Jezebel finally gets repaid for all her sins. Her fate is exactly as Elijah had said to Ahab when he confronted him. Her body feeds the dogs.
We are going to go back into our story today. We will pick it up with Jehu returning to Jezreel after ending the lives of both the king of Israel, Joram, and the king of Judah, Ahaziah. It feels like a reset button has been pressed on both halves of the people of God. Too bad that reset won’t carry throughout the whole kingdom. But those are stories for other days.
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It has been a long day but a productive one. And it is not over yet. Jehu and company are on their return journey back from Ibleam. Once Ahaziah’s mortal wound was struck the engagement ended. Jehu had no desire to pursue his brothers and the men of Ahaziah only had one concern at that time; the life of their king.
Jezreel and the palace are in sight. Jehu continues to press his men for speed. He still has work to do.
Jezebel was in the palace when Joram went out to meet Jehu. She heard his shout of treachery to Ahaziah. She watched from cover as Joram was dragged from his chariot and thrown onto the ground of Naboth’s vineyard. Her heart ached for her son but there was nothing she could do at the time. Her only hope lay in enticing Jehu when he returned to take the throne. And if there was no hope she would show Jehu that she didn’t fear him.
She had to hurry through her regular beauty treatment. She wanted to be ready when Jehu arrived. With care she painted her eyes, arranged her hair and adorned her head. Her most exquisite dress completed her look. She was still beautiful, even in her advanced age. This was of course due to the care she exercised each day on maintaining her beauty.
The watchman called out the return of Jehu and Jezebel made her way to her window. She had her servants step in and arrange her veils while she waited. They would remain at her side in case she needed anything.
Jehu slows his company as they approach the gates of Jezreel. They enter the city with heads held high in victory. As soon as Jehu is through the gate a voice calls out to him from the direction of the palace.
“Is it peace, you Zimri, murderer of your master?” (verse 31).
Jezebel had meant to call out alluringly but her anger crept into her tone. What she had intended as a testimony came out as an accusation instead.
Jehu looked up at the sound of her voice. Seeing that she is not alone he calls back to the servants waiting on her.
“Who is on my side? Who?” (verse 32).
His tone invites a response with a hint of a promise of reward thrown in. Heads pop into view. They were the eunuchs tasked with serving Jezebel day and night. Those eyes lock with Jehu’s. He knows they are waiting for his command. And he gives it.
“Throw her down” (verse 33a).
That instant hands grab Jezebel and begin to lift her from the floor. She struggled and screams as she is lifted. Her screams continue as she is hurled through the window where she just stood. Her screams stop the instant her body connects with the ground.
The eunuchs watch from the window above. Jehu never takes his eyes off her the whole time. All witness her body impact the ground and blood spurt from it. Jezebel’s blood splatters the wall and the horses of Jehu’s company. The horses are frightened and they begin stamping the ground. Their hooves trample the broken body of Jezebel.
Jehu allows his horse to express its confusion and outrage for a few moments before reining him in. Once his mount is settled he and his company continue on towards the palace. She is after all at the base of MANY of Israel’s sins.
Jehu and company dismount. He, Bidkar and his closest commanders enter the palace. As they enter Jehu calls out to the servants.
“Bring me food and drink!”
The servants hurry to prepare a celebration dinner for him, Jehu their new king. Dates, figs, cheese, bread, choice meats, and abundant wine materialize in front of them. They sat down to eat and Jehu instructed the servants to also bring portions to his men outside.
After everyone had eaten and drank their fill Jehu issued turned his attention to Jezebel. Her body lay at the base of the palace wall. She was the daughter of a king and therefor earned a modicum of respect, even in death.
“See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter” (verse 34b).
Bidkar rose from his seat at the table and went out to see to Jehu’s command. Bidkar appointed two soldiers to accompany him and complete the task. When they came to the place where Jezebel’s body had fallen their stomach’s turned. There was nothing left of her but her skull, which was picked clean, her feet and the palms of her hands. Quickly Bidkar returned to tell Jehu.
Jehu’s heart remembered well the words of the Lord that were spoken by Elijah. He gave Him credit as he repeated them to those at the table.
“This is the word of the Lord, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite: ‘In the territory of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel, and the corpse of Jezebel shall be as dung on the face of the field in the territory of Jezreel, so that no one can say, “This is Jezebel”’” (verses 36b-37).
Nods flowed around the table. None were sorry to hear of the fate of Jezebel.
When the meal was fully completed the men arose and went to the garrison of Jezreel. Jehu would not sleep in the king’s house for he had not yet been appointed king by the people. He knew by the word of the Lord that he would one day sit on the throne of Israel but this was not that day. There was still work to be done before he rested there.
(to be continued)
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Jezebel’s punishment was long in coming but it came just as God said it would. He keeps ALL His promises! We may see people ‘getting away with murder’ in our lives but we can be certain that God WILL repay them for their deeds if they do not turn from them and to Him. Even Ahab was spared some punishment because he repented. Jezebel NEVER repented of any of her actions. She is still paying for her sins in eternity. Even her name carries with it evil connotations today. I don’t know of any children named after her.
Father God, thank You for Your stories. Thank You for letting me go into them and walk the dusty roads. Thank You that You keep ALL Your promises. Thank You that YOU balance the ‘scales of justice.’ It is not my place to pronounce or carry out judgment. I have no way of knowing for certain if someone has repented from their sin and given their heart to You. Help my spirit to always recognize Your Spirit in others. Also protect me from laying down my heart in front of those who are only pretending for some reason.