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"Let Your Name Be Sanctified"

Chapter 12


The kingdom of Israel had profaned Jehovah's name by adopting Baal worship, the religion of King Ahab's wife, Jezebel. Years before King Ahab's reign in Samaria ended, the prophet Elijah had killed four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal after fire had fallen from heaven at Mount Carmel. Yet the temple of Baal that Ahab had built for Jezebel was still standing in the capital city, Samaria, when Jehu as the anointed of Jehovah took the throne away from the condemned house of Ahab. Jezebel's religion needed to be wiped out of Israel, just as she herself had been wiped out. King Jehu set himself to this task. He had a fiery zeal for his heavenly Commissioner, Jehovah God. Jehu's name meant "Jehovah Is He."

2 In Israel at that time there was a circumcised proselyte to Jehovah's worship. His name was Jehonadab and means "Jehovah Is Liberal." He was the son of Rechab the Kenite, who, in turn, was a descendant of the faithful patriarch Abraham, although not by his wife Sarah or by his

1. (a) By adopting what religion had Israel profaned God's name, and, despite Elijah, how long did it persist in Israel? (b) What, therefore, did zeal for Jehovah oblige Jehu to do?
2. Who was Jehonadab the son of Rechab the Kenite, and how did Moses come to be called the son-in-law of the Kenite?

son Isaac. Abraham had had a secondary wife or concubine named Keturah. One of Abraham's six sons by Keturah was Midian. (Genesis 25:1-6) When Abraham's descendant named Moses fled from Egypt to the land of Midian he married a daughter of the priest of Midian. (Exodus 2:15 to 3:1; 18:1-27; Numbers 10:29-33) The priest was of the Midianite clan of the Kenites, meaning "Metal Smiths." Accordingly Moses was said to be a son-in-law of the Kenite. — Judges 1:16.

3 The Kenites associated themselves with the tribe of Judah when the Israelites came into the Promised Land. The Kenites did not all stick together. We read: "Incidentally Heber the Kenite had separated from the Kenites, the sons of Hobab, whose son-in-law Moses was, and he had his tent pitched near the big tree in Zaanannim, which is at Kedesh." (Judges 4:11) Kedesh was near the northern edge of Israel. The wife of Heber the Kenite was Jael, who killed Israel's oppressor, the Canaanite captain Sisera. (Judges 4:17-22) In the days of King David there were reported to be "the Kenites that came from Hammath the father of the house of Rechab." (1 Chronicles 2:55) This Rechab was Jehonadab's father.

4 Jehonadab was a worshiper of Jehovah God. He was a good father and a faithful instructor of his children, so that his descendants won the approval of Jehovah. (Jeremiah 35:1-19) Jehonadab approved of Jehovah's judgment that King Jehu was executing upon the house of Ahab. At a critical moment Jehu met him, as he was riding along in his chariot. Jehu said to him: "Is your heart upright with me, just as my own heart is with your heart?" Jehonadab replied: "It is."

3. With what tribe did the Kenites associate, but how far north did some of them locate in Israel?
4. (a) What kind of father and instructor was Jehonadab the son of Rechab? (b) How did he get to ride with King Jehu in his chariot?

Then Jehu said: "If it is, do give me your hand." Jehonadab gave Jehu his hand of support. "At that he made him get up into the chariot with him. Then he said: 'Do go along with me and look upon my toleration of no rivalry toward Jehovah.' And they kept him riding with him in his war chariot. Finally he came to Samaria. Now he went striking down all who were left over of Ahab's in Samaria, until he had annihilated them, according to Jehovah's word that he had spoken to Elijah." — 2 Kings 10:15-17.

5 King Jehu used strategy for uprooting Baal worship from Israel. "Jehu collected all the people together and said to them: 'Ahab, on the one hand, worshiped Baal a little. Jehu, on the other hand, will worship him a great deal. So now call all the prophets of Baal, all his worshipers and all his priests to me. Do not let a single one be missing, because I have a great sacrifice for Baal. Anyone that is missing will not keep living.' As for Jehu, he acted slyly, for the purpose of destroying the worshipers of Baal." — 2 Kings 10:18,19.

6 All the Baal worshipers in Israel were now under pressure to declare themselves. "And Jehu went on to say: 'Sanctify a solemn assembly for Baal.' Accordingly they proclaimed it. After that Jehu sent through all Israel, so that all the worshipers of Baal came in. And not a single one was left over that did not come in. And they kept coming into the house of Baal, and the house of Baal came to be full from end to end."  — 2 Kings 10:20,21.

7 However, Jehu wanted the Baal worshipers to identify themselves still more sharply, in fact, for their own execution. "He now said to the

5, 6. (a) How did Jehu use strategy in getting the Baal worshipers together for worship? (b) What was their response to Jehu's arrangement?
7. How did Jehu make the Baal worshipers identify themselves still more sharply, and how did he make sure no worshipers of Jehovah were among them?

one who was over the wardrobe: 'Bring out garments for all the worshipers of Baal.' So he brought the attire out for them. Then Jehu entered with Jehonadab the son of Rechab into the house of Baal. He now said to the worshipers of Baal: 'Search carefully and see that there may be here with you none of the worshipers of Jehovah, but only the worshipers of Baal.'" (2 Kings 10:22,23) In this way it was made public that not a single one had come there from the remnant of seven thousand in Israel who refused to bend the knee to Baal or to wave a kiss to his idol. Jehu was at last satisfied.

8 "Finally they came in to render up sacrifices and burnt offerings, and Jehu himself stationed eighty men outside at his disposal and went on to say: 'As for the man that escapes from the men whom I am bringing into your hands, the one's soul will go for the other's soul.' " (2 Kings 10:24) These armed guards and the adjutants over them now understood that it was a case with them of either kill or be killed.

9 The worshipers of Baal not only robed themselves but took an active part in the worship. "And it came about that as soon as he finished rendering up the burnt offering, Jehu immediately said to the runners and the adjutants: 'Come in, strike them down! Do not let a single one go out.' And the runners and the adjutants began to strike them down with the edge of the sword and to throw them out, and they kept going as far as the city of the house of Baal. Then they brought out the sacred pillars of the house of Baal and burned each one. Further, they pulled down the sacred pillar of Baal and pulled down the house of Baal, and they kept it set aside for privies down to this day. Thus Jehu annihilated Baal out of Israel."

8. How did Jehu now prepare for the execution of the Baalites?
9. (a) When did Jehu order the eighty armed men to their work, and what did they do? (b) Who was a personal eyewitness of this execution, and with what attitude?

(2 Kings 10:25-28) Jehonadab the son of Rechab was a personal eyewitness of this extirpation of Baalism out of Israel. He was pleased at Jehu's display of jealous zeal for Jehovah. He favored and supported the sanctifying of the name of Jehovah.

10 Since no Baal worshipers, from Queen Mother Jezebel on down to the lowliest Baalist, had escaped Jehu's sword, this left none for the prophet Elisha himself to put to death. (1 Kings 19:17) To this full extent Jehu carried out his commission from Jehovah and acted as the executioner in Israel. He reigned in the capital Samaria over the kingdom of Israel for twenty-eight years. "It was only the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he caused Israel to sin, that Jehu did not turn aside from following, that is, the golden calves of which one was in Bethel and one in Dan." But Jehu had not been commissioned to wipe out the calf worship. He had, though, completed the execution of Jehovah's judgment upon the bad house of Ahab. For this, Jehovah rewarded King Jehu. "Jehovah said to Jehu: 'For the reason that you have acted well in doing what is right in my eyes, and according to all that was in my heart you have done to the house of Ahab, sons themselves to the fourth generation will sit for you upon the throne of Israel.'" — 2 Kings 10:29,30.

11 King Jehu was thus to begin a dynasty of rulers over Israel. However, Jehovah did not thus establish with King Jehu a covenant for an everlasting kingdom in his family. More than a hundred years before this Jehovah God had established his covenant for an everlasting kingdom with David the king of Jerusalem, according to which the everlasting ruler of all mankind, the promised Shiloh, must come. — 2 Samuel 7:11-16; Genesis 49:10.

10, 11. (a) Why did Elisha not have to kill any Baalists, and hence what promise did Jehovah make to King Jehu? (b) Why was it not an everlasting covenant for the Kingdom that God established with Jehu?

12 Likely, in order to keep the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel distinct from the kingdom of Judah with its temple of Jehovah at Jerusalem, King Jehu let the calf worship remain in Israel with its centers at Dan and Bethel. "And Jehu himself did not take care to walk in the law of Jehovah the God of Israel with all his heart. He did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam with which he caused Israel to sin." But we are not to take this religious failure of Jehu into account when considering him as Jehovah's executioner of the vile house of Ahab, for calf worship was not charged to King Jehu but was charged to King Jeroboam. (2 Kings 10:31, 34-36) Jehovah's prophecy concerning Jehu's dynasty came true. Four descendants of Jehu's family succeeded him to the throne of Israel, namely, (1) Jehoahaz, (2) Jehoash, (3) Jeroboam II, and (4) Zechariah.

13 As for King Jehu's friend Jehonadab the son of Rechab, Jehovah God did make a covenant with his descendants about two hundred and fifty years later, long after Jehu's dynasty had ceased and after the kingdom of Israel itself had been overthrown. This covenant was that the household of Jehonadab should never be without a living member. This covenant was in the days of the prophet Jeremiah, about eleven years before Jerusalem was destroyed for the first time. Even to that late time Jehonadab's household obediently kept his command. These Rechabites told Jeremiah that the reason why they did not break the rules for simple living was this: "Jonadab the son of Rechab, our forefather, was the one that laid the command upon us. ... So we keep obeying the voice of Jehonadab the son of Rechab our forefather in everything that he commanded us."

12. (a) Why did King Jehu not choose to remove calf worship also from Israel? (b) How did Jehovah's prophecy concerning Jehu's royal house come true?
13. When did God establish a covenant with Jehonadab's descendants, and why does the reason for this reflect well upon Jehonadab?

14 The obedience of these proselytes to Jehovah's worship contrasted with the disobedience of the Israelites themselves. Hence Jehovah sent this message to the Rechabites by the prophet Jeremiah: "This is what Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, has said, Tor the reason that you have obeyed the commandment of Jehonadab your forefather and continue keeping all his commandments and doing according to all that he commanded you, therefore this is what Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel, has said: "There will not be cut off from Jonadab the son of Rechab a man to stand before me always."'" (Jeremiah 35:1-19) One would expect, therefore, that some of the descendants of Jehonadab the son of Rechab were in the land of Israel when the Son of God, the everlasting Heir of King David, was here on earth as a perfect man; and that after his death, resurrection and return to heaven some of these Rechabites became faithful, successful members of the Christian congregation.


15 As for the prophet Elisha, there is no Bible record that anyone escaping the sword of Hazael the Syrian and the sword of Jehu the grandson of Nimshi was put to death by him. Elisha outlived both King Hazael of Syria and King Jehu of Israel. He thus saw the completion of the work by these two executioners of Jehovah's judgments; and he himself as Elijah's successor completed Jehovah's commission to Elijah. Elisha lived to see the second generation after Jehu sit on the throne of Israel. Elisha had no spectacular departure in a windstorm with a fiery chariot and fiery horses as Elijah had, at the sight of which Elisha cried

14. (a) With what did the obedience of the Rechabites contrast, and what did God's covenant with them state? (b) What was to be expected of the Rechabites with regard to Christianity?
15. (a) What commission did Elisha carry to completion, and what work did he see carried out? (b) What kind of death did he die, and during whose reign?

out: "My father, my father, the war chariot of Israel and his horsemen!" Elisha died a natural death during the reign of Jehu's grandson Jehoash, this name meaning "Jehovah Is Strong," or, "Jehovah Has Bestowed."

16 Despite the meaning of his name, King Jehoash did not take away calf worship from Israel. For this failure he had to fight the Syrians both under Hazael and under his son Ben-hadad. He had no success against Jehovah's executioner, King Hazael of Syria. When Jehoash became king of Israel, executioner Hazael had oppressed Israel so much that he had left Israel with only fifty horsemen, ten chariots and ten thousand soldiers on foot, "because the king of Syria had destroyed them, that he might make them like the dust at threshing." (2 Kings 13:1-7) But after executioner Hazael had died and after King Jehoash had made a final visit upon Elisha, things changed somewhat for the better.

17 "As regards Elisha, he had taken sick with the sickness with which he was to die. So Jehoash the king of Israel came down to him and began to weep over his face and say: 'My father, my father, the war chariot of Israel and his horsemen!'" Elisha had used these farewell words toward Elijah, and now King Jehoash uses them in farewell to Elisha. The words appear to be an appeal to Elisha in behalf of military help to Israel against the Syrians, who still occupied Israelite territory to the east. — 2 Kings 13:14.

18 A bow and arrows were a symbol of warfare. So Elisha said to King Jehoash: "Take a bow and arrows." Jehoash did so. Then Elisha said: "Put your hand to the bow." Jehoash did this. "Elisha

16. (a) For not removing calf worship, what did the kingdom of Jehoash have to suffer? (b) When did things change somewhat for the better for Israel?
17. What words did King Jehoash repeat over Elisha in his sickness, and what kind of appeal was this?
18. How did Elisha have King Jehoash shoot an "arrow of salvation," and against whom?

laid his hands upon the hands of the king. Then he said: 'Open the window to the east.' So he opened it. Finally Elisha said: 'Shoot!' So he shot. [Elisha] now said: 'Jehovah's arrow of salvation, even the arrow of salvation against Syria! And you will certainly strike down Syria at Aphek [east of the Jordan] to the finishing point.' "

19 Elisha now wanted an indication of how much persistence King Jehoash would display against the enemy Syrians. "Take the arrows," he said to Jehoash. The king did so. Then Elisha commanded: "Strike on the earth." How many times, he was not told. "So he struck three times and stopped. And the man of the true God grew indignant at him; hence he said: 'It was meant to strike five or six times! In that case you would certainly be striking down Syria to the finishing point, but now it is three times that you will strike down Syria.' " (2 Kings 13:15-19) That prophecy was fulfilled.

20 The record says: "Finally Hazael the king of Syria died, and Ben-hadad his son began to reign in place of him. And Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz proceeded to take back again from the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael the cities that he had taken from the hand of Jehoahaz his father in war. Three times Jehoash struck him down, and he got to recover the cities of Israel." — 2 Kings 13:24, 25.

21 On his very deathbed, after about sixty years of ministry by himself alone, Elisha announced Jehovah's victory, Jehovah's salvation. He sanctified Jehovah's name. By Jehovah's spirit Elisha had been powerful with fifteen recorded miracles during his life; but even after his death he was still powerful by Jehovah's spirit. The record says:

19. At Elisha's request what did Jehoash do with the batch of arrows, and what prophetic meaning did Elisha place on this?
20. How was this prophecy fulfilled?
21. 22. (a) How after death was Elisha still powerful by Jehovah's spirit? (b) What number of miracles was this in connection with Elisha, and among what sanctifiers of God's name is he included?

"After that Elisha died and they buried him. And there were marauding bands of the Moabites that regularly came into the land at the coming in of the year [in spring]. And it came about that as they were burying a man, why, here they saw the marauding band. At once they threw the man into Elisha's burial place and went off. When the man touched the bones of Elisha, he immediately came to life and stood upon his feet." — 2 Kings 13:20,21.

22 This resurrection of the dead Israelite is credited to Elisha as the sixteenth miracle, the second resurrection performed through him. Till death he was a faithful one of Jehovah's witnesses. His resurrection achievements put him among the "so great a cloud of witnesses" named or referred to in Hebrews 11:2 to 12:1.

23 Elisha is not mentioned again in the Hebrew Scriptures. He had been a faithful understudy of Elijah and he did not fail Elijah as his successor. He faithfully used the two parts in Elijah's spirit that he had received. Therefore if Elijah's prophetic activity was a prophetic drama prefiguring things to come, then that of Elisha must also be such, the one following the other in succession.

24 In the last book of the Hebrew prophets, not Elisha, but his predecessor is the one whom Jehovah promised to send at the most critical time in human history, in these words: "Look! I am sending to you people Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and fear-inspiring day of Jehovah. And he must turn the heart of fathers back toward sons, and the heart of sons back toward fathers; in order that I may not come and actually strike the earth with a devoting of it to destruction." — Malachi 4:5,6.

23. How did Elisha use his two parts in Elijah's spirit, and why should his prophetic activities prefigure things to come?
24. Who, though, is the one given mention as due to be sent in the most critical time of human history?

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