Elisha Tells a Prophet to Anoint Jehu
1 Elisha the prophet called one of the men from the group of prophets* group of prophets Literally, “sons of the prophets.” These were prophets and people studying to become prophets. and said to him, “Get ready and take this small bottle of oil in your hand. Go to Ramoth Gilead. 2 When you arrive, find Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Then go in and make him get up from among his brothers. Take him to an inner room. 3 Take the small bottle of oil and pour the oil on Jehu’s head. Say, ‘This is what the LORD says: I have anointed you to be the new king over Israel.’ Then open the door and run away. Don’t wait!”
4 So this young man, the prophet, went to Ramoth Gilead. 5 When the young man arrived, he saw the captains of the army sitting. He said, “Captain, I have a message for you.”
Jehu asked, “Which one of us is the message for?”
The young man said, “For you, sir.”
6 Jehu got up and went into the house. Then the young prophet poured the oil on Jehu’s head and said to him, “The LORD, the God of Israel, says, ‘I am anointing you to be the new king over the LORD’S people, Israel. 7 You must destroy the family of Ahab your king. In this way I will punish Jezebel for the deaths of my servants, the prophets, and the deaths of all the LORD’S servants who were murdered. 8 So all Ahab’s family will die. I will not let any male child in Ahab’s family live. It doesn’t matter if that male child is a slave or a free person in Israel. 9 I will make Ahab’s family like the family of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the family of Baasha son of Ahijah. 10 The dogs will eat Jezebel in the area of Jezreel, and she will not be buried.’ ”
Then the young prophet opened the door and ran away.
The Servants Announce Jehu as King
11 Jehu went back to his king’s officers. One of the officers said to Jehu, “Is everything all right? Why did this crazy man come to you?”
Jehu answered the servants, “You know the man and the crazy things he says.”
12 The officers said, “No, tell us the truth. What did he say?” Jehu told the officers what the young prophet said. Jehu said, “He said a few things and then he said, ‘This is what the LORD says: I have anointed you to be the new king over Israel.’ ”
13 Then each officer quickly took his robe off and put it on the steps in front of Jehu. Then they blew the trumpet and made the announcement, “Jehu is king!”
Jehu Goes to Jezreel
14 So Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi, made plans against Joram.
At that time Joram and the Israelites had been trying to defend Ramoth Gilead from King Hazael of Aram. 15 King Joram had fought against King Hazael of Aram. But the Arameans wounded King Joram, and he went to Jezreel to get well from those injuries.
So Jehu told the officers, “If you agree that I am the new king, don’t let anyone escape from the city to tell the news in Jezreel.”
16 Joram was resting in Jezreel, so Jehu got in his chariot and drove to Jezreel. King Ahaziah of Judah had also come to Jezreel to see Joram.
17 A guard was standing on the tower in Jezreel. He saw Jehu’s large group coming. He said, “I see a large group of people!”
Joram said, “Send someone on a horse to meet them. Tell this messenger to ask if they come in peace.”
18 So the messenger rode on a horse to meet Jehu. The messenger said, “King Joram says, ‘Do you come in peace?’ ”
Jehu said, “You have nothing to do with peace. Come and follow me.”
The guard told Joram, “The messenger went to the group, but he has not come back yet.”
19 Then Joram sent out a second messenger on a horse. This man came to Jehu’s group and said, “King Joram says, ‘Peace.’† Peace A way of saying “hello.””
Jehu answered, “You have nothing to do with peace. Come and follow me.”
20 The guard told Joram, “The second messenger went to the group, but he has not come back yet. There is a man driving his chariot like a mad man. He is driving like Jehu son of Nimshi.”
21 Joram said, “Get me my chariot!”
So the servant got Joram’s chariot. Both King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah got their chariots and drove out to meet Jehu. They met him at the property of Naboth from Jezreel.
22 Joram saw Jehu and asked, “Do you come in peace, Jehu?”
Jehu answered, “There is no peace as long as your mother Jezebel does many acts of prostitution and witchcraft.”
23 Joram turned the horses to run away. He said to Ahaziah, “It is a trick, Ahaziah!”
24 But Jehu grabbed his bow and shot Joram in the middle of his back, through the heart. Joram fell dead in his chariot.
25 Jehu said to his chariot driver Bidkar, “Take Joram’s body up and throw it into the field of Naboth from Jezreel. Remember when you and I rode together with Joram’s father Ahab, the LORD said this would happen to him. 26 The LORD said, ‘Yesterday I saw the blood of Naboth and his sons. And I, the LORD, am telling you that I will punish Ahab in this field.’ So take Joram’s body and throw it into the field, just as the LORD said.”
27 King Ahaziah of Judah saw this and ran away. He tried to escape through the garden house, but Jehu followed him. Jehu had said, “Shoot Ahaziah too!”
Ahaziah was wounded when he was in his chariot on the road to Gur near Ibleam. He got as far as Megiddo, but he died there. 28 Ahaziah’s servants carried his body in the chariot to Jerusalem. They buried him in his tomb with his ancestors in the City of David.
29 Ahaziah had become king over Judah during Joram’s‡ Joram’s Literally, “Joram son of Ahab.” eleventh year as king of Israel.
The Terrible Death of Jezebel
30 When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard the news. She put her makeup on and fixed her hair. Then she stood by the window and looked out. 31 Jehu entered the city. Jezebel said, “Hello, you Zimri.§ Zimri Zimri killed Elah and the family of Baasha in Israel many years before. Read 1 Kings 16:8-12. You killed your master just as he did.”
32 Jehu looked up at the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?”
Two or three eunuchs looked out at Jehu. 33 Jehu said, “Throw Jezebel down!”
Then the eunuchs threw her down. Some of her blood splashed on the wall and on the horses that trampled her body. 34 Jehu went into the house and ate and drank. Then he said, “Now see about this cursed woman. Bury her, because she is a king’s daughter.”
35 The men went to bury Jezebel, but they could not find her body. They could only find her skull, her feet, and the palms of her hands. 36 When the men came back and told Jehu, he said, “The LORD told his servant Elijah the Tishbite to give this message: ‘Dogs will eat the body of Jezebel in the area of Jezreel. 37 Her body will be like dung on the field in the area of Jezreel. No one will be able to recognize her body!’ ”
*9:1 group of prophets Literally, “sons of the prophets.” These were prophets and people studying to become prophets.
†9:19 Peace A way of saying “hello.”
‡9:29 Joram’s Literally, “Joram son of Ahab.”