Now there were in Samaria seventy sons of the house of Ahab. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria: to the officials of Jezreel, to the elders and to the guardians 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 servants 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 seventy of them. They put their heads 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."
The next morning Jehu went out. He stood before all the people and said, "You are innocent. It was I who conspired against my master and killed him, but who killed all these?
Know then, that not a word the LORD has spoken against the house of Ahab will fail. The LORD has done what he promised through his servant Elijah."
So Jehu killed everyone in Jezreel who remained of the house of Ahab, as well as all his chief men, his close friends and his priests, leaving him no survivor.
Jehu then set out and went toward Samaria. At Beth Eked of the Shepherds,
he met some relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah and asked, "Who are you?" They said, "We are relatives of Ahaziah, and we have come down to greet the families of the king and of the queen mother."
"Take them alive!" he ordered. So they took them alive and slaughtered them by the well of Beth Eked--forty-two men. He left no survivor.
After he left there, he came upon Jehonadab son of Recab, who was on his way to meet him. Jehu greeted him and said, "Are you in accord with me, as I am with you?" "I am," Jehonadab answered. "If so," said Jehu, "give me your hand." So he did, and Jehu helped him up into the chariot.
Jehu said, "Come with me and see my zeal for the LORD." Then he had him ride along in his chariot.
When Jehu came to Samaria, he killed all who were left there of Ahab's family; he destroyed them, according to the word of the LORD spoken to Elijah.
Then Jehu brought all the people together and said to them, "Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much.
Now summon all the prophets of Baal, all his ministers and all his priests. See that no one is missing, because I am going to hold a great sacrifice for Baal. Anyone who fails to come will no longer live." But Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy the ministers of Baal.
Jehu said, "Call an assembly in honor of Baal." So they proclaimed it.
Then he sent word throughout Israel, and all the ministers of Baal came; not one stayed away. They crowded into the temple of Baal until it was full from one end to the other.
And Jehu said to the keeper of the wardrobe, "Bring robes for all the ministers of Baal." So he brought out robes for them.
Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Recab went into the temple of Baal. Jehu said to the ministers of Baal, "Look around and see that no servants of the LORD are here with you--only ministers of Baal."
So they went in to make sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had posted eighty men outside with this warning: "If one of you lets any of the men I am placing in your hands escape, it will be your life for his life."
As soon as Jehu had finished making the burnt offering, he ordered the guards and officers: "Go in and kill them; let no one escape." So they cut them down with the sword. The guards and officers threw the bodies out and then entered the inner shrine of the temple of Baal.
They brought the sacred stone out of the temple of Baal and burned it.
They demolished the sacred stone of Baal and tore down the temple of Baal, and people have used it for a latrine to this day.
So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel.
However, he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit--the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan.
The LORD said to Jehu, "Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation."
Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit.
In those days the LORD began to reduce the size of Israel. Hazael overpowered the Israelites throughout their territory
east of the Jordan in all the land of Gilead (the region of Gad, Reuben and Manasseh), from Aroer by the Arnon Gorge through Gilead to Bashan.
As for the other events of Jehu's reign, all he did, and all his achievements, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
Jehu rested with his fathers and was buried in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son succeeded him as king.
The time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.
Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.
Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"
3"What did Moses command you?" he replied.
They said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away."
5"It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law," Jesus replied.
6"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.'7'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,8and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one.9Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."10
When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this.
He answered, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her.12And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery."
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.15I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."16
And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
18"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone.19You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.' "20
"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."
Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."22
At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"24
The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."26
The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."28
Peter said to him, "We have left everything to follow you!"
29"I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel30will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields--and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.31But many who are first will be last, and the last first."
They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him.
33"We are going up to Jerusalem," he said, "and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles,34who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise."
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. "Teacher," they said, "we want you to do for us whatever we ask."
36"What do you want me to do for you?" he asked.
They replied, "Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory."
38"You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said. "Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?"39
"We can," they answered. Jesus said to them, "You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with,40but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared."41
When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.
Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.43Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,44and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging.
When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you."
Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51"What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."
52"Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.