Since Ahab had 70 sons in Samaria, Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria to the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to the guardians of Ahab's sons, saying:
When this letter arrives, since your master's sons are with you and you have chariots, horses, a fortified city, and weaponry,
select the most qualified of your master's sons, set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house.
However, they were terrified and reasoned, "Look, two kings couldn't stand against him; how can we?"
So the overseer of the palace, the overseer of the city, the elders, and the guardians sent [a message] to Jehu: "We are your servants, and we will do whatever you tell us. We will not make anyone king. Do whatever you think is right."
Then Jehu wrote them a second letter, saying: If you are on my side, and if you will obey me, bring me the heads of your master's sons at this time tomorrow at Jezreel. All 70 of the king's sons were being cared for by the city's prominent men.
When the letter came to them, they took the king's sons and slaughtered all 70, put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jehu at Jezreel.
When the messenger came and told him, "They have brought the heads of the king's sons," the king said, "Pile them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until morning."
The next morning when he went out and stood [at the gate], he said to all the people, "You are innocent. It was I who conspired against my master and killed him. But who struck down all these?
Know, then, that not a word the LORD spoke against the house of Ahab will fail, for the LORD has done what He promised through His servant Elijah."
So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel-- all his great men, close friends, and priests-- leaving him no survivors.
Then he set out and went on his way to Samaria. On the way, while he was at Beth-eked of the Shepherds,
Jehu met the relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah and asked, "Who are you?" They answered, "We're Ahaziah's relatives. We've come down to greet the king's sons and the queen mother's sons."
Then Jehu ordered, "Take them alive." So they took them alive and then slaughtered them at the pit of Beth-eked-- 42 men. He didn't spare any of them.
When he left there, he found Jehonadab son of Rechab [coming] to meet him. He greeted him and then asked, "Is your heart one with mine?" "It is," Jehonadab replied. Jehu said, "If it is, give me your hand." So he gave him his hand, and Jehu pulled him up into the chariot with him.
Then he said, "Come with me and see my zeal for the LORD!" So he let him ride with him in his chariot.
When Jehu came to Samaria, he struck down all who remained from [the house of] Ahab in Samaria until he had annihilated his house, according to the word of the LORD spoken to Elijah.
Then Jehu brought all the people together and said to them, "Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him a lot.
Now, therefore, summon to me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests. None must be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal. Whoever is missing will not live." However, Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy the servants of Baal.
Jehu commanded, "Consecrate a solemn assembly for Baal." So they called one.
Then Jehu sent [messengers] throughout all Israel, and all the servants of Baal came; there was not a man left who did not come. They entered the temple of Baal, and it was filled from one end to the other.
Then he said to the custodian of the wardrobe, "Bring out the garments for all the servants of Baal." So he brought out their garments.
Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rechab entered the temple of Baal, and Jehu said to the servants of Baal, "Look carefully to see that there are no servants of the LORD here among you-- only servants of Baal."
Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed 80 men outside, and he warned [them], "Whoever allows any of the men I am delivering into your hands to escape [will forfeit] his life for theirs."
When he finished offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guards and officers, "Go in and kill them. Don't let anyone out." So they struck them down with the sword. Then the guards and officers threw [the bodies] out and went into the inner room of the temple of Baal.
They brought out the pillars of the temple of Baal and burned them
and tore down the pillar of Baal. Then they tore down the temple of Baal and made it a latrine-- [which it is] to this day.
Jehu eliminated Baal [worship] from Israel,
but he did not turn away from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit-- [worshiping] the golden calves that were in Bethel and Dan.
Nevertheless, the LORD said to Jehu, "Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in My sight and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, four generations of your sons will sit on the throne of Israel."
Yet, Jehu was not careful to follow with all his heart the law of the LORD God of Israel. He did not turn from the sins that Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit.
In those days the LORD began to reduce the size of Israel. Hazael defeated the Israelites throughout their territory:
from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead-- the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the Manassites-- from Aroer which is by the Arnon Valley through Gilead to Bashan.
Now the rest of the events of Jehu's [reign], along with all his accomplishments and all his might, are written about in the Historical Record of Israel's Kings.
Jehu rested with his fathers, and he was buried in Samaria. His son Jehoahaz became king in his place.
The length of Jehu's reign over Israel in Samaria was 28 years.
When Athaliah, Ahaziah's mother, saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to annihilate all the royal heirs.
Jehosheba, [who was] King Jehoram's daughter and Ahaziah's sister, secretly rescued Joash son of Ahaziah from the king's sons who were being killed and [put] him and his nurse in a bedroom. So he was hidden from Athaliah and was not killed.
Joash was in hiding with Jehosheba in the LORD's temple six years while Athaliah ruled over the land.
Then, in the seventh year, Jehoiada sent [messengers] and brought in the commanders of hundreds, the Carites, and the guards. He had them come to him in the LORD's temple, where he made a covenant with them and put them under oath. He showed them the king's son
and commanded them, "This is what you are to do: one third of you who come on duty on the Sabbath are to provide protection for the king's palace.
A third are to be at the Sur gate and a third at the gate behind the guards. You are to take turns providing protection for the palace.
Your two divisions that go off duty on the Sabbath are to provide protection for the LORD's temple.
You must completely surround the king with weapons in hand. Anyone who approaches the ranks is to be put to death. You must be with the king in all his daily tasks."
So the commanders of hundreds did everything Jehoiada the priest commanded. They each brought their men-- those coming on duty on the Sabbath and those going off duty-- and went to Jehoiada the priest.
The priest gave to the commanders of hundreds King David's spears and shields that were in the LORD's temple.
Then the guards stood with their weapons in hand surrounding the king-- from the right side of the temple to the left side, by the altar and by the temple.
He brought out the king's son, put the crown on him, gave him the testimony,and made him king. They anointed him and clapped their hands and cried, "Long live the king!"
When Athaliah heard the noise from the guard [and] the crowd, she went out to the people at the LORD's temple.
As she looked, there was the king standing by the pillar according to the custom. The commanders and the trumpeters were by the king, and all the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Athaliah tore her clothes and screamed "Treason! Treason!"
Then Jehoiada the priest ordered the commanders of hundreds in charge of the army, "Take her out between the ranks, and put anyone who follows her to death by the sword," for the priest had said, "She is not to be put to death in the LORD's temple."
So they arrested her, and she went out by way of the Horses' Entrance to the king's palace, where she was put to death.
Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD, the king, and the people that they would be the LORD's people and [another one] between the king and the people.
So all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They broke its altars and images into pieces, and they killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, at the altars. Then [Jehoiada] the priest appointed guards for the LORD's temple.
He took [with him] the commanders of hundreds, the Carites, the guards, and all the people of the land, and they brought the king from the LORD's temple. They entered the king's palace by way of the guards' gate. Then Joash sat on the throne of the kings.
All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet, for they had put Athaliah to death by the sword in the king's palace.
Joash was seven years old when he became king.
In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash became king; he reigned 40 years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Zibiah, who was from Beer-sheba.
Throughout the time Jehoiada the priest instructed him, Joash did what was right in the LORD's sight.
Yet the high places were not taken away; the people continued sacrificing and burning incense on the high places.
Then Joash said to the priests, "All the dedicated money brought to the LORD's temple, census money, money from vows, and all money voluntarily given for the LORD's temple,
each priest is to take from his assessor and repair whatever damage to the temple is found.
But by the twenty-third year [of the reign] of King Joash, the priests had not repaired the damage to the temple.
So King Joash called Jehoiada the priest and the other priests and said, "Why haven't you repaired the temple's damage? Since you haven't, don't take any money from your assessors; instead, hand it over for the repair of the temple."
So the priests agreed they would not take money from the people and they would not repair the temple's damage.
Then Jehoiada the priest took a chest, bored a hole in its lid, and set it beside the altar on the right side as one enters the LORD's temple; in it the priests who guarded the threshold put all the money brought into the LORD's temple.
Whenever they saw there was a large amount of money in the chest, the king's secretary and the high priest would go to the LORD's temple and count the money found there and tie it up in bags.
Then they would put the counted money into the hands of those doing the work-- those who oversaw the LORD's temple. They [in turn] would pay it out to those working on the LORD's temple-- the carpenters, the builders,
the masons, and the stonecutters-- and [would use it] to buy timber and quarried stone to repair the damage to the LORD's temple and for all spending for temple repairs.
However, no silver bowls, wick trimmers, sprinkling basins, trumpets, or any articles of gold or silver were made for the LORD's temple from the money brought into the temple.
Instead, it was given to those doing the work, and they repaired the LORD's temple with it.
No accounting was required from the men who received the money to pay those doing the work, since they worked with integrity.
The money from the restitution offering and the sin offering was not brought to the LORD's temple since it belonged to the priests.
At that time Hazael king of Aram marched up and fought against Gath and captured it. Then he planned to attack Jerusalem.
So King Joash of Judah took all the consecrated items that his ancestors-- Judah's kings Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah-- had consecrated, along with his own consecrated items and all the gold found in the treasuries of the LORD's temple and in the king's palace, and he sent [them] to Hazael king of Aram. Then Hazael withdrew from Jerusalem.
The rest of the events of Joash's [reign], along with all his accomplishments, are written about in the Historical Record of Judah's Kings.
Joash's servants conspired against him and killed him at Beth-millo [on the road that] goes down to Silla.
His servants Jozabad son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer struck him down, and he died. Then they buried him with his fathers in the city of David, and his son Amaziah became king in his place.