This article is part of a series of Bible passages, which together are mainly about how the Bible says the Jewish race developed and were given laws, how they settled in ancient Israel, and how it says God sometimes punished them for disobeying his commands, which led to them changing their ways.
This is Part 7 (of 11) in Section 8: "The Kings of Israel and Judah, and Disaster and Prosperity Brought on the Two Kingdoms According to Their Obedience or Disobedience to God".
Some parts of the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation are very unpleasant. If you become offended by anything, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.
The purpose of the Old Testament seems to have been mainly to try to scare lawless societies into behaving decently, giving up the cruel ways the Bible says they were guilty of. Hence much of the gruesomeness, which is at least in part meant to warn people committing cruel and hurtful actions to change.
2 Kings chapter 10 (CEV)
1 Ahab still had seventy descendants living in Samaria. So Jehu wrote a letter to each of the important leaders and officials of the town, and to those who supported Ahab. In the letters he wrote:
2 Your town is strong, and you're protected by chariots and an armed cavalry. And I know that King Ahab's descendants live there with you. So as soon as you read this letter, 3 choose the best person for the job and make him the next king. Then be prepared to defend Ahab's family.
4 The officials and leaders read the letters and were very frightened. They said to each other, "Jehu has already killed King Joram and King Ahaziah! We have to do what he says."
5 The prime minister, the mayor of the city, as well as the other leaders and Ahab's supporters, sent this answer to Jehu,
"We are your servants, Your Majesty, and we will do whatever you tell us. But it's not our place to choose someone to be king. You do what you think is best."
6 Jehu then wrote another letter which said,
"If you are on my side and will obey me, then prove it. Bring me the heads of the descendants of Ahab! And be here in Jezreel by this time tomorrow."
The seventy descendants of King Ahab were living with some of the most important people of the city. 7 And when these people read Jehu's second letter, they called together all seventy of Ahab's descendants. They killed them, put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jezreel.
8 When Jehu was told what had happened, he said, "Put the heads in two piles at the city gate, and leave them there until morning."
9 The next morning, Jehu went out and stood where everyone could hear him, and he said, "You people are not guilty of anything. I'm the one who plotted against Joram and had him killed. But who killed all these men?
10 Listen to me. Everything the LORD's servant Elijah promised about Ahab's family will come true."
11 Then Jehu killed the rest of Ahab's relatives living in Jezreel, as well as his highest officials, his priests, and his closest friends. No one in Ahab's family was left alive in Jezreel.
12-13 Jehu left for Samaria, and along the way, he met some relatives of King Ahaziah of Judah at a place where shepherds meet. He asked, "Who are you?"
"We are relatives of Ahaziah," they answered. "We're going to visit his family."
14 "Take them alive!" Jehu said to his officers. So they grabbed them and led them to the well near the shepherds' meeting place, where they killed all forty-two of them.
15 As Jehu went on, he saw Jehonadab son of Rechab coming to meet him. Jehu greeted him, then said, "Jehonadab, I'm on your side. Are you on mine?"
"Yes, I am."
"Then give me your hand," Jehu answered. He helped Jehonadab into his chariot 16and said, "Come with me and see how faithful I am to the LORD."
They rode together in Jehu's chariot 17 to Samaria. Jehu killed everyone there who belonged to Ahab's family, as well as all his officials. Everyone in his family was now dead, just as the LORD had promised Elijah.
18 Jehu called together the people in Samaria and said: King Ahab sometimes worshiped Baal, but I will be completely faithful to Baal. 19 I'm going to offer a huge sacrifice to him. So invite his prophets and priests, and be sure everyone who worships him is there. Anyone who doesn't come will be killed.
But this was a trick--Jehu was really planning to kill the worshipers of Baal.
20 He said, "Announce a day of worship for Baal!"
After the day had been announced, 21 Jehu sent an invitation to everyone in Israel. All the worshipers of Baal came, and the temple was filled from one end to the other.
22 Jehu told the official in charge of the sacred robes to make sure that everyone had a robe to wear.
23 Jehu and Jehonadab went into the temple, and Jehu said to the crowd, "Look around and make sure that only the worshipers of Baal are here. No one who worships the LORD is allowed in."
24 Then they began to offer sacrifices to Baal.
Earlier, Jehu had ordered eighty soldiers to wait outside the temple. He had warned them, "I will get all these worshipers here, and if any of you let even one of them escape, you will be killed instead!"
25 As soon as Jehu finished offering the sacrifice, he told the guards and soldiers, "Come in and kill them! Don't let anyone escape."
They slaughtered everyone in the crowd and threw the bodies outside.
Then they went back into the temple 26 and carried out the image of Baal. They burned it 27and broke it into pieces, then they completely destroyed Baal's temple. And since that time, it's been nothing but a public toilet.
28 That's how Jehu stopped the worship of Baal in Israel.
29 But he did not stop the worship of the gold statues of calves at Dan and Bethel that Jeroboam had made for the people to worship.
30 Later the LORD said, "Jehu, you have done right by destroying Ahab's entire family, just as I had planned. So I will make sure that the next four kings of Israel will come from your own family."
31 But Jehu did not completely obey the commands of the LORD God of Israel. Instead, he kept doing the sinful things that Jeroboam had caused the Israelites to do. 32 In those days the LORD began to reduce the size of Israel's territory. King Hazael of Syria defeated the Israelites and took control 33 of the regions of Gilead and Bashan east of the Jordan River and north of the town of Aroer near the Arnon River. This was the land where the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh had once lived.
34 Everything else Jehu did while he was king, including his brave deeds, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel.
35 Jehu died and was buried in Samaria, and his son Jehoahaz became king.
36 Jehu had ruled Israel twenty-eight years from Samaria.
Modern Western Paganism is devoid of such gruesome practices as child sacrifice and the dedication of girls to the gods as prostitutes. Some Pagans have been slandered by people who imagine that they must be involved in gruesome activities, perhaps because of widespread reports of generational Satanic ritual abuse in which girls are made to breed babies for the purposes of human sacrifice. To find out more about the reports, read the views of a policeman who says there is no physical evidence for such things having happened, and believes the stories to have been invented during harmful therapies: 'Occult Cop' (IPT Journal).
2 Kings chapter 11 (TEV)
1 As soon as King Ahaziah's mother Athaliah learned of her son's murder, she gave orders for all the members of the royal family to be killed. 2 Only Ahaziah's son Joash escaped. He was about to be killed with the others, but was rescued by his aunt Jehosheba, who was King Jehoram's daughter and Ahaziah's half sister. She took him and his nurse into a bedroom in the Temple and hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not killed. 3 For six years Jehosheba took care of the boy and kept him hidden in the Temple, while Athaliah ruled as queen.
4 But in the seventh year Jehoiada the priest sent for the officers in charge of the royal bodyguard and of the palace guards, and told them to come to the Temple, where he made them agree under oath to what he planned to do. He showed them King Ahaziah's son Joash 5 and gave them the following orders: "When you come on duty on the Sabbath, one third of you are to guard the palace; 6 another third are to stand guard at the Sur Gate, and the other third are to stand guard at the gate behind the other guards. 7 The two groups that go off duty on the Sabbath are to stand guard at the Temple to protect the king. 8 You are to guard King Joash with drawn swords and stay with him wherever he goes. Anyone who comes near you is to be killed."
9 The officers obeyed Jehoiada's instructions and brought their men to him-those going off duty on the Sabbath and those going on duty. 10 He gave the officers the spears and shields that had belonged to King David and had been kept in the Temple, 11 and he stationed the men with drawn swords all around the front of the Temple, to protect the king.
12 Then Jehoiada led Joash out, placed the crown on his head, and gave him a copy of the laws governing kingship. Then Joash was anointed and proclaimed king. The people clapped their hands and shouted, "Long live the king!"
13 Queen Athaliah heard the noise being made by the guards and the people, so she hurried to the Temple, where the crowd had gathered. 14 There she saw the new king standing by the column at the entrance of the Temple, as was the custom. He was surrounded by the officers and the trumpeters, and the people were all shouting joyfully and blowing trumpets. Athaliah tore her clothes in distress and shouted, "Treason! Treason!"
15 Jehoiada did not want Athaliah killed in the Temple area, so he ordered the army officers: "Take her out between the rows of guards, and kill anyone who tries to rescue her." 16 They seized her, took her to the palace, and there at the Horse Gate they killed her.
17 The priest Jehoiada had King Joash and the people make a covenant with the Lord that they would be the Lord's people; he also made a covenant between the king and the people. 18 Then the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down; they smashed the altars and the idols, and killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, in front of the altars.
Jehoiada put guards on duty at the Temple, 19 and then he, the officers, the royal bodyguard, and the palace guards escorted the king from the Temple to the palace, followed by all the people. Joash entered by the Guard Gate and took his place on the throne.
20 All the people were filled with happiness, and the city was quiet, now that Athaliah had been killed in the palace.
2 Kings chapter 12 (NLT)
1 Joash began to rule over Judah in the seventh year of King Jehu's reign in Israel.
2 Chronicles chapter 24 (TEV)
1 Joash became king of Judah at the age of seven, and he ruled in Jerusalem for forty years. His mother was Zibiah from the city of Beersheba. 2 He did what was pleasing to the Lord as long as Jehoiada the priest was alive.
3 Jehoiada chose two wives for King Joash, and they bore him sons and daughters.
4 After he had been king for a while, Joash decided to have the Temple repaired. 5 He ordered the priests and the Levites to go to the cities of Judah and collect from all the people enough money to make the annual repairs on the Temple.
He told them to act promptly, but the Levites delayed, 6 so he called in Jehoiada, their leader, and demanded, "Why haven't you seen to it that the Levites collect from Judah and Jerusalem the tax which Moses, the servant of the Lord, required the people to pay for support of the Tent of the Lord's presence?" 7 (The followers of Athaliah, that corrupt woman, had damaged the Temple and had used many of the sacred objects in the worship of Baal.) 8 The king ordered the Levites to make a box for contributions and to place it at the Temple gate. 9 They sent word throughout Jerusalem and Judah for everyone to bring to the Lord the tax which Moses, God's servant, had first collected in the wilderness. 10 This pleased the people and their leaders, and they brought their tax money and filled the box with it. 11 Every day the Levites would take the box to the royal official who was in charge of it. Whenever it was full, the royal secretary and the High Priest's representative would take the money out and return the box to its place. And so they collected a large sum of money. 12 The king and Jehoiada would give the money to those who were in charge of repairing the Temple, and they hired stonemasons, carpenters, and metalworkers to make the repairs. 13 All of them worked hard, and they restored the Temple to its original condition, as solid as ever. 14 When the repairs were finished, the remaining gold and silver was given to the king and Jehoiada, who used it to have bowls and other utensils made for the Temple.
As long as Jehoiada was alive, sacrifices were offered regularly at the Temple.
15 After reaching the very old age of a hundred and thirty, he died. 16 They buried him in the royal tombs in David's City in recognition of the service he had done for the people of Israel, for God, and for the Temple.
17 But once Jehoiada was dead, the leaders of Judah persuaded King Joash to listen to them instead. 18 And so the people stopped worshiping in the Temple of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and began to worship idols and the images of the goddess Asherah. Their guilt for these sins brought the Lord's anger on Judah and Jerusalem. 19 The Lord sent prophets to warn them to return to him, but the people refused to listen.
20 Then the spirit of God took control of Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood where the people could see him and called out,
"The Lord God asks why you have disobeyed his commands and are bringing disaster on yourselves! You abandoned him, so he has abandoned you!"
21 King Joash joined in a conspiracy against Zechariah, and on the king's orders the people stoned Zechariah in the Temple courtyard. 22 The king forgot about the loyal service that Zechariah's father Jehoiada had given him, and he had Zechariah killed.
As Zechariah was dying, he called out, "May the Lord see what you are doing and punish you!"
23 When autumn came that year, the Syrian army attacked Judah and Jerusalem, killed all the leaders, and took large amounts of loot back to Damascus. 24 The Syrian army was small, but the Lord let them defeat a much larger Judean army because the people had abandoned him, the Lord God of their ancestors. In this way King Joash was punished. 25 He was severely wounded, and when the enemy withdrew, two of his officials plotted against him and killed him in his bed to avenge the murder of the son of Jehoiada the priest. He was buried in David's City, but not in the royal tombs. 27 His son Amaziah succeeded him as king.
2 Kings chapter 13 (TEV)
1 In the twenty-third year of the reign of Joash son of Ahaziah as king of Judah, Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king of Israel, and he ruled in Samaria for seventeen years. 2 Like King Jeroboam before him, he sinned against the Lord and led Israel into sin; he never gave up his evil ways. 3 So the Lord was angry with Israel, and he allowed King Hazael of Syria and his son Benhadad to defeat Israel time after time.
4 Then Jehoahaz prayed to the Lord, and the Lord, seeing how harshly the king of Syria was oppressing the Israelites, answered his prayer. 5 The Lord sent Israel a leader, who freed them from the Syrians, and so the Israelites lived in peace, as before.
6 But they still did not give up the sins into which King Jeroboam had led Israel, but kept on committing them; and the image of the goddess Asherah remained in Samaria.
7 Jehoahaz had no armed forces left except fifty cavalry troops, ten chariots, and ten thousand foot soldiers, because the king of Syria had destroyed the rest, trampling them down like dust.
8 Everything else that Jehoahaz did and all his brave deeds are recorded in [The History of the Kings of Israel.]
9 He died and was buried in Samaria, and his son Jehoash succeeded him as king.
2 Kings chapter 14 (TEV)
1 In the second year of the reign of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz as king of Israel, Amaziah son of Joash became king of Judah 2 at the age of twenty-five, and he ruled in Jerusalem for twenty-nine years.
2 Chronicles chapter 25 (TEV)
2 He did what was pleasing to the Lord, but did it reluctantly.
3 As soon as he was firmly in power, he executed the officials who had murdered his father. 4 He did not, however, execute their children, but followed what the Lord had commanded in the Law of Moses:
"Parents are not to be put to death for crimes committed by their children,
and children are not to be put to death for crimes committed by their parents;
people are to be put to death only for crimes they themselves have committed."
5 King Amaziah organized all the men of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin into army units, according to the clans they belonged to, and placed officers in command of units of a thousand and units of a hundred. This included all men twenty years of age or older, 300,000 in all. They were picked troops, ready for battle, skilled in using spears and shields. 6 In addition, he hired 100,000 soldiers from Israel at a cost of about four tons of silver.
7 But a prophet went to the king and said to him,
"Don't take these Israelite soldiers with you. The Lord is not with these people from the Northern Kingdom. 8 You may think that they will make you stronger in battle, but it is God who has the power to give victory or defeat, and he will let your enemies defeat you."
9 Amaziah asked the prophet, "But what about all that silver I have already paid for them?"
The prophet replied, "The Lord can give you back more than that!"
10 So Amaziah sent the hired troops away and told them to go home.
At this they went home, bitterly angry with the people of Judah.
11 Amaziah summoned up his courage and led his army to Salt Valley. There they fought and killed ten thousand Edomite soldiers 12 and captured another ten thousand. They took the prisoners to the top of the cliff at the city of Sela and threw them off, so that they were killed on the rocks below.
13 Meanwhile the Israelite soldiers that Amaziah had not allowed to go into battle with him attacked the Judean cities between Samaria and Beth Horon, killed three thousand men, and captured quantities of loot.
14 When Amaziah returned from defeating the Edomites, he brought their idols back with him, set them up, worshiped them, and burned incense to them. 15 This made the Lord angry, so he sent a prophet to Amaziah.
The prophet demanded, "Why have you worshiped foreign gods that could not even save their own people from your power?"
16 "Since when," Amaziah interrupted, "have we made you adviser to the king? Stop talking, or I'll have you killed!"
The prophet stopped, but not before saying, "Now I know that God has decided to destroy you because you have done all this and have ignored my advice."
17 King Amaziah of Judah and his advisers plotted against Israel. He then sent a message to King Jehoash of Israel, who was the son of Jehoahaz and grandson of Jehu, challenging him to fight.
18 Jehoash sent this answer to Amaziah:
"Once a thorn bush in the Lebanon Mountains sent a message to a cedar:
"Give your daughter in marriage to my son.'
A wild animal passed by and trampled the bush down.
19 Now Amaziah, you boast that you have defeated the Edomites, but I advise you to stay at home. Why stir up trouble that will only bring disaster on you and your people?"
20 But Amaziah refused to listen. It was God's will for Amaziah to be defeated, because he had worshiped the Edomite idols. 21 So King Jehoash of Israel went into battle against King Amaziah of Judah. They met at Beth Shemesh in Judah, 22 the Judean army was defeated, and the soldiers fled to their homes. 23 Jehoash captured Amaziah and took him to Jerusalem. There he tore down the city wall from Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate, a distance of two hundred yards. 24 He took back to Samaria as loot all the gold and silver in the Temple, the Temple equipment guarded by the descendants of Obed Edom, and the palace treasures. He also took hostages with him.
25 King Amaziah of Judah outlived King Jehoash of Israel by fifteen years.
26 All the other things that Amaziah did from the beginning to the end of his reign are recorded in [The History of the Kings of Judah and Israel.]
27 Ever since the time when he rebelled against the Lord, there had been a plot against him in Jerusalem. Finally he fled to the city of Lachish, but his enemies followed him there and killed him. 28 His body was carried to Jerusalem on a horse, and he was buried in the royal tombs in David's City.
2 Kings chapter 14 (NLT)
23 Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, began to rule over Israel in the fifteenth year of King Amaziah's reign in Judah. Jeroboam reigned in Samaria forty-one years. 24 He did what was evil in the LORD's sight. He refused to turn from the sins of idolatry that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel to commit.
25 Jeroboam II recovered the territories of Israel between Lebo-hamath and the Dead Sea, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had promised through Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath-hepher. 26 For the LORD saw the bitter suffering of everyone in Israel, and how they had absolutely no one to help them. 27 And because the LORD had not said he would blot out the name of Israel completely, he used Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, to save them.
29 When Jeroboam II died, he was buried with his ancestors, the kings of Israel. Then his son Zechariah became the next king.
2 Chronicles chapter 26 (NLT)
1 The people of Judah ... crowned Amaziah's sixteen-year-old son, Uzziah, as their next king. 2 After his father's death, Uzziah rebuilt the town of Elath and restored it to Judah. 3 Uzziah was sixteen when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother was Jecoliah, from Jerusalem. 4 He did what was pleasing in the LORD's sight, just as his father, Amaziah, had done. 5 Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. And as long as the king sought the LORD, God gave him success. 6 He declared war on the Philistines and broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod. Then he built new towns in the Ashdod area and in other parts of Philistia. 7 God helped him not only with his wars against the Philistines, but also in his battles with the Arabs of Gur and in his wars with the Meunites. 8 The Meunites paid annual tribute to him, and his fame spread even to Egypt, for he had become very powerful.
9 Uzziah built fortified towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate, and at the angle in the wall. 10 He also constructed forts in the wilderness and dug many water cisterns, because he kept great herds of livestock in the foothills of Judah and on the plains. He was also a man who loved the soil. He had many workers who cared for his farms and vineyards, both on the hillsides and in the fertile valleys.
11 Uzziah had an army of well-trained warriors, ready to march into battle, unit by unit. This great army of fighting men had been mustered and organized by Jeiel, the secretary of the army, and his assistant, Maaseiah. 14 Uzziah provided the entire army with shields, spears, helmets, coats of mail, bows, and sling stones. 15 And he produced machines mounted on the walls of Jerusalem, designed by brilliant men to shoot arrows and hurl stones from the towers and the corners of the wall. His fame spread far and wide, for the LORD helped him wonderfully until he became very powerful.
16 But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall. He sinned against the LORD his God by entering the sanctuary of the LORD's Temple and personally burning incense on the altar. 17 Azariah the high priest went in after him with eighty other priests of the LORD, all brave men. 18 They confronted King Uzziah and said, "It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD. That is the work of the priests alone, the sons of Aaron who are set apart for this work. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have sinned. The LORD God will not honor you for this!"
19 Uzziah was furious and refused to set down the incense burner he was holding. But as he was standing there with the priests before the incense altar in the LORD's Temple, leprosy suddenly broke out on his forehead. 20 When Azariah and the other priests saw the leprosy, they rushed him out. And the king himself was eager to get out because the LORD had struck him. 21 So King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in isolation, excluded from the Temple of the LORD. His son Jotham was put in charge of the royal palace, and he governed the people of the land.
22 The rest of the events of Uzziah's reign, from beginning to end, are recorded by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.
23 So Uzziah died, and since he had leprosy, he was buried nearby in a burial field belonging to the kings. Then his son Jotham became the next king.
2 Kings chapter 15 (NLT)
8 Zechariah son of Jeroboam II began to rule over Israel in the thirty-eighth year of King Uzziah's reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria six months. 9 Zechariah did what was evil in the LORD's sight, as his ancestors had done. He refused to turn from the sins of idolatry that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel to commit.
10 Then Shallum son of Jabesh conspired against Zechariah, assassinated him in public, and became the next king.
11 The rest of the events in Zechariah's reign are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel.
12 So the LORD's message to Jehu came true: "Your descendants will be kings of Israel down to the fourth generation."
The Bible does not instruct Christians and ordinary people to be violent towards Pagans or to destroy their places of worship. God illustrated in Old Testament times how much he objects to the worship of other gods and disobedience to his commands. The Bible instructs Christians and ordinary individuals to behave in a very different way to the way in which God wanted the kings of Israel and Judah to behave. To find out more, visit What The Bible Says About Violence, Anger, Jealousy, Arguments, And Living In Peace With Each Other.
The next file in this section (Part 8), is entitled: "The Last Years Of The Monarchy In Israel; The Assyrian Conquest - Retribution From God; And More War On Judah".
The main Bible pages on this site:
|Bible Part 1: Bible Quotations, The Holy Spirit, People And Their Stories|
|Bible Part 2: The Lives and Suffering of the Ancient Israelites|
|Bible Part 3: The Bible, Articles About Alleged Inaccuracies in it, And Stories of People who Became Christians.|
|If you have found parts of the Old Testament or the Book of Revelation offensive, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.|
The selections of Bible quotations have been put together by Diana Holbourn.
Throughout this series, wherever the initials TEV appear, they stand for Today's English Version (The Good News Bible).Other initials:
Don't be afraid to question the truth of what a religious authority figure tells you, or even the Bible or other holy books themselves, or certain people's interpretation of them. Nothing to do with religion or the supernatural is so well established in fact it shouldn't be questioned. To find out why caution is a good idea, visit:
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There are a lot of pages on this website with quotations from the Old Testament on them. Many of these are unfortunately rather gruesome, since the main theme of the Old Testament is warnings and stories about how it says societies were punished for mass lawless and hurtful behaviour, even to the extent of having war brought on them by God, that seem to have been designed to scare societies where crime and violence were rampant into behaving more ethically. In case there is any misunderstanding, it should be understood that this website does not endorse war as anything other than a last resort. The position of the website owner can be gleaned from the articles:
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