The comedy of man survives the tragedy of man. — G. K. Chesterton

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut




Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot


You remember that when the Lord came to the prophet Elijah at Mount Horeb in the wilderness (see Story Five in this Part), the Lord gave to Elijah a command to anoint or call Hazael to be king of Syria, and Jehu to be king of Israel. But to prepare the way for these changes of rule a long time was needed, and Elijah was taken home to heaven before these men were called to be kings.

The time to call these men had now come, and Elisha undertook the work that had been left to him by Elijah. He went to Damascus, the chief city of Syria: and Ben-hadad, the king of Syria, heard that the great prophet of Israel had come, for the fame of Elisha's deeds had made his name known through all those lands.

At that time King Ben-hadad was ill; and he sent one of his chief princes, whose name was Hazael, to ask Elisha whether he would be well gain. Hazael came to meet Elisha with a rich present, which loaded forty camels, and he spoke to Elisha with great respect, saying, "Your son, Ben-hadad, king of Syria, has sent me to you to ask, 'Shall I become well again from this sickness?' "

And Elisha said to Hazael, "You may tell Ben-hadad that he will get well; nevertheless, the Lord has shown me that he will surely die."

Then Elisha looked steadily upon Hazael's face, until Hazael felt ashamed, and Elisha wept as he looked upon him. Hazael said to him, "Why does my lord weep?" "I weep, said Elisha, "because I know the evil that you will do to the people of Israel. You will take their castles, and set them on fire; you will kill their young men, and you will destroy their children"

Hazael was surprised at this, and said, "I am nothing but a dog; and how can I do such great things?"

And Elisha answered him, "The Lord has shown me that you shall be king over Syria"

Then Hazael went to King Ben-hadad, and said to him, "the man of God told me that you will surely be well from your sickness."

And on the next day Hazael took the cover from the bed, and dipped it in water, and pressed it tightly over Ben-hadad's face, so that he died; and Hazael reigned in his place as king of Syria. As soon as Hazael became king, he made war upon the Israelites; and a battle was fought at Ramoth-gilead, the same place where King Ahab had been slain more than ten years before. In this battle Jehoram, the king of Israel, was wounded; and he was taken to Jezreel, beside the great plain of Esdralon, there to recover from his wounds. Ahaziah, who was at that time king of Judah, and who was a nephew of Jehoram, went to Jezreel to visit him while he was ill from his wounds.

By this time Elisha, the prophet, had returned from his visit to Syria. He knew that the time had now come to finish the work in Israel left to him by Elijah; and he called one of the sons of the prophets to him, and said, "Rise up, and go to the camp at Ramoth-gilead; and take with you this little bottle of oil. And when you reach Ramoth-gilead, find one of the captains of the army, Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi; and lead him into a room alone, and pour the oil on his head, and say, 'Thus saith the Lord, I have anointed you as king over Israel.' When you have done this, come back to me at once without waiting."

Then the young man, who was a prophet like Elisha, took the bottle of oil in his hand and went to Ramoth-gilead. In the camp of Israel he found the captains of the army sitting together. He came suddenly among them, and said, "O captain, I have an errand to you."

And Jehu, one of the captains, said to him, "To which one of us is your errand?"

He said to Jehu, "My errand is to you alone, O captain."

Then Jehu went with the young prophet into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said, "Thus said the Lord, the God of Israel, 'I have anointed you as king over my people Israel. And you shall destroy the family of Ahab, because they destroyed the prophets of the Lord. And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin. And the wild dogs shall eat Jezebel in the city of Jezreel, and there shall be no one to bury her.' "

And after he had said this, the prophet opened the door, and went away as suddenly as he had come. Jehu came back to the other captains, and sat down again. One of the captains said to him, "Is all well? Why did this wild fellow call you out?"

Jehu said to them, "You the know the man, and you know what he said to me."

"No, no" they all said, "we do not know. Tell us what he said"

Then Jehu told them what the prophet had said, and that he had anointed him as king. This pleased all the captains. At once they took off their outer garments, and spread them as a carpet on the stairs of the house, and at the head of the stairs they placed Jehu; and they blew the trumpets and called out to the army, "Jehu is the king!"

Jehu said to the captains, "Do not let any one go out of the camp to bear word to Jehoram. I will go myself.:

Then Jehu made ready his chariot, and rode swiftly toward Jezreel, his company riding after him. The watchman on the tower at Jezreel saw him coming, and he called out to King Jehoram, "I see a company coming toward the city."

Jezebel
JEHU DRIVING HIS CHARIOT TO MEET KING JEHORAM


Jehoram thought that they were bearing news of the war with the Syrians. He sent out a man on horseback to meet the company. The man came, and said, "Is all well?"

Jehu answered him, "What difference is it to you? Come after me."

Then the man turned, and joined Jehu's company; and so did another man whom Jehoram sent when the first man did not return. And the watchman called out to Jehoram again, "Two men gave gone out to meet the company that is drawing near, but they have not come back; and the man at the head drives like Jehu, the son of Nimshi, for he drives furiously"

Then Jehoram became anxious; he sent for his chariot, and went out to meet Jehu; and with him went Ahaziah, the king of Judah, each in his own chariot. It came to pass that they met Jehu in the very place which had been the vineyard of Naboth; the same place where Ahab had met Elijah, when that same Jehu was standing behind Ahab in his chariot. (See Story Seven in this Part.) As Jehoram drew near to Jehu, he called to him, "Is all well, Jehu?"

"Can anything be well," answered Jehu, "as long as your mother Jezebel lives, with all her wickedness?"

When Jehoram heard this he saw that Jehu was his enemy. He cried out to King Ahaziah, and turned his chariot, and fled. But he was too late, for Jehu drew his bow with all his strength and sent an arrow to his heart. Jehoram fell down dead in his chariot. Then Jehu said to Bidkar, whom he had made his chief captain, "Take away the body of Jehoram, and throw it into the field where the body of Naboth was thrown. Do you remember how, when you and I were riding in the chariot behind Ahab, his father, the Lord said, 'I have seen the blood of Naboth on this spot, and the punishment of Ahab and his sons shall be in this place?'"

When Ahaziah, the king of Judah, saw Jehoram fall, he, too, turned and fled. But Jehu pursued him, and ordered his followers to kill him. So Ahaziah, the son of Jehoshaphat, and grandson of Ahab (for his mother, Athalish, was a daughter of Jezebel), he also died at the hand of Jehu. His servants took the body of Ahaziah to Jerusalem, and buried it there.

When Jehu rode into the city of Jezreel Queen Jezebel knew that her end had come; but she met it boldly, like a queen. She put on her royal robes, and a crown upon her head, an sat by the window, waiting for Jehu to come. As he drew near, she called out to him, "Good day to you, Jehu, you who are like Zimri, the murderer of your master!"

You have read of Zimri, who slew King Elah, and was himself burned in his palace seven days after. (See Story Three in this Part). Jehu looked up to the window, and called out, "Who is on my side? Who?"

Jezebel
JEZEBEL CALLS FROM THE WINDOW TO JEHU


And some men looked out to him, and he said, "Throw her out of the window."

They threw her down, and her blood was spattered on the wall and on the horses. King Jehu came into the palace, and sat down as master, and ate and drank. Then he said, "Take up the body of that wicked woman, Jezebel, and bury her, for, though wicked, she was the daughter of a king."

But when they looked on the pavement there was nothing left of her except her skull, and the bones of her feet and her hands, for the wild dogs of the city had eaten her body; and thus the wicked life of Jezebel came to an end, and the word of the Lord by the prophet Elijah came to pass. And Jehu slew all the sons of Ahab, and their children with them, so that not one of Ahab's family was left alive. When Jehu saw that he was safe and strong on the throne, he sent out a message to all the worshippers of Baal, the idol which Jezebel and the house of Ahab had brought into Israel. This message was, "Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him much. Now, let all the priests of Baal meet in the temple of Baal in Samaria."

They came by hundreds, hoping that Jehu would be their friends as Ahab and his family had been. But when they were all in the temple, he brought an army of his soldiers, and placed them on guard around it; and when no one escape, he gave the order, "Go into the temple and kill all the priests of Baal; let not one get away alive."

And this was done in a cruel manner. He killed all the prophets and priests of Baal, and tore down the temple of Baal in Samaria.

But though Jehu broke up the worship of Baal, he did not worship the Lord God of Israel as he should. He continued to serve the golden calves which Jeroboam had set up long before at Bethel and at Dan. (See story two in this part). And the Lord sent a prophet to Jehu, who said to him, "Because you have done my will in destroying the house of Ahab, and in destroying those that worshipped Baal, your children to the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel."

On account of the many sins of the people of Israel the Lord began in the days of Jehu to take away the land of the Ten Tribes. Hazael, the new king of Syria, made war on Jehu, and conquered all the land on the east of the Jordan, from the brook Amon to the land of Bashan in the north; so all that was left of Israel was the country on the west of Jordan, from Bethel northward to Dan.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

The Story of a Beautiful Garden
The First Baby in the World and His Brother
The Great Ship That Saved Eight People
The Tower That Was Never Finished
The Story of a Long Journey
How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing
The Angel by the Well
The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City
The Boy Who Became an Archer
How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life
The Story of a Journey after a Wife
How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing
Jacob's Wonderful Dream
A Midnight Wrestling Match
The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave
From the Prison to the Palace
How Joseph's Dream Came True
A Lost Brother Found
From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty
The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River
The Voice from the Burning Bush
The River That Ran Blood
The Night When a Nation Was Born
How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre
The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke
How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It
The Tent Where God Lived Among His People
How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle
What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons
The Scapegoat in the Wilderness
The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan
How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an
What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass
How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land
The Story of Job
The Story of a Scarlet Cord
How the River Jordan Became Dry
The Story of a Wedge of Gold
How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan
The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants
The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge
The Story of an Altar Beside the River
The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon
How a Woman Won a Great Victory
Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred
Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It
The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died
The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest
How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz
The Little Boy with a Linen Coat
How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark
The Last of the Judges
The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King
How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh
The Brave Young Prince
Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss
The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem
The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant
The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows
Where David Found the Giant's Sword
How David Spared Saul's Life
The Last Days of King Saul
The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King
The Sound in the Treetops
The Cripple at the King's Table
The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb
David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom
Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne
The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah
Solomon on This Father's Throne
The Wise Young King
The House of God on Mount Moriah
The Last Days of Solomon's Reign
The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom
The King Who Led Israel to Sin
The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life
The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire
The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount
The Wounded Prophet and His Story
What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard
The Arrow That Killed a King
Elijah's Chariot of Fire
A Spring Sweetened by Salt
The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison
The Little Boy at Shunem
How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper
The Chariots of Fire around Elisha
What the Lepers Found in the Camp
Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot
Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh
How the Ten Tribes Were Lost
The First Four Kings of Judah
The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King
Three Kings and a Great Prophet
The Good King Hezekiah
The Lost Book Found in the Temple
The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph
What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley
The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King
The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace
The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again
The Writing upon the Wall
Daniel in the Den of Lions
The Story of a Joyous Journey
The New Temple on Mount Moriah
The Beautiful Queen of Persia
The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament
The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem
Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem
The Angel by the Altar
The Manger of Bethlehem
The Star and the Wise Men
The Boy in his Father's House
The Prophet in the Wilderness
Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River
The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast
The Stranger at the Well
The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot
A Net Full of Fishes
The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof
The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand
The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount
The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn
Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea
"Peace, Be Still"
The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life
A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her
The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It
The Answer to a Mother's Prayer
The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain
The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus
At the Feast of Tabernacles
The Man with Clay on His Face
The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan
Lazarus Raised to Life
Some Parables in Perea
The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man
Jesus at Jericho
Palm Sunday
The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple
The Parables on the Mount of Olives
The Last Supper
The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall
The Crown of Thorns
The Darkest Day of All the World
The Brightest Day of All the World
The Stranger on the Shore
The Church of the First Days
The Man at the Beautiful Gate
The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way
Stephen with the Shining Face
The Man Reading in the Chariot
The Voice That Spoke to Saul
What Peter Saw by the Sea
How the Iron Gate Was Opened
The Earliest Missionaries
The Song in the Prison
Paul's Speech on the Hill
Paul at Corinth
Paul at Ephesus
Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem
The Speech on the Stairs
Two Years in Prison
The Story That Paul Told to the King
Paul in the Storm
How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There
The Throne of God
The City of God