How a Box of Oil Caused the Downfall of Ahab’s Dynasty

Chapter 9 has Elisha! At least, a little bit I think. Elisha called over one of the children of the prophets and tells them to take a box of oil and go thither to Ramoth-Gilead. The scriptures make it sound like the person he sent to do this was young. Verse 4 says he was a young man. If Elijah was present at all, it may have been in a capacity other than a prophet. Maybe I misunderstood what God told Elijah in the first place. Maybe Elijah did anoint Jehu to be king as promised. Elisha sending his young man was an anointing to make it legit? Or maybe the commandment of God, rather than being fulfilled by Elijah was fulfilled by Elisha. I don’t know.

The Plan to Get a New King in Israel

When this prophet gets to Ramoth-Gilead, he is supposed to look for Jehu and take him from among his brethren to an inner chamber. He is to then take the box of oil and pour it on his head and say, “Thus saith the Lord, I have anointed thee King over Israel.” Then open the door and flee. Tarry not. This plan reminds me of Nacho in the movie Nacho Libre when he quickly baptizes his wrestling partner in a bowl of water. Why does it need to happen so fast? It sounds like he (Jehu) has to be kidnapped, made a king, and then book it back to where he came from. Why would this be? Does Jehu not want to be king? Maybe the current king doesn’t want Jehu to be king so he has him under close observation? by the time the King of Israel find out Jehu has been anointed the king, the alarms will have been raised and it will be time for the prophet to peace out and make a beeline for home base. Let’s see how it pans out.

Captain to King

This is pretty cool. It all goes smoothly. The prophet meets Jehu (who apparently is a captain of the host of Ramoth-Gilead) and Jehu is with the others captains. The prophet says that he has an errand with the captain. The captain and he go into a private room. The prophet does his thing and then takes off! When Jehu comes out, the captains want to know what the madman did. Jehu notifies them that they already know what the prophet did. His guards don’t believe it. So he confirms that indeed he was made the king. The captains accept it and it is made known throughout all Ramoth-Gilead.

Jehu commands that none escape Ramoth-Gilead to tell the current (and no longer legitimate) king of Israel, Joram. Joram had been wounded in battle and was recuperating in Jezreel. The king of Judah, Ahaziah, was also in Jezreel visiting Joram. The city goes into lockdown and Jehu is now free to initiate that which he was anointed to do–destroy the house of Ahab completely (from which Joram was a part of) as well as his (Ahab’s) wife, Jezebel.

The Beginning of the End for Ahab’s Descendents

Jehu readies his chariot and takes off for Jezreel. A guard on the tower of Jezreel spies Jehu and sends a messenger to find out what he wants. Jehu doesn’t want to talk about his purpose to the messenger so he tells him to get behind him and follow him into the city. The guard doesn’t see the messenger so he sends another one. Jehu tells this messenger the same thing. The guard thinks maybe it’s Jehu because he is riding his chariot so furiously. He tells the king. King Joram and Ahaziah decide to ready their personal chariots and go out to meet him in the outskirts of the city.

When Jehu meets the kings, Joram asks Jehu, “Is it peace? (Is it well?)” Jehu replies that as long as Joram’s mother is alive and her witchcraft abounds, there will be no peace. Joram tells Ahaziah, “There is treachery.” and turns around and flees. Jehu takes out his bow, draws it back with all his strength and sinks the arrow into the heart of Joram.

Jehu tells his captain to dump the body in the same place that Naboth died (The guy who had his vineyard forcibly taken away and then was killed outside the city walls by Ahab and Jezebel). The captain does as commanded.

Ahaziah the king sees what just happened and flees. Jehu follows him and says, “Smite him also in his chariot.” Cross reference 2 Chronicles 22:9. Ahaziah escapes but all his priests and ministers that were with him were killed. Eventually, he was caught up by the servants of Jehu and brought back to Jehu who killed him. He was then allowed to be taken to Jerusalem to be buried with his fathers.

The Death of Jezebel

Jezebel sees Jehu coming through the gate and prepares herself to meet him by adorning herself on her head. She looks out the window at Jehu and says to him, “Had Zimri peace who slew his master?” Cross reference 1 kings 16:10a. Zimri’s story is similar only that instead of being anointed king by a prophet, he drank himself into a frenzy and killed everyone. Then was made the king. Nevertheless, this must have been insulting to Jehu.

Jehu looks up to the window where Jezebel is and asks who is on his side? Two or three eunuchs look out the window also. Cross reference bible dictionary on eunuchs. They were actually part of courts. Often they were considered trusted officials or watched over harems.

Jehu tells the eunuchs to throw her down. So they do. Her blood splashes on the wall and on the horses. Then Jehu trod her under his foot. After that, he goes in and eats and drinks. Then tells his servants to bury Jezebel, saying she is the king’s daughter. But when they go to bury her, all that is left is her skull, feet, and the palms of her hands. They come back and say they can’t bury her because the dogs have eaten too much of her. Thus, the prophecy of Elijah came true that dogs would lap up her blood.

The Slaughter of Ahab’s 70 Sons

Chapter 10 continues the bloodbath. Jehu sends letters out to Ahab’s 70 sons, telling them to put their best men on the throne and defend it because he is coming to kill them. They all freak out and send letters back saying, “We’ll be loyal servants if you spare our lives.” Jehu writes back and says that if they are his loyal servants, they will slay all the sons of Ahab and send him the heads. So they do. He gets 70 heads in a basket and tells his servants to put them by the gate. He then gathers the townsfolk together and shows them what has become of the house of Ahab and that the Lord’s words came true which were spoken by Elijah the Tishbite. He then proceeds to kill all the people in Jezreel that are related to the house of Ahab.

Then he went down to the kingdom of Judah, to the house of Ahaziah. He met the 42 brothers of Ahaziah and killed them as well.

As Jehu is going through the city, he meets Jehonodab. Cross reference Jeremiah 35:6. He seems to be a decent guy. He commanded his children to not drink wine forever and ever. Can’t find out who Jehonodab’s dad, Rechab is, though.

Worship of Baal Ceases

Jehu continues going through all of Samaria killing all the kin of Ahab. Then he says that Ahab served Baal a little and that he serves Baal a lot. He commands all the prophets of Baal to be gathered for a great sacrifice. When in reality what the prophets think will be happening is very different than what Jehu has in mind. Jehu gathers EVERY single worshipper of Baal to come to the house of Baal. They do. He says to them, “Make sure there are no worshippers of God among you.” Seeing none, they all enter the house of Baal to offer burnt sacrifice. As soon as they all enter, Jehu appoints 60 men to guard the outside so no man comes out. Once they are finished offering burnt sacrifice, the guards are now supposed to go in and kill all the worshippers of Baal. It happens. The house of Baal and all the images are also burned down. Jehu destroys all worship of Baal in Israel.

Don’t Keep Your Golden Cows in the Closet

Unfortunately, despite all the good Jehu did, he continued to worship the golden calves of Bethel and Dan. The Lord promised him, because of the good he had done, his descendants, until the fourth generation, would sit upon the throne of Israel. But, because of his idol worship, he was delivered into the hands of Syria and it all went downhill from there. Jehu dies and his sons reign in his stead. Jehu reigned for 28 years.

That was a very intense chapter 10! He reminded me of Gideon, the guy who nearly kills King Lamoni after Abinadi dies. It as like that type of guy but on a much larger scale. The other thing I learned from this was, do good–what God wants you to– but don’t keep the little idols in the closet when you are done doing God’s work for the day. Don’t get me wrong, you will get blessings for doing what God wants you to. But it may not be enough to save you from eventually being destroyed.

Man, Elisha really started something big when he told a prophet to take a box of oil to Ramoth-Gilead to anoint a new king of Israel.

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