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JEHU (Assyrian, Ja'ua):

  • 1. Son of Jehoshaphat and grandson of Nimshi, founder of the fifth Israelitish dynasty (842-743 B.C.); died 815 B.C., in the twenty-eighth year of his reign. A commander of troops (II Kings ix. 5-14, 25), with the cooperation of the prophetic party intent upon making an end of Baal-worship and the Phenician atrocities in vogue in the Northern Kingdom under Jezebel's influence (I Kings xix. 16; II Kings ix. 1; see Elijah; Elisha), Jehu, profiting by the absence of King Jehoram, who had gone to Jezreel to be healed of the wounds which the Syrians had inflicted on him at Ramah (II Kings viii. 29), had himself proclaimed king by the soldiers in garrison at Ramothgilead (ib. ix. 13). Taking precautions that the news should not leak out, Jehu hastened to Jezreel, where he met Jehoram in company with his visitor Ahaziah, King of Judah, who had come out to greet him. Jehu slew Jehoram with his own hands, casting the body into a portion of the field of Naboth; while Ahaziah, overtaken in flight, was mortally smitten at his command (ib. ix. 21-27). Jezebel was by his orders thrown out of the window by the eunuchs, and he trod her under foot, leaving her body to be "as dung upon the face of the field" (ib. ix. 30-37).His next care was to exterminate the house of Ahab and its adherents (ib. x.). Meeting, on his triumphal march to Samaria, Ahaziah's brethren, he caused them to be put to death (ib. x. 13-15); and in Samaria he continued his policy of annihilating Ahab's family and party (ib. x. 17). True to the intentions of the prophetic partizans, aided by Jehonadab, the son of Rechab, he, pretending to be a worshiper of Baal, succeeded in gathering the priests, devotees, and prophets of Baal in Baal's temple, where he had them put to death by his soldiers, and then destroyed the sanctuary and the sacred pillars (ib. x. 18 et seq.). The "golden calves" at Dan and Beth-el he did not remove (ib. 29-31).One of Jehu's first cares was to cultivate the good graces of Shalmaneser II., King of Assyria (see the Black Obelisk, second line from top on the four sides; Schrader, "K. B." p. 151; III Rawlinson, 5, No. 6, 40-65; Schrader, "K. A. T." 2d ed., p. 210). It is not unlikely that Assyria had a hand in the revolution that carried Jehu to the throne ("K. A. T." 3d ed., p. 43): Assyria at least promised to be a protector against Damascus and Hazael. Assyria did not keep Damascus in check, however, and so Jehu lost (after 839) to Hazael the control over the district east of the Jordan (II Kings x. 32).The war must have been waged with great cruelty. The Damascenes penetrated also into the Southern Kingdom and beyond (II Kings xii. 17, 18). Amos refers to the atrocities then committed, while Jehu's assassination of Jezebel and her son is mentioned with horror by Hosea (i. 4). Jehu was succeeded by his son Jehoahaz.Bibliography: Commentaries to Kings; histories of Israel by Ewald, Stade, Winckler, and Guthe; Schrader, K. A. T. 3d ed., pp. 255-258, and the references given in the notes thereto.E. G. H.
  • 2. Son of Hanani; a prophet. He denounced Baasha for the idolatry practised by him, and predicted the downfall of his dynasty (I Kings xvi. 1, 7). He censured also Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, for his alliance with Ahab (II Chron. xix. 2, 3). Jehu's father was probably the Hanani who prophesied against Jehoshaphat's father, Asa (II Chron. xvi. 7). Jehu must have either lived to a very great age or begun his prophetical career very young; for between his two prophecies there is an interval of thirty years. Besides, he survived Jehoshaphat, and wrote the latter's life (II Chron. xx. 34). Jerome (in the Vulgate) adds a gloss to I Kings xvi. 7, representing Jehu as having been killed by Baasha.
  • 3. Son of Obed, a descendant of Jarha, an Egyptian, and of a daughter of Hezron the Judahite, the direct male line being Egyptian (I Chron. ii. 38).
  • 4. A Simeonite prince, son of Josibiah; lived in the reign of Hezekiah (I Chron. iv. 35, 41).
  • 5. One of David's heroes, an Antothite, who while David was still at Ziklag, for his sake forsook the cause of Saul (I Chron. xii. 3).E. G. H. M. Sel.
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