International Standard Version
1Meanwhile, Ahab had 70 sons who lived in Samaria. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria—to the rulers of Jezreel, the elders, and the guardians of Ahab's children. He told them, 2"As soon as you receive this letter (since your master's children are with you, you have chariots and horses there with you, and you are protected by a walled city and weaponry), 3select the best and most qualified of your master's sons, set him in place on his father's throne, and fight for your master's dynasty!" 4But they were too terrified, and so they told one another, "Look! Two previous kings couldn't stand up to Jehu, so how can we?" 5So the household overseer and the city supervisor, along with the elders and the children's guardians, sent word to Jehu, telling him, "We will serve you and do everything you ask. We won't set up a king, so do what you want to do." 6But Jehu wrote them another letter: "If you're loyal to me, and if you intend to obey my commands, then bring the heads of your master's sons and meet me in Jezreel about this time tomorrow." Now the king's sons, totaling 70 men, were living with the leading men of the city, who were their guardians. 7When the letter from Jehu arrived, the city leaders arrested the king's sons, slaughtered all 70 of them, put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jehu at Jezreel. 8When the messenger arrived to report to the king, he said, "They have brought the heads of the king's sons." Jehu replied, "Put them in two piles at the entrance of the city gate until morning." 9The next morning, Jehu went out, stood still, and announced to all the people: "Are you righteous? I conspired against my master and killed him, but who slaughtered all of these? 10Keep this in mind—not a single statement by the LORD will fail to come about that he spoke concerning Ahab's dynasty, because the LORD has accomplished what he predicted by his servant Elijah." 11So Jehu executed all those who remained from Ahab's dynasty in Jezreel, including all of Ahab's men, his friends, and his priests, until there remained not even one survivor.
12Then Jehu got up, left the city, and went to Samaria. When he arrived at the shearing house that was located on the way, 13Jehu met up with the relatives of king Ahaziah of Judah. He asked them, "Who are you?" They answered, "We're Ahaziah's relatives, and we've come down to greet the king's sons and the sons of the queen mother." 14Jehu ordered, "Take them alive!" So Jehu's soldiers captured them and executed all 42 of them near the pit at the shearing house. He left none of them alive.
15After he left there, he encountered Rechab's son Jehonadab. After he greeted him, Jehu asked him, "Is your heart right, as my heart is with yours?" "It is," Jehonadab answered. "If it is," Jehu replied, "Put out your hand." So Jehonadab stuck out his hand, and Jehu took him up to stand in his chariot. 16He told him, "Come with me and see my enthusiasm for the LORD!" So Jehu had Jehonadab ride in his chariot. 17When Jehu arrived in Samaria, he executed everyone who remained of Ahab's household in Samaria, until he had utterly destroyed Ahab in accordance with the message from the LORD that he spoke to Elijah.
18Then Jehu assembled all the people and announced to them, "Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him a lot! 19Therefore summon all of Baal's prophets to me, including all his worshipers and all his priests. Don't leave even one out, because I've prepared a great sacrifice for Baal. Whoever doesn't show up doesn't live!" But Jehu did this deceptively, intending to destroy Baal's worshippers. 20Jehu ordered, "Set aside a solemn assembly for Baal!" And so they proclaimed it. 21Jehu sent the proclamation throughout Israel, and all the Baal worshipers came. There wasn't a single man left who failed to come. When they entered Baal's temple, it was filled from one end to the other. 22Then Jehu ordered the one in charge of the wardrobe, "Bring out garments for all of the worshipers of Baal." So he brought out garments for them. 23Jehu and Rechab's son Jehonadab entered Baal's temple, and Jehu told the Baal worshipers, "Look around and be sure that no servant of the LORD is here among you, but only worshipers of Baal." 24Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Meanwhile, Jehu had stationed 80 men outside, ordering them, "If any of these men whom I've brought into your control escape, the one who allows it will forfeit his life."
25As soon as he had completed the burnt offering, Jehu ordered the guards and the officers, "Go in and execute them. Don't let even one man escape." So they executed them with swords, and the guards and the officers threw the bodies out and proceeded into the inner room of Baal's temple, 26from which they brought out the sacred pillars and burned them. 27They also cut down the pillar to Baal, tore apart Baal's temple, and turned it into a latrine—and it remains that way today.
28That's how Jehu eradicated Baal from Israel.
29Even so, Jehu never abandoned the sins of Nebat's son Jeroboam, who caused Israel to sin, regarding the golden calves that were at Bethel and Dan. 30Nevertheless, the LORD told Jehu, "Because you have done well in carrying out what I saw as the right thing to do by completing everything I had in mind regarding Ahab's dynasty, your sons will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation." 31But Jehu did not remain careful to walk in the instruction of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart. He never abandoned the sins of Jeroboam that had caused Israel to sin.
32In those days, the LORD began to reduce Israel in size: Hazael defeated them throughout the territory of Israel, 33from the Jordan River eastward, all the territory of Gilead, the descendants of Gad, the descendants of Reuben, and the descendants of Manasseh, from Aroer by the Valley of the Arnon, including Gilead and Bashan.
34Now as to the rest of Jehu's activities, including his valiant deeds, they are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not? 35Then Jehu died, as did his ancestors, and they buried him in Samaria. His son Jehoahaz reigned in his place. 36Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria for 28 years.