimshi's son, Jehu. He drives like a crazy man!’

21 Then King Joram commanded, ‘Prepare my chariot for me.’ So they brought his chariot to him. Then King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah rode out of the city to meet Jehu. Each king was riding in his own chariot. They met Jehu at the piece of land that had once belonged to Naboth, the man from Jezreel. 22 When Joram saw Jehu, he asked, ‘Have you come as a friend, Jehu?’ Jehu replied, ‘We cannot be friends. Your mother Jezebel still causes people to worship idols and to use magic.’

9:21King Ahab and his wife Jezebel had taken Naboth's land from him. See 1 Kings 21:1-16.

23 Joram turned his chariot round and he drove away quickly. He shouted to King Ahaziah, ‘Ahaziah, they have deceived us!’ 24 Then Jehu used his bow to shoot an arrow at Joram. The arrow hit Joram between his shoulders and it went through his heart. He fell over in his chariot and he died. 25 Jehu gave a command to his officer, Bidkar. He said to him, ‘Pick him up! Throw his body onto the field that once belonged to Naboth. Remember, you and I rode together in chariots behind Joram's father, Ahab. That was when the Lord said this about Ahab: 26 “Yesterday, I saw the blood of Naboth and his sons where you murdered them. One day, I will punish you as you deserve. I will do it here on this piece of land. That is what the Lord says.” So now pick up Joram's body and throw it on this piece of land. Do what the Lord has promised he would do.’

27 King Ahaziah of Judah saw what had happened to Joram. So he rode away quickly on the road towards Beth Haggan. Jehu chased after him and he shouted, ‘Kill him too!’ Jehu's men shot arrows at Ahaziah as he rode in his chariot up the hill to Gur, near Ibleam. He escaped to Megiddo and he died there.

28 King Ahaziah's servants took his body back to Jerusalem in a chariot. They buried him there in a grave beside his ancestors in the City of David. 29 Ahaziah had become king of Judah when Ahab's son Joram had been king of Israel for 11 years.

30 After that, Jehu went to Jezreel. Jezebel heard what had happened. So she made her eyes and her hair look beautiful. Then she looked out of a window in the palace. 31 When Jehu came through the gate of the city, Jezebel called out to him, ‘Have you come as a friend, Zimri? No, you have murdered your master!’ 32 Jehu looked up at the window and he saw her. Then he shouted, ‘Who wants to help me? Anyone there?’ Two or three eunuchs looked out though a window at him. 33 Jehu shouted to them, ‘Throw her down!’ So they threw her down. When she hit the ground, some of her blood splashed on the wall. It also splashed on Jehu's horses as he drove them over her body.

9:30The palace was probably near the gate of the city. We know that it was near the land that had belonged to Naboth.
9:31Jezebel called Jehu ‘Zimri’ because Zimri was someone who had also killed his master, the king. See 1 Kings 16:8-10.
9:32The eunuchs were servants in the palace.

34 Jehu went into the palace and he ate a meal. Then he said, ‘Take away that evil woman's body. She was the daughter of a king, so you should bury her properly.’ 35 But when they went out to bury her, not much of her body was still there. They found only her skull, her feet and her hands. 36 They went back and they told Jehu. He said, ‘The Lord told his servant, Elijah from Tishbe, that this would happen. He said, “Dogs will eat Jezebel's dead body on the ground in Jezreel. 37 Her dead body will lie on the ground in Jezreel like dung. Nobody will be able to recognize who it is.” ’