2 Kings 9&10: Jehu

Jehu may have been selected as king because God knew he would rid the land of Ahab's disastrous lineage, but Jehu isn't a Godly king by any stretch of the imagination.


Back in 1 Kings, God told Elijah that Jehu was to be king of Israel, though He didn't specify when. This is similar to God's revelation that David would be king, despite that fact that Saul would continue to be king for quite some time after the revelation. 2 Kings 9 tells us of Jehu's anointing and 2 Kings 10 tells us a bit about his reign. Jehu may have been selected as king because God knew he would rid the land of Ahab's disastrous lineage, but Jehu isn't a Godly king by any stretch of the imagination.


Elisha instructs one of the prophets to anoint Jehu as king. Part of those instructions include fleeing after the job is done. At the time, Jehu was the captain of the army, likely entangled in battle. God had forewarned that He would cut of Ahab's line and Jehu was the fulfillment of this.

Taking the Throne

Photocredit: Movila
When Jehu's men follow him without hesitation, he begins to conspire against Jehoram, the current king of Israel. Jehu goes to see Jehoram while Jehoram is recovering from battle wounds. On guard, Jehoram sends 3 messenger to find out if Jehu is approaching in peace or anger, but not of the messengers return. Finally, Jehoram and Ahaziah (king of Judah) ride out to meet Jehu. Ironically, they meet Jehu on the same land that Ahab had stolen from Naboth in 1 Kings 21.

Killing Jehoram

When Jehoram confronts Jehu, Jehu calls out Jezebel's idolatry and witchcraft, which had been plaguing the country. Jehoram flees; Jehu does not let him get away, instead he shoots him with a bow and arrow. The arrow goes straight through Jehoram's heart. His body is dumped in Naboth's field.

Ahazaiah is killed in this confrontation, as well. His servants take him back to Jerusalem to be buried with the rest of David's line. This was not part of God's instruction specifically, but it is possible Jehu believed he was accomplishing God's will since Ahaziah's mother was from Ahab's lineage.

Killing Jezebel

When Jehu gets back to the palace, he takes over brazenly and decrees that Jezebel be thrown from the window in which she stands. Her dead body is left where it falsl as Jehu enjoys a meal. When Jehu finally commands the men to dispose of her body, only parts of it can be found. They recognize this as fulfillment of Elijah's prophecy that Jezebel would be eaten by dogs.

Killing Ahab's Sons

Ahab had 70 sons, which means he probably had quite a few wives, though some of these "sons" may have been grandsons. Jehu issues letters to them all, challenging them to fight for their father's lost throne. In a second letter, Jehu challenges the people of the city to kill these heirs to the throne to prove their loyalty. The people take up Jehu's challenge and deliver the heads of all 70 sons to him in baskets.

Jehu takes God's command to rid the nation of Ahab's lineage as permission to kill everyone associated with Ahab (which is not what God said). Jehu kills Ahab's "great men" (likely the other captains) and priests. Jehu kills an entourage of Ahaziah's brethren who seem to be on their way to pay their respects. It seems as though Jehu became bloodthirsty with power. Unlike others who kept God in focus once they assumed the throne, Jehu was like Saul, he let the power go to his head. Jehu was no longer carrying out God's order, he was snuffing out his detractors and competition.

Allies & Enemies

Jehu makes himself an ally with Jehonadab who was the son of Rechab. Jehonadab was a religious leader in the kingdom. Together, they continue killing those loyal to Ahab.

Jehu tricks the worshippers of Baal to gather in the pagan worship center. He cons them into believing that he will serve Baal the way Ahab's family had. When the people assemble, he orders them killed. He orders the images and worship center destroyed.

God was ready to reward Jehu for following His command, but Jehu did not want to follow God's law. Jehu continues in the ways of the kings before him, leading Israel to continue to sin despite having purged the kingdom of Jezebel along with Ahab's sons.

Because Jehu is still a sinful king however, God allows Hazael to advance into Israel's territory. Jehu reigns for 28 years; when he dies, his son Jehoahaz becomes king.



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