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"Let Your Name Be Sanctified"



Chapter 11

EXECUTING JUDGMENT UPON PROFANERS OF IT

The time for the executing of divine judgment upon Israel by the named executioners of Jehovah God was drawing near. The twelve-year reign of King Jehoram of Israel was nearing its end. Elisha had called him "this son of a murderer," because he was the son of bloodstained King Ahab of Israel and during the famine in Samaria he wanted to take off Elisha's head. (2 Kings 6:32, 33) Elijah's prophecy against the royal house of King Ahab had to be fulfilled, and its fulfillment must take in King Jehoram. About eighteen years previously Jehovah God had commissioned Elijah at Mount Horeb, saying: "Return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; and you must come in and anoint Hazael as king over Syria. And Jehu the grandson of Nimshi you should anoint as king over Israel." (1 Kings 19:15, 16) Elisha as successor made the trip outside the land of Israel to Damascus the capital of Syria.

2 King Ben-hadad of Syria was sick at the time and anxious about his recovery. It was reported


1. Whose reign was now coming to a close in Israel, and why did Elisha have to make a trip outside of Israel?
2. Who sent to Elisha for information, and what reply did he give?
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to him: "The man of the true God has come as far as here." King Ben-hadad sent his chamberlain, Hazael, to Elisha to ask: "Shall I revive from this sickness?" Though Hazael came with an impressive gift, the load of forty camels, Elisha was not bribed into giving him a favorable answer for King Ben-hadad. Elisha said: "Go, say to him, 'You will positively revive; and Jehovah has shown me that you will positively die.' " — 2 Kings 8:7-10.

3 After that Elisha gave way to weeping. Hazael asked: "Why is my lord weeping?" Elisha now answered with the commission to Hazael to execute judgment upon idolatrous Israel: "Because I well know what injury you will do to the sons of Israel. Their fortified places you will consign to the fire, and their choice men you will kill with the sword, and their children you will dash to pieces, and their pregnant women you will rip up." Not inclined to believe that he, a mere chamberlain of King Ben-hadad, should do such things, Hazael asked: "What is your servant, who is a mere dog, that he could do this great thing?" He would do it as king, for Elisha said: "Jehovah has shown me you as king over Syria." — 2 Kings 8:11-13.

4 King Ben-hadad asked Hazael what Elisha had said to him. Hazael answered only in part, saying: "You will positively revive." He designed to tell the king the rest of Elisha's answer by violent action. The very next day he took a coverlet and dipped it in water and went to the sick king and spread it over his face. The king suffocated to death. Hazael began to reign in his place as king. Also, Jehovah's judgment work upon Israel through Hazael began. — 2 Kings 8:14, 15.

5 King Jehoram of Israel came into his twelfth


3. How did Elisha state the commission of Judgment execution to Hazael the king's chamberlain?
4. How did Hazael give Ben-hadad the full answer of Elisha, and so what now began respecting Israel?
5. In what relationship to the dynasty of King Ahab of Israel was King Ahaziah of Judah?
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year of rulership in Samaria. In that year Ahaziah, the grandson of King Jehoshaphat, became king of Judah. Ahaziah was also the grandson of King Ahab, for his father Jehoram of Judah had married Athaliah the daughter of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. So King Ahaziah of Judah was really a nephew of King Jehoram of Israel. Also, King Ahaziah's grandmother, Queen Mother Jezebel, was still living in Israel.

6 Such bad family connections proved harmful to King Ahaziah of Judah; for 2 Kings 8:27, 28 reports: "He went walking in the way of the house of Ahab and kept doing what was bad in Jehovah's eyes, like the house of Ahab, for he was a relative of the house of Ahab by marriage. Accordingly he went with Jehoram the son of Ahab to the war against Hazael the king of Syria at Ramoth-gilead." To this 2 Chronicles 22:3-5 adds: "He himself also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother herself [Athaliah] became his counselor in doing wickedly. And he went on doing what was bad in Jehovah's eyes, the same as the house of Ahab, for they themselves became counselors to him after the death of his father, to his ruination. It was also in their counsel that he walked, so that he went with Jehoram the son of Ahab the king of Israel to the war against Hazael the king of Syria at Ramoth-gilead."

7 One of the military chiefs who also went along with King Jehoram to this war was the Israelite Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi. Army chief Jehu had served under King Ahab, the father of King Jehoram, thirteen years prior to this, and he had personally seen and heard the prophet Elijah speak to King Ahab.


6. How did such family connections prove for King Ahaziah of Judah, and on what military venture did he go with King Jehoram?
7. What army chief went along with King Jehoram, and what military record did he have?
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8 King Ahaziah himself was not hurt in fighting against King Hazael of Syria at Ramoth-gilead, east of the Jordan River. But what about his ally, King Jehoram of Israel? Syrian archers had inflicted a mortal wound on Jehoram's father, King Ahab, right here at Ramoth-gilead. What now about Ahab's son here at Ramoth-gilead? "The shooters got to strike Jehoram." (2 Chronicles 22:5) "The Syrians struck down Jehoram. So Jehoram the king returned to get healed at Jezreel from the wounds that the Syrians [under Hazael] got to inflict upon him at Raman when he fought Hazael the king of Syria. As for Ahaziah the son of Jehoram the king of Judah, he went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, for he was sick." (2 Kings 8:28, 29) Here at the royal residence city of Jezreel west of the Jordan River Jehoram hoped to recover. He had escaped from the sword of Hazael. Also his nephew, King Ahaziah of Judah, had escaped from the sword of Hazael. Would they succeed in "escaping from Jehu's sword"? (1 Kings 19:17) King Jehoram of Israel had left his military chief Jehu behind at the battle front at Ramoth-gilead.

9 However, King Hazael of Syria kept up his aggressive operations against idolatrous Israel. Of his days it is recorded: "In those days Jehovah started to cut off Israel piece by piece; and Hazael kept striking them in all the territory of Israel, from the Jordan toward the rising of the sun, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites and the Reubenites and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the torrent valley of Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan."  — 2 Kings 10:32,33.

10 Hazael even threatened to capture Jerusalem,


8 (a) How did King Jehoram fare at Ramoth-gilead, and who came down to visit him at his recuperation place? (b) What military chief was left behind at Ramoth-gilead?
9. How did King Hazael of Syria keep up his aggressive actions against Israel east of the Jordan River?
10. (a) What capital city west of the Jordan did Hazael threaten? (b) Who did not escape from "Hazael's sword," and why not?
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but was bought off with a valuable compensation. (2 Kings 12:17,18) Because the Israelites kept on worshiping the golden calves at Dan and Bethel, "Jehovah's anger became hot against Israel, so that he gave them into the hand of Hazael the king of Syria and into the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael all their days." "As for Hazael the king of Syria, he oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz. Finally Hazael the king of Syria died, and Ben-hadad his son began to reign in place of him." (2 Kings 13:2, 3, 22, 24) Thus many were the idolatrous Israelites who did not escape Hazael's sword but who fell by the execution of Jehovah's judgment by means of Hazael king of Syria.

11 Of course, Hazael did not do this executional work out of love and zeal for Jehovah as God. He acted out of hatred for Israel. He was merely used as an instrument of Jehovah God, whose time for executing judgment upon his unfaithful people had come. Hazael, who reigned at Damascus of Syria, was, as far as he himself was concerned, committing transgressions against Jehovah's people, unfaithful though these were. This, together with the injury that the Syrians inflicted upon idolatrous Israel, is made clear to us in the later prophecy of Amos, in these words: "This is what Jehovah has said, ' "On account of three revolts of Damascus, and on account of four, I shall not turn it back, on account of their threshing Gilead even with iron threshing instruments. And I will send a fire onto the house of Hazael, and it must devour the dwelling towers of Ben-hadad. And I will break the bar of Damascus and cut off the inhabitant from Bikath-aven [in Syria], and the holder of the scepter from Beth-eden [in Syria], and the people of Syria will have to go as exiles to Kir," Jehovah


11. (a) Out of what motive did Hazael do this executional work against Israel? (b) What judgment message did Jehovah's prophet Amos pronounce against Syria and the royal house of Hazael?
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has said.'" (Amos 1:3-5) Though done in judgment, what Syria did to Israel was enough to make Elisha weep!

12 Elisha returned from his mission to Damascus and resumed his association with the sons of the prophets. The final part of Jehovah's commission to his master Elijah remained yet to be carried out, the anointing of Jehu as king over Israel. The time became due for this. Elisha did not seek to put himself in special favor with Jehu, neither did he arouse King Jehoram's suspicions by going himself to Ramoth-gilead. He sent an unnamed representative to perform the anointing for him. "Elisha the prophet, for his part, called one of the sons of the prophets and then said to him: 'Gird up your loins and take this flask of oil in your hand and go to Ramoth-gilead. When you have come in there, see Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi there; and you must come in and make him get up from the midst of his brothers and bring him into the innermost chamber. And you must take the flask of oil and pour it out upon his head and say, "This is what Jehovah has said: 'I do anoint you as king over Israel.'" And you must open the door and flee and not wait.' And the attendant, the prophet's attendant, got on his way to Ramoth-gilead." — 2 Kings 9:1-4.

13 At the battle front before the city of Ramoth-gilead Elisha's attendant was ushered in before the chiefs of the military force while in session. He said: "There is a word I have for you, O chief." Jehu spoke up: "For which one of all of us?" The reply was: "For you, O chief." The two now went into the innermost room there, and Elisha's representative poured the flask of oil upon Jehu's head and said to him: "This is what


12. (a) What further part of God's commission to Elijah remained to be done? (b) How did Elisha proceed to have this done?
13. How did the sent one of the "sons of the prophets" carry out Elisha's orders at Ramoth-gilead?
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Jehovah the God of Israel has said, 'I do anoint you as king over Jehovah's people, that is, over Israel. And you must strike down the house of Ahab your lord, and I must avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the servants of Jehovah at the hand of Jezebel. And the whole house of Ahab must perish; and I must cut off from Ahab anyone urinating against a wall and any helpless and worthless one in Israel. And I must constitute the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. And Jezebel the dogs will eat up in the tract of land at Jezreel, and there will be no one burying her.'" — 2 Kings 9:5-10.

14 Without waiting, Elisha's representative opened the door and fled. Jehu returned alone to his army chiefs. Curious, they asked him: "Is everything all right? Why did this crazy man come in to you?" Jehu replied: "You yourselves well know the man and his sort of talk." The chiefs said: "It is false! Tell us, please." Jehu now said frankly: "It was like this and like that that he talked to me, saying, 'This is what Jehovah has said: "I do anoint you as king over Israel." ' " No longer believing Elisha's representative was crazy, the chiefs hurriedly took each one his garment and put it under Jehu upon the bare steps, and they blew the horn and said: "Jehu has become king!" Having received his commission from Jehovah, Jehu as the anointed one of Jehovah at once began thinking how to carry out the executional work upon Ahab's house and Queen Mother Jezebel. He must first proceed against Jehoram the son of Ahab, who was then recovering from his wounds in the royal residential city of Jezreel, forty miles west by air route. Word of warning must be kept


14. (a) How did the army chiefs act on the information they got out of Jehu? (b) Against whom did Jehu think of proceeding first, and so what order did he issue to his army staff?
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from reaching Jehoram at Jezreel. Hence Jehu said to his army staff: "If your soul agrees, do not let anyone go out in escape from the city [of Ramoth-gilead] to go and make report in Jezreel."  — 2 Kings 9:11-15.

15 Jehu now mounted his chariot and began his historic ride. Such riding! Was the man mad? Westward through the mountainous region of Gilead he dashed and down to the Jordan River, not far from Pella. He is not alone; Bidkar and other charioteers are with him. He crosses and comes up on the southeastern end of the valley of Jezreel. Now for Jezreel itself, about fifteen miles up the valley, where King Ahaziah of Judah is visiting his sick uncle, Jehoram! On the tower of Jezreel the watchman looks eastward down the valley, past the former vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. "And he got to see the heaving mass of Jehu's men as he was coming, and he at once said: There is a heaving mass of men that I am seeing.' At that Jehoram said: Take a cavalryman and send him to meet them, and let him say, "Is there peace?"' Accordingly a rider on a horse went to meet him and said: This is what the king has said, "Is there peace?" ' But Jehu said: 'What do you have to do with "peace"? Get around to my rear!' "  — 2 Kings 9:16-18.

16 The watchman on the tower of Jezreel reported what he saw take place. So Jehoram sent out a second rider on a horse, who also asked Jehu: "Is there peace?" Jehu asked what business that was of his and told him to get around to the rear. The furious drive resumes, and the watchman at Jezreel reports: "He came as far as to them, but he has not returned; and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the grandson of Nimshi,


15. (a) Toward what city did Jehu now ride like mad? (b) Who was sent out to meet him. and what did Jehu tell this one?
16. (a) Who was now sent out from Jezreel, and what did the watchman report at Jezreel? (b) Who now went out to meet Jehu, and where did the meeting take place?
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for it is with madness that he drives." Jehoram now feels it necessary to drive out and ask for himself! His nephew King Ahaziah should come along. "At that Jehoram said: 'Hitch up!' So his war chariot was hitched up and Jehoram the king of Israel and Ahaziah the king of Judah went out, each in his own war chariot. As they continued on out to meet Jehu, they got to find him in the tract of land of Naboth the Jezreelite." — 2 Kings 9:18-21.

17 The chariots of both parties halted opposite one another. "Is there peace, Jehu?" asked Jehoram. Jehu answered: "What peace could there be as long as there are the fornications of Jezebel your mother and her many sorceries?" At once Jehoram made a turn with his hands to flee and said to his nephew Ahaziah: "There is trickery, Ahaziah!" Ahaziah did turn to flee, but Jehu devoted his attention to the uncle, Jehoram the son of Ahab and Jezebel. "Jehu himself filled his hand with a bow and proceeded to shoot Jehoram between the arms, so that the arrow came out at his heart, and he collapsed in his war chariot."  — 2 Kings 9:22-24.

18 How convenient it was just then that they were at the tract of land formerly belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite, whose murder Queen Jezebel had brought about! Concerning Jezebel's dead son Jehoram, Jehu now said to his adjutant Bidkar: "Lift him up; throw him into the tract of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite, for remember: I and you were riding teams behind Ahab his father, and Jehovah himself lifted up this pronouncement against him: ' "Certainly the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons I saw yesterday," is the utterance of Jehovah, "and I shall certainly repay you in this tract of land," is the utterance of


17. (a) What did King Jehoram ask, and what did Jehu reply? (b) What flight was attempted, but what did Jehu do?
18. Why was the location then convenient, and what did Jehu tell Bidkar to do, and why so?
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Jehovah.' So now, lift him up; throw him into the tract of land according to the word of Jehovah." (2 Kings 9:25, 26) There the "fowls of the heavens" might eat him up. — 1 Kings 21:24.

19 The prophetic word of Jehovah had to be fulfilled. Hence Jehoram of the house of King Ahab did not escape the executional sword of Jehu. King Ahaziah, Ahab's grandson, would get attention later. — 2 Kings 9:27-29.

20 It was now a short ride for Jehu to Jezreel itself. But word preceded him into the city to Queen Mother Jezebel about the killing of her son. Jehu could take over the dead king's household, including her also. With wily designs she painted her eyes with black paint and did her head up beautifully and framed herself in a window up above the square and looked down. As Jehu and his chariot forces rattled in through Jezreel's gate, the hungry scavenger dogs of the city must have barked at all the excitement.

21 Jezebel's voice from above sounded down to Jehu below as she gave him a reminder to be careful, saying: "Did it go all right with Zimri the killer of his lord?" Jehu raised his face to the window and asked: "Who is with me? Who?" Two or three court officials looked down at Jehu. They saw their new lord and master. "Let her drop!" Jehu ordered them. They showed they were with King Jehu. "Then they let her drop, and some of her blood went spattering upon the wall and upon the horses; and he now trampled upon her."  — 2 Kings 9:30-33.

22 Leaving Jezebel dead in the city street King Jehu went into the house and ate and drank. Then


19. Why did King Jehoram not escape Jehu's sword, and what about his nephew King Ahaziah?
20, 21. (a) Informed in advance, what did Jezebel do Inside Jezreel? (b) What reminder did she give Jehu in warning, but what then happened to her?
22. (a) After he ate and drank, what did Jehu order to be done, and why this too late? (b) What comment did Jehu make on this?
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he remembered Jezebel and said: "You men, please, take care of this accursed one and bury her, for she is the daughter of a king." They went out. Horrors! "They did not find anything of her but the skull and the feet and the palms of the hands." They returned and told King Jehu. He commented on the fulfillment of Jehovah's prophecy, saying: "It is the word of Jehovah that he spoke by means of his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 'In the tract of land of Jezreel the dogs will eat the flesh of Jezebel. And the dead body of Jezebel will certainly become as manure upon the face of the field in the tract of land of Jezreel, that they may not say: "This is Jezebel."'"  — 2 Kings 9:34-37.

23 Jezebel had perished forever. No memorial tomb was to be built for people to remember that murderous Baal worshiper. She does not lie in a memorial tomb waiting to hear the voice of the Son of God calling forth the dead. (John 5:28, 29) Proverbs 10:7 says: "The very name of the wicked ones will rot."

24 However, the most of Ahab's royal house remained. By all his wives and concubines Ahab had had seventy other sons, besides daughters. These sons or their caretakers could challenge King Jehu's right to the throne of Israel by refusing to recognize him as the anointed one of Jehovah. To settle the issue at once, Jehu sent from Jezreel to the capital city of Samaria, to the caretakers and advisers of these seventy remaining sons of Ahab, who had died about fourteen years previously. They should choose the best from all these growing sons and then come out and fight against Jehu for the house of their lord! The winner of the fight should rule!


23. Why is it Scripturally apparent that Jezebel has perished forever?
24. How much of the royal house of Ahab yet remained, and what proposal did Jehu make to their caretakers and advisers, and why?
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25 The men in charge at Samaria got frightened at the challenge. They remembered that two kings, King Jehoram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah, had not stood against Jehu. How, then, could they expect to do so? They answered Jehu: "We are your servants, and everything that you say to us we shall do. We shall not make anyone king [from Ahab's sons]. What is good in your own eyes do." — 2 Kings 10:1-5.

26 King Jehu wrote them to show proof for their words: "If you belong to me, and it is my voice that you are obeying, take the heads of the men that are sons of your lord and come to me tomorrow at this time at Jezreel." In obedience the distinguished men of Samaria who were bringing up Ahab's seventy sons joined in the executional work upon Ahab's house. They beheaded the seventy sons and sent their heads in baskets to Jezreel. When these were delivered, King Jehu said: "Put them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until morning." When Jehu went out in the morning and saw the two heaps, he again commented upon the sureness of fulfillment of Jehovah's prophecy. He said to all the people: "You are righteous. Here I myself conspired against my lord, and I got to kill him; but who struck down all these? Know, then, that nothing of Jehovah's word will fall unfulfilled to the earth that Jehovah has spoken against the house of Ahab; and Jehovah himself has done what he spoke by means of his servant Elijah." — 2 Kings 10:6-10.

27 Jehu thoroughly carried out his commission from Jehovah. "Moreover, Jehu went on to strike down all who were left over of the house of Ahab in Jezreel and all his distinguished men and his


25. What reply did these men make to Jehu, and why?
26. (a) Jehu ordered them to prove their words in what way? (b) When Jehu saw the proof, what comment did he make?
27. To what extent did Jehu carry out his commission from Jehovah?
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acquaintances and his priests, until he had let no survivor of his remain." They did not escape Jehu's sword. — 2 Kings 10:11.

28 Even that grandson of Ahab and Jezebel, namely, King Ahaziah of Judah, did not escape the executioner's sword. Ahaziah was the son of their daughter Athaliah, who acted as an evil counselor to him. She advised him to join his uncle, King Jehoram of Israel, in fighting against Hazael of Syria at Ramoth-gilead. When Jehu was anointed king at that city, Ahaziah was visiting wounded Jehoram his uncle at Jezreel. He rode out with his uncle to meet Jehu. When Jehu shot Jehoram to death, King Ahaziah fled. "Ahaziah the king of Judah himself saw it and took to flight by the way of the garden house. (Later Jehu went in pursuit of him and said: 'Him also! Strike him down!' So they struck him down while in the chariot on the way up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he continued his flight to Megiddo and got to die there. Then his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and so they buried him in his grave with his forefathers in the city of David.)" — 2 Kings 9:27, 28.

29 This was all part of Jehovah's executional work against the profaners of his name. "It was from God that the downfall of Ahaziah occurred by his coming to Jehoram; and when he came, he went out with Jehoram to Jehu the grandson of Nimshi, whom Jehovah had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab. And it came about that as soon as Jehu had entered into controversy with the house of Ahab, he got to find the princes of Judah and the sons of the brothers of Ahaziah, ministers of Ahaziah, and he proceeded to kill them. Then he went looking for Ahaziah, and they finally


28. How did King Ahaziah of Judah himself fail to escape Jehu's sword, and why did he?
29. (a) Why was the execution of King Ahaziah appropriate? (b) How did the execution of judgment reach Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab?
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captured him, as he was hiding in Samaria, and brought him to Jehu. Then they put him to death and buried him, for they said: 'He is the grandson of Jehoshaphat, who searched for Jehovah with all his heart.' And there was no one of the house of Ahaziah to retain power for the kingdom [of Judah]." (2 Chronicles 22:7-9) Ahaziah's mother, Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, also met a violent death seven years later, not by Jehu's sword, but at the order of Jehovah's high priest at Jerusalem. — 2 Chronicles 22:10 to 23:15.

30 Brothers or sons of the brothers of Ahaziah, the son of Athaliah, did not escape Jehu's sword. They had not yet learned what had happened to King Jehoram, the uncle of Ahaziah. So they were open to expressing their friendship for King Jehoram the son of Ahab. They thus came into the way of Jehovah's executioner, King Jehu, who was going to the city of Samaria. "And he proceeded to rise and come in, then get on his way to Samaria. The binding house of the shepherds was on the way. And Jehu himself encountered the brothers of Ahaziah the king of Judah. When he said to them, 'Who are you?' then they said: 'We are the brothers of Ahaziah, and we are on our way down to ask if all is well with the sons of the king and the sons of the lady.' Immediately [Jehu] said: 'Seize them alive, you men!' So they seized them alive and slaughtered them at the cistern of the binding house, forty-two men, and he did not let a single one of them remain." Certainly Jehu did all he could to wipe out Ahab's house. (2 Kings 10:12-14; 2 Chronicles 22:8) What strengthened Jehu for this thorough executing of judgment upon such profaners of God's name was the commission he had received from Jehovah. In this regard he was an example of devotion to duty.


30. How did Ahaziah's brothers, sympathizers with King Jehoram, meet up with execution?


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