Jehu Kills Those Who Serve Baal

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In his twenty-eight-year reign, Jehu was unexcelled in his zeal to rid his people of Baal worship.  Baal worship had thrived for many years under Ahab and his successors. The victory won through Elijah’s contest on Mount Carmel had been only temporary.

As part of Jehu’s scheme, all of the prophets of Baal and Baal’s worshipers were invited to the house of Baal to be led in worship by the new king assisted by Jehonadab. Jehu issued special clothing for all the Baal worshipers. This was to help prevent any servants of the Lord from entering the building.  Eight men were selected to prevent any escape from the building when the massacre began. After Jehu had feigned giving a burnt offering, the signal was given to slaughter the followers of Baal.  He did not relax his purge until all of the images of Baal were burned and the house of Baal was broken down. The worship of Baal became a matter of history not to be repeated in Israel.

Unfortunately even though Jehu eliminated Baal worship from Israel, he still remained an idol worshiper, loyal to the calf cult of Jeroboam. Because of this failure to honor the Lord, Jehu was plagued with problems from outside his realm. The king of Syria continued to threaten the northeastern regions of his empire and piece after piece of real estate came under Syria’s domination.


Jehu did most of what the Lord told him to do, but he did not obey him with all his heart.  We need to check the condition of our heart toward God. We can be very active in our work for God and still not give the complete obedience that He desires.

II Kings 10:18-36 (English Standard Version)

Then Jehu assembled all the people and said to them, "Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him much. Now therefore call to me all the prophets of Baal, all his worshipers and all his priests. Let none be missing, for I have a great sacrifice to offer to Baal. Whoever is missing shall not live." But Jehu did it with cunning in order to destroy the worshipers of Baal. And Jehu ordered, "Sanctify a solemn assembly for Baal." So they proclaimed it. And Jehu sent throughout all Israel, and all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. And they entered the house of Baal, and the house of Baal was filled from one end to the other. He said to him who was in charge of the wardrobe, "Bring out the vestments for all the worshipers of Baal." So he brought out the vestments for them. Then Jehu went into the house of Baal with Jehonadab the son of Rechab, and he said to the worshipers of Baal, "Search, and see that there is no servant of the LORD here among you, but only the worshipers of Baal." Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed eighty men outside and said, "The man who allows any of those whom I give into your hands to escape shall forfeit his life." So as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guard and to the officers, "Go in and strike them down; let not a man escape." So when they put them to the sword, the guard and the officers cast them out and went into the inner room of the house of Baal, and they brought out the pillar that was in the house of Baal and burned it. And they demolished the pillar of Baal, and demolished the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day. Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel. But Jehu did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin--that is, the golden calves that were in Bethel and in Dan. And the LORD said to Jehu, "Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel." But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel to sin. In those days the LORD began to cut off parts of Israel. Hazael defeated them throughout the territory of Israel: from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the Valley of the Arnon, that is, Gilead and Bashan. Now the rest of the acts of Jehu and all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? So Jehu slept with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his place. The time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.

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