10:1 Ahab had seventy sons living in Samaria. 1 So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria to the leading officials of Jezreel and to the guardians of Ahab’s dynasty. This is what the letters said, 2 10:2 “You have with you the sons of your master, chariots and horses, a fortified city, and weapons. So when this letter arrives, 3 10:3 pick the best and most capable 4 of your master’s sons, place him on his father’s throne, and defend 5 your master’s dynasty.”
10:4 They were absolutely terrified 6 and said, “Look, two kings could not stop him! 7 How can we?” 8 10:5 So the palace supervisor, 9 the city commissioner, 10 the leaders, 11 and the guardians sent this message to Jehu, “We are your subjects! 12 Whatever you say, we will do. We will not make anyone king. Do what you consider proper.” 13
10:6 He wrote them a second letter, saying, “If you are really on my side and are willing to obey me, 14 then take the heads of your master’s sons and come to me in Jezreel at this time tomorrow.” 15 Now the king had seventy sons, and the prominent 16 men of the city were raising them. 10:7 When they received the letter, they seized the king’s sons and executed all seventy of them. 17 They put their heads in baskets and sent them to him in Jezreel. 10:8 The messenger came and told Jehu, 18 “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons.” Jehu 19 said, “Stack them in two piles at the entrance of the city gate until morning.” 10:9 In the morning he went out and stood there. Then he said to all the people, “You are innocent. I conspired against my master and killed him. But who struck down all of these men? 10:10 Therefore take note that not one of the judgments the Lord announced against Ahab’s dynasty has failed to materialize. The Lord had done what he announced through his servant Elijah.” 20 10:11 Then Jehu killed all who were left of Ahab’s family in Jezreel, and all his nobles, close friends, and priests. He left no survivors.
10:12 Jehu then left there and set out for Samaria. 21 While he was traveling through Beth Eked of the Shepherds, 10:13 Jehu encountered 22 the relatives 23 of King Ahaziah of Judah. He asked, “Who are you?” They replied, “We are Ahaziah’s relatives. We have come down to see how 24 the king’s sons and the queen mother’s sons are doing.” 10:14 He said, “Capture them alive!” So they captured them alive and then executed all forty-two of them in the cistern at Beth Eked. He left no survivors.
10:15 When he left there, he met 25 Jehonadab, son of Rekab, who had been looking for him. 26 Jehu greeted him and asked, 27 “Are you as committed to me as I am to you?” 28 Jehonadab answered, “I am!” Jehu replied, “If so, give me your hand.” 29 So he offered his hand and Jehu 30 pulled him up into the chariot. 10:16 Jehu 31 said, “Come with me and see how zealous I am for the Lord’s cause.” 32 So he 33 took him along in his chariot. 10:17 He went to Samaria and exterminated all the members of Ahab’s family who were still alive in Samaria, 34 just as the Lord had announced to Elijah. 35
1 map For location see Map2-B1; Map4-D3; Map5-E2; Map6-A4; Map7-C1.
2 tn Heb “to the officers of Jezreel, the elders, and to the guardians of Ahab, saying.” It is not certain why the officials of Jezreel would be in Samaria. They may have fled there after they heard what happened to Joram and before Jehu entered the city. They would have had time to flee while Jehu was pursuing Ahaziah.
3 tn Heb “And now when this letter comes to you – with you are the sons of your master and with you are chariots and horses and a fortified city and weapons.”
4 tn Hebrew יָשָׁר (yashar) does not have its normal moral/ethical nuance here (“upright”), but a more neutral sense of “proper, right, suitable.” For the gloss “capable,” see HALOT 450 s.v. יָשָׁר.
5 tn Or “fight for.”
6 tn Heb “they were very, very afraid.” The term מְאֹד (me’od) “very,” is repeated for emphasis.
7 tn Heb “did not stand before him.”
8 tn Heb “How can we stand?”
9 tn Heb “the one who was over the house.”
10 tn Heb “the one who was over the city.”
11 tn Or “elders.”
12 tn Heb “servants.”
13 tn Heb “Do what is good in your eyes.”
14 tn Heb “If you are mine and you are listening to my voice.”
15 sn Jehu’s command is intentionally vague. Does he mean that they should bring the guardians (those who are “heads” over Ahab’s sons) for a meeting, or does he mean that they should bring the literal heads of Ahab’s sons with them? (So LXX, Syriac Peshitta, and some
16 tn Heb “great,” probably in wealth, position, and prestige.
17 tn Heb “and when the letter came to them, they took the sons of the king and slaughtered seventy men.”
18 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Jehu) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
19 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jehu) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
20 tn Heb “Know then that there has not fallen from the word of the
21 tn Heb “and he arose and went and came to Samaria.”
22 tn Heb “found.”
23 tn Or “brothers.”
24 tn Heb “for the peace of.”
25 tn Heb “found.”
26 tn Heb “and he went from there and found Jehonadab son of Rekab [who was coming] to meet him.”
27 tn Heb “and he blessed him and said to him.”
28 tn Heb “Is there with your heart [what is] right, as my heart [is] with your heart?”
29 tc Heb “Jehonadab said, ‘There is and there is. Give your hand.’” If the text is allowed to stand, there are two possible ways to understand the syntax of וָיֵשׁ (vayesh), “and there is”: (1) The repetition of יֵשׁ (yesh, “there is and there is”) could be taken as emphatic, “indeed I am.” In this case, the entire statement could be taken as Jehonadab’s words or one could understand the words “give your hand” as Jehu’s. In the latter case the change in speakers is unmarked. (2) וָיֵשׁ begins Jehu’s response and has a conditional force, “if you are.” In this case, the transition in speakers is unmarked. However, it is possible that וַיֹּאמֶר (vayyo’mer), “and he said,” or וַיֹּאמֶר יֵהוּא (vayyo’mer yehu), “and Jehu said,” originally appeared between יֵשׁ and וָיֵשׁ and has accidentally dropped from the text by homoioarcton (note that both the proposed וַיֹּאמֶר and וָיֵשׁ begin with vav, ו). The present translation assumes such a textual reconstruction; it is supported by the LXX, Syriac Peshitta, and Vulgate.
30 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jehu) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
31 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jehu) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
32 tn Heb “and see my zeal for the
33 tc The MT has a plural form, but this is most likely an error. The LXX, Syriac Peshitta, and Vulgate all have the singular.
34 tn Heb “and he struck down all the remaining ones to Ahab in Samaria until he destroyed him.”
35 tn Heb “according to the word of the