Jehu Kills Jezebel—and Many Others!
JUNE 5 - Nº 156 [2 Kings 9:30 – 10:36]
After Jehu killed the two kings (see #155 - Jehu Shakes Things Up), he went back to find Jezebel. When she heard that he was coming, she put on her makeup, brushed her hair, and sat by her upstairs window. When Jehu arrived, she called down to him, “Why are you here? Have you come to murder more people now that you’ve murdered your master?” Jehu looked up at the window and yelled, “Is there anyone up there who is on my side?” Some of Jezebel’s attendants stuck their heads out of windows. “Throw her down!” Jehu commanded. They threw her out of the open window, and her blood spattered on the wall. The horses were spooked and trampled her under their feet. Later, Jehu ordered his men to bury Jezebel properly, but all they could find were her skull, her hands, and her feet. When they told Jehu, he responded, “God told Elijah this would happen on that plot of ground at Jezreel. He said that dogs would devour Jezebel’s flesh, and her body would be spread out in their dung so no one could say, ‘Here is Jezebel’s body.’” Next, Jehu sent letters to the guardians of Ahab’s children who were in the palace in Samaria. He wrote, “You are responsible for the 70 sons of Ahab. Now choose one of them to be your king. You already have all the horses and chariots and weapons you need, so prepare to fight against me for his right to be on the throne.” The guardians were terrified. They said, “How can we possibly win against Jehu? He has just defeated two strong kings!” They returned this message: “We don’t want any of Ahab’s sons to be our king. We want to serve you. We will do anything you tell us to do.” Jehu wrote back, “If this is really true, cut off the heads of all 70 of Ahab’s sons and send them to me by this time tomorrow.” So the leaders in Samaria killed all 70 princes. They placed their heads in baskets and sent them to Jehu. Then Jehu annihilated everyone in Jezreel who had ever supported King Ahab. He boasted about his “zeal for the Lord.” When he had removed all of Ahab’s followers, King Jehu decided that he would get rid of Baal worship, too. He devised a plan. He pretended that he worshiped the false god even more religiously than King Ahab had. He proclaimed a national day of sacrifice and invited Baal worshipers from all over Israel to attend. They gathered in the temple that Ahab had built in Samaria. When everyone was inside, Jehu announced that this service was only for servants of Baal. Anyone who was a worshiper of God had to leave the temple immediately. As the Baal worshipers began to offer their sacrifices, Jehu walked outside. He told his soldiers, “Now, go in and kill everyone!” His men followed his directions. No one escaped. Then he demolished the altar and tore down the temple of Baal. God praised Jehu for eliminating Baal worship and promised that his family would reign on the throne of Israel for four generations. However, God was not happy that Jehu continued to worship the golden calves that Jeroboam had set up at Bethel and Dan (see #132 - Jeroboam's Sin).
Some of Jehu’s actions were very good.
He physically wiped out many of the evil practices that had led Israel away from God. But many times he didn’t stop and ask God what to do. His misdirected zeal caused him to kill many innocent people that God never intended for him to harm (like all the people he slaughtered at Jezreel). When you are serving God, do you take time to talk to Him? Do you make sure you are accomplishing the task the way He wants you to?