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2 Kings Chapter 10 | Parsha:

1Ahab had seventy descendants in Samaria. Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the elders and officials of Jezreel and to the guardians of [the children] of Ahab, as follows: 2“Now, when this letter reaches you—since your master’s sons are with you and you also have chariots and horses, and a fortified city and weapons— 3select the best and the most suitable of your master’s sons and set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.” 4But they were overcome by fear, for they thought, “If the two kings could not stand up to him, how can we?” 5The steward of the palace and the governor of the city and the elders and the guardians sent this message to Jehu: “We are your subjects, and we shall do whatever you tell us to. We shall not proclaim anyone king; do whatever you like.”

6He wrote them a second time: “If you are on my side and are ready to obey me, take the heads of the attendants of your master’s sons and come to me in Jezreel tomorrow at this time.” Now the princes, seventy in number, were with the notables of the town, who were rearing them. 7But when the letter reached them, they took the princes and slaughtered all seventy of them; they put their heads in baskets and sent them to him in Jezreel. 8A messenger came and reported to him: “They have brought the heads of the princes.” He said, “Pile them up in two heaps at the entrance of the gate before morning.” 9In the morning he went out and stood there; and he said to all the people, “Are you blameless? True, I conspired against my master and killed him; but who struck down all of these? 10Know, then, that nothing that the Lord has spoken concerning the House of Ahab shall remain unfulfilled, for the Lord has done what he announced through His servant Elijah.” 11And Jehu struck down all that were left of the House of Ahab in Jezreel—and all his notables, intimates, and priests—till he left him no survivor.

12He then set out for Samaria. On the way, when he was at Beth-eked of the shepherds, 13Jehu came upon the kinsmen of King Ahaziah of Judah. “Who are you?” he asked. They replied, “We are the kinsmen of Ahaziah, and we have come to pay our respects to the sons of the king and the sons of the queen mother.” 14“Take them alive!” he said. They took them alive and then slaughtered them at the pit of Beth-eked, forty-two of them; he did not spare a single one.

15He went on from there, and he met Jehonadab son of Rechab coming toward him. He greeted him and said to him, “Are you as wholehearted with me as I am with you?” “I am,” Jehonadab replied. “If so,” [said Jehu,] “give me your hand.” He gave him his hand and [Jehu] helped him into the chariot. 16“Come with me,” he said, “and see my zeal for the Lord.” And he was taken along in the chariot. 17Arriving in Samaria, [Jehu] struck down all the survivors of [the House of] Ahab in Samaria, until he wiped it out, fulfilling the word that the Lord had spoken to Elijah.

18Jehu assembled all the people and said to them, “Ahab served Baal little; Jehu shall serve him much! 19Therefore, summon to me all the prophets of Baal, all his worshipers, and all his priests: let no one fail to come, for I am going to hold a great sacrifice for Baal. Whoever fails to come shall forfeit his life.” Jehu was acting with guile in order to exterminate the worshipers of Baal. 20Jehu gave orders to convoke a solemn assembly for Baal, and one was proclaimed. 21Jehu sent word throughout Israel, and all the worshipers of Baal came, not a single one remained behind. They came into the temple of Baal, and the temple of Baal was filled from end to end. 22He said to the man in charge of the wardrobe, “Bring out the vestments for all the worshipers of Baal”; and he brought vestments out for them. 23Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rechab came into the temple of Baal, and they said to the worshipers of Baal, “Search and make sure that there are no worshipers of the Lord among you, but only worshipers of Baal.” 24So they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. But Jehu had stationed eighty of his men outside and had said, “Whoever permits the escape of a single one of the men I commit to your charge shall forfeit life for life.”

25When Jehu had finished presenting the burnt offering, he said to the guards and to the officers, “Come in and strike them down; let no man get away!” The guards and the officers struck them down with the sword and left them lying where they were; then they proceeded to the interior of the temple of Baal. 26They brought out the pillars of the temple of Baal and burned them. 27They destroyed the pillar of Baal, and they tore down the temple of Baal and turned it into latrines, as is still the case. 28Thus Jehu eradicated the Baal from Israel. 29However, Jehu did not turn away from the sinful objects by which Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to sin, namely, the golden calves at Bethel and at Dan.

30The Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have acted well and done what was pleasing to Me, having carried out all that I desired upon the House of Ahab, four generations of your descendants shall occupy the throne of Israel.” 31But Jehu was not careful to follow the Teaching of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart; he did not turn away from the sins that Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit.

32In those days the Lord began to reduce Israel; and Hazael harassed them throughout the territory of Israel 33east of the Jordan, all the land of Gilead—the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the Manassites—from Aroer, by the Wadi Arnon, up to Gilead and Bashan.

34The other events of Jehu’s reign, and all his actions, and all his exploits, are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 35Jehu slept with his fathers and he was buried in Samaria; he was succeeded as king by his son Jehoahaz. 36Jehu reigned over Israel for twenty-eight years in Samaria.

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