DEATH OF JEHORAM, KING OF ISRAEL
AFTER the death of Benhadad, Jehoram, king of Israel, besieged the city of Ramoth, and took
it from the Syrains. But while the siege was in progress he was wounded by an arrow,
and he returned to Jezreel to have the wound healed, leaving the army and the captured
city in charge of Jehu, his general. Elisha the prophet then sent one of his disciples
to Ramoth, and the disciple took Jehu into a private chamber and anointed him king of
"The Lord hath ordained thee king of Israel, that thou mayest destroy the house of Ahab,
and avenge the blood of the prophets slain by Jezebel."
Then the disciple fled.
When Jehu came out again, the officers, who had seen him go in with the disciple, asked
him what that young man wanted with him, and was he not a madman?
"Verily," answered Jehu, "the words he spoke were those of a madman."
And when they pressed him to know what those words were, Jehu said,—
"He chose me to be king over Israel."
Then the soldiers all rose and blew their trumpets, and cried,—
"Jehu is king of Israel."
Jehu put himself at the head of the army, and marched
 towards Jezreel. But when they were at some distance from the city Jehu made his army
halt, for he wished to take Jehoram by surprise. So he rode forward in his chariot,
accompanied only by a few of his horsemen.
Jehoram was in his chamber, where Ahaziah, the king of Judah, who was his sister's
son, had come to visit him. A watchman came into the chamber and reported that he
saw a troop of horsemen coming towards the city. Jehoram ordered that a horseman
should be sent out to meet them and inquire what they wanted. But when the horseman
met Jehu and questioned him, Jehu bade him not meddle with such matters, but to
follow him. The watchman saw this, and reported to Jehoram that the horseman had
mingled himself among the company, and was coming along with them. When the king
sent a second messenger, Jehu commanded him to do as the former had done. When the
watchman told this to Jehoram, he at last got on his chariot himself, together with
Ahaziah, and drove out to meet the horsemem. The two kings came up to Jehu near the
field of Naboth, and Jehoram asked,—
"Are all things well in the camp?"
But Jehu answered, "How can all things be well when the sins of thy wicked mother,
Jezebel, have not been avenged?"
Then Jehoram was afraid, and turned his horses' heads, and said to Ahaziah, "We are
fought against by deceit and treachery."
But Jehu drew his bow and shot an arrow, which pierced the heart of Jehoram and killed
him. And he shot another arrow, which wounded Ahaziah; and though that king jumped on
a horse and fled away to his own kingdom, he nevertheless died of his wound a few days
after, and was buried in Jerusalem.
Jehu rode on into Jezreel. And Jezebel, hearing what he had done, came out and stood
upon a tower on the wall of the city, and said,—
 "Thou are a fine servant, to kill thine own master!"
When he saw her he asked who she was, and commanded her to come down to him. But, as
she would not do this, he bade some of her servants cast her down. They obeyed him,
and the wall be besprinkled with her blood, and her body was trodden under foot by
the horses, and so she died. Jehu came to the royal palace with his friends and sat
down to dinner. First, however, he told his servants to go and take up the body of
Jezebel and bury it, for she was a queen. But his servants could find only her skull
and her hands and her feet; all the rest of her body had been eaten by dogs.
Jehu caused the family of Ahab to be put to death, and in this way the prophecies of
Elijah were all fulfilled. He also destroyed the false prophets of Baal, and overturned
the idols of that god. But he suffered the golden calves to remain, and allowed the
Israelites to worship them. For Jehu was not a good man, and he soon forgot all the
benefits the Lord had bestowed upon him.
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