2 Kings 9-11 Anoint him and run!

From 2 Kings 9-11

11 crown cross

A few more kings have passed on Judah’s side. In today’s reading Elisha will have the next king in line for Israel anointed. Today’s account is a little different than normal.

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

 Passage and Comments

9 Then Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets and said to him, “Tie up your garments, and take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead. 2 And when you arrive, look there for Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi. And go in and have him rise from among his fellows, and lead him to an inner chamber. 3 Then take the flask of oil and pour it on his head and say, ‘Thus says the LORD, I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee; do not linger.” (2 Ki 9.1-3)

There are a few points of interest. First the man is to lead him to an inner chamber so he can speak with Jehu privately. Id be worried with this because kings have been killed that way. Beware left handed men. Second, this is more of an anoint and run attack. Im reminded of some people during the reformation who went around throwing water on people and running away shouting they are now baptised. Its a bit like that, but this is more serious because its a real anointing. Jehu will be king.

4 So the young man, the servant of the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. 5 And when he came, behold, the commanders of the army were in council. And he said, “I have a word for you, O commander.” And Jehu said, “To which of us all?” And he said, “To you, O commander.” 6 So he arose and went into the house. And the young man poured the oil on his head, saying to him, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, I anoint you king over the people of the LORD, over Israel. 7 And you shall strike down the house of Ahab your master, so that I may avenge on Jezebel the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD. 8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish, and I will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel. 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. 10 And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and none shall bury her.” Then he opened the door and fled. (2 Ki 9.4-10)

So the servant of the prophet does what he was instructed to do. Somehow Jehu’s fellow commanders allow the servant to speak privately with Jehu and he gets poured on. In addition to the anointing Jehu is instructed to wipe out Ahab his master and his whole household to avenge the killing of the LORD’s prophets and servants by Jezebel. Perhaps we can see why the message was kept secret and why he had to flee afterwards. There might be people sympathetic to Ahab among them. If they heard they might dispute the message and kill the servant.

11 When Jehu came out to the servants of his master, they said to him, “Is all well? Why did this mad fellow come to you?” And he said to them, “You know the fellow and his talk.” (2 Ki 9.11)

The people outside are initially concerned and it seems Jehu doesnt know what to believe. Is he a mad fellow? Is he a servant of the prophet? Perhaps both because all prophets are a bit excentric at the best of times.

12 And they said, “That is not true; tell us now.” And he said, “Thus and so he spoke to me, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, I anoint you king over Israel.’ ” 13 Then in haste every man of them took his garment and put it under him on the bare steps, and they blew the trumpet and proclaimed, “Jehu is king.” (2 Ki 9.12-13)

They believe the pronouncement. Jehu is anointed as king.  But he does not yet tell them his chief role is to deliver judgment on Ahab house.
Jehu then goes on a Ahab house hunting rampage. He assassinates the sons of Ahab that became kings. He tracks down Jezebel (mistress, pagan priestess) and has her killed. Then he organises for the rest of his descendents (70 in total) to be destroyed. Their servants betray these descendents and send Jehu their heads. Lastly Jehu tricks all the priests of Baal into coming to the temple. When they all come he shuts the door and slaughters them until they are dead.

Story of Israel

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

One difference between Israel and Judah is the line of Judah remained unbroken. Like Ahabs line sometimes whole households were destroyed. Sometimes Israel had two kings competing with each other for rule. It cannot be said for Judah. His line was preserved because of the LORD’s promise that a son of Davids would have an eternal kingdom (2 Sam 7).

Jehu was to inflict judgment on the line of Ahab and the followers of Baal. In a sense he saves Israel by removing the bad influences. Salvation by judgment.

Story of Jesus

In the gospel Jesus describes two advents. The first is where he came to save. The second, still to come is when the Father will judge through him. Jesus is saviour and judge. Jesus refers to both of these advents in John.

44 And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” (Jn 12.44-50)

In Jehu’s time judgment had come. The wicked were punished for their idolatry. But the first advent of Jesus is a time of salvation. And we are still in that time now. The Father given Jesus a commandment – what to say and what to speak. This commandment – Jesus words – are eternal life. To believe and obey Jesus’s words is how people get saved and enter into eternal life with God. When the judgment on the last day comes, unlike the line of Ahab, those who believe in the Father will be saved.

Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.