2 Kings 10 Ė 11 part 6

 

Chapter 10 gives us more information about Jehu and how caries out Godís command to wipe out the household of Ahab.

 

2 Kings 10:1 Now Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote and sent letters to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to those who reared Ahab's sons, saying:2 Now as soon as this letter comes to you, since your master's sons are with you, and you have chariots and horses, a fortified city also, and weapons,3 choose the best qualified of your master's sons, set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house.4 But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, "Look, two kings could not stand up to him; how then can we stand?"5 And he who was in charge of the house, and he who was in charge of the city, the elders also, and those who reared the sons, sent to Jehu, saying, "We are your servants, we will do all you tell us; but we will not make anyone king. Do what is good in your sight."

 

We learn that Ahab has 70 sons. A kingís wealth and stature was judged by how many wives and sons he had. Obviously, Ahab had been a wealthy man. Jehu sends a letter to Samaria where these rulers and sons of Ahab were staying. He wants them to crown one these men king and then defend their city. However, we find out that these rulers are scared because Jehu had already killed 2 kings. So, they decide it would be better to be servants of Jehu, instead of being dead.

 

2 Kings 10:6 Then he wrote a second letter to them, saying: If you are for me and will obey my voice, take the heads of the men, your master's sons, and come to me at Jezreel by this time tomorrow. Now the king's sons, seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, who were rearing them.7 So it was, when the letter came to them, that they took the king's sons and slaughtered seventy persons, put their heads in baskets and sent them to him at Jezreel.8 Then a messenger came and told him, saying, "They have brought the heads of the king's sons." And he said, "Lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until morning."9 So it was, in the morning, that he went out and stood, and said to all the people, "You are righteous. Indeed I conspired against my master and killed him; but who killed all these?10 "Know now that nothing shall fall to the earth of the word of the LORD which the LORD spoke concerning the house of Ahab; for the LORD has done what He spoke by His servant Elijah."11 So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men and his close acquaintances and his priests, until he left him none remaining.

 

This shows just how scared these elders and rulers were because they complied with Jehuís request. They cut of the heads of these 70 sons and brought them to Jezreel. Jehu calls them righteous and lets them know that they have fulfilled what God wanted to happen. We find out that Jehu doesnít stop there because he kills all those who were associated with Ahabís household, which would include these men who had killed the 70 sons of Ahab.

2 Kings 10:12 And he arose and departed and went to Samaria. On the way, at Beth Eked of the Shepherds,13 Jehu met with the brothers of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, "Who are you?" So they answered, "We are the brothers of Ahaziah; we have come down to greet the sons of the king and the sons of the queen mother."14 And he said, "Take them alive!" So they took them alive, and killed them at the well of Beth Eked, forty-two men; and he left none of them.

 

The NKJV uses the word brothers here, but it can also simply mean relative. According to 2 Chr. 22:8 we find that it was the sons of his brothers that was killed. Now, even though Ahaziah had been the king of Judah, he was also the son-in-law of Ahabís house hold (2 Kings 8:27). So these nephews that he killed would considered as part of Ahabís household. Again, we have to be careful not to get this Ahaziah of Judah confused with the Ahaziah of Israel who reigned and died before this time.

 

2 Kings 10:15 Now when he departed from there, he met Jehonadab the son of Rechab, (ree-kab) coming to meet him; and he greeted him and said to him, "Is your heart right, as my heart is toward your heart?" And Jehonadab answered, "It is." Jehu said, "If it is, give me your hand." So he gave him his hand, and he took him up to him into the chariot.16 Then he said, "Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD." So they had him ride in his chariot.17 And when he came to Samaria, he killed all who remained to Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed them, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke to Elijah.

 

Now, Jehonadab and his people were not Israelites. In Jer. 35 we find out that they are called Rechabites and they were people who worshiped God and they lived in tents and would not drink wine. This household is also called Kenites 1 Chr. 2:55. Their origin goes all the way back to the time of Abraham Gen. 15:19. They also showed kindness to the children of Israel when they came out of Egyptian exile 1 Sam. 15:6 and they also went with the children of Israel and some of them entered the promise land Judges 1:16.

 

So, Jehonadab was a well respected God fearing man and Jehu wants boost his image by joining forces with this man. Jehonadab confirms that he agrees with Jehuís annihilation of Ahabís household. Jehu wants him to think that he has a great zeal for serving God.However, we will find out that Jehu is not the God fearing man he is trying to portray.

 

2 Kings 10:18 Then Jehu gathered all the people together, and said to them, "Ahab served Baal a little, Jehu will serve him much.19 "Now therefore, call to me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests. Let no one be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal. Whoever is missing shall not live." But Jehu acted deceptively, with the intent of destroying the worshipers of Baal.20 And Jehu said, "Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal." So they proclaimed it.21 Then Jehu sent throughout all Israel; and all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. So they came into the temple of Baal, and the temple of Baal was full from one end to the other.22 And he said to the one in charge of the wardrobe, "Bring out vestments for all the worshipers of Baal." So he brought out vestments for them.23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab the son of Rechab went into the temple of Baal, and said to the worshipers of Baal, "Search and see that no servants of the LORD are here with you, but only the worshipers of Baal."24 So they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had appointed for himself eighty men on the outside, and had said, "If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escapes, whoever lets him escape, it shall be his life for the life of the other."

 

This shows you how deceptive Jehu is. First, he gives the false impression that he is going to worship Baal more than Ahab every thought about doing and makes a decree that if any Baal worshipers fail to show up for this great sacrifice to Baal then they will die. Jehuís deception works because the place is pact. Now we are not given a number, but some have guessed that there were thousands of men there. Now Jehu makes sure there isnít any worshiper of Jehovah there and he began the process of worship to Baal by handing out these special vestments which are garments. However, what they did not know was that Jehu was going to kill ever last one of them and had 80 men on the outside to keep them from escaping.

 

2 Kings 10:25 Now it happened, 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 kill them; let no one come out!" And they killed them with the edge of the sword; then the guards and the officers threw them out, and went into the inner room of the temple of Baal. 26 And they brought the sacred pillars out of the temple of Baal and burned them.27 Then they broke down the sacred pillar of Baal, and tore down the temple of Baal and made it a refuse dump to this day.28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal from Israel.

 

This text implies that Jehu also sacrificed to Baal because he waited until the sacrifices were done and then he killed all these men and they destroyed this temple of Baal making it into a dump ground.

 

2 Kings 10:29 However Jehu did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin, that is, from the golden calves that were at Bethel and Dan.30 And the LORD said to Jehu, "Because you have done well in doing what is right in My sight, and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation."31 But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart; for he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin.

 

On one hand Jehu had obeyed God and carried out His instructions. However, Jehu apparently didnít consider Jehovah as the only God and so his heart was divided between the Jehovah and the false Godís that Jeroboam created. Since he did accomplish Godís request in regards to Ahabís house, he did allow him to have his sons sit on thrown up to the 4th generation and God keeps His Word as we will see later on. It is so sad to see that Jehu would not commit himself to God with all his heart. Since he would not do this, he was living in sin and would depart from it. We need to understand, that we cannot serve two Godís and be pleasing to Jehovah because He is a jealous God and He wants us to be fully committed to Him.

 

2 Kings 10:32 In those days the LORD began to cut off parts of Israel; and Hazael conquered them in all the territory of Israel33 from the Jordan eastward: all the land of Gilead -- Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh -- from Aroer, which is by the River Arnon, including Gilead and Bashan.34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?35 So Jehu rested with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. Then Jehoahaz (juh Ė hoe- uh- haz) his son reigned in his place.36 And the period that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.

 

Israel began to shrink because of the continual idolatry. God had allowed Hazael to continue to conquer them. In less than 100 years from this point in time the Northern Kingdom will be taken into Assyrian captivity in 722 B.C. and that kingdom will never be seen again. Jehu reigns for 28 year and his son Jehoahaz reigns in his place.

 

Now as we enter into chapter 11 I want to point out that there is little bit more detail of the events that happen here in 2 Chr. 22 and 23. I encourage you to read those 2 chapters tonight when you go home, but for our time tonight, I will use 2 Kings 11 as our primary text.

 

2 Kings 11:1 When Athaliah (ath-ah-lie-ah) the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal heirs.2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king's sons who were being murdered; and they hid him and his nurse in the bedroom, from Athaliah, so that he was not killed.3 So he was hidden with her in the house of the LORD for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land.

 

Athaliah was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. You can see that she has the evil in her as Jezebel did. Her goal was to wipe out the house of David. When her son was killed she in turn killed all who succeed him so that she could be in control. She made herself queen of Judah by force. However, by the providence of God, the house of David was spared by this woman Jehosheba as she hid away Joash the son of Ahaziah. He was a new born at this time and she hid him for 6 years.

 

2 Kings 11:4 In the seventh year Jehoiada sent and brought the captains of hundreds -- of the bodyguards and the escorts -- and brought them into the house of the LORD to him. And he made a covenant with them and took an oath from them in the house of the LORD, and showed them the king's son.5 Then he commanded them, saying, "This is what you shall do: One-third of you who come on duty on the Sabbath shall be keeping watch over the king's house,6 "one-third shall be at the gate of Sur, and one-third at the gate behind the escorts. You shall keep the watch of the house, lest it be broken down.7 "The two contingents of you who go off duty on the Sabbath shall keep the watch of the house of the LORD for the king.8 "But you shall surround the king on all sides, every man with his weapons in his hand; and whoever comes within range, let him be put to death. You are to be with the king as he goes out and as he comes in."

 

Now that Joash was 7 years old Jehoiada began to plot against Athaliah. He began to gather up these men to protect Joash. 2 Chron adds that even the Levites were gathered to protect Joash as well.

 

2 Kings 11:9 So the captains of the hundreds did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded. Each of them took his men who were to be on duty on the Sabbath, with those who were going off duty on the Sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest.10 And the priest gave the captains of hundreds the spears and shields which had belonged to King David, that were in the temple of the LORD.11 Then the escorts stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, all around the king, from the right side of the temple to the left side of the temple, by the altar and the house.12 And he brought out the king's son, put the crown on him, and gave him the Testimony; they made him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands and said, "Long live the king!"

 

Once Joash was fully protected he was anointed as King at the age of 7 and he would be King for 40 years. They put a crown on his head and gave him the testimony. Some believe this is referring to the Law of Moses, which this young king should live his life by. They clapped their and hailed him as King.

 

2 Kings 11:13 Now when Athaliah heard the noise of the escorts and the people, she came to the people in the temple of the LORD.14 When she looked, there was the king standing by a pillar according to custom; and the leaders and the trumpeters were by the king. All the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. So Athaliah tore her clothes and cried out, "Treason! Treason!"15 And Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of the hundreds, the officers of the army, and said to them, "Take her outside under guard, and slay with the sword whoever follows her." For the priest had said, "Do not let her be killed in the house of the LORD."16 So they seized her; and she went by way of the horses' entrance into the king's house, and there she was killed.††††††

 

Athaliah knew something wasnít right so she investigated and found out that her self-imposed reign was over. She saw the new king and tore her clothes and cried out Treason!. However, it was to late for her, so they dragged her out of the temple area and took her to the kings house and killed her.

 

2 Kings 11:17 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD, the king, and the people, that they should be the LORD's people, and also between the king and the people.18 And all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal, and tore it down. They thoroughly broke in pieces its altars and images, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of the LORD.19 Then he took the captains of hundreds, the bodyguards, the escorts, and all the people of the land; and they brought the king down from the house of the LORD, and went by way of the gate of the escorts to the king's house. Then he sat on the throne of the kings.20 So all the people of the land rejoiced; and the city was quiet, for they had slain Athaliah with the sword in the king's house.21 Jehoash was seven years old when he became king.

Jehoiada renews the kingdom of Judahís covenant with God. His promise to God is to serve Him by obeying His laws. Just as Jehu destroyed Baal and his follower in Israel Judah was now destroying the temple of Baal and its followers in their area. Judah was happy that Athaliah was dead and that Joash was now king. We learn in verse 21 that Joash is also called Jehoash and that he was 7 years old when he was made king.

 

We will find out next week more about this new king of Judah and you will see that he was a good king as long as Jehoiada was alive and advising him. What happens after Jehoiadaís death is another story.