2nd Kings 10

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working time

We start another story and another phase of the work.

1 And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought up Ahab’s [children], saying, The charge was to destroy the whole house of Ahab. This meant they were not finished until his sons were slain with all the worshipers of Baal.

2 Now as soon as this letter cometh to you, seeing your master’s sons [are] with you, and [there are] with you chariots and horses, a fenced city also, and armour. They were warned to prepare for the battle. They expected this confrontation to occur. They were entrenched and would survive if God were on their side.

3 Look even out the best and meetest of your master’s sons, and set [him] on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house. It was the idea that God was with them that they began to doubt. No one of the sons of the king wanted the job.

4 But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand? Records of the success of Jehu against his enemies implied God was with him. Joram and Ahaziah were kings and they fell before him.

5 And he that [was] over the house, and he that [was] over the city, the elders also, and the bringers up [of the children], sent to Jehu, saying, We [are] thy servants, and will do all that thou shalt bid us; we will not make any king: do thou [that which is] good in thine eyes. They decided to surrender. They were willing to give the seventy to Jehu to do whatever he wanted to them.

6 Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye [be] mine, and [if] ye will hearken unto my voice, take ye the heads of the men your master’s sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time. Now the king’s sons, [being] seventy persons, [were] with the great men of the city, which brought them up. Jehu told them it was not a question of what he would do to the seventy, they were the ones to deal with them.

7 And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king’s sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent him [them] to Jezreel. So they dealt with them. They were no longer aligned with the house of Ahab.

8 And there came a messenger, and told him, saying, They have brought the heads of the king’s sons. And he said, Lay ye them in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning. Thirty five heads in two heaps on either side of the gates of Jezreel until the morning as a testimony to all who past by.

9 And it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, Ye [be] righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him: but who slew all these? You are not guilty of this thing. And you know that I am not guilty of this thing. Then who is guilty of what happened to these people?

10 Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spake concerning the house of Ahab: for the LORD hath done [that] which he spake by his servant Elijah. The answer is God has done this thing. Just as you see the end of the sons of Ahab so you will see the end of all things associated with him because what God has started he will finish.

11 So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolk’s, and his priests, until he left him none remaining. And so it was all the remnants of the system that was Baal worship in Israel were removed.

12 And he arose and departed, and came to Samaria. [And] as he [was] at the shearing house in the way, He was on his way to Samaria and he met these men. They claimed to be part of the household of Ahaziah and had not heard of events that affected the family of Ahab or the house of David.

13 Jehu met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who [are] ye? And they answered, We [are] the brethren of Ahaziah; and we go down to salute the children of the king and the children of the queen. They were doing what they were always doing unaware of the changes.

14 And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house, [even] two and forty men; neither left he any of them. So Jehu took them alive. There were forty two men and they were all slain in the pit of the shearing house.

Naboth

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The house of Ahab, as we have already discovered, had only forty years or one generation to go before it would be no more. However it was dealt with by Peter in such a way the resistance to the truth for a time was non existent. The remnants of the religious system that was Jezebel, the dogs or Gentiles ate. It was mentioned before and it is to be detailed again. This element of the change was significant. It was an important part of the thing God would do, and therefore something he wanted to tell us about.

Peter did not move immediately into his role as leader, but the force of circumstances, and the focus of the enemy turned upon him and he fulfilled his part well.

The Lord did say, when you are converted. And it is the Judaisers that Peter began to shine. At the Jerusalem Conference he took the lead and though others were seriously confused it is clear from the record that Peter was the one to control events and resolve the matter. This is why the Kings record tells him “it is to thee oh captain.” From that moment on Peter dealt with the Jews who tried to turn Gentiles back to the law. In this battle with Jehu you will note that Joram was injured by Hazael, whom we have identified with Paul, and Ahaziah was slain by Jehu, whom we identify with Peter.

We read the record of the Acts and do not appreciate the superhuman efforts of these men challenging the leaders of the nation. Their destruction was swift, and it was the beginning of a frantic campaign to set up their place in the land. They began to remember what the Lord said while he was with them and they were encouraged to continue their course. They even recite his words having no difficulty recalling in detail all his instructions. The one thing everyone noticed about Peter was that he was rash, and that is a nice way of saying he drove furiously. There was no stopping him when he was in motion and it was the characteristic that was needed to establish the ecclesia and fortify them against opposition.

The contest concerned the Nazarene so it all began in the portion of Naboth and concerned their treacherous conduct.

The confrontation with the religious leaders was a sorry affair with their attempts to show themselves controlled and in charge, but it was all gone. They feebly said this thing will not last. It has no place to go and will die on the vine but they were not deterred. A notable feature of those in the first century who believed were the Eunuchs and those of the kings household. People in high position who knew the frailty of the system caught hold of hope. They lent their support in a real way and began the process of changing the arrangements.

A certain time passed before she was buried and so it was that they discovered the Gentiles had eaten the body but left the hands, the feet and the head. They did not think like the Jewish religious leaders, they did not do the work they did, nor did they walk in their ways. The only ate the carcass. The Lord had told them not to do as they did. He warned about the leaven of the Pharisees, that is, their doctrine. Do as they say, but not as they do. The system was so decimated, that it was not revived nor memorialized.

The end of Jezabel

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28 And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city of David. There was great regret at his death because it only happened because he was associated with those who were appointed to death. He should not have been seen with them. He shared their fate because he shared their belief system.

29 And in the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah. We had established earlier that it was the twelfth year and now it is the eleventh. You are entitled to ask why that correction is made.

30 And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard [of it]; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window. Jezabel readied herself. She was going to make an impression and she had to look her best. She could see the writing on the wall and felt she might influence events to her advantage. She had managed to do it before.

31 And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, [Had] Zimri peace, who slew his master? Zimri was slain by Omri the great king who started this dynasty. If you challenge me you take on all that history and it ran over the top if Zimri. You have had some success but as before it will not last.

32 And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who [is] on my side? who? And there looked out to him two [or] three eunuchs. For them to be on his side they had to know he was against all the Baal worshippers and intended to destroy their prophets. Three eunuch’s declared themselves immediately. They had worked out who was God and knew they had to stand against Baal worship. They had the advantage of being able to focus on what was true. They knew what was required.

33 And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and [some] of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trod her under foot. They were trusted in the court of the women because they were not influenced by fleshly distractions. This meant they could also see the issues on other matters as well. Jehu made a show of ensuring everyone knew the leaders of this system were condemned by God.

34 And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed [woman], and bury her: for she [is] a king’s daughter. She was of noble birth and should have therefore ensured the people were not misled. The burial respected the institution not the way it was managed.

35 And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of [her] hands. However the dogs had eaten all but her skull, the feet and the palms of her hands. So there was not much left over to bury. But these parts were buried and a memorial made in these words of way she died.

36 Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This [is] the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel. It was Elijah who testified that this would happen. He was the prophet who pointed out the dynasty would end in ignominy.

37 And the carcass of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; [so] that they shall not say, This [is] Jezebel. There was not a monument to mark the spot for it was in shame that her end came. She is blamed for turning the head of the king who reigned at the most important time in the history of Israel.

Many will balk at the idea the anointing of Jehu connected with the anointing of Peter. But the connections are too strong to ignore. Elijah was told to do it, but he died before it was done. Elisha had to arrange it. But then the Lord Jesus Christ did it, between the time he died and ascended to heaven. He anointed Peter and Paul and the Disciples during that time. What we are meant to decide is that Elisha is the Lord going about the work of Elijah in those men, and so it is portrayed in the record of Acts. So the Lord is both Elijah and Elisha before his death and ascension, and after. I know you are having difficulty with this and so the story says, Elisha sent one of his servants. It is in the period after the death of Elijah in the time of Elisha, and someone other than Elisha does it.

Peter was not just one of the twelve. He was to be separated from the others and made king over Israel, that is, he was named the Apostle to the Jews. The Lord appointed him when they were alone together, and quickly went away.
The Lord appeared to Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, James and John and two other disciples not named at the sea of Tiberias, and they did not know who he was. He singled out Peter and told him to feed his sheep. Peter knew he was appointed to a specific role for he said, and what will happen to John? The Lord replied that it was not for him to know. Notice he was to be king over the people of Yahweh over Israel, that is, the Israel of God. His mission was mainly to the Jewish people, but as we know he opened the key to the door preventing the Gentile entrance as well. His first task was to deal with the enemies of the people. There was no effective opposition to the progress of the truth after Peter had finished.

Jehu

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14 So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramoth-gilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria. In the first encounter with Hazael and Joram the king of Israel kept Ramoth-gilead but that was to change. Jehu was to come into the calculations.

15 But king Joram was returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) And Jehu said, If it be your minds, [then] let none go forth [nor] escape out of the city to go to tell [it] in Jezreel. Once Jehu was aware of what had happened between Hazael and Joram he decided no one was to escape from Jezreel to tell what had happened. All were to be captured and the matter contained.

16 So Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to Jezreel; for Joram lay there. And Ahaziah king of Judah was come down to see Joram. By going to Jezreel Jehu could corner his opposition. And with suitable strategy he could prevent any escape.

17 And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, [Is it] peace? Joram was unsure of the situation. He knew Jehu was there for a reason but was not confident he was on his side of the argument. So he sent out a messenger to find out. The question was “is it peace” or are you against me?

18 So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus saith the king, [Is it] peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again. Jehu was not about to show his hand as that would give the advantage to those he needed to defeat. The messenger was told to get behind him. The watchman knowing this was not what Joram wanted reported the messenger does not come back to give the reply.

19 Then he sent out a second on horseback, which came to them, and said, Thus saith the king, [Is it] peace? And Jehu answered, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. A second messenger came to ask the same question and was told to get behind Jehu and follow him into the city. So Joram tries to get some signal of the lie of the land but he was once more frustrated. Notice Jehu showed his dissatisfaction to the messenger.

20 And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving [is] like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously. The watchman reported as before the messenger had fallen in behind the leader of the group. They were not sure who was in the group at this stage. They did not know it was Jehu, although he was only one of the captains of the army to them.

21 And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite. However the signs were ominous. So Joram wanted to know and decided to go himself. Notice they went ready to fight or flee whatever was necessary and expedient. That they met outside the walls of the city in the plot of Naboth is important as well.

22 And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, [Is it] peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts [are so] many? He recognized Jehu and asked what was the reason for the visit. There was no doubt about where Jehu stood in the matter. The worship of Baal was to be stopped in Israel and those who taught such things were to be slain. Jezabel presided over these things and she was to be finished.

23 And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, [There is] treachery, O Ahaziah. He knew exactly what that meant and he warned the king of Judah to flee for changes were on the way.

24 And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot. That his full strength was required meant it was a long shot and required all his skill and effort. That it went accurately to its mark means God directed it.

25 Then said [Jehu] to Bidkar his captain, Take up, [and] cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite: for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the LORD laid this burden upon him. Jehu was aware of prophecy that referred to this event and reminded his companion about it.

26 Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons, saith the LORD; and I will requite thee in this plat, saith the LORD. Now therefore take [and] cast him into the plat [of ground], according to the word of the LORD. He was to be buried in such a way that his offenses would be remembered with God’s complaint against him and his household.

27 But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw [this], he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. [And they did so] at the going up to Gur, which [is] by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there. He sat on the throne of David but they were the pretenders to the throne and had been replaced. The garden house was a reminder of the death of Naboth and the judicial crimes committed in his trial and stoning. So his death was also a reminder of his crimes for supporting this corrupt regime.

2nd Kings 9

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This story is a continuation of the one we discovered in chapter eight, but the main character is Jehu. What a fascinating character he is.

1 And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramoth- gilead: Ramoth-Gilead was in the territory often controlled by Syria. Now I stress again that Elijah was to do this before he left this world, but he did not do it. So it is up to Elisha to get it done. He in turn appointed one of the sons of the prophets to do the deed.

2 And when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber; Single him out from amongst his brethren for something special. Take him away from their company and tell him what you plan to do.

3 Then take the box of oil, and pour [it] on his head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not. Anoint him with this special ointment, announce to him that he is king of Israel, open the door and flee as fast as you can.

4 So the young man, [even] the young man the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. This person who does not have a name does as instructed and comes to meet Jehu.

5 And when he came, behold, the captains of the host [were] sitting; and he said, I have an errand to thee, O captain. And Jehu said, Unto which of all us? And he said, To thee, O captain. Jehu was singled out. And it was done in such a way the others were left wondering what was going on.

6 And he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the LORD, [even] over Israel. But it was a message from God. It told him he was the king and he had to lead the nation. It would not be proper to make this announcement in the company of his peers.

7 And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel. There was no way to know who was loyal to Ahab. This was a change of Dynasty. Ahab was of the house of Omri and it was to end.

8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel. It was not only to end, it was to be totally obliterated. This expression that we do not say is mentioned again to which is added a strange expression “shut up and left in Israel.” We do not know what that means because it has no more information than that.

9 And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. The houses of these two kings of Israel were finished. They would not feature in any future events about the throne of Israel. This is in contrast to the future of those who sat on the throne of David. And even though the kings of Judah behaved badly just like the house of Ahab their future was secure.

10 And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and [there shall be] none to bury [her]. And he opened the door, and fled. Jehu had a mission to perform. He had to bring the house of Ahab to an end and finish off Jezebel.

11 Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and [one] said unto him, [Is] all well? wherefore came this mad [fellow] to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication. There was something strange about this meeting and this person who appeared suddenly and made this announcement. Jehu said you are aware who he is and the communication he would have.

12 And they said, [It is] false; tell us now. And he said, Thus and thus spake he to me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. They said it must be false. They could not believe it at first. When he told them the Lord had given instruction that he was to be king of Israel they accepted it without hesitation. He was well chosen.

13 Then they hasted, and took every man his garment, and put [it] under him on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king. There was a possibility they might have disputed who would be made king but not now. They were in no mood to argue about such things. He was accepted of them immediately.

Hazael

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14 So he departed from Elisha, and came to his master; who said to him, What said Elisha to thee? And he answered, He told me [that] thou shouldest surely recover. He told him part of the message. He kept the part quiet about his replacing him as king. No doubt Ben-hadad was reassured. But Hazael was confirmed in his destiny.

15 And it came to pass on the morrow, that he took a thick cloth, and dipped [it] in water, and spread [it] on his face, so that he died: and Hazael reigned in his stead. It was only a day later that Hazael murdered Ben-hadad and assumed his position as ruler of Syria.

We were introduced to Hazael as the one to be anointed king of the Gentiles by Elijah. This little story tells us more about this character. He was met by the prophet and told of his new role as king of the Gentiles. It told us he would be a ruthless man, a man bent on persecuting the people of God. His brutal reign made the man of God weep for his people, expressing God’s response to Paul’s bitter pursuit of the followers of Jesus. He was a murderer. God has testified to that. But as we mentioned before this was all before he was anointed. With Hazael he was a murderer after he is anointed.

This is a significant part of the development of the truth in the first century, part of the story that makes up the drama of the age.

16 And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat [being] then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign. It is the fifth year of Joram king of Israel. In that year Jehoram began to reign in Judah. He was co-reagent with Jehoshaphat then.

17 Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. He was thirty two years old when he began to reign and he reigned for eight years.

18 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the LORD. The daughter of Ahab is this Athaliah who is just like her mother. The result was Jehoram king of Judah became just like Ahab.

19 Yet the LORD would not destroy Judah for David his servant’s sake, as he promised him to give him alway a light, [and] to his children. While God was tempted to cut him off so he could not sit on the throne of David, because of the promise he would not do it.

20 In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves. Clearly Edom did not have a king until this time. They appointed a king and revolted against the constraints of Judah’s king.

21 So Joram went over to Zair, and all the chariots with him: and he rose by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him about, and the captains of the chariots: and the people fled into their tents. A battle resulted. The Edomites were smitten. Now it is the Edomites who compassed Jehoram about. He smote them and the captains of their chariots and then Judah fled to their tents.

22 Yet Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time. Despite this victory Edom succeeded in securing their release from under Judah. Then Libnah did the same.

23 And the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, [are] they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? And that was about the end of the eight years. It all started when he began to reign and reached this point at the end of his reign which we know to be eight years.

24 And Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried With his fathers in the city of David: and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead. His son Ahaziah took over and things got decidedly worse.

25 In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel did Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah begin to reign. So Joram king of Israel was now in his twelfth year. This is the year Ahaziah began to reign in Judah.

26 Two and twenty years old [was] Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name [was] Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel. He was twenty two years old in his first year and he reigned only one year in Jerusalem. His mother was the granddaughter of Omri.

27 And he walked in the way of the house of Ahab, and did evil in the sight of the LORD, as [did] the house of Ahab: for he [was] the son in law of the house of Ahab. One year is not a long time but he showed his colors.

28 And he went with Joram the son of Ahab to the war against Hazael king of Syria in Ramoth-gilead; and the Syrians wounded Joram. He joined himself with Joram son of Ahab to war against Hazael, and Joram was wounded in the battle. Ahaziah was not hurt in that battle.

And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick. Jezreel was the place chosen by Joram to convalesce. Ahaziah visited to see how he was recovering.