The prophet Elisha summoned a man from the company of the prophets and said to him, "Tuck your cloak into your belt, take this flask of oil with you and go to Ramoth Gilead.
When you get there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go to him, get him away from his companions and take him into an inner room.
Then take the flask and pour the oil on his head and declare, 'This is what the LORD says: I anoint you king over Israel.' Then open the door and run; don't delay!"
So the young man, the prophet, went to Ramoth Gilead.
When he arrived, he found the army officers sitting together. "I have a message for you, commander," he said. "For which of us?" asked Jehu. "For you, commander," he replied.
Jehu got up and went into the house. Then the prophet poured the oil on Jehu's head and declared, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'I anoint you king over the LORD's people Israel.
You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the LORD's servants shed by Jezebel.
The whole house of Ahab will perish. I will cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel--slave or free.
I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah.
As for Jezebel, dogs will devour her on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and no one will bury her.' " Then he opened the door and ran.
When Jehu went out to his fellow officers, one of them asked him, "Is everything all right? Why did this madman come to you?" "You know the man and the sort of things he says," Jehu replied.
"That's not true!" they said. "Tell us." Jehu said, "Here is what he told me: 'This is what the LORD says: I anoint you king over Israel.' "
They hurried and took their cloaks and spread them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted, "Jehu is king!"
So Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, conspired against Joram. (Now Joram and all Israel had been defending Ramoth Gilead against Hazael king of Aram,
but King Joram had returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds the Arameans had inflicted on him in the battle with Hazael king of Aram.) Jehu said, "If this is the way you feel, don't let anyone slip out of the city to go and tell the news in Jezreel."
Then he got into his chariot and rode to Jezreel, because Joram was resting there and Ahaziah king of Judah had gone down to see him.
When the lookout standing on the tower in Jezreel saw Jehu's troops approaching, he called out, "I see some troops coming." "Get a horseman," Joram ordered. "Send him to meet them and ask, 'Do you come in peace?' "
The horseman rode off to meet Jehu and said, "This is what the king says: 'Do you come in peace?' " "What do you have to do with peace?" Jehu replied. "Fall in behind me." The lookout reported, "The messenger has reached them, but he isn't coming back."
So the king sent out a second horseman. When he came to them he said, "This is what the king says: 'Do you come in peace?' " Jehu replied, "What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me."
The lookout reported, "He has reached them, but he isn't coming back either. The driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi--he drives like a madman."
"Hitch up my chariot," Joram ordered. And when it was hitched up, Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah rode out, each in his own chariot, to meet Jehu. They met him at the plot of ground that had belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite.
When Joram saw Jehu he asked, "Have you come in peace, Jehu?" "How can there be peace," Jehu replied, "as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?"
Joram turned about and fled, calling out to Ahaziah, "Treachery, Ahaziah!"
Then Jehu drew his bow and shot Joram between the shoulders. The arrow pierced his heart and he slumped down in his chariot.
Jehu said to Bidkar, his chariot officer, "Pick him up and throw him on the field that belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite. Remember how you and I were riding together in chariots behind Ahab his father when the LORD made this prophecy about him:
'Yesterday I saw the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons, declares the LORD, and I will surely make you pay for it on this plot of ground, declares the LORD.' Now then, pick him up and throw him on that plot, in accordance with the word of the LORD."
When Ahaziah king of Judah saw what had happened, he fled up the road to Beth Haggan. Jehu chased him, shouting, "Kill him too!" They wounded him in his chariot on the way up to Gur near Ibleam, but he escaped to Megiddo and died there.
His servants took him by chariot to Jerusalem and buried him with his fathers in his tomb in the City of David.
(In the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab, Ahaziah had become king of Judah.)
Then Jehu went to Jezreel. When Jezebel heard about it, she painted her eyes, arranged her hair and looked out of a window.
As Jehu entered the gate, she asked, "Have you come in peace, Zimri, you murderer of your master?"
He looked up at the window and called out, "Who is on my side? Who?" Two or three eunuchs looked down at him.
"Throw her down!" Jehu said. So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered the wall and the horses as they trampled her underfoot.
Jehu went in and ate and drank. "Take care of that cursed woman," he said, "and bury her, for she was a king's daughter."
But when they went out to bury her, they found nothing except her skull, her feet and her hands.
They went back and told Jehu, who said, "This is the word of the LORD that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs will devour Jezebel's flesh.
Jezebel's body will be like refuse on the ground in the plot at Jezreel, so that no one will be able to say, 'This is Jezebel.' "
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,
and he began to teach them, saying:
3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
17"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
21"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.'22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.25"Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.26I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
27"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.'28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.29If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
31"It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.'32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.
33"Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.'34But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne;35or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.37Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
38"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
1"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.2"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.9"This, then, is how you should pray: " 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,10your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.11Give us today our daily bread.12Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. '14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
16"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,18so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.22"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.23But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!24"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
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.
When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family.
But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes, who were about to be murdered. She put him and his nurse in a bedroom to hide him from Athaliah; so he was not killed.
He remained hidden with his nurse at the temple of the LORD for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.
In the seventh year Jehoiada sent for the commanders of units of a hundred, the Carites and the guards and had them brought to him at the temple of the LORD. He made a covenant with them and put them under oath at the temple of the LORD. Then he showed them the king's son.
He commanded them, saying, "This is what you are to do: You who are in the three companies that are going on duty on the Sabbath--a third of you guarding the royal palace,
a third at the Sur Gate, and a third at the gate behind the guard, who take turns guarding the temple--
and you who are in the other two companies that normally go off Sabbath duty are all to guard the temple for the king.
Station yourselves around the king, each man with his weapon in his hand. Anyone who approaches your ranks must be put to death. Stay close to the king wherever he goes."
The commanders of units of a hundred did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered. Each one took his men--those who were going on duty on the Sabbath and those who were going off duty--and came to Jehoiada the priest.
Then he gave the commanders the spears and shields that had belonged to King David and that were in the temple of the LORD.
The guards, each with his weapon in his hand, stationed themselves around the king--near the altar and the temple, from the south side to the north side of the temple.
Jehoiada brought out the king's son and put the crown on him; he presented him with a copy of the covenant and proclaimed him king. They anointed him, and the people clapped their hands and shouted, "Long live the king!"
When Athaliah heard the noise made by the guards and the people, she went to the people at the temple of the LORD.
She looked and there was the king, standing by the pillar, as the custom was. The officers and the trumpeters were beside the king, and all the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her robes and called out, "Treason! Treason!"
Jehoiada the priest ordered the commanders of units of a hundred, who were in charge of the troops: "Bring her out between the ranks and put to the sword anyone who follows her." For the priest had said, "She must not be put to death in the temple of the LORD."
So they seized her as she reached the place where the horses enter the palace grounds, and there she was put to death.
Jehoiada then made a covenant between the LORD and the king and people that they would be the LORD's people. He also made a covenant between the king and the people.
All the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols to pieces and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars. Then Jehoiada the priest posted guards at the temple of the LORD.
He took with him the commanders of hundreds, the Carites, the guards and all the people of the land, and together they brought the king down from the temple of the LORD and went into the palace, entering by way of the gate of the guards. The king then took his place on the royal throne,
and all the people of the land rejoiced. And the city was quiet, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword at the palace.
Joash was seven years old when he began to reign.