II Kings 10

1Achav had seventy descendants in Shomron. Yehu wrote letters and sent them to Shomron, to the elders and officials of Yizrael and to the guardians of [the children] of Achav, as follows:

אוּלְאַחְאָב שִׁבְעִים בָּנִים בְּשֹׁמְרוֹן וַיִּכְתֹּב יֵהוּא סְפָרִים וַיִּשְׁלַח שֹׁמְרוֹן אֶל־שָׂרֵי יִזְרְעֶאל הַזְּקֵנִים וְאֶל־הָאֹמְנִים אַחְאָב לֵאמֹר׃

2“Now, when this letter reaches you—since your master's sons are with you and you also have chariots and horses, and a fortified city and weapons

בוְעַתָּה כְּבֹא הַסֵּפֶר הַזֶּה אֲלֵיכֶם וְאִתְּכֶם בְּנֵי אֲדֹנֵיכֶם וְאִתְּכֶם הָרֶכֶב וְהַסּוּסִים וְעִיר מִבְצָר וְהַנָּשֶׁק׃

3select the best and the most suitable of your master's sons and set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house.”

גוּרְאִיתֶם הַטּוֹב וְהַיָּשָׁר מִבְּנֵי אֲדֹנֵיכֶם וְשַׂמְתֶּם עַל־כִּסֵּא אָבִיו וְהִלָּחֲמוּ עַל־בֵּית אֲדֹנֵיכֶם׃

4But they were overcome by fear, for they thought, “If the two kings could not stand up to him, how can we?”

דוַיִּרְאוּ מְאֹד מְאֹד וַיֹּאמְרוּ הִנֵּה שְׁנֵי הַמְּלָכִים לֹא עָמְדוּ לְפָנָיו וְאֵיךְ נַעֲמֹד אֲנָחְנוּ׃

5The steward of the palace and the governor of the city and the elders and the guardians sent this message to Yehu: “We are your subjects, and we shall do whatever you tell us to. We shall not proclaim anyone king; do whatever you like.”

הוַיִּשְׁלַח אֲשֶׁר־עַל־הַבַּיִת וַאֲשֶׁר עַל־הָעִיר וְהַזְּקֵנִים וְהָאֹמְנִים אֶל־יֵהוּא לֵאמֹר עֲבָדֶיךָ אֲנַחְנוּ וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר־תֹּאמַר אֵלֵינוּ נַעֲשֶׂה לֹא־נַמְלִיךְ אִישׁ הַטּוֹב בְּעֵינֶיךָ עֲשֵׂה׃

6He wrote them a second time: “If you are on my side and are ready to obey me, take the heads of the attendants of your master's sons and come to me in Yizrael tomorrow at this time.” Now the princes, seventy in number, were with the notables of the town, who were rearing them.

ווַיִּכְתֹּב אֲלֵיהֶם סֵפֶר שֵׁנִית לֵאמֹר אִם־לִי אַתֶּם וּלְקֹלִי אַתֶּם שֹׁמְעִים קְחוּ אֶת־רָאשֵׁי אַנְשֵׁי בְנֵי־אֲדֹנֵיכֶם וּבֹאוּ אֵלַי כָּעֵת מָחָר יִזְרְעֶאלָה וּבְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ שִׁבְעִים אִישׁ אֶת־גְּדֹלֵי הָעִיר מְגַדְּלִים אוֹתָם׃

7But when the letter reached them, they took the princes and slaughtered all seventy of them; they put their heads in baskets and sent them to him in Yizrael.

זוַיְהִי כְּבֹא הַסֵּפֶר אֲלֵיהֶם וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת־בְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיִּשְׁחֲטוּ שִׁבְעִים אִישׁ וַיָּשִׂימוּ אֶת־רָאשֵׁיהֶם בַּדּוּדִים וַיִּשְׁלְחוּ אֵלָיו יִזְרְעֶאלָה׃

8A messenger came and reported to him: “They have brought the heads of the princes.” He said, “Pile them up in two heaps at the entrance of the gate before morning.”

חוַיָּבֹא הַמַּלְאָךְ וַיַּגֶּד־לוֹ לֵאמֹר הֵבִיאוּ רָאשֵׁי בְנֵי־הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר שִׂימוּ אֹתָם שְׁנֵי צִבֻּרִים פֶּתַח הַשַּׁעַר עַד־הַבֹּקֶר׃

9In the morning he went out and stood there; and he said to all the people, “Are you blameless? True, I conspired against my master and killed him; but who struck down all of these?

טוַיְהִי בַבֹּקֶר וַיֵּצֵא וַיַּעֲמֹד וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־כָּל־הָעָם צַדִּקִים אַתֶּם הִנֵּה אֲנִי קָשַׁרְתִּי עַל־אֲדֹנִי וָאֶהְרְגֵהוּ וּמִי הִכָּה אֶת־כָּל־אֵלֶּה׃

10Know, then, that nothing that Hashem has spoken concerning the House of Achav shall remain unfulfilled, for Hashem has done what he announced through His servant Eliyahu.”

ידְּעוּ אֵפוֹא כִּי לֹא יִפֹּל מִדְּבַר יְהֹוָה אַרְצָה אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה עַל־בֵּית אַחְאָב וַיהֹוָה עָשָׂה אֵת אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר בְּיַד עַבְדּוֹ אֵלִיָּהוּ׃

11And Yehu struck down all that were left of the House of Achav in Yizrael—and all his notables, intimates, and Kohanim—till he left him no survivor.

יאוַיַּךְ יֵהוּא אֵת כָּל־הַנִּשְׁאָרִים לְבֵית־אַחְאָב בְּיִזְרְעֶאל וְכָל־גְּדֹלָיו וּמְיֻדָּעָיו וְכֹהֲנָיו עַד־בִּלְתִּי הִשְׁאִיר־לוֹ שָׂרִיד׃

12He then set out for Shomron. On the way, when he was at Beth-eked of the shepherds,

יבוַיָּקָם וַיָּבֹא וַיֵּלֶךְ שֹׁמְרוֹן הוּא בֵּית־עֵקֶד הָרֹעִים בַּדָּרֶךְ׃

13Yehu came upon the kinsmen of King Achazyahu of Yehuda. “Who are you?” he asked. They replied, “We are the kinsmen of Achazyahu, and we have come to pay our respects to the sons of the king and the sons of the queen mother.”

יגוְיֵהוּא מָצָא אֶת־אֲחֵי אֲחַזְיָהוּ מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה וַיֹּאמֶר מִי אַתֶּם וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֲחֵי אֲחַזְיָהוּ אֲנַחְנוּ וַנֵּרֶד לִשְׁלוֹם בְּנֵי־הַמֶּלֶךְ וּבְנֵי הַגְּבִירָה׃

14“Take them alive!” he said. They took them alive and then slaughtered them at the pit of Beth-eked, forty-two of them; he did not spare a single one.

ידוַיֹּאמֶר תִּפְשׂוּם חַיִּים וַיִּתְפְּשׂוּם חַיִּים וַיִּשְׁחָטוּם אֶל־בּוֹר בֵּית־עֵקֶד אַרְבָּעִים וּשְׁנַיִם אִישׁ וְלֹא־הִשְׁאִיר אִישׁ מֵהֶם׃

15He went on from there, and he met Jehonadab son of Rechab coming toward him. He greeted him and said to him, “Are you as wholehearted with me as I am with you?” “I am,” Jehonadab replied. “If so,” [said Yehu,] “give me your hand.” He gave him his hand and [Yehu] helped him into the chariot.

טווַיֵּלֶךְ מִשָּׁם וַיִּמְצָא אֶת־יְהוֹנָדָב בֶּן־רֵכָב לִקְרָאתוֹ וַיְבָרְכֵהוּ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו הֲיֵשׁ אֶת־לְבָבְךָ יָשָׁר כַּאֲשֶׁר לְבָבִי עִם־לְבָבֶךָ וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹנָדָב יֵשׁ וָיֵשׁ תְּנָה אֶת־יָדֶךָ וַיִּתֵּן יָדוֹ וַיַּעֲלֵהוּ אֵלָיו אֶל־הַמֶּרְכָּבָה׃

16“Come with me,” he said, “and see my zeal for Hashem.” And he was taken along in the chariot.

טזוַיֹּאמֶר לְכָה אִתִּי וּרְאֵה בְּקִנְאָתִי לַיהֹוָה וַיַּרְכִּבוּ אֹתוֹ בְּרִכְבּוֹ׃

17Arriving in Shomron, [Yehu] struck down all the survivors of [the House of] Achav in Shomron, until he wiped it out, fulfilling the word that Hashem had spoken to Eliyahu.

יזוַיָּבֹא שֹׁמְרוֹן וַיַּךְ אֶת־כָּל־הַנִּשְׁאָרִים לְאַחְאָב בְּשֹׁמְרוֹן עַד־הִשְׁמִידוֹ כִּדְבַר יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֶל־אֵלִיָּהוּ׃

18Yehu assembled all the people and said to them, “Achav served Baal little; Yehu shall serve him much!

יחוַיִּקְבֹּץ יֵהוּא אֶת־כָּל־הָעָם וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם אַחְאָב עָבַד אֶת־הַבַּעַל מְעָט יֵהוּא יַעַבְדֶנּוּ הַרְבֵּה׃

19Therefore, summon to me all the Neviim of Baal, all his worshipers, and all his Kohanim: let no one fail to come, for I am going to hold a great sacrifice for Baal. Whoever fails to come shall forfeit his life.” Yehu was acting with guile in order to exterminate the worshipers of Baal.

יטוְעַתָּה כָל־נְבִיאֵי הַבַּעַל כָּל־עֹבְדָיו וְכָל־כֹּהֲנָיו קִרְאוּ אֵלַי אִישׁ אַל־יִפָּקֵד כִּי זֶבַח גָּדוֹל לִי לַבַּעַל כֹּל אֲשֶׁר־יִפָּקֵד לֹא יִחְיֶה וְיֵהוּא עָשָׂה בְעָקְבָּה לְמַעַן הַאֲבִיד אֶת־עֹבְדֵי הַבָּעַל׃

20Yehu gave orders to convoke a solemn assembly for Baal, and one was proclaimed.

כוַיֹּאמֶר יֵהוּא קַדְּשׁוּ עֲצָרָה לַבַּעַל וַיִּקְרָאוּ׃

21Yehu sent word throughout Yisrael, and all the worshipers of Baal came, not a single one remained behind. They came into the temple of Baal, and the temple of Baal was filled from end to end.

כאוַיִּשְׁלַח יֵהוּא בְּכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיָּבֹאוּ כָּל־עֹבְדֵי הַבַּעַל וְלֹא־נִשְׁאַר אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר לֹא־בָא וַיָּבֹאוּ בֵּית הַבַּעַל וַיִּמָּלֵא בֵית־הַבַּעַל פֶּה לָפֶה׃

22He said to the man in charge of the wardrobe, “Bring out the vestments for all the worshipers of Baal”; and he brought vestments out for them.

כבוַיֹּאמֶר לַאֲשֶׁר עַל־הַמֶּלְתָּחָה הוֹצֵא לְבוּשׁ לְכֹל עֹבְדֵי הַבָּעַל וַיֹּצֵא לָהֶם הַמַּלְבּוּשׁ׃

23Then Yehu and Jehonadab son of Rechab came into the temple of Baal, and they said to the worshipers of Baal, “Search and make sure that there are no worshipers of Hashem among you, but only worshipers of Baal.”

כגוַיָּבֹא יֵהוּא וִיהוֹנָדָב בֶּן־רֵכָב בֵּית הַבָּעַל וַיֹּאמֶר לְעֹבְדֵי הַבַּעַל חַפְּשׂוּ וּרְאוּ פֶּן־יֶשׁ־פֹּה עִמָּכֶם מֵעַבְדֵי יְהֹוָה כִּי אִם־עֹבְדֵי הַבַּעַל לְבַדָּם׃

24So they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. But Yehu had stationed eighty of his men outside and had said, “Whoever permits the escape of a single one of the men I commit to your charge shall forfeit life for life.”

כדוַיָּבֹאוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת זְבָחִים וְעֹלוֹת וְיֵהוּא שָׂם־לוֹ בַחוּץ שְׁמֹנִים אִישׁ וַיֹּאמֶר הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר־יִמָּלֵט מִן־הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי מֵבִיא עַל־יְדֵיכֶם נַפְשׁוֹ תַּחַת נַפְשׁוֹ׃

25When Yehu had finished presenting the burnt offering, he said to the guards and to the officers, “Come in and strike them down; let no man get away!” The guards and the officers struck them down with the sword and left them lying where they were; then they proceeded to the interior of the temple of Baal.

כהוַיְהִי כְּכַלֹּתוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת הָעֹלָה וַיֹּאמֶר יֵהוּא לָרָצִים וְלַשָּׁלִשִׁים בֹּאוּ הַכּוּם אִישׁ אַל־יֵצֵא וַיַּכּוּם לְפִי־חָרֶב וַיַּשְׁלִכוּ הָרָצִים וְהַשָּׁלִשִׁים וַיֵּלְכוּ עַד־עִיר בֵּית־הַבָּעַל׃

26They brought out the pillars of the temple of Baal and burned them.

כווַיֹּצִאוּ אֶת־מַצְּבוֹת בֵּית־הַבַּעַל וַיִּשְׂרְפוּהָ׃

27They destroyed the pillar of Baal, and they tore down the temple of Baal and turned it into latrines, as is still the case.

va-yi-t'-TZU AYT ma-tz'-VAT ha-BA-al va-yi-t'-TZU et BAYT ha-BA-al vai-si-MU-hu l'-mo-tza-OT ad ha-YOM

כזוַיִּתְּצוּ אֵת מַצְּבַת הַבָּעַל וַיִּתְּצוּ אֶת־בֵּית הַבַּעַל וַיְשִׂמֻהוּ למחראות [לְמוֹצָאוֹת] עַד־הַיּוֹם׃

 10:27   They destroyed the pillar of Baal

While Hashem requires only the Jewish people to keep the Torah’s many commandments, there are seven laws that, according to Jewish tradition, are universal and incumbent upon all of mankind (Sanhedrin 56a). These seven “Noahide laws” ensure that society functions with a basic level of morality and religious values. Maimonides writes that anyone who keeps these laws properly is considered “righteous among the nations” and earns a share in the world to come. These seven universal commandments are:

  1. Establish courts of justice
  2. Do not curse God
  3. Do not engage in idol worship
  4. Do not engage in acts of sexual immorality such as adultery and incest
  5. Do not murder
  6. Do not steal
  7. Do not eat the limb of a live animal

The requirement to renounce idolatry and serve the Lord exclusively is included in these laws. Hashem has no tolerance for idolatry, which brings with it sins such as human sacrifice, especially in the Land of Israel. In fact, engaging in idol worship results in exile from the land (see Deuteronomy 29:23-27). Furthermore, there is a commandment to destroy places of idol worship found in the Holy Land. God has made clear that there can be no tolerance for idolatry in the “palace of the King,” particularly when it ensnares the hearts of the Children of Israel.

28Thus Yehu eradicated the Baal from Yisrael.

כחוַיַּשְׁמֵד יֵהוּא אֶת־הַבַּעַל מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל׃

29However, Yehu did not turn away from the sinful objects by which Yerovam son of Nebat had caused Yisrael to sin, namely, the golden calves at Beit El and at Dan.

כטרַק חֲטָאֵי יָרָבְעָם בֶּן־נְבָט אֲשֶׁר הֶחֱטִיא אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא־סָר יֵהוּא מֵאַחֲרֵיהֶם עֶגְלֵי הַזָּהָב אֲשֶׁר בֵּית־אֵל וַאֲשֶׁר בְּדָן׃

30Hashem said to Yehu, “Because you have acted well and done what was pleasing to Me, having carried out all that I desired upon the House of Achav, four generations of your descendants shall occupy the throne of Yisrael.”

לוַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־יֵהוּא יַעַן אֲשֶׁר־הֱטִיבֹתָ לַעֲשׂוֹת הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינַי כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר בִּלְבָבִי עָשִׂיתָ לְבֵית אַחְאָב בְּנֵי רְבִעִים יֵשְׁבוּ לְךָ עַל־כִּסֵּא יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

31But Yehu was not careful to follow the Teaching of Hashem, the God of Yisrael, with all his heart; he did not turn away from the sins that Yerovam had caused Yisrael to commit.

לאוְיֵהוּא לֹא שָׁמַר לָלֶכֶת בְּתוֹרַת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּכָל־לְבָבוֹ לֹא סָר מֵעַל חַטֹּאות יָרָבְעָם אֲשֶׁר הֶחֱטִיא אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

32In those days Hashem began to reduce Yisrael; and Hazael harassed them throughout the territory of Yisrael

לבבַּיָּמִים הָהֵם הֵחֵל יְהֹוָה לְקַצּוֹת בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וַיַּכֵּם חֲזָאֵל בְּכָל־גְּבוּל יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

33east of the Yarden, all the land of Gilad—the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the Manassites—from Aroer, by the Wadi Arnon, up to Gilad and Bashan.

לגמִן־הַיַּרְדֵּן מִזְרַח הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ אֵת כָּל־אֶרֶץ הַגִּלְעָד הַגָּדִי וְהָרֻאובֵנִי וְהַמְנַשִּׁי מֵעֲרֹעֵר אֲשֶׁר עַל־נַחַל אַרְנֹן וְהַגִּלְעָד וְהַבָּשָׁן׃

34The other events of Yehu's reign, and all his actions, and all his exploits, are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Yisrael.

לדוְיֶתֶר דִּבְרֵי יֵהוּא וְכָל־אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וְכָל־גְּבוּרָתוֹ הֲלוֹא־הֵם כְּתוּבִים עַל־סֵפֶר דִּבְרֵי הַיָּמִים לְמַלְכֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

35Yehu slept with his fathers and he was buried in Shomron; he was succeeded as king by his son Yehoachaz.

להוַיִּשְׁכַּב יֵהוּא עִם־אֲבֹתָיו וַיִּקְבְּרוּ אֹתוֹ בְּשֹׁמְרוֹן וַיִּמְלֹךְ יְהוֹאָחָז בְּנוֹ תַּחְתָּיו׃

36Yehu reigned over Yisrael for twenty-eight years in Shomron.

לווְהַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר מָלַךְ יֵהוּא עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל עֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁמֹנֶה־שָׁנָה בְּשֹׁמְרוֹן׃