1 The seventy sons of Ahab lived in Samaria. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the leaders of the city, to the judges and to those who took care of the sons of Ahab, saying, 2 As soon as this letter comes to you who have the kings sons, chariots of war and horses, fortified cities and weapons, 3 select the best and most fit of your masters sons and make him sit on his fathers throne
4 They were in great fear, and they said, If the two kings were not able to stand up to him, how then can we resist him? 5 The palace cham berlain, the military commissioner of the city, the judges and the tutors sent this response to Jehu: We are your servants, and we will do whatever you say. We will not proclaim anyone king
6 Then he sent them a second letter which said, If you are on my side and among those who obey me, take the heads of the sons of the king, your lord, and come to talk to me tomorrow at this time in Jezreel.
6 The kings sons were seventy and they were growing up in the houses of prominent families of the city.
7 As soon as this letter reached them, they seized the sons of the king, beheaded seventy of them and placed their heads in large baskets which they sent to Jezreel. 8 The messenger came to where Jehu was and said to him, Here they send you the heads of the kings sons. He answered, Lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate of Jezreel until tomorrow.
9 In the morning, Jehu went out and said to all the people, Be fair, tell me: if I have conspired against my king and have killed him, who then has beheaded all these? 10 Know then that none of the words Yahweh has spoken against the family of Ahab shall be without effect. Everything he said through the mouth of his servant Elijah has been fulfilled.
11 Jehu then killed all who remained loyal to Ahab in Jezreel all his ministers, relatives, priests without sparing anyone. 12 Then he left for Samaria, and in Beth-eked of the Shep herds, 13 he met the brothers of Ahaziah, king of Judah. He asked them, Who are you? They answered, We are the brothers of Aha ziah, and we go to greet the sons of the king and the sons of the queen. 14 Jehu said, Take them alive. They took them alive and beheaded them all by the well of Beth-eked. They were forty-two men, and none was left alive.
15 Setting out from there, he met Jehonadab, son of Rechab, who came out to meet him. Jehu greeted him and said, Would you be faithful to me as I am to you? Jehonadab answered, Yes. So Jehu said to him, Give me your hand. He gave him his hand, and Jehu took him up with him into his chariot, and said, 16 Come with me and see my zeal for Yahweh. And he had him ride in his chariot.
17 When Jehu came to Samaria, he killed all the survivors loyal to Ahab in that city, and he did not spare anyone. So the word Yahweh had said through the mouth of Elijah was fulfilled.
18 Jehu gathered together all the inhabitants and said, Ahab served Baal, but I will serve him still better. 19 And he added, Sum mon all the prophets of Baal, all his faithful followers and priests. 20 Let no one be missing at the solemn sacrifice I will offer to Baal. Whoever is absent shall die. Jehu did this with cunning, for he was determined to kill all who were faithful to Baal. They themselves proclaimed the sacred so lemnity that Jehu had commanded. And Jehu, for his part, 21 sent messengers throughout Israel for all the faithful of Baal to come without any exception.
21 When they entered the temple of Baal, they were so many that they hardly touched the ground. 22 Then Jehu ordered those in charge of the vestments to bring out the sacred vestments reserved for the faithful of Baal and to distribute these to them. 23 Jehu who was accompanied by Jehonadab, the son of Rechab, said insistently to the faithful of Baal, Make sure that none of the faithful of Yahweh has entered with you, that there is no one here except all the true servants of Baal.
24 Then they entered to prepare the sacrifice. But Jehu had stationed eighty men outside, and said to them, Whoever of you lets anyone escape of those who must die shall pay with his own life. 25 And when the sacrifice was finished, Jehu gave this order to the soldiers and officers, Go in and kill all of them, let none of them escape. So, they went in and put everyone to the sword, going as far as the sanctuary of the House of Baal. 26 They pulled out the sacred pillar of the House of Baal and burned it. 27 They destroyed the altar and pulled down the temple, which remains a garbage dump to this very day.
28 This was how Jehu wiped out the name of Baal from Israel. 29 But Jehu did not turn aside from the sins which Jeroboam, the son of Ne sbat, had caused Israel to commit, for they kept the golden calves of Bethel and Dan. 30 In spite of this, Yahweh said to Jehu, Since you have acted well, doing what seems just to me, and have dealt with the family of Ahab according to my will, your sons until the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. 31 But Jehu did not completely walk according to the Law of Yahweh, since he did not give up the sins into which Jeroboam had led Israel.
32 In those days, Yahweh began to reduce the land of Israel, and Hazael conquered the Israelites taking their territory 33 from the Jordan to the East, all the land of Gilead, of the tribes of Gad, Reuben, Manasseh, from Aroer by the brook of Arnon, all the land of Gilead and Bashan.
34 Now the rest of the story of Jehu, all that he did and his bravery are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. 35 When Jehu died, they buried him in Samaria, and his son Jehoahaz reigned in his place. 36 Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria for twenty-eight years.