2 Kings 8:16-29
Jehoram King of Judah
In the fifth year of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel, when Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat began his reign as king of Judah. He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He followed the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for he married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. Nevertheless, for the sake of his servant David, the Lord was not willing to destroy Judah. He had promised to maintain a lamp for David and his descendants forever.
In the time of Jehoram, Edom rebelled against Judah and set up its own king. So Jehoram[a] went to Zair with all his chariots. The Edomites surrounded him and his chariot commanders, but he rose up and broke through by night; his army, however, fled back home. To this day Edom has been in rebellion against Judah. Libnah revolted at the same time.
As for the other events of Jehoram’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? Jehoram rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. And Ahaziah his son succeeded him as king.
Ahaziah King of Judah
In the twelfth year of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel, Ahaziah son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign. Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem one year. His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of Omri king of Israel. He followed the ways of the house of Ahab and did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was related by marriage to Ahab’s family.
Ahaziah went with Joram son of Ahab to war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth Gilead. The Arameans wounded Joram; so King Joram returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramoth[b] in his battle with Hazael king of Aram.
Then Ahaziah son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to Jezreel to see Joram son of Ahab, because he had been wounded.
- 2 Kings 8:21 Hebrew Joram, a variant of Jehoram; also in verses 23 and 24
- 2 Kings 8:29 Hebrew Ramah, a variant of Ramoth
2 Kings 9
Jehu Anointed King of Israel
The prophet Elisha summoned a man from the company of the prophets and said to him, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take this flask of olive oil with you and go to Ramoth Gilead. When you get there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go to him, get him away from his companions and take him into an inner room. Then take the flask and pour the oil on his head and declare, ‘This is what the Lord says: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and run; don’t delay!”
So the young prophet went to Ramoth Gilead. When he arrived, he found the army officers sitting together. “I have a message for you, commander,” he said.
“For which of us?” asked Jehu.
“For you, commander,” he replied.
Jehu got up and went into the house. Then the prophet poured the oil on Jehu’s head and declared, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anoint you king over the Lord’s people Israel. You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the Lord’s servants shed by Jezebel. The whole house of Ahab will perish. I will cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free.[a] I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah. As for Jezebel, dogs will devour her on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and no one will bury her.’” Then he opened the door and ran.
When Jehu went out to his fellow officers, one of them asked him, “Is everything all right? Why did this maniac come to you?”
“You know the man and the sort of things he says,” Jehu replied.
“That’s not true!” they said. “Tell us.”
Jehu said, “Here is what he told me: ‘This is what the Lord says: I anoint you king over Israel.’”
They quickly took their cloaks and spread them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted, “Jehu is king!”
Jehu Kills Joram and Ahaziah
So Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, conspired against Joram. (Now Joram and all Israel had been defending Ramoth Gilead against Hazael king of Aram, but King Joram[b] had returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds the Arameans had inflicted on him in the battle with Hazael king of Aram.) Jehu said, “If you desire to make me king, don’t let anyone slip out of the city to go and tell the news in Jezreel.” Then he got into his chariot and rode to Jezreel, because Joram was resting there and Ahaziah king of Judah had gone down to see him.
When the lookout standing on the tower in Jezreel saw Jehu’s troops approaching, he called out, “I see some troops coming.”
“Get a horseman,” Joram ordered. “Send him to meet them and ask, ‘Do you come in peace?’”
The horseman rode off to meet Jehu and said, “This is what the king says: ‘Do you come in peace?’”
“What do you have to do with peace?” Jehu replied. “Fall in behind me.”
The lookout reported, “The messenger has reached them, but he isn’t coming back.”
So the king sent out a second horseman. When he came to them he said, “This is what the king says: ‘Do you come in peace?’”
Jehu replied, “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me.”
The lookout reported, “He has reached them, but he isn’t coming back either. The driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi—he drives like a maniac.”
“Hitch up my chariot,” Joram ordered. And when it was hitched up, Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah rode out, each in his own chariot, to meet Jehu. They met him at the plot of ground that had belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite. When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Have you come in peace, Jehu?”
“How can there be peace,” Jehu replied, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?”
Joram turned about and fled, calling out to Ahaziah, “Treachery, Ahaziah!”
Then Jehu drew his bow and shot Joram between the shoulders. The arrow pierced his heart and he slumped down in his chariot. Jehu said to Bidkar, his chariot officer, “Pick him up and throw him on the field that belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite. Remember how you and I were riding together in chariots behind Ahab his father when the Lord spoke this prophecy against him: ‘Yesterday I saw the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons, declares the Lord, and I will surely make you pay for it on this plot of ground, declares the Lord.’[c] Now then, pick him up and throw him on that plot, in accordance with the word of the Lord.”
When Ahaziah king of Judah saw what had happened, he fled up the road to Beth Haggan.[d] Jehu chased him, shouting, “Kill him too!” They wounded him in his chariot on the way up to Gur near Ibleam, but he escaped to Megiddo and died there. His servants took him by chariot to Jerusalem and buried him with his ancestors in his tomb in the City of David. (In the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab, Ahaziah had become king of Judah.)
Then Jehu went to Jezreel. When Jezebel heard about it, she put on eye makeup, arranged her hair and looked out of a window. As Jehu entered the gate, she asked, “Have you come in peace, you Zimri, you murderer of your master?”[e]
He looked up at the window and called out, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked down at him. “Throw her down!” Jehu said. So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered the wall and the horses as they trampled her underfoot.
Jehu went in and ate and drank. “Take care of that cursed woman,” he said, “and bury her, for she was a king’s daughter.” But when they went out to bury her, they found nothing except her skull, her feet and her hands. They went back and told Jehu, who said, “This is the word of the Lord that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs will devour Jezebel’s flesh.[f] Jezebel’s body will be like dung on the ground in the plot at Jezreel, so that no one will be able to say, ‘This is Jezebel.’”
- 2 Kings 9:8 Or Israel—every ruler or leader
- 2 Kings 9:15 Hebrew Jehoram, a variant of Joram; also in verses 17 and 21-24
- 2 Kings 9:26 See 1 Kings 21:19.
- 2 Kings 9:27 Or fled by way of the garden house
- 2 Kings 9:31 Or “Was there peace for Zimri, who murdered his master?”
- 2 Kings 9:36 See 1 Kings 21:23.