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Icons of the Bible: King Jehu - Obedient and Rebellious

Updated: Sep 3, 2023


Icons of the Bible: King Jehu - Obedient and Rebellious
Icons of the Bible: King Jehu - Obedient and Rebellious

Icons of the Bible

Who was King Jehu in the Bible?

Before his reign as king, Jehu functioned as a commander in the army of Ahab (2 Kings 9:5, 25) in the northern kingdom of Israel. Jehu was the son of Jehoshaphat, although he is more commonly mentioned as son of Nimshi, his grandfather, perhaps because Nimshi was more well-known. Jehu’s name, meaning “Yahweh is he,” portrays well his future, God-given task: to obliterate the house of Ahab along with the worship of Baal that pervaded Israel at the time.


Jehu was a reformer of sorts who was used by God to clean up the mess that Ahab had made. Of King Ahab it is recorded that he “did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him” (1 Kings 16:30). Marrying Jezebel, daughter of the king of the Sidonians, Ahab was seduced into her idolatrous worship of Baal and Ashtoreth. Although God was patient for a time with Ahab, his many sins eventually brought God’s judgment upon his family line (1 Kings 21:20–22). This judgment first lands upon Ahab’s own head, as he is shot and killed in a battle against the Arameans (1 Kings 22:34–38).


God chose Jehu as one of three men who would enact His judgment upon Ahab’s family. God told the prophet Elijah, “Anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu” (1 Kings 19:15–17). One way or another, Ahab’s dynasty would be destroyed.." from the article: Who was King Jehu in the Bible?


4 Lessons We Can Learn from King Jehu’s Violent Reign "..1. The Path of Sin Is Never the Path of Peace It’s safe to say that Jehu’s legacy was as violent as they come. However, though Jehu’s fury was known throughout Israel, Israel’s demise was brought about not by Jehu’s sword, but by Israel’s sin. When Jehu caught up with Joram at Jezreel, the former king of Israel asked Jehu if he had come in peace. To this Jehu replied, “what peace? So long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?” (2 Kings 9:22) The wickedness of Ahab and sin of Israel had proven that the way of sin can never be the way of peace. There are consequences to sin and disobedience, and as the apostle Paul would later write, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Furthermore, through the prophet Isaiah, God reminded Israel that, “there is no peace for the wicked” (Isaiah 57:21). Those who persist in sin will never find peace nor be at peace with God. Sin is the pathway to death and destruction. Peace on the other hand is reserved for those who fear the Lord, delight in His Word, and obey His commands. 2. God Is Sovereign and in Control In hiding from Jezebel, Elijah cried out to the Lord, asking, how long would the wickedness of Ahab and Jezebel be allowed to persist? How long would he be an outcast among his people and ostracized for his faithfulness? In 1 Kings 19, God provided an answer to his complaint and a promise that He would soon judge His people and hold Israel’s leaders accountable for their wickedness. What should we glean from this? For one thing, God is sovereign and in control. God had not forgotten Elijah, nor had He turned a blind eye to the sin of His people or faithfulness of His servants. He had a plan to bless Elijah and later Jehu; He also had a plan to cleanse Israel of its sin and bring to justice its wicked rulers. God’s timing, however, is always His own. 3. God Rewards the Faithful but Expects Complete, Not Partial Obedience God would reward Jehu for His faithfulness in destroying the house of Ahab and eradicating Baal worship from Israel, however, as quickly as His blessings for obedience were given, they could be removed as quickly for disobedience.." from the article: 4 Lessons We Can Learn from King Jehu’s Violent Reign


The Black Obelisk: Evidence for King Jehu and King Omri

Video from Gospel & Spade

"The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III of Assyria (c. late 9th century BC) found at Nimrud/Kahlu, Iraq. This Assyrian obelisk is an extra biblical record for the existence of the biblical kings Jehu and Omri of Israel whose deeds can be found in 1st Kings 16 and 2nd Kings 9-10." from video introduction


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