Posts Tagged ‘Jehu’

Now when Ahab told Jezebel that Elijah had put the prophets to death with the sword, she sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “As surely as you are Elijah and I am Jezebel, may the gods do to me what they will and more too, if I do not make your life as the life of one of those prophets by to-morrow about this time.”

Then he was afraid and fled for his life. And he came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he went on a day’s journey into the wilderness and sat down under a desert tree, and he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Jehovah, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”

Then he lay down and slept under the desert tree, but an angel touched him and said to him, “Rise, eat!” When he looked, he saw there at his head a loaf, baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. But the angel of Jehovah came again the second time and touched him and said, “Rise, eat, or else the journey will be too long for you.” So he rose and ate and drank and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mountain of God.

Then Jehovah passed by, and a very violent wind tore the mountain apart and broke the rocks in pieces before Jehovah; but Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake; but Jehovah was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire; but Jehovah was not in the fire. After the fire there was the sound of a low whisper. As soon as Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then he heard a voice saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very jealous for Jehovah the God of hosts, for the Israelites have forsaken thee, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword, and I only am left; and they seek to take my life.”

Then Jehovah said to him, “On your way back go to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you arrive there, anoint Hazael to rule over Aram, Jehu, the son of Nimshi, to rule over Israel, and Elisha, the son of Shaphat, to be prophet in your place. Then every one who escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death; and every one who escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death. Yet I will spare seven thousand in Israel–all who have not worshipped Baal and kissed his image.”

After he had left, Elijah found Elisha the son of Shaphat, as he was ploughing with twelve pairs of oxen. When Elijah went up to him and threw his mantle upon him, he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” Elijah said to him, “Go back, for what have I done to you?” So Elisha turned back and took one pair of oxen and offered them as a sacrifice and, using the wooden ploughs and yokes as fuel, boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people to eat. Then he arose and followed Elijah and served him.


“In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba.” — 2 Kings 12:1

A common motif in the book of 2 Kings is not simply to provide the patriarchal lineage of the king, but also to provide the matriarchal lineage. Now, in the ancient patriarchal society, providing the name of the father makes sense. It grounds the new king in a royal lineage.

However, in regard to the mother, not only do we rarely ever hear of her again, but we also don’t know much about her in the first place. For example, we never find out any details of the life of Zibiah of Beersheba; nor for that matter, do we ever get any details about any of the mothers mentioned in 2 Kings.

Why then does the book go out of its way to always tell us the name of the kings’ mothers? A simple answer is that, as a history book, one in which follows a pattern as it lists the kings of Judah and Israel, it needs to chronicle both parents. Yet, only in a few other places in the Bible do we receive name of the mother of a leader, and in each case there are extenuating circumstances. Furthermore, in the book of 2 Kings, the name of the mother usually comes in a verse different from the name of the father. It almost gives the impression that the author intended to separate the influence of the mother from the influence of the father, but again, to what point?

I think we need to realize the historical situation of the kings at that time. For the most part, as attested throughout the Bible, the king typically had many sons and many wives, and did not have the time to actually take care of his children in the way we think of parents taking care of their kids today. The mothers, then, were the true parents of these princes.

The book of 2 Kings testifies to the importance of the mother in the upbringing of these one-day kings and states that whether they were good or bad stemmed from their parenting, specifically their mothers. In today’s society, parenting is usually more of a partnership, but the lessons still need to be taught.

In this age of hyper-information, our children have more “parents” than they can handle:  TV, Internet, teachers, smart phones, celebrities, etc. So we need to remember that it ultimately rests upon us to help guide our children, whether we are their mother or father.