Now there were in Samaria1 seventy sons2 of the house of Ahab. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria: to the officials of Jezreel,a3 to the elders and to the guardians4 of Ahab's children. He said,
"As soon as this letter reaches you, since your master's sons are with you and you have chariots and horses, a fortified city and weapons,
choose the best and most worthy of your master's sons and set him on his father's throne. Then fight for your master's house."
But they were terrified and said, "If two kings could not resist him, how can we?"
So the palace administrator, the city governor, the elders and the guardians sent this message to Jehu: "We are your servants5 and we will do anything you say. We will not appoint anyone as king; you do whatever you think best."
Then Jehu wrote them a second letter, saying, "If you are on my side and will obey me, take the heads of your master's sons and come to me in Jezreel by this time tomorrow." Now the royal princes, seventy of them, were with the leading men of the city, who were rearing them.
When the letter arrived, these men took the princes and slaughtered all seventy6 of them. They put their heads7 in baskets and sent them to Jehu in Jezreel.
When the messenger arrived, he told Jehu, "They have brought the heads of the princes." Then Jehu ordered, "Put them in two piles at the entrance of the city gate until morning."