Old Testament History

By Henry Preserved Smith | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI
THE HOUSE OF JEHU

RAMOTH GILEAD1 was still in question between the two kingdoms of Syria and Israel. Joram2 ben Ahab Lad again besieged it, and when compelled by his wounds to retire to Jezreel, he left Jehu, his general, to carry on the siege. Some indications there are that the work was nearly done; perhaps the town itself was in the hands of Israel, the citadel alone remaining stubborn. The general was one day seated in council with his officers, when a young man, bearing the marks of travel, and labouring under the mental excitement that marked the members of the prophetic guild, entered the room. In response to his cry, " I have business for thee, O General! " Jehu asked which of them was meant, and, on being assured that he was the one concerned, took the young man into his private apartment. Without delay, the newcomer poured oil upon the head of the officer, with the declaration: "Thus saith Yahweh, God of Israel; I have anointed thee king over the people of Yahweh, over Israel." He then rushed out of the house and disappeared as suddenly as he had come.3

Jehu, interrogated by his comrades as to the errand of "this crazy fellow," attempted to pass it off as a mad freak only, but when pressed, he related what had actually taken place. The enthusiasm of the army for its general readily took up the cry, Jehu is king; a rude throne was extemporised at the head of a staircase, the trumpet was blown, and the new king received the congratulations and the allegiance of his soldiers. The energy

____________________
1
This is the form of the name in the received Hebrew text; Ramath Gilead would be the more natural vocalisation. The locality is not yet certainly identified.
2
The Hebrew text gives sometimes the longer form, Jehoram, and sometimes the shorter form, Joram, for the son of Jehoshaphat and also for the son of Ahab. I have retained one form for each monarch.
3
2Kings, 91-6. The verses which follow, and which command the extermination of Ahab's house, are a later expansion.

-198-

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Old Testament History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Chapter I - The Sources 1
  • Chapter II - The Origins 11
  • Chapter III - The Patriarchs 35
  • Chapter IV - Egypt and the Desert 52
  • Chapter V - The Conquest 73
  • Chapter VI - The Heroes 87
  • Chapter VII - The Early Monarchy 106
  • Chapter VIII - David 129
  • Chapter IX - Solomon 156
  • Chapter X - From Jeroboam to Jehu 177
  • Chapter XI - The House of Jehu 198
  • Chapter XII - The Fall of Samaria 219
  • Chapter XIII - Hezekiah and Manasseh 238
  • Chapter XIV - Josiah and His Sons 260
  • Chapter XV - The Exile 301
  • Chapter XVI - The Rebuilding of the Temple 344
  • Chapter XVII - Nehemiah and After 382
  • Chapter XVIII - The Greek Period 413
  • Chapter XX - The Priest-Kings 470
  • Appendix - Chronological Table 499
  • Index of Subjects 503
  • Index of Scripture Passages 510
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