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
2 Kings 10:3Context
10:3 pick the best and most capable 3 of your master’s sons, place him on his father’s throne, and defend 4 your master’s dynasty.”
2 Kings 10:6-7Context
10:6 He wrote them a second letter, saying, “If you are really on my side and are willing to obey me, 5 then take the heads of your master’s sons and come to me in Jezreel at this time tomorrow.” 6 Now the king had seventy sons, and the prominent 7 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. 8 They put their heads in baskets and sent them to him in Jezreel.
2 Kings 19:14Context
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 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.
4 tn Or “fight for.”
5 tn Heb “If you are mine and you are listening to my voice.”
6 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
7 tn Heb “great,” probably in wealth, position, and prestige.
8 tn Heb “and when the letter came to them, they took the sons of the king and slaughtered seventy men.”
9 tc The MT has the plural, “letters,” but the final mem is probably dittographic (note the initial mem on the form that immediately follows). Some Greek and Aramaic witnesses have the singular.
10 tc The MT has the plural suffix, “them,” but this probably reflects a later harmonization to the preceding textual corruption (of “letter” to “letters”). The parallel passage in Isa 37:14 has the singular suffix.