However Jehu did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin, that is, from the golden calves that were at Bethel and Dan. 2 Kings 10:29
Jehu Destroys the House of Ahab
Ahab’s children destroyed: 10:1-7. All members of the royal house are killed, as are 42 members of Judah’s royal family.
Priests of Baal destroyed: 10:18-35. Jezebel and Ahab have established the cult of Baal-Malqart in Israel. Jehu sees this foreign sect, introduced by the dynasty he has destroyed, as a threat. He does not oppose the religion openly. Instead he assembles all its priests and leaders to the principal temple of Baal for sacrifice. There he has the cult leaders killed, and then destroys its idols and worship centers throughout Israel.
7 So it was, when the letter came to them, that they took the king’s sons and slaughtered seventy persons, put their heads in baskets and sent them to him at Jezreel. 8 Then a messenger came and told him, saying, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons.” And he said, “Lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until morning.” 9 So it was, in the morning, that he went out and stood, and said to all the people, “You are righteous. Indeed I conspired against my master and killed him; but who killed all these? 10 “Know now that nothing shall fall to the earth of the word of the Lord which the Lord spoke concerning the house of Ahab; for the Lord has done what He spoke by His servant Elijah.” 11 So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men and his close acquaintances and his priests, until he left him none remaining.
17 And when he came to Samaria, he killed all who remained to Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed them, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke to Elijah.
23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab the son of Rechab went into the temple of Baal, and said to the worshipers of Baal, “Search and see that no servants of the Lord are here with you, but only the worshipers of Baal.” 24 So they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had appointed for himself eighty men on the outside, and had said, “If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escapes, whoever lets him escape, it shall be his life for the life of the other.” 25 Now it happened, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, “Go in and kill them; let no one come out!” And they killed them with the edge of the sword; then the guards and the officers threw them out, and went into the inner room of the temple of Baal. 26 And they brought the sacred pillars out of the temple of Baal and burned them. 27 Then they broke down the sacred pillar of Baal, and tore down the temple of Baal and made it a refuse dump to this day. 28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal from Israel.
But Jehu keeps the false religious system established by Jeroboam I (I Kings 12). As a result, God begins to “reduce the size of Israel” (10:32). During the 28 years of Jehu’s rule, neither the king nor the people know peace.
29 However Jehu did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin, that is, from the golden calves that were at Bethel and Dan. 30 And the Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in doing what is right in My sight, and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” 31 But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart; for he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin. 32 In those days the Lord began to cut off parts of Israel; and Hazael conquered them in all the territory of Israel 33 from the Jordan eastward: all the land of Gilead–Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh–from Aroer, which is by the River Arnon, including Gilead and Bashan. 34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 35 So Jehu rested with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. Then Jehoahaz his son reigned in his place. 36 And the period that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.
–> What is right in God’s sight was to destroy the house of Ahab and wipe out the worship of Baal.
What is not right in God’s sight was not turning away from the sins of Jeroboam (1st king of Israel), that is, not removing the golden calves that were at Bethel and Dan. He took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart.
A person can start out great and then end up being a failure. The contrast between success at the beginning and failure at his later life of King Jehu is so stark. Lesson: It is very important to follow God’s words with all our hearts no matter how ridiculous we may look to other people. (e.g. refusing to touch a fortune cookie at a Chinese restaurant).
Black Obelisk of Shalmanesar III
Austen Henry Layard uncovered this black basalt obelisk in Nimrud (Calah) in 1845. It is a six and a half foot tall monument commemorating the victorious campaigns of Shalmaneser III of Assyria (859-824 B.C.). It is shaped like a temple tower at the top, ending in three steps. It is now in the British Museum (see picture below).
King Jehu Bowing Before Shalmanesar III
This close up of the second panel reveals Israelites led by king Jehu of Israel paying tribute and bowing to the dust before king Shalmaneser III, who is making a libation to his god. We know it is Jehu because of the cuneiform text on the obelisk “Jehu the son of Omri”. It also mentions his gifts of gold, silver, lead and spear shafts.
2 Kings 10:31
But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart; for he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin.
King Jehu Bowing Before Shalmanesar III (Close Up)
2 Kings 10:36
“And the period that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.”
Shalmanesar III and Assyrian Cruelty
Bronze band from the gates of the palace of Shalmaneser III (852 B.C.) excavated at the site of Calah (Nimrud) revealing the horrifying cruelty of the Assyrians and the brutal treatment of their prisoners. British Museum
Aside from the Hebrew Scriptures, Jehu appears in Assyrian documents, notably in the Black Obelisk where he is depicted as kissing the ground in front of Shalmaneser III and presenting a gift (maddattu ša Ia-ú-a…kaspu mâdu“tribute of Jehu…much silver”). In the Assyrian documents, he is simply referred to as “son of Omri“ (Akkadian: mār Ḫumri, possibly expressing his having been the ruler of ‘the House of Omri,’ a later Assyrian designation for the Kingdom of Israel). This tribute is dated 841 BCE. It is the earliest preserved depiction of an Israelite.
- Source: Jehu – Wikipedia, Bible History Online