Ahab’s Seventy Sons Killed
1Now Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote and sent letters to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to those who reared Ahab’s sons, saying:
2Now as soon as this letter comes to you, since your master’s sons are with you, and you have chariots and horses, a fortified city also, and weapons, 3choose the best qualified of your master’s sons, set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.
4But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, “Look, #2 Kin. 9:24, 27two kings could not stand up to him; how then can we stand?” 5And he who was in charge of the house, and he who was in charge of the city, the elders also, and those who reared the sons, sent to Jehu, saying, “We are your servants, we will do all you tell us; but we will not make anyone king. Do what is good in your sight.” 6Then he wrote a second letter to them, saying:
If you are for me and will obey my voice, take the heads of the men, your master’s sons, and come to me at Jezreel by this time tomorrow.
Now the king’s sons, seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, who were rearing them. 7So it was, when the letter came to them, that they took the king’s sons and #Judg. 9:5; 1 Kin. 21:21; 2 Kin. 11:1slaughtered seventy persons, put their heads in baskets and sent them to him at Jezreel.
8Then a messenger came and told him, saying, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons.”
And he said, “Lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until morning.”
9So it was, in the morning, that he went out and stood, and said to all the people, “You are righteous. Indeed #2 Kin. 9:14–24I conspired against my master and killed him; but who killed all these? 10Know now that nothing shall #1 Sam. 3:19; 1 Kin. 8:56; Jer. 44:28fall to the earth of the word of the Lord which the Lord spoke concerning the house of Ahab; for the Lord has done what He spoke #1 Kin. 21:17–24, 29by His servant Elijah.” 11So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men and his close acquaintances and his priests, until he left him none remaining.
Ahaziah’s Forty-two Brothers Killed
12And he arose and departed and went to Samaria. On the way, at Beth Eked of the Shepherds, 13#2 Chr. 22:8Jehu met with the brothers of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, “Who are you?”
So they answered, “We are the brothers of Ahaziah; we have come down to greet the sons of the king and the sons of the queen mother.”
14And he said, “Take them alive!” So they took them alive, and #2 Chr. 22:8killed them at the well of Beth Eked, forty-two men; and he left none of them.
The Rest of Ahab’s Family Killed
15Now when he departed from there, he met #Jer. 35:6Jehonadab the son of #1 Chr. 2:55Rechab, coming to meet him; and he greeted him and said to him, “Is your heart right, as my heart is toward your heart?”
And Jehonadab answered, “It is.”
Jehu said, “If it is, #Ezra 10:19; Ezek. 17:18give me your hand.” So he gave him his hand, and he took him up to him into the chariot. 16Then he said, “Come with me, and see my #1 Kin. 19:10zeal for the Lord.” So they had him ride in his chariot. 17And when he came to Samaria, #2 Kin. 9:8; 2 Chr. 22:8he killed all who remained to Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed them, according to the word of the Lord #1 Kin. 21:21, 29which He spoke to Elijah.
Worshipers of Baal Killed
18Then Jehu gathered all the people together, and said to them, #1 Kin. 16:31, 32“Ahab served Baal a little, Jehu will serve him much. 19Now therefore, call to me all the #1 Kin. 18:19; 22:6prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests. Let no one be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal. Whoever is missing shall not live.” But Jehu acted deceptively, with the intent of destroying the worshipers of Baal. 20And Jehu said, “Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal.” So they proclaimed it. 21Then Jehu sent throughout all Israel; and all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. So they came into the temple of Baal, and the #1 Kin. 16:32; 2 Kin. 11:18temple of Baal was full from one end to the other. 22And he said to the one in charge of the wardrobe, “Bring out vestments for all the worshipers of Baal.” So he brought out vestments for them. 23Then Jehu and Jehonadab the son of Rechab went into the temple of Baal, and said to the worshipers of Baal, “Search and see that no servants of the Lord are here with you, but only the worshipers of Baal.” 24So they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had appointed for himself eighty men on the outside, and had said, “If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escapes, whoever lets him escape, it shall be #1 Kin. 20:39his life for the life of the other.”
25Now it happened, 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 kill them; let no one come out!” And they killed them with the edge of the sword; then the guards and the officers threw them out, and went into the inner room of the temple of Baal. 26And they brought the #(Deut. 7:5, 25); 1 Kin. 14:23; 2 Kin. 3:2sacred pillars out of the temple of Baal and burned them. 27Then they broke down the sacred pillar of Baal, and tore down the temple of Baal and #Ezra 6:11; Dan. 2:5; 3:29made it a refuse dump to this day. 28Thus Jehu destroyed Baal from Israel.
29However Jehu did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin, that is, from #1 Kin. 12:28–30; 13:33, 34the golden calves that were at Bethel and Dan. 30And the Lord #2 Kin. 9:6, 7said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in doing what is right in My sight, and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, #2 Kin. 13:1, 10; 14:23; 15:8, 12your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” 31But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart; for he did not depart from #1 Kin. 14:16the sins of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin.
Death of Jehu
32In those days the Lord began to cut off parts of Israel; and #1 Kin. 19:17; 2 Kin. 8:12; 13:22Hazael conquered them in all the territory of Israel 33from the Jordan eastward: all the land of Gilead—Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh—from #Deut. 2:36Aroer, which is by the River Arnon, including #Amos 1:3–5Gilead and Bashan.
34Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 35So Jehu rested with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. Then #2 Kin. 13:1Jehoahaz his son reigned in his place. 36And the period that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.