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Jehu (Prophet)

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This article is about the prophet Jehu. You may be looking for Jehu, the King.

Jehu, son of Hanani,[1] was a contemporary of the great prophet Elijah, having preceded him during the days of King Baasha of Israel. He would also prophecy to King Jehoshaphat of Judah.

There had been a turnover in the government of the northern kingdom, resulting in a new dynasty to replace that of Jeroboam, whose lineage he had wiped out to the very last person (beginning with Nadab, son of Jeroboam). Having begun his reign with the carnage of is wicked predecessors, Baasha was no better than they had been.

Probably near the end of his twenty-four year reign, Jehu was called by the LORD to bring a message of doom to the evil king. The message was that Baasha's "dynasty" would be a short one. The blood of the family of Jeroboam was upon him.

Years later, in the south, Jehu would be called upon once more to confront a king. This time it was the good king of Judah, Jehoshaphat. After the death of King Ahab of Israel in a joint battle against the Syrians, Jehoshaphat was visited by the aging prophet. Jehu warned him that though he was a good man, his Alliance with wicked Ahab had been a bad idea.

Biography

Family and Calling

Jehu (Heb: Yah is He), the son of Hanani the seer[2], was a second generation prophet in what was to become the school of prophets found in the days Elijah. Speaking with the authority of a prophet, he was most likely at least 30 years old when he was anointed to serve the LORD as His spokesman.[1]

If this was the case, he would have been born in the latter years of Rehoboam, son of Solomon. His father, most likely the seer who brought a message to Rehoboam's son Asa would have been born near the beginning of that same reign.

Messenger of Doom

The LORD continued to consider the apostate northern kingdom, which had retained the name of Israel, to be His people. When His chosen king was granted the throne of the rebellious north, he had failed to rule righteously. The consequences of this was the annihilation of his dynasty only two years after his own death. The man who had replaced him by this treachery had been brought up from lowly estate to be king, only to follow in his predecessor's ways.

Jehu had the solemn duty to inform him that his success was limited. In gruesome tones, he was informed that his family would all die forgotten in the streets, carrion for dogs and vultures.[3] In fulfilment, he would be not only lose property to Asa in his ongoing war, but his son would die at the hands of Zimri, an officer in the Israelite army.[4]

Latter days

Living securely in Judah during the colorful careers of Elijah and Elisha in Israel, Jehu continued to serve as an advisor to kings, notably king Jehoshaphat. After the battle against the Moabite alliance, in which King Ahab of Israel had attempted to disguise Jehoshaphat as a decoy (to no avail, for a random arrow found his heart through a hole in his armor!), Jehu came to the king and scolded him, warning him against alliances with those who "hate the LORD" (as Ahab's worship of Baal had proven).[2]

Jehu would go on to record the reign of Jehoshaphat as part of what would become the Book of First Kings, technically joining the ranks of "writing" prophets.[5]

Verses

  1. 1.0 1.1 1 Kings 16:1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2 Chronicles 19:2
  3. 1 Kings 16:2-4 (Link)
  4. 1 Kings 16:7 (Link)
  5. 2 Chronicles 20:34 (Link)

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