Page images

Jezreelite; for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the Lord laid this burden upon him. . Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons, saith the LORD; and I will requite thee in this plot, saith the Lord. Now, therefore, take and cast him into the plot of ground, according to the word of the Lord.”

That mighty Word was fulfilled upon Jezebel too. As Jehu entered Jezreel, she looked out of a window at him, having painted her face and tired her head. She called out to him, “ Had Zimri peace, who slew his master ?" (Zimri had murdered his master, Baasha, the last king of Israel save one before Ahab.) Then Jehu looked up to the window, and called out, “Who is on my side? who ?” Several of the servants belonging to the palace looked out in answer, and he bade them throw her down from the window. Probably Jezebel had no friends even in her own household, owing to her pride and cruelty. At any rate, her servants threw her down quickly at Jehu's bidding. Some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and some on the horses, which trod her under foot.

When Jehu had come into the palace, and

[ocr errors]

had eaten and drunk, he sent people out, saying, “Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her; for she is a king's daughter.” But when the men came to the spot, they found that the dogs had eaten all but her skull, her feet, and the palms of her hands. When they told Jehu, he answered, “ This is the Word of the LORD, which He spake by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel, and the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel, so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.”

Thus awfully ended the wicked life of this heathen queen ; a life in which no one single good point is ever recorded. And yet she had warnings and opportunities of learning from God's prophets ; but she shut her eyes, and would not see; she closed her ears, and would not hear. An awful warning, surely, Jezebel's history should be to us all, how God “ puts down the mighty from their seat,” if they do not trust in Him as all their strength and stay, and remember that all grace and power cometh from Him, and will have to be accounted for to Him.

Ahaziah, king of Judah, also lost his life at

this same time. He was a wicked man; and his taking part with Joram, whom God had appointed for destruction, was displeasing to the Lord, Who therefore suffered Jehu to cause him to be smitten as he fled from Jezreel through the garden house. But his servants gave Abaziah burial in Jerusalem, among his fathers," because,” they said, “ he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart."



JEHU's first acts were to destroy every one remaining of Ahab's family. His next aim was to destroy Baal's worship throughout the land. For this purpose he went to work by craft, say

, ing, “Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu shall serve him much. Now, therefore, call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests ; let none be wanting, for I have a great sacrifice to do unto Baal ; whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live.” So all the priests and worshippers of Baal gathered together according to the king's proclamation, and Baal's temple was full from one end to another. Then Jehu and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, went to the temple, and made a search that no servant of the LORD should be therein. While Baal's servants made their sacrifice, Jehu brought up his soldiers, and caused them to slay every person there with the edge of the sword; he also broke Baal's image into pieces, and pulled down his temple, and thus altogether destroyed the worship of Baal in Israel.

Then the LORD said to Jehu,“ Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in Mine Eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab all that was in Mine Heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit upon the throne of Israel."

But Jehu did not go on taking heed to walk in God's law with all his heart-he continued to use the temples of Jeroboam's golden calves at Bethel and Dan; probably out of pride, not choosing to go up to Jerusalem to worship.


When Jehu put King Ahaziah to death, at the same time that he killed the king of Israel, Athaliah, Ahaziah's mother, sought to reign,

and for this end she put to death all the heirs of her son except one.

This was a baby only one year old, called Joash, who was saved by his aunt Jehosheba. When she saw what Athaliah was doing, she took the little child and his nurse, and hid them in her bedchamber, and kept him hidden for six years. During this time Queen Athaliah reigned; but all the while Jehoiada the priest, (who was Jehosheba's husband,) was planning with the other great men in Judah how to restore the little king to his rights. At last, when Joash was seven years old, Jehoiada felt strong enough for the attempt. He brought a strong force to Jerusalem, and surrounded the temple. Then, when everything was prepared, Jehoiada brought forth the royal child, and crowned and anointed him before all the people ; and they clapped their hands, and cried, “God save the King !" Athaliah heard the tumult, and hastened to the temple, in time to see the little King Joash standing in his regal place, and hear the trumpets and the rejoicings of the people. Then she rent her clothes, and cried, “Treason, treason!” But it was she herself who was guilty of treason, and now her punishment was come. Jehoiada bade the soldiers take her forth

« PreviousContinue »