While Joram, king of Israel, was recuperating from injuries sustained in battle, Elisha the prophet was instructed to have Jehu anointed king over Israel. Judah’s king, Ahaziah, had gone to visit Joram. Neither king had any idea what was about to take place.
Jehu served as a commander of the Israelite army and was therefore in a position to earn the respect of the military. Taking advantage of this, he rallied the troops to accompany him to Jezreel where Joram and Ahaziah were staying.
“The watchman on the tower of Jezreel saw Jehu and his company approaching, so he shouted to Joram, ‘I see a company of troops coming!’
‘Send out a rider to ask if they are coming in peace,’ King Joram ordered.
So a horseman went out to meet Jehu and said, ‘The king wants to know if you are coming in peace.’
Jehu replied, ‘What do you know about peace? Fall in behind me!’
The watchman called out to the king, ‘The messenger has met them, but he’s not returning.’
So the king sent out a second horseman. He rode up to them and said, ‘The king wants to know if you come in peace.’
Again Jehu answered, ‘What do you know about peace? Fall in behind me!’” (II Kings 9:17-19).
Seeing his own men coming into Jezreel likely roused more curiosity than concern to begin with. But as Joram sent representative after representative out to meet the troops, only to have no one come back, an icy terror began to grip the wounded Joram.
“The watchman exclaimed, ‘The messenger has met them, but he isn’t returning either! It must be Jehu son of Nimshi, for he’s driving like a madman.’
‘Quick! Get my chariot ready!’ King Joram commanded.
Then King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah rode out in their chariots to meet Jehu. They met him at the plot of land that had belonged to Naboth of Jezreel. King Joram demanded, ‘Do you come in peace, Jehu?’
Jehu replied, ‘How can there be peace as long as the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother, Jezebel, are all around us?’
Then King Joram turned the horses around and fled, shouting to King Ahaziah, ‘Treason, Ahaziah!’ But Jehu drew his bow and shot Joram between the shoulders. The arrow pierced his heart, and he sank down dead in his chariot.
Jehu said to Bidkar, his officer, ‘Throw him into the plot of land that belonged to Naboth of Jezreel. Do you remember when you and I were riding along behind his father, Ahab? The Lord pronounced this message against him: ‘I solemnly swear that I will repay him here on this plot of land, says the Lord, for the murder of Naboth and his sons that I saw yesterday.’ So throw him out on Naboth’s property, just as the Lord said’” (II Kings 9:20-26).
The housecleaning was just getting started.
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates