Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria to the officers and older leaders of Jezreel and to the guardians of the sons of Ahab. Jehu said,
"You have your master's sons with you, and you have chariots, horses, a city with strong walls, and weapons. When you get this letter,
choose the best and most worthy person among your master's sons, and make him king. Then fight for your master's family."
But the officers and leaders of Jezreel were frightened. They said, "Two kings could not stand up to Jehu, so how can we?"
The palace manager, the city governor, the leaders, and the guardians sent a message to Jehu. "We are your servants," they said. "We will do everything you tell us to do. We won't make any man king, so do whatever you think is best."
Then Jehu wrote a second letter, saying, "If you are on my side and will obey me, cut off the heads of your master's sons and come to me at Jezreel tomorrow about this time." Now the seventy sons of the king's family were with the leading men of the city who were their guardians.
When the leaders received the letter, they took the king's sons and killed all seventy of them. They put their heads in baskets and sent them to Jehu at Jezreel.
The messenger came to Jehu and told him, "They have brought the heads of the king's sons." Then Jehu said, "Lay the heads in two piles at the city gate until morning."
In the morning, Jehu went out and stood before the people and said to them, "You are innocent. Look, I made plans against my master and killed him. But who killed all these?
You should know that everything the Lord said about Ahab's family will come true. The Lord has spoken through his servant Elijah, and the Lord has done what he said."
So Jehu killed everyone of Ahab's family in Jezreel who was still alive. He also killed all Ahab's leading men, close friends, and priests. No one who had helped Ahab was left alive.
Then Jehu left and went to Samaria by way of the road to Beth Eked of the Shepherds.
There Jehu met some relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah. Jehu asked, "Who are you?" They answered, "We are relatives of Ahaziah. We have come down to get revenge for the families of the king and the king's mother."
Then Jehu said, "Take them alive!" So they captured Ahaziah's relatives alive and killed them at the well near Beth Eked -- forty-two of them. Jehu did not leave anyone alive.
After Jehu left there, he met Jehonadab son of Recab, who was also on his way to meet Jehu. Jehu greeted him and said, "Are you as good a friend to me as I am to you?" Jehonadab answered, "Yes, I am." Jehu said, "If you are, then give me your hand." So Jehonadab gave him his hand, and Jehu pulled him into the chariot.
"Come with me," Jehu said. "You can see how strong my feelings are for the Lord." So Jehu had Jehonadab ride in his chariot.
When Jehu came to Samaria, he killed all of Ahab's family in Samaria. He destroyed all those who were left, just as the Lord had told Elijah it would happen.