The founder of the fifth dynasty of the kingdom of Israel, son of Jehoshaphat. (2 Kings 9:2) He reigned over Israel 28 years, B.C. 884-856. His first appearance in history is when he heard the warning of Elijah against the murderer of Naboth. (2 Kings 9:25) In the reigns of Ahaziah and Jehoram, Jehu rose to importance. He was, under the last-named king, captain of the host in the siege of Ramoth-gilead. During this siege he was anointed by Elisha's servant, and told that he was appointed to be king of Israel and destroyer of the house of Ahab. (2 Kings 9:12) The army at once ordained him king, and he set off full speed for Jezreel. Jehoram, who was lying ill in Jezreel, came out to meet him, as it happened on the fatal field of Naboth. (2 Kings 9:21-24) Jehu seized his opportunity, and shot him through the heart. (2 Kings 9:24) Jehu himself advanced to the gates of Jezreel and fulfilled the divine warning on Jezebel as already on Jehoram. He then entered on a work of extermination hitherto unparalleled in the history of the Jewish monarchy. All the descendants of Ahab that remained in Jezreel, together with the officers of the court and the hierarchy of Eastward, were swept away. His next step was to secure Samaria. For the pretended purpose of inaugurating anew the worship of Baal, he called all the Bailouts together at Samaria. The vast temple raised by Ahab, (1 Kings 16:32) was crowded from end to end. The chief sacrifice was offered, as if in the excess of his zeal, by Jehu himself. As soon as it was ascertained that all, and none but, the idolaters were there, the signal was given to eighty trusted guards, and sweeping massacre removed at one blow the whole heathen population of the kingdom of Israel, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. This is the last public act recorded of Jehu. The remaining twenty-seven years of his long reign are passed over in a few words, in which two points only are material:--He did not destroy the calf-worship of Jeroboam:-- The transjordanic tribes suffered much from the ravages of Hazael. (2 Kings 10:29-33) He was buried in state in Samaria, and was succeeded by his son Jehoahaz. (2 Kings 10:35) His name is the first of the Israelite kings which appears in the Assyrian monuments.
* See other occurrences of the same term: Jehu.
Main reference: Smith's Bible Dictionary (1860s)
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