2 Kings 10

Listen to 2 Kings 10

Jehu Slaughters Ahab's Descendants

1 Now Ahab had seventy sons in 1Samaria. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the rulers of the city,[a] to the elders, and to 2the guardians of the sons[b] of Ahab, saying,
2 "Now then, as soon as this letter comes to you, seeing your master's sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, fortified cities also, and weapons,
3 select the best and fittest of your master's sons and set him on his father's throne and fight for your master's house."
4 But they were exceedingly afraid and said, "Behold, the two kings could not stand before him. How then can we stand?"
5 So he who was over the palace, and he who was over the city, together with the elders and the guardians, sent to Jehu, saying, 3"We are your servants, and we will do all that you tell us. We will not make anyone king. Do whatever is good in your eyes."
6 Then he wrote to them a second letter, saying, "If you are on my side, and if you are ready to obey me, take the heads of your master's sons and come to me at Jezreel tomorrow at this time." Now the king's sons, seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, 4who were bringing them up.
7 And as soon as the letter came to them, they took the king's sons 5and slaughtered them, seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets and sent them to him at Jezreel.
8 When the messenger came and told him, "They have brought the heads of the king's sons," he said, "Lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until the morning."
9 Then in the morning, when he went out, he stood and said to all the people, "You are innocent. 6It was I who conspired against my master and killed him, but who struck down all these?
10 Know then that there shall 7fall to the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spoke concerning the house of Ahab, for the LORD has done 8what he said by his servant Elijah."
11 So Jehu struck down all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, all his great men and his close friends and his priests, until he left him none remaining.
12 Then he set out and went to Samaria. On the way, when he was at Beth-eked of the Shepherds,
13 Jehu met 9the relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah, and he said, "Who are you?" And they answered, "We are the relatives of Ahaziah, and we came down to visit the royal princes and the sons of the queen mother."
14 He said, "Take them alive." And they took them alive and slaughtered them at the pit of Beth-eked, forty-two persons, and he spared none of them.
15 And when he departed from there, he met 10Jehonadab the son of 11Rechab coming to meet him. And he greeted him and said to him, "Is your heart true to my heart as mine is to yours?" And Jehonadab answered, "It is." Jehu said,[c]"If it is, 12give me your hand." So he gave him his hand. And Jehu took him up with him into the chariot.
16 And he said, "Come with me, and see 13my zeal for the LORD." So he[d] had him ride in his chariot.
17 And when he came to Samaria, 14he struck down all who remained to Ahab in Samaria, till he had wiped them out, according to the word of the LORD 15 that he spoke to Elijah.

Jehu Strikes Down the Prophets of Baal

18 Then Jehu assembled all the people and said to them, 16"Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him much.
19 Now therefore call to me all the 17prophets of Baal, all his worshipers and all his priests. Let none be missing, for I have a great sacrifice to offer to Baal. Whoever is missing shall not live." But Jehu did it with cunning in order to destroy the worshipers of Baal.
20 And Jehu ordered, 18"Sanctify 19a solemn assembly for Baal." So 20they proclaimed it.
21 And Jehu sent throughout all Israel, and all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. And they entered 21the house of Baal, and the house of Baal was filled from one end to the other.
22 He said to him who was in charge of the wardrobe, "Bring out the vestments for all the worshipers of Baal." So he brought out the vestments for them.
23 Then Jehu went into the house of Baal with Jehonadab the son of Rechab, and he said to the worshipers of Baal, "Search, and see that there is no servant of the LORD here among you, but only the worshipers of Baal."
24 Then they[e] went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed eighty men outside and said, "The man who allows any of those whom I give into your hands to escape 22shall forfeit his life."
25 So as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guard and to the officers, 23"Go in and strike them down; let not a man escape." So when they put them to the sword, the guard and the officers cast them out and went into the inner room of the house of Baal,
26 and they brought out the 24pillar that was in 25the house of Baal and burned it.
27 And they demolished the 26pillar of Baal, and demolished the house of Baal, and made it 27a latrine to this day.

Jehu Reigns in Israel

28 Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel.
29 But Jehu did not turn aside from 28the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, 29which he made Israel to sin--that is, the golden calves that were in Bethel and in Dan.
30 And the LORD said to Jehu, "Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart, 30your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel."
31 But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart. 31He did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel to sin.
32 In those days the LORD 32began to cut off parts of Israel. 33Hazael defeated them throughout the territory of Israel:
33 from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from 34Aroer, which is by the Valley of the Arnon, that is, 35Gilead and Bashan.
34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehu and all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
35 So Jehu slept with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his place.
36 The time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.

2 Kings 10 Commentary

Chapter 10

Ahab's sons and Ahaziah's brethren put to death. (1-14) Jehu destroys the worshippers of Baal. (15-28) Jehu follows Jeroboam's sins. (29-36)

Verses 1-14 In the most awful events, though attended by the basest crimes of man, the truth and justice of God are to be noticed; and he never did nor can command any thing unjust or unreasonable. Jehu destroyed all that remained of the house of Ahab; all who had been partners in his wickedness. When we think upon the sufferings and miseries of mankind, when we look forward to the resurrection and last judgment, and think upon the vast number of the wicked waiting their awful sentence of everlasting fire; when the whole sum of death and misery has been considered, the solemn question occurs, Who slew all these? The answer is, SIN. Shall we then harbour sin in our bosoms, and seek for happiness from that which is the cause of all misery?

Verses 15-28 Is thine heart right? This is a question we should often put to ourselves. I make a fair profession, have gained a reputation among men, but, is my heart right? Am I sincere with God? Jehonadab owned Jehu in the work, both of revenge and of reformation. An upright heart approves itself to God, and seeks no more than his acceptance; but if we aim at the applause of men, we are upon a false foundation. Whether Jehu looked any further we cannot judge. The law of God was express, that idolaters were to be put to death. Thus idolatry was abolished for the present out of Israel. May we desire that it be rooted out of our hearts.

Verses 29-36 It is justly questionable whether Jehu acted from a good principle, and whether he did not take some false steps in doing it; yet no services done for God shall go unrewarded. But true conversion is not only from gross sin, but from all sin; not only from false gods, but from false worships. True conversion is not only from wasteful sins, but from gainful sins; not only from sins which hurt our worldly interests, but from those that support and befriend them; in forsaking which is the great trial whether we can deny ourselves and trust God. Jehu showed great care and zeal for rooting out a false religion, but in the true religion he cared not, took no heed to please God and do his duty. Those that are heedless, it is to be feared, are graceless. The people were also careless, therefore it is not strange that in those days the Lord began to cut Israel short. They were short in their duty to God, therefore God cut them short in their extent, wealth, and power.

Cross References 35

  • 1. 1 Kings 16:24
  • 2. [Esther 2:7]
  • 3. Joshua 9:8, 11
  • 4. [See ver. 1 above]
  • 5. [1 Kings 21:21]
  • 6. 2 Kings 9:14, 24
  • 7. [1 Samuel 3:19]
  • 8. 1 Kgs. 21:19, 21, 29
  • 9. [2 Kings 8:29; 2 Kings 9:16; 2 Chronicles 22:8]
  • 10. See Jer. 35:6-10, 14, 16, 18
  • 11. 1 Chronicles 2:55
  • 12. Ezra 10:19; Ezekiel 17:18
  • 13. [1 Kings 19:10]
  • 14. 2 Kings 9:8; 2 Chronicles 22:8
  • 15. [See ver. 10 above]
  • 16. 1 Kings 16:31, 32
  • 17. 1 Kings 18:19; 1 Kings 22:6
  • 18. [Joel 1:14]
  • 19. [Leviticus 23:36]
  • 20. [Exodus 32:5]
  • 21. 2 Kings 11:18; 1 Kings 16:32
  • 22. [1 Kings 20:39, 42]
  • 23. [1 Kings 18:40]
  • 24. 2 Kings 3:2; 1 Kings 14:23
  • 25. [See ver. 21 above]
  • 26. [See ver. 26 above]
  • 27. [Ezra 6:11; Daniel 2:5; Daniel 3:29]
  • 28. See 1 Kings 12:28-31
  • 29. See 1 Kings 14:16
  • 30. 2 Kings 15:12; [ver. 35; 2 Kings 13:1, 10; 2 Kings 14:23; 2 Kings 15:8]
  • 31. ver. 29
  • 32. [2 Kings 13:25; 2 Kings 14:25]
  • 33. [2 Kings 8:12; 1 Kings 19:17]
  • 34. Deuteronomy 2:36
  • 35. [Amos 1:3, 4]

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew rulers of Jezreel
  • [b]. Hebrew lacks of the sons
  • [c]. Septuagint; Hebrew lacks Jehu said
  • [d]. Septuagint, Syriac, Targum; Hebrew they
  • [e]. Septuagint he (compare verse 25)

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives a further account of the destruction of the house of Ahab by Jehu, or his orders, even of all his sons and relations, 2Ki 10:1-11, and also of the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, 2Ki 10:12-14, of his taking up Jehonadab the son of Rechab into his chariot, to be a witness of his zeal for the Lord, 2Ki 10:15-17, and of his gathering together the prophets, priests, and worshippers of Baal, and slaying them, 2Ki 10:18-25 and of his extirpation of the idolatry of Baal, 2Ki 10:26-28, nevertheless he continued the worship of the calves, 2Ki 10:29-31 wherefore Israel was distressed by the king of Syria, 2Ki 10:32,33 and the chapter is concluded with the reign and death of Jehu, 2Ki 10:34,35.

2 Kings 10 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.