From 2 Kings 9-11
2 Ki 9.1-13; Ahaziah; Jehu-Elisha; Jehu Anointed King of Israel
2 Ki 9.14-29; Ahaziah; Jehu-Elisha; Jehu Assassinates Joram and Ahaziah
2 Ki 9.30-37; Ahaziah; Jehu-Elisha; Jehu Executes Jezebel
2 Ki 10.1-17; Ahaziah; Jehu-Elisha; Jehu Slaughters Ahab’s Descendants
2 Ki 10.18-27; Ahaziah; Jehu-Elisha; Jehu Strikes Down the Prophets of Baal
2 Ki 10.28-36; Ahaziah; Jehu-Elisha; Jehu Reigns in Israel
2 Ki 11.1-3; Athaliah; Jehoahaz-Elisha; Athaliah Reigns in Judah
2 Ki 11.4-20; Joash; Jehoahaz-Elisha; Joash Anointed King in Judah
Passage and Comments
From our chapter readings you may remember Joram is an evil king (2 Ki 8.25-27). He has married the daughter of Ahab (another dodgy king) and abandoned the LORD. Joram has been engaged in battle against the Syrians and has to heal of his wounds (2 Ki 8.28-29).
Meanwhile, Jehu a commander of the armies of Israel has become the benefactor of a hit and run anointing. He has been proclaimed king of Israel behind Joram’s back. In the anointing Jehu was commissioned to wipe out Ahab’s family for their wickedness, this includes Joram (2 Ki 9.1-13).
14 Thus Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram with all Israel had been on guard at Ramoth-gilead against Hazael king of Syria, 15 but King Joram had returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) So Jehu said, “If this is your decision, then let no one slip out of the city to go and tell the news in Jezreel.” 16 Then Jehu mounted his chariot and went to Jezreel, for Joram lay there. And Ahaziah king of Judah had come down to visit Joram. (2 Ki 9:14–16)
Newly anointed, Jehu conspires against Joram. Jehu knows Joram has retreated to Jezreel to heal of his wounds. He gives instructions to his men not to let anyone out of the city so they could tell Joram of his anointing or his plans. Jehu mounts his chariot and speeds off.
Off to kill the evil king.
17 Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel, and he saw the company of Jehu as he came and said, “I see a company.” And Joram said, “Take a horseman and send to meet them, and let him say, ‘Is it peace?’ ” 18 So a man on horseback went to meet him and said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’ ” And Jehu said, “What do you have to do with peace? Turn around and ride behind me.” And the watchman reported, saying, “The messenger reached them, but he is not coming back.” (2 Ki 9:17-18)
At Jezreel, the watchman working for Joram sees a speeding chariot and company of men. He doesn’t know who they are or their intention. If they are of Israel, he would like to know how the war goes. Is the war over, are they at peace? If they are of the Syrians, he asks if they are for peace. So he sends a horseman to find out.
Jehu has nothing to do with peace. He could have sent the horseman back or killed him. Instead Jehu invites the man into his company. His ever increasing company.
The watchman reports to Joram, but doesn’t know what was said or who was in the approaching party.
Joram’s anxiety increases.
19 Then he sent out a second horseman, who came to them and said, “Thus the king has said, ‘Is it peace?’ ” And Jehu answered, “What do you have to do with peace? Turn around and ride behind me.” 20 Again the watchman reported, “He reached them, but he is not coming back. And the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi, for he drives furiously.” (2 Ki 9:19-20)
The same thing happens again. The horseman joins Jehu’s company.
Jehu has picked up his pace. He drives furiously towards Joram.
Joram now recognises the driving of the chariot. Fast, angry, strong and violent – Furious. Joram doesn’t know Jehu has been anointed King or his mission to kill him. He does not know of Jehu’s intent. Otherwise he would call for more men and attack or flee.
21 Joram said, “Make ready.” And they made ready his chariot. Then Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah set out, each in his chariot, and went to meet Jehu, and met him at the property of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 And when Joram saw Jehu, he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?” He answered, “What peace can there be, so long as the whorings and the sorceries of your mother Jezebel are so many?” (2 Ki 9:21-22)
The kings of Israel and Judah approach Jehu. Unsuspecting of what is about to transpire. Ironically, they meet Jehu at the property of Naboth. The man, Joram’s father Ahab killed by trickery in order to acquire (1 Ki 21). Poetic justice.
They ask again, ‘Is it peace, Jehu?’
Jehu reveals his cards. There can be no peace when the people of Israel are so taken with the wickedness of his mother Jezebel. Unprepared, the two kings try to flee. But its too late.
23 Then Joram reined about and fled, saying to Ahaziah, “Treachery, O Ahaziah!” 24 And Jehu drew his bow with his full strength, and shot Joram between the shoulders, so that the arrow pierced his heart, and he sank in his chariot. (2 Ki 9:23-24)
Shot in the back while he was trying to flee. Straight through the heart.
25 Jehu said to Bidkar his aide, “Take him up and throw him on the plot of ground belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite. For remember, when you and I rode side by side behind Ahab his father, how the LORD made this pronouncement against him: 26 ‘As surely as I saw yesterday the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons—declares the LORD—I will repay you on this plot of ground.’ Now therefore take him up and throw him on the plot of ground, in accordance with the word of the LORD.” (2 Ki 9:25-26)
The blood of Naboth is avenged on Ahab and his descendents. The LORD has been faithful to his promise. Normally his promises concern the well being of his people and this world. This one is quite different. The LORD promised to avenge Ahab’s wrongdoing and he did.
27 When Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled in the direction of Beth-haggan. And Jehu pursued him and said, “Shoot him also.” And they shot him in the chariot at the ascent of Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo and died there. 28 His servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his tomb with his fathers in the city of David. (2 Ki 9:27–28)
Jehu doesn’t take any prisoners. Ahaziah tries to escape as well. In the pursuit he also is shot and he dies soon after. The kings of Israel and Judah both died that day. Jehu drives furiously indeed.
Story of Israel
Conspiracies are normally malicious plots or plans to harm or to kill, which may be directed against other people, or even against God. Conspiracies are sometimes motivated by political aspirations, but may be simply an outlet for wrongdoing. There are quite a lot of conspiracies in the books of Kings (1 Ki 15.25-28; 16.8-10,15-18; 2 Ki 9.14-24; 10.9-11; 12.19-21; 14.17-19; 15.15,23-25,30; 21.23-24).
When Jehu was asked by Joram about peace he answered, “What peace can there be, so long as the whorings and the sorceries of your mother Jezebel are so many?” (2 Ki 9.22) His conspiracy was motivated to remove evil from Israel at any lengths. This sets it apart from most conspiracies, because through it the LORD was using Jehu to cleanse Israel and punish Ahab’s wrongdoing.
Story of Jesus
Jesus didn’t promote conspiracies, but he knew his enemies were conspiring against him.
26 When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, 2 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4 and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.” (Mt 26:1–5)
As in Jehu’s example, the LORD also worked through the conspiracy against Jesus to bring about his plans. Through Jesus’ death, he would take away our sins.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2015. All Rights Reserved.