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2 Kings 9

Elisha and Jehu

1 The prophet Elisha asked a man from the group of prophets to come to him. Elisha said to him, ‘Fasten your coat into your belt. Take this bottle of oil with you and go to Ramoth Gilead. 2 When you get there, look for Jehu. He is the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go to him and take him away from his friends. Take him to an inside room. 3 Pour the oil from the bottle on to his head. Say to him, “This is what the LORD says to you. ‘I make you king of Israel now.’ ” Then open the door and run away quickly!’

4 So the young man that Elisha the prophet had sent, went to Ramoth Gilead. 5 When he arrived at Ramoth Gilead, he found the army officers. They were sitting together. ‘Captain, I have a message for you’, he said. ‘For which of us?’ Jehu asked. ‘Only for you, captain’, the young prophet replied. 6 Jehu stood up and he went into the house. The young prophet poured the oil on to Jehu's head. He said, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to you. “I am making you king over the LORD's people in Israel. 7 You must kill the family of your master Ahab. In this way you will punish Ahab because he killed my servants the prophets. Also, Jezebel his wife killed many of the LORD's servants. 8 The whole family of Ahab must die. I will kill every man from the family of Ahab that is in Israel. I will kill every male slave. And I will kill every man who is not a slave. 9 I will make the family of Ahab like the family of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. It will be like the family of Baasha the son of Ahijah. 10 And dogs will eat Jezebel at a place in Jezreel. Nobody will bury her.” ’ Then the young prophet opened the door and he ran away.

11 Jehu went out to the other officers. ‘Is everything well?’ one of them asked him. ‘Why did this crazy prophet come to you?’ ‘You know this man. And you know what he says’, Jehu answered. 12 ‘That is not true!’ they said. ‘Tell us what he said.’ So Jehu said, ‘This is what he told me. “This is what the LORD says. I am making you king over Israel.” ’ 13 They hurried to get their coats. They put them under his feet on the stone steps. Then they made a sound with a trumpet. They shouted, ‘Jehu is king!’

14 So Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat became an enemy of Joram. Jehoshaphat was the son of Nimshi. Joram had been in Ramoth Gilead. All the army of Israel was with him. They were waiting to see what Hazael would do. Hazael was the king of Syria. 15 But King Joram then returned to Jezreel. This was to get well after his illness. The army of Aram had hurt him in the war with Hazael. Hazael was the king of Aram. Jehu said to his officers, ‘If your purpose really is to make me king, do not let anyone get out from the city. They will tell the news in the city called Jezreel.’ 16 Then Jehu got into his chariot and he rode to Jezreel. That was because Joram was resting there in Jezreel. Ahaziah was the king of Judah. He had come down from Jerusalem to meet Joram.

17 A man was standing on a tall building in Jezreel and he was there to watch. He saw Jehu's soldiers coming towards Jezreel. He shouted, ‘I can see some soldiers that are coming to us.’ Joram said, ‘Fetch a man and a horse. Send them to meet the soldiers. Ask them. “Are you friendly to us?” ’ 18 The man on the horse rode away to meet Jehu. He said to Jehu, ‘The king asks you, “Are you friendly to us?” ’ ‘It does not matter to you if we are friends’, Jehu replied. ‘Ride behind me.’ The man on the tall building reported to Joram, ‘The man with the message has reached them, but he is not coming back to us.’ 19 So the king Joram sent a second man who was riding on a horse. He came to Jehu. Then he said, ‘The king says, “Are you coming to us as a friend?” ’ Jehu replied, ‘It does not matter to you if we are friends. Ride behind me.’ 20 The man on the tall building reported to Joram, ‘He has reached them, but he is not coming back to us either. The man that is driving the chariot drives like Jehu, the son of Nimshi. He drives like someone that is crazy!’

21 Then Joram said, ‘Fetch my chariot.’ So they brought his chariot. Then King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah rode to meet Jehu. Each king was in his own chariot. They met Jehu at the piece of ground that had belonged to Naboth. Naboth had lived in Jezreel. 22 When Joram saw Jehu he asked, ‘Have you come as a friend, Jehu?’ ‘We cannot be friends’, Jehu replied. ‘That is because of the things that your mother Jezebel did. People still worship false gods. There are women who do magic in your country still.’ 23 Joram turned his chariot and he drove away quickly. He shouted to Ahaziah, ‘Ahaziah, they are not our friends!’ 24 Then Jehu used his bow. He shot Joram between his shoulders. The arrow went through his heart. He fell down in his chariot. 25 Bidkar was Jehu's chariot officer. Jehu said to him, ‘Pick him up! Throw him on to the field that belonged to Naboth, the man from Jezreel. Remember, you and I rode together in chariots behind Ahab. Ahab was Joram's father. Then, the LORD said this about Ahab. 26 “Yesterday, I saw the blood of Naboth. I saw also the blood of his sons, says the LORD. Surely, I will cause you to pay for this on this piece of ground, says the LORD.” So now, pick him up and throw him on to that piece of ground. Do what the LORD has promised.’

27 Ahaziah was the king of Judah. He saw what had happened to Joram. So, he ran away past the house in his garden. Jehu followed him. Jehu shouted, ‘Kill him too!’ They hurt Ahaziah in his chariot. He was on the road to Gur near Ibleam. But he ran away from them to Megiddo, where he died. 28 His servants took him in a chariot to Jerusalem. They buried him with his ancestors in his grave. It was in the City of David.

29 Ahaziah had become king of Judah when Joram had been king nearly 11 years. Joram was the son of Ahab.

30 Then Jehu went to Jezreel. Jezebel heard about it. So she painted her eyes and she combed her hair. Then she looked out of a window. 31 While Jehu was coming through the gate of the city, she asked him, ‘Have you come as a friend, Zimri? You are your master's killer.’ 32 Jehu looked up at the window and he saw her. Then he shouted, ‘Who is with me? Who?’ Two or three eunuchs looked down at him. 33 ‘Throw her down’, Jehu said. So they threw her down. Some of her blood went all over the wall. Some of it went over the horses when they were kicking her with their feet. 34 Jehu went into the king's house. He ate and drank food and drink. ‘Do something with the dead body of that bad woman’, he said. ‘Bury her, because she was the daughter of a king.’ 35 But when they went out to bury her, they did not find much. They found only the bones of her head, her feet and her hands. 36 They went back and they told this to Jehu. He said, ‘The LORD said that this would happen. He spoke by his servant, Elijah from Tishbe. He said, “Dogs will eat Jezebel's dead body. They will do it on a piece of ground at Jezreel. 37 Jezebel's dead body will be like dirt on the ground, on that piece of ground at Jezreel. Nobody will be able to say, ‘This is Jezebel’.” ’

Notes about chapter 9

9:37Verse 31 Jezebel called Jehu ‘Zimri’. Perhaps Jezebel called Jehu ‘Zimri’ because Zimri had killed his master. (See 1 Kings 16:8-10.)
9:37Verse 32 The king's house was usually near the gate of a city.