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JEHU, THE FURIOUS DRIVER OF HIS CHARIOT
II Kings viii: 7 to 15; ix: 1, to x: 36.
OU remember that when the Lord came to the prophet
Elijah at Mount Horeb in the wilderness (see Story 78),
the Lord gave to Elijah a command to
anoint or call Hazael to be king of Syria, and Jehu to
be king of Israel. But to prepare the way for these
changes of rule a long time was needed, and Elijah was
taken home to heaven before these men were called to be
The time to call these men had now come, and Elisha
undertook the work that had been left to him by Elijah.
He went to Damascus, the chief city of Syria: and
Ben-hadad, the king of Syria, heard that the great
prophet of Israel had come, for the fame of Elisha's
deeds had made his name known through all those lands.
At that time King Ben-hadad was ill; and he sent one of
his chief princes, whose name was Hazael, to ask Elisha
whether he would be well again. Hazael came to meet
Elisha with a rich present, which loaded forty camels,
and he spoke to Elisha with great respect, saying,
"Your son, Ben-hadad, king of Syria, has sent me to you
to ask, 'Shall I become well again from this
And Elisha said to Hazael, "You may tell Ben-hadad that
he will get well; nevertheless, the Lord has shown me
that he will surely die."
Then Elisha looked steadily upon Hazael's face, until
Hazael felt ashamed, and Elisha wept as he looked upon
him. Hazael said to him, "Why does my lord weep?" "I
weep, said Elisha, "because I know the evil that you
will do to the people of Israel. You will take their
castles, and set them on fire; you will kill their
young men, and you will destroy their children."
 Hazael was surprised at this, and said, "I am nothing
but a dog; and how can I do such great things?"
And Elisha answered him, "The Lord has shown me that
you shall be king over Syria."
Then Hazael went to King Ben-hadad, and said to him,
"the man of God told me that you will surely be well
from your sickness."
And on the next day Hazael took the cover from the bed,
and dipped it in water, and pressed it tightly over
Ben-hadad's face, so that he died; and Hazael reigned
in his place as king of Syria. As soon as Hazael
became king, he made war upon the Israelites; and a
battle was fought at Ramoth-gilead, the same place
where King Ahab had been slain more than ten years
before. In this battle Jehoram, the king of Israel,
was wounded; and he was taken to Jezreel, beside the
great plain of Esdraelon, there to recover from his
wounds. Ahaziah, who was at that time king of Judah,
and who was a nephew of Jehoram, went to Jezreel to
visit him while he was ill from his wounds.
By this time Elisha, the prophet, had returned from his
visit to Syria. He knew that the time had now come to
finish the work in Israel left to him by Elijah; and he
called one of the sons of the prophets to him, and
said, "Rise up, and go to the camp at Ramoth-gilead;
and take with you this little bottle of oil. And when
you reach Ramoth-gilead, find one of the captains of
the army, Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of
Nimshi; and lead him into a room alone, and pour the
oil on his head, and say, 'Thus saith the Lord, I have
anointed you as king over Israel.' When you have done
this, come back to me at once without waiting."
Then the young man, who was a prophet like Elisha, took
the bottle of oil in his hand and went to
Ramoth-gilead. In the camp of Israel he found the
captains of the army sitting together. He came
suddenly among them, and said, "O captain, I have an
errand to you."
And Jehu, one of the captains, said to him, "To which
one of us is your errand?"
He said to Jehu, "My errand is to you alone, O
Then Jehu went with the young prophet into the house;
and he poured the oil on his head, and said, "Thus saith
the Lord, the God of Israel, 'I have anointed you as
king over my people Israel. And you shall destroy the
family of Ahab, because they destroyed
 the prophets of
the Lord. And I will make the house of Ahab like the
house of Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin. And the
wild dogs shall eat Jezebel in the city of Jezreel, and
there shall be no one to bury her.' "
And after he had said this, the prophet opened the
door, and went away as suddenly as he had come. Jehu
came back to the other captains, and sat down again.
One of the captains said to him, "Is all well? Why did
this wild fellow call you out?"
Jehu said to them, "You know the man, and you know
what he said to me."
"No, no," they all said, "we do not know. Tell us what
Then Jehu told them what the prophet had said, and that
he had anointed him as king. This pleased all the
captains. At once they took off their outer garments,
and spread them as a carpet on the stairs of the house,
and at the head of the stairs they placed Jehu; and
they blew the trumpets and called out to the army,
"Jehu is the king!"
Jehu said to the captains, "Do not let any one go out
of the camp to bear word to Jehoram. I will go
Then Jehu made ready his chariot, and rode swiftly
toward Jezreel, his company riding after him. The
watchman on the tower at Jezreel saw him coming, and he
called out to King Jehoram, "I see a company coming
toward the city."
JEHU DRIVING HIS CHARIOT TO MEET KING JEHORAM
Jehoram thought that they were bearing news of the war
with the Syrians. He sent out a man on horseback to
meet the company. The man came, and said, "Is all
Jehu answered him, "What difference is it to you? Come
Then the man turned, and joined Jehu's company; and so
did another man whom Jehoram sent when the first man
did not return. And the watchman called out to Jehoram
again, "Two men have gone out to meet the company that
is drawing near, but they have not come back; and the
man at the head drives like Jehu, the son of Nimshi,
for he drives furiously."
Then Jehoram became anxious; he sent for his chariot,
and went out to meet Jehu; and with him went Ahaziah,
the king of Judah, each in his own chariot. It came to
pass that they met Jehu in the very place which had
been the vineyard of Naboth; the same
 place where Ahab
had met Elijah, when that same Jehu was standing behind
Ahab in his chariot. (See Story 80.)
As Jehoram drew near to Jehu, he called to him, "Is all
"Can anything be well," answered Jehu, "as long as your
mother Jezebel lives, with all her wickedness?"
When Jehoram heard this he saw that Jehu was his enemy.
He cried out to King Ahaziah, and turned his chariot,
and fled. But he was too late, for Jehu drew his bow
with all his strength and sent an arrow to his heart.
Jehoram fell down dead in his chariot. Then Jehu said
to Bidkar, whom he had made his chief captain, "Take
away the body of Jehoram, and throw it into the field
where the body of Naboth was thrown. Do you remember
how, when you and I were riding in the chariot behind
Ahab, his father, the Lord said, 'I have seen the blood
of Naboth on this spot, and the punishment of Ahab and
his sons shall be in this place?' "
When Ahaziah, the king of Judah, saw Jehoram fall, he,
too, turned and fled. But Jehu pursued him, and
ordered his followers to kill him. So Ahaziah, the son
of Jehoshaphat, and grandson of Ahab (for his mother,
Athalish, was a daughter of Jezebel), he also died at
the hand of Jehu. His servants took the body of
Ahaziah to Jerusalem, and buried it there.
When Jehu rode into the city of Jezreel Queen Jezebel
knew that her end had come; but she met it boldly, like
a queen. She put on her royal robes, and a crown upon
her head, and sat by the window, waiting for Jehu to
come. As he drew near, she called out to him, "Good
day to you, Jehu, you who are like Zimri, the murderer
of your master!"
You have read of Zimri, who slew King Elah, and was
himself burned in his palace seven days after. (See
Story 76). Jehu looked up to the
window, and called out, "Who is on my side? Who?"
JEZEBEL CALLS FROM THE WINDOW TO JEHU
And some men looked out to him, and he said, "Throw her
out of the window."
They threw her down, and her blood was spattered on the
wall and on the horses. King Jehu came into the
palace, and sat down as master, and ate and drank.
Then he said, "Take up the body of that wicked woman,
Jezebel, and bury her, for, though wicked, she was the
daughter of a king."
But when they looked on the pavement there was nothing
 of her except her skull, and the bones of her feet
and her hands, for the wild dogs of the city had eaten
her body; and thus the wicked life of Jezebel came to
an end, and the word of the Lord by the prophet Elijah
came to pass. And Jehu slew all the sons of Ahab, and
their children with them, so that not one of Ahab's
family was left alive. When Jehu saw that he was safe
and strong on the throne, he sent out a message to all
the worshippers of Baal, the idol which Jezebel and the
house of Ahab had brought into Israel. This message
was, "Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve
him much. Now, let all the priests of Baal meet in the
temple of Baal in Samaria."
They came by hundreds, hoping that Jehu would be their
friend as Ahab and his family had been. But when they
were all in the temple, he brought an army of his
soldiers, and placed them on guard around it; and when
no one could escape, he gave the order, "Go into the temple
and kill all the priests of Baal; let not one get away
And this was done in a cruel manner. He killed all the
prophets and priests of Baal, and tore down the temple
of Baal in Samaria.
But though Jehu broke up the worship of Baal, he did
not worship the Lord God of Israel as he should. He
continued to serve the golden calves which Jeroboam had
set up long before at Bethel and at Dan. (See Story
75). And the Lord sent a prophet to
Jehu, who said to him, "Because you have done my will
in destroying the house of Ahab, and in destroying
those that worshipped Baal, your children to the fourth
generation shall sit on the throne of Israel."
On account of the many sins of the people of Israel the
Lord began in the days of Jehu to take away the land of
the Ten Tribes. Hazael, the new king of Syria, made
war on Jehu, and conquered all the land on the east of
the Jordan, from the brook Amon to the land of Bashan
in the north; so all that was left of Israel was the
country on the west of Jordan, from Bethel northward to