Jehu and the Prophets

Jehu had contact with at least three prophets (four if you count the one who anointed him) during his lifetime: Elijah, Elisha, and Micaiah. Jehu was an army commander during the days of Ahab and if you put together 2 Kings 9: 24 – 26 and 1 Kings 21: 17 – 23 it is apparent that Jehu was present when Elijah spoke the destruction that was to come to Ahab’s house. I find it interesting when someone is present when a word from the Lord is spoken and years later the hearer of that word is part of the fulfillment of the prophecy. No doubt Jehu would have also heard Elijah’s announcement from the Lord about how Ahab had humbled himself and that the word would come upon his son (1 Kings 21: 29).

As a commander of the army, it is also to be expected that Jehu was present when Micaiah prophesied against Ahab and he died. This should have had an impact on him and how he viewed words from the Lord. But his attitude is hard to read in the story of his anointing. At first glance when the young man came with the word from Elisha Jehu seems to downplay his anointing until the other officers become serious about the oil dripping from his head (See Jehu – The Start). But this show of support may have been what he really wanted to see before he would act openly on that word.

Elisha was the other prophet that he would have been around and you have to wonder if he was the prophet who delivered the word in 2 Kings 10: 30. Jehu was promised and received four generation of his family as kings of Israel (See 2 Kings 15: 12). Elisha was present for Jehu, Jehoahaz, and Jehoash (13: 14). It is a shame that even with all of this help from the Lord Jehu would/could not follow the Lord more closely (10: 31) (See Jeroboam- The Lord Your God for the sin that Israel stayed in). But it must be pointed out that God in His love gave Jehu every chance and three solid men of God to help him.

I still am in awe of God for loving Israel so much that He sent Elijah and Elisha to them andJehoshaphat's Timeline not to Judah. God tried hard to get them to change but they would not. In reading the start of 2 Kings it would seem that Elijah’s chariot ride to heaven happened right after Ahab’s death but he wrote a letter to Jehoram condemning his treachery and pronouncing his death. That could add about nine years before the cloak fell to Elisha. So exactly when all of the miracles in 2 Kings 2 – 8 happened we can not tell because the chronicler talks about kings but does not name them. It is possible that Elijah was alive to see the word he spoke against Ahab come to pass.

Jehu – The Start

Jehu, the army commander, which the Lord commissioned to destroy the house of Ahab and then to rule Israel almost, missed his appointed time. If it were not for the officers that were with him that day he would have ignored the prophet. A look at why the attitude is necessary.

The Northern Kingdom under Jeroboam had diluted the worship of Jehovah and started a new priesthood. Jeroboam had made images of a bull and goat and set them up as the gods of Israel. God’s love was manifested at this time by Him sending prophets to Judah and Israel, but mainly to Israel so that they would not forsake Him (See Prophets of Rehoboam and Jeroboam) but the sin of Jeroboam son of Nebat continued. Ahab and Jezebel added to this sin by starting Baal worship and killing off the Lord’s prophets. This confused mixture of religions is what Jehu grew up in. In 2 Kings 9:11 Jehu responds to the mocking of the officers, that called the prophet a “madman” by playing off the anointing. The facts here, however, provoke the officers in verse twelve to keep asking: 1. They recognized the young man as a prophet of the Lord 2. Jehu has oil dripping from his head 3. The young man runs.

Jehu trying to brush off the anointing may have been a “wait and see” response. So when the officers took this scene to the next level by blowing trumpets and spreading cloaks Jehu still responds with a, “If this is how you feel.” Knowledge of the true God was still present and real and the anointing was taken seriously and replaced the mocking but you get the feeling it could have gone either way.