Jehu and many of Israel’s troops rode into Jezreel where Joram, king of Israel, had been recuperating from injuries sustained in battle. Judah’s king, Ahaziah, was also there, having gone to visit Joram.
“Treason, Ahaziah!” (II Kings 9:23b, NLT). Joram barely cries out the warning before Jehu draws an arrow and shoots and kills Joram.
Then “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).
Ahab had coveted Naboth’s vineyard and Jezebel had seen that he got it, even though it meant having Naboth murdered – see First Kings 21. However, when Ahab heard God’s message concerning what the evil king and queen had done, Ahab “tore his clothing, dressed in burlap, and fasted. He even slept in burlap and went about in deep mourning” (I Kings 21:27b).
“Then another message from the Lord came to Elijah: ‘Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has done this, I will not do what I promised during his lifetime. It will happen to his sons; I will destroy his dynasty” (I Kings 21:28-29). Like Ahab, Joram could have repented of his evil ways. But he didn’t, and suffered the consequences.
“When King Ahaziah of Judah saw what was happening, he fled along the road to Beth-haggan. Jehu rode after him, shouting, ‘Shoot him, too!’ So they shot Ahaziah in his chariot at the Ascent of Gur, near Ibleam” (II Kings 9:27a).
Both kings murdered. And Jehu was just getting started.
“When Jezebel, the queen mother, heard that Jehu had come to Jezreel, she painted her eyelids and fixed her hair and sat at a window. Jehu looked up and saw her at the window and shouted, ‘Who is on my side?’ And two or three eunuchs looked out at him. ‘Throw her down!’ Jehu yelled. So they threw her out the window, and her blood spattered against the wall and on the horses. And Jehu trampled her body under his horses’ hooves.
Then Jehu went into the palace and ate and drank. Afterward he said, ‘Someone go and bury this cursed woman, for she is the daughter of a king.’ But when they went out to bury her, they found only her skull, her feet, and her hands.
When they returned and told Jehu, he stated, ‘This fulfills the message from the Lord, which he spoke through his servant Elijah from Tishbe: ‘At the plot of land in Jezreel, dogs will eat Jezebel’s body. Her remains will be scattered like dung on the plot of land in Jezreel, so that no one will be able to recognize her’” (II Kings 9:30, 32-37).
“While Jehu was executing judgment against the family of Ahab, he happened to meet some of Judah’s officials and Ahaziah’s relatives who were traveling with Ahaziah. So Jehu killed them all” (II Chronicles 22:8).
And Jehu’s housecleaning is still not finished. Jezebel, like many of the others who’d lived years after hearing Elijah’s pronouncement from the Lord, thought that they had literally gotten away with murder and anything else they had chosen to do. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Jehu had been used as God’s hand of judgment.
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates