2 Your master’s sons are with you, and you have chariots, horses, a fortified city, and weaponry, so when this letterk arrives 3 select the most qualifiedC of your master’s sons, set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.
4 However, they were terrified and reasoned, “Look, two kingsl couldn’t stand against him; how can we?”
5 So the overseer of the palace, the overseer of the city, the elders, and the guardians sent a message to Jehu: “We are your servants, and we will do whatever you tell us. We will not make anyone king. Do whatever you think is right.”D,m
If you are on my side, and if you will obey me, bring me the heads of your master’s sonsE at this time tomorrow at Jezreel.
All seventy of the king’s sons were being cared for by the city’s prominent men. 7 When the letter came to them, they took the king’s sons and slaughtered all seventy, put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jehu at Jezreel. 8 When the messenger came and told him, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons,” the king said, “Pile them in two heaps at the entrance of the city gate until morning.”
9 The next morning when he went out and stood at the gate, he said to all the people, “You are innocent. It was I who conspired against my master and killed him.n But who struck down all these? 10 Know, then, that not a word the Lord spoke against the house of Ahab will fail,o for the Lord has done what he promised through his servant Elijah.”p 11 So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel—all his great men, close friends, and priests—leaving him no survivors.
14 Then Jehu ordered, “Take them alive.” So they took them alive and then slaughtered them at the pit of Beth-eked—forty-two men. He didn’t spare any of them.s
“It is,” Jehonadab replied.
So he gave him his hand, and Jehu pulled him up into the chariot with him. 16 Then he said, “Come with me and see my zealv for the Lord!” So he let him ride with him in his chariot. 17 When Jehu came to Samaria, he struck down all who remained from the house of Ahab in Samaria until he had annihilated his house, according to the word of the Lord spoken to Elijah.w
18 Then Jehu brought all the people together and said to them, “Ahab served Baalx a little, but Jehu will serve him a lot. 19 Now, therefore, summon to me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests.a None must be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal. Whoever is missing will not live.” However, Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy the servants of Baal. 20 Jehu commanded, “Consecrate a solemn assemblyb for Baal.” So they called one.
21 Then Jehu sent messengers throughout all Israel, and all the servants of BaalA came; no one failed to come.c They entered the temple of Baal,d and it was filled from one end to the other. 22 Then he said to the custodian of the wardrobe, “Bring out the garments for all the servants of Baal.” So he brought out their garments.
23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rechab entered the temple of Baal, and Jehu said to the servants of Baal, “Look carefully to see that there are no servants of the Lord here among you—only servants of Baal.” 24 Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings.
Now Jehu had stationed eighty men outside, and he warned them, “Whoever allows any of the men I am placing in your hands to escape will forfeit his life for theirs.”e 25 When he finished offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guards and officers, “Go in and kill them. Don’t let anyone out.”f So they struck them down with the sword. Then the guards and officers threw the bodies out and went into the inner room of the temple of Baal. 26 They brought out the pillar of the temple of Baal and burned it, 27 and they tore down the pillarg of Baal. Then they tore down the temple of Baal and made it a latrineh—which it still is today.
28 Jehu eliminated Baal worship from Israel, 29 but he did not turn away from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit—worshiping the gold calves that were in Bethel and Dan.i 30 Nevertheless, the Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my sight and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in my heart, four generations of your sons will sit on the throne of Israel.”j
32 In those days the Lord began to reduce the size of Israel.k Hazaell defeated the Israelites throughout their territory 33 from the Jordan eastward: the whole land of Gilead—the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the Manassites—from Aroerm which is by the Arnon Valleyn through Gilead to Bashan.B
34 The rest of the events of Jehu’s reign, along with all his accomplishments and all his might, are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings.o 35 Jehu rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. His son Jehoahazp became king in his place. 36 The length of Jehu’s reign over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.q
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