Chapter 3

  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, Now as soon as this letter comes to you, seeing your master’s sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, a fortified city also, and armor, search even out the best and most qualified of your master’s sons and set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.
  2. But they were exceedingly afraid and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him, how then shall we stand? 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 your servants and will do all that you shall bid us; we will not make any king. Do that which is good in your eyes.
  3. Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If you are mine, and if you will listen unto my voice, take the heads of the men — your master’s sons — and come to me, to Jezreel, by tomorrow this time. Now the king’s sons, being seventy men, were with the great men of the city who brought them up.
  4. And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king’s sons and slew seventy men, and put their heads in baskets, and sent him them, to Jezreel. And there came a messenger and told him, saying, They have brought the heads of the king’s sons. And he said, Lay them in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning.
  5. And it came to pass in the morning that he went out and stood, and said to all the people, You are righteous. Behold, I conspired against my master and slew him, but who slew all these? Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the Lord which the Lord spoke concerning the house of Ahab, for the Lord has done that which he spoke by his servant Elijah. So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolk, and his priests, until he left him none remaining.
  6. And he arose and departed, and came to Samaria. And as he was at the shearing house in the way, Jehu met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who are you? 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. And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house, even forty-two men, neither left he any of them.
  7. And when he was departed from there, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him. And he saluted him and said to him, Is your heart right, as my heart is with your heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it is, give me your hand. And he gave him his hand, and he took him up to him into the chariot. And he said, Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord. So they made him ride in his chariot. And when he came to Samaria, he slew all that remained unto Ahab in Samaria, until he had destroyed him according to the saying of the Lord which he spoke to Elijah.
  8. And Jehu gathered all the people together and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu shall serve him much. Now therefore call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests. Let none be absent, for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal. Whoever shall be absent, he shall not live. (But Jehu did it in subtlety, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal.) And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it. And Jehu sent through all Israel, and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came not. And they came into the house of Baal, and the house of Baal was full from one end to another. And he said unto him that was over the vestry, Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal. And he brought them forth vestments. And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto the worshippers of Baal, Search, and see that there are here with you none of the servants of the Lord, but the worshippers of Baal only. And when they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings, Jehu appointed eighty men outside, and said, If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escape, he that lets him go, his life shall be for the life of him.
  9. And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, Go in and slay them; let none come forth. And they smote them with the edge of the sword, and the guard and the captains cast them out, and went to the city of the house of Baal. And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal and burned them. And they broke down the image of Baal, and broke down the house of Baal, and made it a waste house unto this day. Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.
  10. Nevertheless, from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them — that is, the golden calves that were in Beth-el and that were in Dan. And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because you have done well in executing that which is right in my eyes, and have done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart, your children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart, for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam who made Israel to sin.
  11. In those days, the Lord began to cut Israel short, and Hazael smote them in all the borders of Israel from Jordan eastward — all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan.
  12. Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, and all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? And Jehu slept with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his stead. And the time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.