The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Fourth Book of Kings
Thereupon the prophet Eliseus sent one of his disciples on an errand. Gird up thy tunic, said he, and make thy way to Ramoth-Galaad, with this phial of oil in thy hand.
Once there, thou wilt find Jehu the son of Josaphat, son of Namsi, sitting among his brother-captains; bid him rise up, and take him with thee into an inner room.
Then, holding up the phial of oil and pouring it out over his head, tell him, Thus says the Lord; herewith I anoint thee king of Israel. Then fling the door open and begone; I would not have thee linger there.
So the young prophet made his way to Ramoth-Galaad,
and, reaching it, found the captains of the army met in conclave. He asked to have speech with the commander; and when Jehu asked which of them all he meant, he said, With thee, my lord.
Thereupon Jehu rose up, and went into the inner room; where the prophet forthwith poured the oil over his head. This is my message, said he, from the Lord God of Israel; Herewith I anoint thee king over Israel, the Lord’s people.
Thou art to overthrow the dynasty of King Achab that was thy master; so it is that I mean to take vengeance for all those prophets of mine, all those true servants of the Lord, that were slain by Jezabel.
All Achab’s race I mean to destroy, sparing no male issue of his, free man or bondman in the realm of Israel;
it shall have no better fortune than the race of Jeroboam, son of Nabat, or the race of Baasa, son of Ahia.
As for Jezabel, she shall lie unburied in the purlieus of Jezrahel, for the dogs to eat. And with that he threw the door open, and was gone.
Is all well? Jehu’s fellow officers asked, as he went back to them. What was this madman’s errand? Know the man, said he, and you know his ranting talk.
That will not serve, they answered; tell us what he said. Then he told them all that had passed, and how the Lord had assured him that he was the anointed king of Israel.
And they, without more ado, flung down their cloaks at his feet, to pay him all the honours of a throne; and loud the trumpets sounded to proclaim that Jehu was king.
Thus Jehu, son of Josaphat, son of Namsi, entered into a conspiracy against Joram. (Joram himself had been in command of the Israelite army that held Ramoth-Galaad against king Hazael of Syria,
but had now gone to Jezrahel to recover from the wounds Hazael’s men had given him.) As you love me, Jehu said, let no one make his escape from the city, or news of this will reach Jezrahel.
Then he mounted his chariot and set out for Jezrahel, where Joram lay sick, with Ochozias, king of Juda, come to visit him.
And now the watchman that stood on the tower of Jezrahel espied Jehu’s company, and he cried out, I see a troop of men coming. So Joram would have a chariot sent out to meet them, with the message, Is all well?
But when the driver of the chariot met him, and asked, Is all peaceful? Jehu said, Talk not of peace;✻ pass on behind me and follow. And the watchman cried, The messenger reached them, but never returns.
Then a second chariot was sent out; once more the king asked whether all was peaceful, and once more the answer was, Talk not of peace; pass on behind me and follow.
So the watchman cried out, The messenger reached them, but never returns. And he who comes yonder drives as Jehu the son of Namsi drives; it is headlong speed with him.
Harness my chariot, said Joram. Harnessed it was, and side by side in their chariots these two kings went out, Joram king of Israel and Ochozias, king of Juda, to meet Jehu. And when they met him, it was on the land that once belonged to Naboth, the man of Jezrahel.
Joram greeted him by asking, Is all well, Jehu? And he answered, Can aught be well, so long as thy faithless mother Jezabel will be at her sorceries still?
At that, Joram wheeled about and fled, crying aloud, Treason, Ochozias, treason!
But Jehu grasped his bow and bent it; right between the shoulder-blades the arrow struck Joram, and pierced through his heart, and he fell down in his chariot where he stood.
Then Jehu said to his squire Badacer, Take up his body, and throw it down on the land that was once Naboth the Jezrahelite’s. I remember well, when thou and I were sitting in our chariot together, in attendance on his father Achab, how the Lord pronounced doom upon him:
I swear that I will avenge the murder of Naboth and his children, that was done in my sight yesterday, avenge it on the very ground where thou standest. Take it up and cast it down there; let the Lord’s word be fulfilled.
As for Ochozias, king of Juda, he fled at the sight, past the lodge of the royal garden; but Jehu followed, crying, Shoot him down too where he drives! And shoot him they did, on the hill where Gaver stands, by Jeblaam. He escaped at last to Mageddo, but there he died.
On his own chariot his servants laid him down, and so bore him back to Jerusalem, to bury him where his fathers were buried, in David’s Keep.
It was during the eleventh year of Joram, Achab’s son, king of Israel, that Ochozias held the throne of Juda.
Meanwhile, Jehu drove on to Jezrahel. As for Jezabel, when she heard of his coming, darken she must her eye-brows, and braid her hair; then she looked down from her window
as Jehu passed the gate, crying out: Is all well? There was one Zambri, that murdered his master.
Jehu looked up at the window, and asked who this was. Thereupon two or three of the eunuchs leaned out to greet him.✻
Throw her down, said he, and throw her down they did; blood spattered the wall, and the horses trampled her under foot.
And he, going into the palace to eat and drink there, gave the word, Go find the accursed woman’s body, and give it burial; she was a king’s daughter.
But when they went to bury her, nothing could they find but skull and feet and the tips of her fingers.
When they went back to him with the news, he said, This is what the Lord foretold through his servant Elias the Thesbite. Jezabel, he said, shall be food for dogs in the purlieus of this city;
in the purlieus of the city her corpse shall lie like dung on the ground, for the passers-by to wonder whether this is indeed Jezabel.
The Holy Bible