The Lord has seen all of the evil committed by the king of Judah, Jehoram, who is married to Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. So the Lord has Elijah send him a letter letting him know that he was going to die of a painful intestinal disease. In addition, the Lord stirs up raiders to execute judgment against Jehoram’s house. They carry away all of his possessions, including his sons and his wives. However, the youngest son was left, because the Lord will not completely destroy the bloodline of King David. After Jehoram’s death, his youngest son, Ahaziah, becomes the next king of Judah, and he too walks in the ways of the house of Ahab instead of the ways of the Lord, “for his mother advised him to do wickedly.”
Since Ahaziah’s mom is Ahab’s daughter, there is a close connection between Judah and Israel at this time. When Joram, king of Israel and son of Ahab, is injured during battle against the Syrians, Ahaziah goes to Jezreel to visit him – “His going to Joram was God’s occasion for Ahaziah’s downfall; for when he arrived, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab.”
Remember when Elijah was on Mount Carmel crying out to the Lord and God spoke to him in a whisper and told him to anoint Jehu as king of Israel? The Lord said he would use Jehu to execute judgment against the wicked (1 Kings 19:16-17). Today Elijah sends one of the sons of the prophets to Jehu to anoint him as king. The Lord says to Jehu – “You shall strike down the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord, at the hand of Jezebel. For the whole house of Ahab shall perish; and I will cut off from Ahab all the males in Israel, both bond and free. So I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. The dogs shall eat Jezebel on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her.’”
Jehu kills Joram, king of Israel and son of Ahab, and has his body thrown in the field of Naboth. Then he murders all who are in the house of Ahab. In addition, he kills Ahaziah, king of Judah, and his nephews and the princes of Judah. Then Jehu has Jezebel thrown out a window where she is trampled by horses and the dogs eat her just as the Lord prophesied through his prophet Elijah.
Jehu rids the land of the prophets of Baal and tears down the temple of Baal. “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. 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.’ 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.”
Tomorrow Ahaziah’s wicked mother, Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, will rule over Judah. Keep reading. (2 Kings 5:1-8:15)