Jehu races to Jezreel to depose King Joram

2 Kings 8:21-24  Jehoram succeeds Jehoshaphat as King of Judah in 849BC. The Edomite cities of Zair and Libnah rise in revolt against King Jehoram and Edom becomes an independent kingdom. In 842BC, Jehoram is succeeded as King of Judah by his son Ahaziah.

2 Kings 8:25-29  In the same year (842BC), King Joram of Israel is wounded at Ramoth Gilead (probably Tell Rumeith east of Irbid in Jordan) fighting King Hazael of Syria (see 15 on Map 58). He retreats to Jezreel.


Jezreel valley from Tel Yisreal  ( צילום: אילנה שקולניק - Ilana Shkolnik)

View across the Jezreel Valley from Tel Yisre'el   (Ilana Shkolnik)


Hazael’s victory over Joram of Israel and Ahaziah of Judah (“of the House of David”) is celebrated on a basalt pillar (the ‘Tel Dan stele’) found in the ruins of Dan and now on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem (see the feature on Dan).

2 Kings 9:1-29  Jehu (who had previously been anointed by Elijah - see 1 Kings 19:16) is secretly anointed King of Israel at Ramoth Gilead on the orders of Elisha, and drives his chariot to Jezreel “as if he were mad!” (2 Kings 9:20) (see 17 on Map 58). Jehu confronts King Joram over the idolatry and witchcraft brought to Israel by his mother Jezebel and then kills him. Jehu dumps Joram’s body in Naboth's vineyard at Jezreel. Jehu then pursues King Ahaziah of Judah. He wounds him near Gur and Ahaziah dies at Megiddo.

2 Kings 9:30-37  Jehu than moves back to Jezreel. Jezebel is thrown from the window of her apartment by her eunuchs and the dogs eat her body by the wall of Jezreel in fulfilment of Elijah’s prophesy (see 1 Kings 21:23).

2 Kings 10:1-17  From Jezreel, Jehu orders the death of seventy princes descended from Ahab and all of Ahab’s family in Samaria. He then sets off for Samaria to claim the throne. At Beth Eked (‘Shepherd's camp’) he slaughters forty two relatives of Ahaziah of Judah.

2 Kings 10:18-31  On arriving at Samaria in 842BC, King Jehu summons all the prophets of Baal, then kills them when they come to sacrifice. He destroys the temple of Baal in Samaria and restores the worship of the LORD.

2 Kings 10:32-36  During the twenty eight year reign of Jehu as King of Israel (842-813BC), King Hazael of Syria gradually conquers the land of Gilead east of the River Jordan from Aroer in the Arnon Gorge north to Bashan.

The magnificent black obelisk of Shalmaneser III of Assyria, on display in the British Museum in London, shows a tribute of gold and silver being brought in 841BC from King Jehu of Israel to the Assyrian king, whose influence expands gradually further west at this time.


Obelisk of Shalmaneser III

Israeli tribute bearers on the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III

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