Today: [2 Kings Chapter Nine] Death of Jezebel. In earlier chapters Jehu, a commander in the northern tribes is anointed as king in Ahab’s place. He doesn’t act immediately and now Elijah’s successor Elisha sends a young prophet to anoint Jehu again. Jewish sources believe that this unnamed young prophet is actually Jonah who after anointing Jehu flees. Jehu rises up and assassinates the king of Israel and the king of Judah as well bringing an end to their idolatrous association. He further goes to finish off Jezebel thus destroying completely the house of Omri and Ahab.
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[2Ki 9:1-37 KJV] 1 And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramothgilead: 2 And when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber; 3 Then take the box of oil, and pour [it] on his head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not. 4 So the young man, [even] the young man the prophet, went to Ramothgilead. 5 And when he came, behold, the captains of the host [were] sitting; and he said, I have an errand to thee, O captain. And Jehu said, Unto which of all us? And he said, To thee, O captain. 6 And he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the LORD, [even] over Israel. 7 And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel. 8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel: 9 And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah: 10 And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and [there shall be] none to bury [her]. And he opened the door, and fled.
In this chapter the confederacy between the two idolatrous kings of Israel and Judah is brought to a bloody end by the word of the Lord through Elisha. Elisha is yet living temporarily among the sons of the prophets at Jordan where they have built a new compound for themselves. Elisha calls out one of their number and gives him a box of oil with specific instructions. Jewish sources identify this unnamed young prophet as the Prophet Jonah who is later sent to Ninevah. The young man is to anoint Jehu king over Israel. Jehu is found in history as briefly serving as Israel’s king being found mentioned in an inscription on an obelisk dated approximately 800 before Christ.
Who was Jehu? He was a commander serving in Ahab’s army. He was anointed previously as well but now is anointed a second time to show that his time had come to act and take the throne by force. Elisha instructs the young prophet to call Jehu aside secretly for the ceremony of anointing in order no doubt to give Jehu time to respond and gather his forces without arousing suspicion. Jehu is the only king of the northern tribes to be anointed as king, indicating that he is to follow in the Davidic traditions initiated when Samuel anointed Saul and then later David as well.
When the young prophet anoints Jehu he goes on to tell him that he will strike down the house of Ahab and exterminate his family line. We don’t see in the record that Elisha actually instructed him to say this – either it is not recorded or he was speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit and added to Elisha’s instruction.
11 Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and [one] said unto him, [Is] all well? wherefore came this mad [fellow] to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication. 12 And they said, [It is] false; tell us now. And he said, Thus and thus spake he to me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. 13 Then they hasted, and took every man his garment, and put [it] under him on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king. 14 So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramothgilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria. 15 But king Joram was returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) And Jehu said, If it be your minds, [then] let none go forth [nor] escape out of the city to go to tell [it] in Jezreel. 16 So Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to Jezreel; for Joram lay there. And Ahaziah king of Judah was come down to see Joram. 17 And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, [Is it] peace? 18 So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus saith the king, [Is it] peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again. 19 Then he sent out a second on horseback, which came to them, and said, Thus saith the king, [Is it] peace? And Jehu answered, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. 20 And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving [is] like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously. 21 And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, [Is it] peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts [are so] many? 23 And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, [There is] treachery, O Ahaziah. 24 And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot. 25 Then said [Jehu] to Bidkar his captain, Take up, [and] cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite: for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the LORD laid this burden upon him; 26 Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons, saith the LORD; and I will requite thee in this plat, saith the LORD. Now therefore take [and] cast him into the plat [of ground], according to the word of the LORD. 27 But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw [this], he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. [And they did so] at the going up to Gur, which [is] by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there.
Jehu is anointed by the young prophet sent by Elisha and returns to the outer chamber and the company of commanders he is billeted with. They inquire what the young prophet said to him referring to him as a “madman”. Jehu retorts that they knew exactly what was said no doubt being aware that they were eavesdropping at the door when the anointing ceremony was carried out. Though Jehu’s fellow commanders thought the young prophet mad they nonetheless took the prophetic word seriously and run out declaring the Jehu is king.
So Jehu is pronounced king and instead of sending assassins after king Joram he goes to take care of things himself. Joram is still recovering from wounds received in battle and his sentries see riders approaching. They can tell by the furious manner of Jehu’s driving the chariot that it is he. The king of Judah is with him also and they mount into the chariots and go out to meet the approaching men. Jehu declares war against Joram and Joram attempts to flee but is felled by an arrow from Jehu’s bow. The king of Judah also tries to flee but is cut down as well. You will note the justice being carried out in the placement where all this happened. Jehu meets with the kings on the property of Naboth who Ahab slew in order to seize his vineyard. After Joram is slain his body is dumped in Naboth’s fateful vineyard. Jehu specifically instructs his men to do this because he sees himself as a fulfiller of the word of the Lord through Elijah and Elisha.
28 And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city of David. 29 And in the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah. 30 And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard [of it]; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window. 31 And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, [Had] Zimri peace, who slew his master? 32 And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who [is] on my side? who? And there looked out to him two [or] three eunuchs. 33 And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and [some] of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot. 34 And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed [woman], and bury her: for she [is] a king’s daughter. 35 And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of [her] hands. 36 Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This [is] the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: 37 And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; [so] that they shall not say, This [is] Jezebel.
When Jehu turns his attention to Jezebel she presents herself to him in an alluring fashion and refers to him as Zimri the man who assinated Baasha the second king of Israel. Zimri was also a commander in the Northern army and Jezebel is insulting him by calling him this. Zimri after killing Baasha became the third king in Israel who was subsequently overthrown by Omri, Ahab’s grandfather. Zimri in despair had burned the royal house down on top of himself which is Jezebel’s way of predicting the outcome of this matter where Jehu is concerned.
Jehu calls upon three Eunuchs nearby to throw Jezebel down and he tramples over her body with his horses. In near eastern culture the desecration of a dead body was a terrible thing and is a fitting treatment of the body of this person who caused so much sin and grief in Israel. Thus the blood of Naboth was avenged in the matter of his death regarding his vineyard which Ahab stole. Jezebel’s body is so contaminated that the beasts which ate what was left of her did not take the soles of her hands and her feet.
In this story one of the striking things is what it took to bring Jezebel down. Jezebel was a master of seduction and manipulation but there were three Eunuchs who were immune to her charms. When you are dealing with a Jezebel mentality you must determine to not to be manipulated by her wiles. She is always found in king’s houses close to power. She is very presumptuous and disdainful of those she thinks are beneath her but can be brought down by men and women who refuse to be manipulated.
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