2 Kings 9; 2 Kings 10; 2 Kings 11

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2 Kings 9

1 The prophet Elisha sent for a man from the company of the prophets. Elisha said to him, "Tuck your coat into your belt. Take this bottle of olive oil with you. Go to Ramoth Gilead.
2 "When you get there, look for Jehu. He's the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go to him. Get him away from his companions. Take him into an inside room.
3 Then get the bottle. Pour the oil on his head. Announce to him, 'The LORD says, "I anoint you as king over Israel." ' After that, open the door and run away. Do it quickly!"
4 So the young prophet went to Ramoth Gilead.
5 When he arrived, he found the army officers sitting together. "Commander, I have a message for you," he said. "For which one of us?" asked Jehu. "For you, commander," he replied.
6 Jehu got up and went into the house. Then the prophet poured the oil on Jehu's head. He announced, "The LORD is the God of Israel. He says, 'I am anointing you as king over my people Israel.
7 You must destroy the royal house of your master Ahab. I will pay them back for spilling the blood of my servants the prophets. I will also pay them back for the blood of all of my servants that Jezebel spilled.
8 The whole house of Ahab will die out. I will cut off every male in Israel who is related to Ahab. It does not matter whether they are slaves or free.
9 " 'I will make Ahab's royal house like the house of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat. I will make it like the house of Baasha, the son of Ahijah.
10 Dogs will eat up Jezebel on a piece of land at Jezreel. No one will bury her.' " Then the prophet opened the door and ran away.
11 Jehu went out to where the other officers were. One of them asked him, "Is everything all right? Why did that crazy man come to you?" "You know the man. You know the kinds of things he says," Jehu replied.
12 "That's not true!" they said. "Tell us." Jehu said, "Here is what he told me. He announced, 'The LORD says, "I am anointing you as king over Israel." ' "
13 The officers quickly grabbed their coats. They spread them out under Jehu on the bare steps of the house. Then they blew a trumpet. They shouted, "Jehu is king!"
14 Jehu was the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Jehu made plans against Joram. During that time Joram and Israel's whole army had been guarding Ramoth Gilead. They had been guarding it against Hazael, the king of Aram.
15 But King Joram had returned to Jezreel. He had gone there to give his wounds time to heal. The soldiers of Aram had wounded him in his battle against Hazael, the king of Aram. Jehu said to his men, "Are you really on my side? If you are, don't let anyone sneak out of the city. Don't let them go and tell the news in Jezreel."
16 Then Jehu got into his chariot. He rode off to Jezreel. Joram was resting there. And Ahaziah, the king of Judah, had gone down to see him.
17 A lookout was standing on the roof of the tower in Jezreel. He saw Jehu's troops approaching. So he called out, "I see some troops coming." "Get a horseman," Joram ordered. "Send him to ride out to them. Have him ask, 'Are you coming in peace?' "
18 The horseman rode out to where Jehu was. He said, "The king asks, 'Are you coming in peace?' " "What do you know about peace?" Jehu answered. "Get in line behind me." The lookout reported, "The messenger has reached them. But he isn't coming back."
19 So the king sent out a second horseman. When he came to them, he told them, "The king asks, 'Are you coming in peace?' " Jehu replied, "What do you know about peace? Get in line behind me."
20 The lookout reported, "The second messenger has reached them. But he isn't coming back either. The one driving the chariot drives like Jehu, the son of Nimshi. He's driving like a crazy man."
21 "Get my chariot ready," King Joram ordered. When it was ready, he rode out. Ahaziah, the king of Judah, rode out with him. Each of them was in his own chariot. They both went to meet Jehu. They met him at the piece of land that had belonged to Naboth from Jezreel.
22 When Joram saw Jehu he asked, "Have you come here in peace, Jehu?" "Your mother Jezebel worships statues of gods," Jehu replied. "She also worships evil powers. The evil things she does have spread everywhere. As long as all of that goes on, how can there be peace?"
23 Joram turned around and tried to get away. He called out to Ahaziah. He said, "It's treason, Ahaziah!"
24 Then Jehu shot an arrow at Joram. It hit him between the shoulders. It went through his heart. He sank down slowly in his chariot.
25 Jehu spoke to Bidkar, his chariot officer. He said, "Pick him up. Throw him on the field that belonged to Naboth from Jezreel. Remember how you and I were riding together in chariots behind Joram's father Ahab? It was when the LORD made a prophecy about him. He announced,
26 'Yesterday I saw the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons. You can be sure that I will make you pay for it on this piece of land.' So pick him up. Throw him on that piece of land. That's what the LORD said would happen."
27 Ahaziah, the king of Judah, saw what had happened. So he tried to get away. He went up the road toward Beth Haggan. Jehu chased him. He shouted, "Kill him too!" Jehu's men wounded Ahaziah in his chariot. It happened on the way up to Gur near Ibleam. But he escaped to Megiddo. And that's where he died.
28 Ahaziah's servants took him to Jerusalem in his chariot. They buried his body in his family tomb in the City of David.
29 Ahaziah had become king of Judah. It was in the 11th year of Joram, the son of Ahab.
30 Jehu went to Jezreel. Jezebel heard about it. So she put makeup on her eyes and fixed her hair. She looked out of a window.
31 Jehu entered the gate below. Then Jezebel said, "You are just like Zimri. You murdered your master. Have you come here in peace?"
32 He looked up at the window. "Who is on my side?" he called out. "Who?" Two or three officials looked down at him.
33 "Throw her down!" Jehu said. So they threw her down. Some of her blood splashed on the wall. Some of it splashed on Jehu's chariot horses as they ran over her.
34 Jehu went inside. He ate and drank. "The LORD put a curse on that woman," he said. "Take proper care of her body. Bury it. After all, she was a king's daughter."
35 So they went out to bury her body. But all they found was her skull, feet and hands.
36 They went back and reported it to Jehu. He told them, "That's what the LORD said would happen. He announced it through his servant Elijah, who was from Tishbe. He said, 'On a piece of land at Jezreel, dogs will eat up Jezebel's body.
37 Her body will be left to rot on that piece of land. So no one will be able to say, "Here's where Jezebel is buried." ' "
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

2 Kings 10

1 Ahab's royal family in the city of Samaria had a total of 70 sons. Jehu wrote some letters to the officials of the city. He also sent them to the elders there. And he sent them to those who took care of Ahab's children. He said,
2 "Your master's sons are with you. You also have chariots and horses and weapons. And you are living in a city that has high walls around it. As soon as you read this letter, here's what I want you to do.
3 Choose the best and most respected son of your master. Place him on his father Joram's throne. Then fight for your master's royal house."
4 The leaders of Samaria were terrified. They said, "King Joram and King Ahaziah couldn't stand up against Jehu. So how can we?"
5 The city governor and the person who was in charge of the palace sent a message to Jehu. The message was also from the elders and those who took care of Ahab's children. It said, "We will serve you. We'll do anything you say. We won't appoint anyone to be king. Do what you think is best."
6 Then Jehu wrote them a second letter. It said, "You say you are on my side. You say you will obey me. If you really mean it, bring me the heads of your master's sons. Meet me in Jezreel by this time tomorrow." There were 70 royal princes. They were with the most important men of the city. Those men were in charge of raising them.
7 When Jehu's letter arrived, the men went and got the princes. They killed all 70 of them. They put their heads in baskets. Then they sent them to Jehu in Jezreel.
8 When the messenger arrived, he spoke to Jehu. He told him, "The heads of the princes have been brought here." Then Jehu ordered his men, "Put them in two piles. Stack them up at the entrance of the city gate until morning."
9 The next morning Jehu went out. He stood in front of all of the people. He said, "You aren't guilty of doing anything wrong. I'm the one who made plans against my master Joram. I killed him. But who killed all of these?
10 I want you to know that the LORD has spoken against Ahab's royal house. Not a word of what he has said will fail. The LORD has done exactly what he promised through his servant Elijah."
11 So Jehu killed everyone from Ahab's family who was in Jezreel. He also killed all of Ahab's chief men. And he killed Ahab's close friends and his priests. He didn't leave anyone in Ahab's family alive.
12 Then Jehu started out for Samaria. At Beth Eked of the Shepherds,
13 he saw some people. They were relatives of Ahaziah, the king of Judah. Jehu asked them, "Who are you?" They said, "We are Ahaziah's relatives. We've come down to visit the families of the king and of his mother."
14 "Take them alive!" Jehu ordered. So his men took them alive. Then they killed them by the well of Beth Eked. They killed a total of 42 men. Jehu didn't leave anyone alive.
15 After Jehu left there, he came upon Jehonadab. He was the son of Recab. Jehonadab was on his way to see Jehu. Jehu greeted him. He asked, "Are you my friend? You know I'm your friend." "I am," Jehonadab answered. "If that's true," said Jehu, "hold out your hand." So he did. Then Jehu helped him up into the chariot.
16 Jehu said, "Come along with me. See how committed I am to serve the Lord." He had him ride along in his chariot.
17 Jehu came to Samaria. He killed everyone who was left there from Ahab's family. And so he wiped out Ahab's royal house. That's what the LORD had said would happen. He had spoken that message to Elijah.
18 Then Jehu brought all of the people together. He said to them, "Ahab served the god Baal a little. I will serve him a lot.
19 Send for all of Baal's prophets. Also send for all of his priests and the others who serve him. Make sure that not a single one is missing. I'm going to hold a great sacrifice to honor Baal. Anyone who doesn't come will be killed." But Jehu was lying to them. He was planning to destroy those who served Baal.
20 Jehu said, "Call everyone together to honor Baal." So they did.
21 Then he sent a message all through Israel. All of those who served Baal came. Not a single one of them stayed away. They crowded into Baal's temple. It was full from one end to the other.
22 Jehu spoke to the one who took care of the sacred robes. He told him, "Bring robes for everyone who serves Baal." So he brought the robes out for them.
23 Then Jehu went into Baal's temple. Jehonadab, the son of Recab, went with him. Jehu spoke to those who served Baal. He said, "Look around. Make sure that no one who serves the LORD is here with you. Make sure only those who serve Baal are here."
24 So they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Jehu had stationed 80 men outside. He warned them, "I'm placing some men in your hands. Don't let a single one of them escape. If you do, you will pay for his life with yours."
25 Jehu finished sacrificing the burnt offering. As soon as he did, he gave an order to the guards and officers. He commanded them, "Go inside and kill everyone. Don't let a single one of them escape." So they cut them down with their swords. The guards and officers threw the bodies outside. Then they entered the most sacred area inside Baal's temple.
26 They brought the sacred stone of Baal outside. They burned it up.
27 So they destroyed Baal's sacred stone. They also tore down Baal's temple. People have used it as a public toilet to this very day.
28 So Jehu destroyed the worship of the god Baal in Israel.
29 But he didn't turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat. Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit those same sins. Jehu worshiped the golden calves at Bethel and Dan.
30 The LORD said to Jehu, "You have done well. You have accomplished what is right in my eyes. You have done to Ahab's royal house everything I wanted you to do. So your sons after you will sit on the throne of Israel. They will rule until the time of your children's grandchildren."
31 But Jehu wasn't careful to obey the law of the Lord. He didn't obey the God of Israel with all his heart. He didn't turn away from the sins of Jeroboam. Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit those same sins.
32 In those days the LORD began to make the kingdom of Israel smaller. Hazael gained control over many parts of Israel. He gained control over all of their territory
33 east of the Jordan River. It included the whole land of Gilead from Aroer by the Arnon River valley all the way to Bashan. That was the territory of Gad, Reuben and Manasseh.
34 The other events of Jehu's rule are written down. Everything he did and accomplished is written down. All of those things are written in the official records of the kings of Israel.
35 Jehu joined the members of his family who had already died. His body was buried in Samaria. His son Jehoahaz became the next king after him.
36 Jehu had ruled over Israel in Samaria for 28 years.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

2 Kings 11

1 Athaliah was Ahaziah's mother. She saw that her son was dead. So she began to wipe out the whole royal house of Judah.
2 But Jehosheba went and got Joash, the son of Ahaziah. She was the daughter of King Jehoram and the sister of Ahaziah. She stole Joash away from among the royal princes. All of them were about to be murdered. She put Joash and his nurse in a bedroom. That's how she hid him from Athaliah. And that's why Athaliah didn't kill him.
3 The child remained hidden with his nurse at the LORD's temple for six years. Athaliah ruled over the land during that time.
4 In the seventh year the priest Jehoiada sent for the commanders of companies of 100 men. They were the commanders over the Carites and guards. He had them brought to him at the temple of the Lord. He made a covenant with them. He made them take an oath at the temple. Then he showed them the king's son.
5 He gave them a command. He said, "Here's what you must do. There are five companies of you. Some of you are in the three companies that are going on duty on the Sabbath day. A third of you must guard the royal palace.
6 A third of you must guard the Sur Gate. And a third of you must guard the gate that is behind the guard. All of you must take turns guarding the temple.
7 "The rest of you are in the other two companies. Normally you are not on duty on the Sabbath. But you also must guard the temple for the king.
8 Station yourselves around the king. Each man must have his weapon in his hand. Anyone else who approaches your companies must be put to death. Stay close to the king no matter where he goes."
9 The commanders of the companies did just as the priest Jehoiada ordered. Each commander got his men and came to Jehoiada. Some of the men were going on duty on the Sabbath day. Others were going off duty.
10 Then Jehoiada gave weapons to the commanders. He gave them spears and shields. The weapons had belonged to King David. They had been in the LORD's temple.
11 The guards stationed themselves around the new king. Each man had his weapon in his hand. They were near the altar and the temple. They stood from the south side of the temple to its north side. Their line formed half of a circle.
12 Jehoiada brought Ahaziah's son out. He put the crown on him. He gave him a copy of the covenant. And he announced that Joash was king. Jehoiada and his sons anointed him. The people clapped their hands. Then they shouted, "May the king live a long time!"
13 Athaliah heard the noise the guards and the people were making. So she went to the people at the LORD's temple.
14 She looked. And there was the king! He was standing next to the pillar. That was the usual practice. The officers and trumpet players were standing beside the king. All of the people of the land were filled with joy. They were blowing trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her royal robes. She called out, "Treason! It's treason!"
15 The priest Jehoiada gave an order to the commanders of the companies. They were in charge of the troops. He said to them, "Bring her away from the temple between the line of guards. Use your swords to kill anyone who follows her." The priest had said, "She must not be put to death at the LORD's temple."
16 So they grabbed hold of her as she reached the place where the horses enter the palace grounds. There she was put to death.
17 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and people. He had the king and people promise that they would be the LORD's people. Jehoiada also made a covenant between the king and the people.
18 All of the people of the land went to Baal's temple. They tore it down. They smashed to pieces the altars and the statues of gods. They killed Mattan in front of the altars. He was the priest of Baal. Then the priest Jehoiada stationed guards at the temple of the Lord.
19 He took with him the commanders of companies of 100 men. They were the commanders over the Carites and guards. He also took with him all of the people of the land. All of them brought the new king down from the LORD's temple. They went into the palace. They entered it by going through the gate of the guards. Then the king sat down on the royal throne.
20 All of the people of the land were filled with joy. And the city was quiet. That's because Athaliah had been killed with a sword at the palace.
21 Joash was seven years old when he became king.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.