1Ahab had 70 sons in Samaria. Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria to the rulers and leaders of Jezreel. He also sent the letters to the people that raised Ahab’s sons. ˻In the letters Jehu˼ said, 2- 3“As soon as you get this letter, choose the person that is the best and most worthy among your father’s sons. You have chariots and horses. And you are living in a strong city. You also have weapons. Put the son you choose on his father’s throne. Then fight for your father’s family.” 4But the rulers and leaders of Jezreel were very much afraid. They said, “The two kings ˻(Joram and Ahaziah)˼ could not stop Jehu. So we can’t stop him either!” 5The man that took care of Ahab’s house, the man that controlled the city, the elders, and the people who raised ˻Ahab’s children˼ sent a message to Jehu. “We are your servants. We will do anything you tell us. We will not make any man king. Do what you think is good.” 6Then Jehu wrote a second letter to these leaders. Jehu said, “If you support me and obey me, then cut off the heads of Ahab’s sons. And bring them to me at Jezreel about this time tomorrow. Ahab had 70 sons. They were with the leaders of the city that raised them. 7When the leaders of the city received the letter, they took the king’s sons and killed all 70 of them. Then the leaders put the heads of the king’s sons in baskets. They sent the baskets to Jehu at Jezreel. 8The messenger came to Jehu and told him, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons!” Then Jehu said, “Lay the heads in two piles at the city gate until morning.” 9In the morning, Jehu went out and stood before the people. He said to the people, “You are innocent. Look, I made plans against my master. I killed him. But who killed all these sons of Ahab? You killed them! 10You should know that everything the Lord says will happen. And the Lord used Elijah to say these things about Ahab’s family. Now the Lord has done the things he said he would do.” 11So Jehu killed all the people in Ahab’s family living in Jezreel. Jehu killed all the important men, close friends, and priests. None of Ahab’s people were left alive. 12Jehu left Jezreel and went to Samaria. On the way, Jehu stopped at a place called Shepherd’s Camp, ˻where the shepherds cut wool from their sheep˼. 13Jehu met with the relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah. Jehu said ˻to them˼, “Who are you?” They answered, “We are the relatives of Ahaziah, king of Judah. We have come down to visit the king’s children and the queen mother’s children. 14Then Jehu said ˻to his men˼, “Take them alive!” Jehu’s men captured Ahaziah’s relatives alive. There were 42 people. Jehu killed them at the well near Beth Eked. Jehu did not leave any person alive. 15After Jehu left there, he met Jehonadab son of Recab. Jehonadab was on his way to meet Jehu. Jehu greeted Jehonadab and said to him, “Are you a faithful friend to me, as I am to you?” Jehonadab answered, “Yes, I am a faithful friend to you.” Jehu said, “If you are, then give me your hand.” Then Jehu reached out and pulled Jehonadab up into the chariot. 16Jehu said, “Come with me. You can see how strong my feelings are for the Lord.” So Jehonadab rode in Jehu’s chariot. 17Jehu came to Samaria and killed all Ahab’s family that were still alive in Samaria. Jehu killed them all. Jehu did the things that the Lord had told Elijah. 18Then Jehu gathered all the people together. Jehu said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little. But Jehu will serve Baal much! 19Now call together all the priests and prophets of Baal. And call together all the people that worship Baal. Don’t let any person miss this meeting. I have a great sacrifice to give to Baal. I will kill any person that doesn’t come to this meeting!” But Jehu was tricking them. Jehu wanted to destroy the worshipers of Baal. 20Jehu said, “Prepare a holy meeting for Baal.” And the priests announced the meeting. 21Then Jehu sent a message through all the land of Israel. All the worshipers of Baal came. There was not a person that stayed home. The Baal worshipers came into the temple of Baal. The temple was filled with people. 22Jehu said to the man that kept the robes, “Bring out the robes for all the worshipers of Baal.” So that man brought out the robes for the Baal worshipers. 23Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Recab went into the temple of Baal. Jehu said to the worshipers of Baal, “Look around and be sure that there are no servants of the Lord with you. Be sure there are only people that worship Baal.” 24The worshipers of Baal went into the temple of Baal to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. But outside, Jehu had 80 men waiting. Jehu told them, “Don’t let any of the people escape. If any man lets one person escape, then that man must pay with his own life. 25Quickly after Jehu had finished offering the burnt offering, he said to the guards and to the captains, “Go in and kill the worshipers of Baal! Don’t let any person come out of the temple alive!” So the captains used thin swords and killed the worshipers of Baal. The guards and the captains threw the bodies of the worshipers of Baal out. Then the guards and the captains went to the inner room of the temple of Baal. 26They brought out the memorial stones that were in the temple of Baal and burned the temple. 27Then they smashed the memorial stones of Baal. They also smashed the temple of Baal. They made the temple of Baal into a restroom. People still use that place as a toilet. 28So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel. 29But Jehu did not completely turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat that caused Israel to sin. Jehu did not destroy the golden calves in Bethel and in Dan. 30The Lord said to Jehu, “You have done well. You have done the things that I say are good. You destroyed Ahab’s family the way I wanted you to. So your descendants will rule Israel for four generations.” 31But Jehu was not careful to live in the law of the Lord with all his heart. Jehu did not stop doing the sins of Jeroboam that caused Israel to sin. 32At that time, the Lord began to cut parts from Israel. Hazael king of Aram defeated the Israelites on every border of Israel. 33Hazael won the land east of the Jordan River—all the land of Gilead, including the land that belonged to the family groups of Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh. Hazael won all the land from Aroer by the Arnon Valley to Gilead and Bashan. 34All the other great things that Jehu did are written in the book The History of the Kings of Israel. 35Jehu died and was buried with his ancestors. The people buried Jehu in Samaria. Jehu’s son Jehoahaz became the new king of Israel after him. 36Jehu ruled over Israel in Samaria for 28 years.
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