I confess. I like the next guy we meet. He’s hard not to like even though he’s kind of a bastard.
Jehu seems like a cynical, macho, action hero who doesn’t really believe in all of this “gods” stuff, but is more than willing to use religion to further his ambitions.
In the movie adaptation, I imagine him being played by Stephen Lang.
Elisha gets one of the junior prophets and tells him to go find Jehu and anoint him king over Israel.
So the kid goes to Ramoth-gilead and finds the captains of the army sitting around and he says, “I have a message from God for you.”
Jehu: Which one of us?
Kid: You, Sir.
So they head into a house and the kid anoints Jehu with oil. “God has chosen you to be the next king. You are to destroy the house of Ahab as vengeance for the blood they shed. Spare no one. The dogs will eat Jezebel and she will not be buried.”
Then the kid ran off as fast as he could from Jehu. Jehu comes back to the group, his head oilier than it was and they ask him what that was about.
“Oh, come on, you know how crazy those prophets are,” he says.
“Don’t lie to us, bro.”
“Fine, he said God wants me to be king and kill Ahab’s family.”
So everyone starts treating Jehu like the king and one of the men blows a trumpet and proclaims Jehu as king.
Jehu: Alright, guys, if this is what you want, fine. Keep everyone in the city so word doesn’t reach the current king Jehoram in Jezreel. So Jehu takes some soldiers and heads for Jezreel. Jehoram was wounded and was recovering in Jezreel with his cousin Ahaziah the king of Judah. They get the report of a band of men coming towards the city and Jehoram sends a horseman to find out what they want.
Horseman: Is it peace?
Jehu: Shut up and get behind me.
The horseman obeys and when Jehoram is told that, he and Ahaziah go out in their own chariot to meet Jehu.
Jehoram: Is it peace?
Jehu: What peace is there as long as you and your whore mother breathe?
Jehoram: It’s a trap!
Jehu puts an arrow through Jehoram’s heart and he dies. He also has his men shoot Ahaziah but he escapes and dies elsewhere.
Jehu: Throw the ‘king’ into the field of Naboth. Let him rot there as poetic justice for the crimes of his father and mother.
So Jehu enters the city and Jezebel hears of it in the citadel and puts makeup on.
Jezebel: Is it well, Betrayer?
Jehu: Anyone who wants to get on my good side? Throw her out the window.
So some men throw Jezebel out the window. And Jehu goes in and eats and drinks and then orders that they bury Jezebel, but she’s already been eaten by wild dogs and all that they find is her hands and feet and skull.
Jehu: Well, okay then. I guess that the word of Elijah came true. Come on, we’ve got more killing to do.
Jehu is a shrewd guy. He knows that he needs to legitimize himself in the eyes of the people, so he sends messages to the leaders of Israel and says, “Hey, you’ve got 70 sons of Ahab with you. Pick up to be your king and come out and face me.”
And the elders say, “Well, you just killed two kings at once, so no, we’re good. You can be our king.”
Jehu: Kill all of Ahab’s kids and send me their heads tomorrow.
They kill all of Ahab’s kids and put their heads in baskets that they send to Jehu.
Jehu: Stack them in two piles by the city gate.
Seriously, Jehu need his own movie.
Jehu: Yeah, I killed my master, but you guys killed his kids. We’re both guilty of treason now, so we’re in this together.
So Jehu travels towards the capitol and runs into a group of royals from Judah, the kin of Ahaziah and he takes them captive and executes them.
Then he meets some guy and they’re friends and they ride together in his chariot to Samaria where he kills the rest of Ahab’s kin.
Jehu: Hey, speaking of Ahab, he really liked that god Ba’al. Well, so do I! Just can’t get enough of that Ba’al thing… Love me some Ba’al. So everyone come to my big Ba’al worshipping ceremony! Come or I’ll kill you.
So all of the Ba’al worshippers get together in the temple and pack the place out.
Jehu: Alright, hey, you’re all just Ba’al worshippers, right? There aren’t any of those Yahweh people in here, are there? No, oh good. Hey, men? Kill everyone. Spare nobody under penalty of death.
So they kill the Ba’al worshippers and destroy his temple and burn his sacred pillars. Jehu purges the cult of Ba’al from Israel, but he leaves up the statues of the cow gods that Jeroboam made way back in 1 Kings.
God: Dude, you’re the man! You did what was right in my sight, so I’ll let your family hold the throne for four generations.
So Jehu does more stuff and dies and his son Jehoahaz becomes king.
And we move back to Judah for some more politics of the day. Ahaziah’s mom, Athaliah sees that her son is dead, so she has the other royal offspring killed, but one escapes.
Obviously, Athaliah has never read the Evil Overlord’s list.
They hide the kid, Joash, in the temple with the priests where he lives for six years.
When Joash is seven, the priests plot their coup to put the boy on the throne and replace the usurper Athaliah. They conspire with the military, show them the boy king, and persuade them to join their side.
Then they have a coronation ceremony for the boy and shout, “Long live the king!”
Athaliah tears her clothes and cries, “Treason!”
So they drag her out of the Temple and kill her. And the priests of Yahweh renew the covenant with the people and start to purge the land of Ba’al and his followers. And everyone was happy because no one liked Athaliah, I guess. So the government was now in the hands of a seven year old and the priests of Yahweh that would be the ones really in charge.
I’m sure that won’t go horribly wrong very soon. (Flips ahead in the text)
Nope, nothing bad happens to Judah at all.