Then the LORD said to Hosea, "Call him Jezreel,
because I will soon punish the house of Jehu
for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end
to the kingdom of Israel.
Now this is one for the grey matter. The headline is a quote from Hosea 1:4 as it is rendered in the ESV these days. The verse refers to a passage in
2 Kings 9 and onwards. It's quite an intricate text with a king of Judah ruling together with his father, while having the same name as his rival king
of Israel, and there are many here sharing names and titles, and there are rival kings to the same throne of Israel, there is a bogus prophecy
involved signed Elijah and Elisha, and one of Elisha's disciples who just can't keep himself from extrapolating on the gory details of the divine
display. We meet Jezebel, the mysterious priestess, and the house of Jehu and the house of Akhab is not the only houses here, there is the house of
the Arameans and there is the house Jehu brought down, killing all the Ba'al priests in Israel and making an end to Ba'al worship all together. At
least for a while.
A cryptic and riddled story indeed, so good luck in trying to follow my lead. And I may not even make it through to a conclusion fully adequately, it
is a story that has puzzled me since I dreamed about it the night before I was baptised, and I just can't get it out of my mind. King Jehu of Israel
was quite a piece of work, and the intrigues and conspiracies he put in motion is a study in evil or what should I say extreme zealousy. The horror
from his workings at Jezreel send shivers to people's spines even to this day.
Story goes: With his band of horses, Jehu went to Jezreel, to the field of Nabot (which was the site of another terrible conspiracy earlier on), soon
after he had been anointed king of Israel by a loose-mouthed young prophecy student acting on behalf of the prophet Elisha, while there was already a
sitting king to the throne, Joram, son of Akhab.
With the prophecy of his still future atrocities kept at mind and hand, he seeked out the sitting king Joram of Israel, Jehu's rival to the throne of
Israel, son of queen-mother Jezebel and former king Akhab of Israel and shot him in the heart. The Aramean King Akaziah who was with Joram was wounded
in the same attack, and died shortly after in Megiddo.
Driven by his desire to further fulfil his prophecy he has Jezebel, Joram's mother, thrown off the balcony of the castle, with blood splattering up
the walls and on the horses, which then trampled her down and she is left for stray dogs to devour her so that only the feet, hands and head remained
Later Jehu slaughters and decapitates Akhab's 70 sons in a conspiracy and piles up their heads in the courtyard, before he continue by killing
everyone else of Akhab's house, together with friends and relatives. As if that wasn't enough, he turns the other way and piles up 42 new heads in
Samaria, belonging to Judah's king Ahasha with all his house.
Now, what the bleeder did next was truly spectacular and may I say, creative. With deceit and lies a serpent worthy, he managed to lure in all the
Ba'al priests and officials in the Ba'al religion throughout Israel to gather under one roof, only to storm the building and slaughter them all. The
LORD thanked Jehu for his murderous rampage, and Jehu died an old man and his son took over his throne after him. But the LORD wasn't fully content
with Jehu's work, so he gives a clause in his blessings, and promise that Jehu's house should rule the throne of Israel for four generations.
That's how the story goes. Now, back to the Hosea verse in the beginning of this OP. It says shortened): "I will punish the house of Jehu, and I will
put an end to the kingdom of Israel." Now, what kind of God first orders a 9th century BC king to commit genocide, only to avenge his victims a couple
of hundred years later and punish Jehu's descendants for what Jehu did on orders from the LORD? THIS is where it gets really tricky. For one of the
oldest dilemmas in the Torah comes from the verse found in Deuteronomy 24:16:
“Fathers shall not be put to death because
of their children, nor shall children be put
to death because of their fathers."
How can the LORD then punish the House of Jehu and put an end to his kingdom a century later, as revenge for the atrocities he himself ordered? As it
turns out, and like I mentioned earlier on, the LORD gave a promise to Jehu towards the end of his reign in 2Kings 10:28: “Your sons of the fourth
generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.” A promise which was fulfilled in the time of Hosea (the prophet), when Jehu's last descendant is
removed from the throne, and when the prophet's namesake, Hosea (an antichrist sitting on the throne of Israel) entered the throne, the LORD had the
Assyrians invade Israel and Samaria and enslaved all of Israel and brought them to Assur, to Media, Halah and along river Habor.
This is when we loose track of the ten lost tribes. Well, they weren't lost, they moved to present day Syria and the areas around, Iraq and Iran and
so on. Most chose to stay and practically became Assyrians, while some moved elsewhere, difficult to keep track after that.
It is safe to assume that a great number of Muslims in the Middle East are descendants of either Israelis ("ten lost tribes" when Assyria invaded) or
the Jews (tribe of Judah), when also the Judah kingdom falls, this time to Babylon, and the exile which for some reason often totally overshadows the
Assyrian campaign earlier on, takes on and history carried on.
edit on 26-5-2014 by Utnapisjtim because: align left
26-5-2014 by Utnapisjtim because: Typos