1 Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. Jehu sent letters to Samaria, to the rulers of the town, and to the elders, and to those who took care of the sons of Ahab. The letter stated:
2 »You are in charge of the king's descendants, and you have at your disposal chariots, horses, weapons, and fortified cities. As soon as you receive this letter,
3 choose the best qualified of the king's descendants and make him king, and fight to defend him.«
4 The rulers of Samaria were terrified. They said: »How can we oppose Jehu when neither King Joram nor King Ahaziah could?«
5 So the officer in charge of the palace and the official in charge of the city, together with the leading citizens and the guardians, sent this message to Jehu: »We are your servants, and we are ready to do anything you say. But we will not make anyone king. Do whatever you think best.«
6 Jehu wrote them another letter: »If you are with me and are ready to follow my orders, bring the heads of King Ahab's descendants to me at Jezreel by this time tomorrow.« The seventy descendants of King Ahab were under the care and were being brought up by the leading citizens of Samaria.
7 As soon as Jehu's letter arrived, the leaders of Samaria killed all seventy of Ahab's descendants and put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jehu at Jezreel.
8 Jehu was informed that the heads of Ahab's descendants had been brought. He ordered them to be piled up in two heaps at the city gate and left there until the following morning.
9 In the morning he went out and said to all the people there: »You are upright people. It is true that I made designs against my master, and put him to death. Who is responsible for the death of all these?
10 »You may be certain that nothing Jehovah said about the family of Ahab will be without effect. Jehovah has done what he said by his servant Elijah.«
11 Jehu put to death all the rest of the seed of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his relations and his near friends and his priests, till there were no more of them.
12 Jehu then left for Samaria. He was at the meeting-place of the shepherds of the sheep.
13 He came across the brothers of Ahaziah, king of Judah, and asked: »Who are you?« They replied: »We are the brothers of Ahaziah, king of Judah. We are going down to see the children of the king and of the queen.«
14 He ordered: »Take them alive.« So they took them alive and then killed them at the cistern of the shearing house. He killed all forty-two of them.
15 When he left there he met Jehonadab, the son of Rechab. He greeted him and said to him: »Is your heart true to mine, as mine is to yours?« Jehonadab in answer said: »It is.« Jehu said: »If it is give me your hand.« He gave him his hand and he made him come up into his chariot.
16 He said: »Come with me and see how I am on fire with zeal for Jehovahs cause.« So he made him go with him in his chariot.
17 When Jehu arrived at Samaria, he put to death all those of Ahab's family who were still in Samaria. There were no more of them, as Jehovah had said to Elijah.
18 Jehu assembled all the people and said to them: »Ahab was Baal's servant in a small way, but Jehu will be his servant on a great scale.
BAAL WORSHIPERS DESTROYED
19 »Now send for all the prophets of Baal, all his servants and priests, to come to me. Let no one stay away for I have a great offering to make to Baal. Anyone who is not present will be put to death.« Jehu did this with deceit. It was his purpose to destroy the servants of Baal.
20 Jehu said: »Let there be a special holy meeting for the worship of Baal.« So a public statement was made.
21 Jehu sent through all Israel; and all the servants of Baal came, not one kept away. They entered the house of Baal. It was full from one end to the other end.
22 Jehu said to the keeper of the robes: »Get out robes for all the servants of Baal.« So he got out robes for them.
23 Jehu, with Jehonadab, the son of Rechab, went into the house of Baal. He said to the servants of Baal: »Make a search with care, to see that no servant of Jehovah is with you, but only servants of Baal.«
24 They went in to make offerings and burned offerings. Jehu put eighty men outside. He told them: »If any man whom I give into your hands escapes, he who lets him go will forfeit his own life for that life.«
25 As soon as he finished offering the burned offering Jehu said to the armed men and the captains: »Go in and put them to death! Do not let one come out!« So they put them to the sword. Pulling the images to the ground, they went into the holy place of the house of Baal.
26 They removed the image of Asherah from the house of Baal and burned it.
27 The altar of Baal was pulled down and the house of Baal was broken up and made an unclean place, as it is to this day.
28 Jehu put an end to the worship of Baal in Israel.
29 But Jehu did not keep himself from all the sins of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, and the evil he made Israel do. The gold calves were still worshiped in Bethel and in Dan.
30 Jehovah said to Jehu: »You have done well by doing what is right in my eyes. You carried out my purpose for the family of Ahab. Therefore your sons will be kings of Israel to the fourth generation.«
31 But Jehu did not take care to keep the law of Jehovah with all his heart. He did not keep himself from the sin that Jeroboam did and made Israel do.
32 Jehovah began to reduce the size of Israel's territory. King Hazael of Syria conquered all the Israelite territory
33 east of the Jordan, as far south as the town of Aroer on the Arnon River. This included the territories of Gilead and Bashan, where the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and East Manasseh lived.
34 Everything else that Jehu did, including his brave deeds, is recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel.
35 He died and was buried in Samaria. His son Jehoahaz succeeded him as king.
36 Jehu had ruled in Samaria as king of Israel for twenty-eight years.