Since Ahab had 70 sons in Samaria, Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria to the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to the guardians of Ahab's sons,a saying:
When this letter arrives, since your master's sons are with you and you have chariots, horses, a fortified city, and weaponry,
select the most qualifiedb of your master's sons, set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house.
However, they were terrified and reasoned, "Look, two kings couldn't stand against him; how can we?"
So the overseer of the palace, the overseer of the city, the elders, and the guardians sent [a message] to Jehu: "We are your servants, and we will do whatever you tell us. We will not make anyone king. Do whatever you think is right." c6
Then Jehu wrote them a second letter, saying: If you are on my side, and if you will obey me, bring me the heads of your master's sons at this time tomorrow at Jezreel. All 70 of the king's sons were being cared for by the city's prominent men.
When the letter came to them, they took the king's sons and slaughtered all 70, put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jehu at Jezreel.
When the messenger came and told him, "They have brought the heads of the king's sons," the king said, "Pile them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until morning."
The next morning when he went out and stood [at the gate], he said to all the people, "You are innocent. It was I who conspired against my master and killed him. But who struck down all these?
Know, then, that not a word the Lord spoke against the house of Ahab will fail,d for the Lord has done what He promised through His servant Elijah."e11
So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel-all his great men, close friends, and priests-leaving him no survivors.
Then he set out and went on his way to Samaria. On the way, while he was at Beth-eked of the Shepherds,
Jehu met the relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah and asked, "Who are you?" They answered, "We're Ahaziah's relatives. We've come down to greet the king's sons and the queen mother's sons."
Then Jehu ordered, "Take them alive." So they took them alive and then slaughtered them at the pit of Beth-eked-42 men. He didn't spare any of them.f15
When he left there, he found Jehonadab son of Rechabg [coming] to meet him. He greeted him and then asked, "Is your heart one with mine?"h "It is," Jehonadab replied. Jehu said, "If it is,i give me your hand." So he gave him his hand, and Jehu pulled him up into the chariot with him.
Then he said, "Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord!" So he let him ride with him in his chariot.
When Jehu came to Samaria, he struck down all who remained from [the house of] Ahab in Samaria until he had annihilated his house, according to the word of the Lord spoken to Elijah.j