SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
2 Kings 9:1-11:21
9:1 Now Elisha the prophet summoned a member of the prophetic guild and told him, “Tuck your robes into your belt, take this container of olive oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth Gilead. 2 When you arrive there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi and take him aside into an inner room. 3 Take the container of olive oil, pour it over his head, and say, ‘This is what the Lord has said, “I have designated you as king over Israel.”’ Then open the door and run away quickly!”
4 So the young prophet went to Ramoth Gilead. 5 When he arrived, the officers of the army were sitting there. So he said, “I have a message for you, O officer.” Jehu asked, “For which one of us?” He replied, “For you, O officer.” 6 So Jehu got up and went inside. Then the prophet poured the olive oil on his head and said to him, “This is what the Lord God of Israel has said, ‘I have designated you as king over the Lord’s people Israel. 7 You will destroy the family of your master Ahab. I will get revenge against Jezebel for the shed blood of my servants the prophets and for the shed blood of all the Lord’s servants. 8 Ahab’s entire family will die. I will cut off every last male belonging to Ahab in Israel, including even the weak and incapacitated. 9 I will make Ahab’s dynasty like those of Jeroboam son of Nebat and Baasha son of Ahijah. 10 Dogs will devour Jezebel on the plot of ground in Jezreel; she will not be buried.’” Then he opened the door and ran away.
11 When Jehu rejoined his master’s servants, they asked him, “Is everything all right? Why did this madman visit you?” He replied, “Ah, it’s not important. You know what kind of man he is and the kinds of things he says.” 12 But they said, “You’re lying! Tell us what he said.” So he told them what he had said. He also related how he had said, “This is what the Lord has said, ‘I have designated you as king over Israel.’” 13 Each of them quickly took off his cloak, and they spread them out at Jehu’s feet on the steps. The trumpet was blown and they shouted, “Jehu is king!” 14 Then Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi conspired against Joram.
Jehu the Assassin
Now Joram had been in Ramoth Gilead with the whole Israelite army, guarding against an invasion by King Hazael of Syria. 15 But King Joram had returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds he received from the Syrians when he fought against King Hazael of Syria. Jehu told his supporters, “If you really want me to be king, then don’t let anyone escape from the city to go and warn Jezreel.” 16 Jehu drove his chariot to Jezreel, for Joram was recuperating there. (Now King Ahaziah of Judah had come down to visit Joram.)
17 Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel and saw Jehu’s troops approaching. He said, “I see troops!” Joram ordered, “Send a rider out to meet them and have him ask, ‘Is everything all right?’” 18 So the horseman went to meet him and said, “This is what the king says, ‘Is everything all right?’” Jehu replied, “None of your business! Follow me.” The watchman reported, “The messenger reached them, but hasn’t started back.” 19 So he sent a second horseman out to them and he said, “This is what the king says, ‘Is everything all right?’” Jehu replied, “None of your business! Follow me.” 20 The watchman reported, “He reached them, but hasn’t started back. The one who drives the lead chariot drives like Jehu son of Nimshi; he drives recklessly.” 21 Joram ordered, “Hitch up my chariot.” When his chariot had been hitched up, King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah went out in their respective chariots to meet Jehu. They met up with him in the plot of land that had once belonged to Naboth of Jezreel.
22 When Joram saw Jehu, he asked, “Is everything all right, Jehu?” He replied, “How can everything be all right as long as your mother Jezebel promotes idolatry and pagan practices?” 23 Joram turned his chariot around and took off. He said to Ahaziah, “It’s a trap, Ahaziah!” 24 Jehu aimed his bow and shot an arrow right between Joram’s shoulders. The arrow went through his heart and he fell to his knees in his chariot. 25 Jehu ordered his officer Bidkar, “Pick him up and throw him into the part of the field that once belonged to Naboth of Jezreel. Remember, you and I were riding together behind his father, Ahab, when the Lord pronounced this oracle against him, 26 ‘“Know for sure that I saw the shed blood of Naboth and his sons yesterday,” says the Lord, “and that I will give you what you deserve right here in this plot of land,” says the Lord.’ So now pick him up and throw him into this plot of land, just as in the Lord’s message.”
27 When King Ahaziah of Judah saw what happened, he took off up the road to Beth Haggan. Jehu chased him and ordered, “Shoot him too.” They shot him while he was driving his chariot up the ascent of Gur near Ibleam. He fled to Megiddo and died there. 28 His servants took his body back to Jerusalem and buried him in his tomb with his ancestors in the City of David. 29 Ahaziah had become king over Judah in the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab.
30 Jehu approached Jezreel. When Jezebel heard the news, she put on some eye liner, fixed up her hair, and leaned out the window. 31 When Jehu came through the gate, she said, “Is everything all right, Zimri, murderer of his master?” 32 He looked up at the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked down at him. 33 He said, “Throw her down!” So they threw her down, and when she hit the ground, her blood splattered against the wall and the horses, and Jehu drove his chariot over her. 34 He went inside and had a meal. Then he said, “Dispose of this accursed woman’s corpse. Bury her, for after all, she was a king’s daughter.” 35 But when they went to bury her, they found nothing left but the skull, feet, and palms of the hands. 36 So they went back and told him. Then he said, “It is the fulfillment of the Lord’s message that he had spoken through his servant, Elijah the Tishbite, ‘In the plot of land at Jezreel, dogs will devour Jezebel’s flesh. 37 Jezebel’s corpse will be like manure on the surface of the ground in the plot of land at Jezreel. People will not be able to even recognize her.’”
10:1 Ahab had 70 sons living in Samaria. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria to the leading officials of Jezreel and to the guardians of Ahab’s dynasty. This is what the letters said, 2 “You have with you the sons of your master, chariots and horses, a fortified city, and weapons. So when this letter arrives, 3 pick the best and most capable of your master’s sons, place him on his father’s throne, and defend your master’s dynasty.”
4 They were absolutely terrified and said, “Look, two kings could not stop him! How can we?” 5 So the palace supervisor, the city commissioner, the leaders, and the guardians sent this message to Jehu, “We are your subjects! Whatever you say, we will do. We will not make anyone king. Do what you consider proper.”
6 He wrote them a second letter, saying, “If you are really on my side and are willing to obey me, then take the heads of your master’s sons and come to me in Jezreel at this time tomorrow.” Now the king had 70 sons, and the prominent men of the city were raising them. 7 When they received the letter, they seized the king’s sons and executed all 70 of them. They put their heads in baskets and sent them to him in Jezreel. 8 The messenger came and told Jehu, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons.” Jehu said, “Stack them in two piles at the entrance of the city gate until morning.” 9 In the morning he went out and stood there. Then he said to all the people, “You are innocent. I conspired against my master and killed him. But who struck down all of these men? 10 Therefore take note that not one of the Lord’s words which he pronounced against Ahab’s dynasty will fail to materialize. The Lord has done what he announced through his servant Elijah.” 11 Then Jehu killed all who were left of Ahab’s family in Jezreel, and all his nobles, close friends, and priests. He left no survivors.
12 Jehu then left there and set out for Samaria. While he was traveling through Beth Eked of the Shepherds, 13 Jehu encountered the relatives of King Ahaziah of Judah. He asked, “Who are you?” They replied, “We are Ahaziah’s relatives. We have come down to see how the king’s sons and the queen mother’s sons are doing.” 14 He said, “Capture them alive!” So they captured them alive and then executed all 42 of them by the cistern at Beth Eked. He left no survivors.
15 When he left there, he met Jehonadab son of Rekab who had been looking for him. Jehu greeted him and asked, “Are you as committed to me as I am to you?” Jehonadab answered, “I am!” Jehu replied, “If so, give me your hand.” So he offered his hand and Jehu pulled him up into the chariot. 16 Jehu said, “Come with me and see how zealous I am for the Lord’s cause.” So he took him along in his chariot. 17 He went to Samaria and killed each of Ahab’s remaining family members who were in Samaria until he destroyed them, in keeping with the Lord’s message which he had announced to Elijah.
18 Jehu assembled all the people and said to them, “Ahab worshiped Baal a little; Jehu will worship him with great devotion. 19 So now, bring to me all the prophets of Baal, as well as all his servants and priests. None of them must be absent, for I am offering a great sacrifice to Baal. Any of them who fails to appear will lose his life.” But Jehu was tricking them so he could destroy the servants of Baal. 20 Then Jehu ordered, “Make arrangements for a celebration for Baal.” So they announced it. 21 Jehu sent invitations throughout Israel, and all the servants of Baal came; not one was absent. They arrived at the temple of Baal and filled it up from end to end. 22 Jehu ordered the one who was in charge of the wardrobe, “Bring out robes for all the servants of Baal.” So he brought out robes for them. 23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rekab went to the temple of Baal. Jehu said to the servants of Baal, “Make sure there are no servants of the Lord here with you; there must be only servants of Baal.” 24 They went inside to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed 80 men outside. He had told them, “If any of the men inside gets away, you will pay with your lives!”
25 When he finished offering the burnt sacrifice, Jehu ordered the royal guard and officers, “Come in and strike them down! Don’t let any escape!” So the royal guard and officers struck them down with the sword and left their bodies lying there. Then they entered the inner sanctuary of the temple of Baal. 26 They hauled out the sacred pillar of the temple of Baal and burned it. 27 They demolished the sacred pillar of Baal and the temple of Baal; it is used as a latrine to this very day. 28 So Jehu eradicated Baal worship from Israel.
29 However, Jehu did not repudiate the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had encouraged Israel to commit; the golden calves remained in Bethel and Dan. 30 The Lord said to Jehu, “You have done well. You have accomplished my will and carried out my wishes with regard to Ahab’s dynasty. Therefore four generations of your descendants will rule over Israel.” 31 But Jehu did not carefully and wholeheartedly obey the law of the Lord God of Israel. He did not repudiate the sins which Jeroboam had encouraged Israel to commit.
32 In those days the Lord began to reduce the size of Israel’s territory. Hazael attacked their eastern border. 33 He conquered all the land of Gilead, including the territory of Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh, extending all the way from the Aroer in the Arnon Valley through Gilead to Bashan.
34 The rest of the events of Jehu’s reign, including all his accomplishments and successes, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 35 Jehu passed away and was buried in Samaria. His son Jehoahaz replaced him as king. 36 Jehu reigned over Israel for 28 years in Samaria.
11:1 When Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, saw that her son was dead, she was determined to destroy the entire royal line. 2 So Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, took Ahaziah’s son Joash and stole him away from the rest of the royal descendants who were to be executed. She hid him and his nurse in the room where the bed covers were stored. So he was hidden from Athaliah and escaped execution. 3 He hid out with his nurse in the Lord’s temple for six years, while Athaliah was ruling over the land.
4 In the seventh year Jehoiada summoned the officers of the units of hundreds of the Carians and the royal bodyguard. He met with them in the Lord’s temple. He made an agreement with them and made them swear an oath of allegiance in the Lord’s temple. Then he showed them the king’s son. 5 He ordered them, “This is what you must do. One third of the unit that is on duty during the Sabbath will guard the royal palace. 6 Another third of you will be stationed at the Foundation Gate. Still another third of you will be stationed at the gate behind the royal guard. You will take turns guarding the palace. 7 The two units who are off duty on the Sabbath will guard the Lord’s temple and protect the king. 8 You must surround the king. Each of you must hold his weapon in his hand. Whoever approaches your ranks must be killed. You must accompany the king wherever he goes.”
9 The officers of the units of hundreds did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered. Each of them took his men, those who were on duty during the Sabbath as well as those who were off duty on the Sabbath, and reported to Jehoiada the priest. 10 The priest gave to the officers of the units of hundreds King David’s spears and the shields that were kept in the Lord’s temple. 11 The royal bodyguard took their stations, each holding his weapon in his hand. They lined up from the south side of the temple to the north side and stood near the altar and the temple, surrounding the king. 12 Jehoiada led out the king’s son and placed on him the crown and the royal insignia. They proclaimed him king and poured olive oil on his head. They clapped their hands and cried out, “Long live the king!”
13 When Athaliah heard the royal guard shout, she joined the crowd at the Lord’s temple. 14 Then she saw the king standing by the pillar, according to custom. The officers stood beside the king with their trumpets, and all the people of the land were celebrating and blowing trumpets. Athaliah tore her clothes and screamed, “Treason, treason!” 15 Jehoiada the priest ordered the officers of the units of hundreds, who were in charge of the army, “Bring her outside the temple to the guards. Put to death by the sword anyone who follows her.” The priest gave this order because he had decided she should not be executed in the Lord’s temple. 16 They seized her and took her into the precincts of the royal palace through the horses’ entrance. There she was executed.
17 Jehoiada then drew up a covenant between the Lord and the king and people, stipulating that they should be loyal to the Lord. 18 All the people of the land went and demolished the temple of Baal. They smashed its altars and idols to bits. They killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altar. Jehoiada the priest then placed guards at the Lord’s temple. 19 He took the officers of the units of hundreds, the Carians, the royal bodyguard, and all the people of the land, and together they led the king down from the Lord’s temple. They entered the royal palace through the Gate of the Royal Bodyguard, and the king sat down on the royal throne. 20 All the people of the land celebrated, for the city had rest now that they had killed Athaliah with the sword in the royal palace.
21 (12:1) Jehoash was seven years old when he began to reign.