Origin of the name JEHU.
Etymology of the
Meaning of the baby name JEHU.
Biblical. [Hebrew Yehu
= "Jehovah is He" (?)]. The Assyrian form is Yahua.
JEHU. An officer in the service of
Ahab, king of Israel. He was the son of Nimshi, and overthrew the
dynasty of Omri and Ahab, and reigned twenty-eight years over
Israel. He had been an adviser and friend of Ahab, whose family
and descendants he afterwards murdered, wading to the throne through
their blood. The stratagem by which he destroyed the worshippers
of Baal and Asherah in one day is well known. One of the epigraphs
of the Black Obelisk Inscription of Shalmaneser states that Jehu wrongly
called "the son of Khumri," or Omri, sent to Assyria, by way
of tribute, "silver, gold, bowls of gold, vessels of gold, goblets
of gold, pitchers of gold, lead, sceptres for the king's hand, and
staves." The tribute was probably sent in B.C. 842, after the
defeat of Hazael of Syria, by Shalmaneser. Hazael afterwards
conquered all the Israelitish territory on the East of the Jordan. (An Archaic Dictionary, Cooper, 1876).
JEHU. [Hebrew Yehu
= "Jehovah is He" (?)]
Benjamite of Anathoth, who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chron. xii. 3).
(2) A prophet, a son of Hanani. He denounced
judgment against Baasha and his house for following in the footsteps of
Jeroboam I. (1 Kings xvi. 1-4, 7). He reproved Jehoshaphat for
helping the ungodly (2 Chron. xix. 2), and wrote a book in which the
acts of that king were narrated (xx. 34).
(3) The founder of the fifth dynasty of rulers in the
kingdom of Israel. His father's name was Jehoshaphat, his
grandfather's Nimshi. For brevity's sake he was generally called
the "son" (meaning the grandson) of Nimshi (1 Kings xix. 16; 2
Kings ix. 2). When the murder of Naboth had made the cup of Ahab's
iniquity full to overflowing, Elijah received a command from God to
anoint Jehu king over Israel, with the obvious intention of his acting
as an avenger of blood on the guilty reigning sovereign and his house (1
Kings xix. 16, 17). There can be no doubt that the prophet
executed the Divine commission, though no record of the fact remains,
probably because the anointing did not at once lead to important
results. After his death it devolved on Elisha to repeat, if the
need arose, the anointing. He delegated the duty to one of the
"children of the prophets," who, to carry it out, proceeded to
the Israelitish camp then before Ramoth Gilead, which the army of the
kingdom was then besieging. When he arrived, Jehu was found
sitting with the other officers, apparently in the mess-tent, but, as
instructed, the young man took him into an inner room, anointed, or
re-anointed, him king over Israel, commissioned him to destroy the house
of Ahab, and then precipitately quitted the camp. Jehu's military
friends were very anxious to know what that "mad fellow" had
said in the inner room. Thus directly questioned, Jehu told them
all. Their first impulse was to suppose that he was jesting, as
comrades in arms are prone to do, but when convinced that he was
serious, they, as one man, resolved to support him in asserting his
claim to the kingdom. The reigning sovereign was Jehoram, or Joram,
Ahab's immediate son, who had himself been a little before in the camp,
but having been wounded, had returned to Jezreel to be healed.
Thither accordingly the conspirators went, Jehu leading the way.
The watchman on the tower in Jezreel identified him when yet he was at a
distance by the pace at which he drove. "The driving is like
the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi, for he driveth
furiously." From this verse comes the expression "a
modern Jehu," applied to one brought before a magistrate for
furious driving. Joram had then as a guest Ahaziah, king of Judah,
who had come to condole with him on his wound; and the two kings, each
in his chariot, went out to meet the advancing company. The parley
was short, and before long Joram was killed by an arrow sent with great
force from Jehu's bow, his body being cast into the plot of ground which
had once been Naboth's vineyard. Ahaziah, against whom there was
no quarrel, except that his mother was Ahab's daughter, was similarly
despatched by Jehu's order. By his command, also, Jezebel, the
queen-mother, Ahab's heathen queen and evil genius, was flung from a
window and killed (2 Kings ix. 1-37). Then the guardians of Ahab's
seventy sons were induced to put them to death and pile up their heads
in two heaps, one on each side of the chief gate of Samaria. It
was the turn next of Ahab's great men and his kinsfolk, and then of
Ahaziah's forty-two brothers. All was concluded by the luring of
Baal's priests into the temple of that heathen "god" whose
worshipper Jehu pretended to be, and their massacre there to a
man. An executioner may feel pity for the victim whom his office
requires him to send into eternity; Jehu felt none. He seemed to
slaughter for slaughter's sake, and when he had slain the queen-mother
he sat down with unimpaired appetite to dine. It might have been
expected that so zealous an advocate for the worship of Jehovah would
have carried it out himself in all purity; but no! "he departed not
from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to
sin," and apparently as a penalty he lost the region east of the
Jordan, which was taken by Hazael of Syria. By the A.V., he came
to the throne about B.C. 884, and reigning twenty-eight years, died
about B.C. 856 (2 Kings x. 1-36; 2 Chron. xxii. 5-9). A promise
had been given that the dynasty of Jehu should continue for four
generations; and it did so, the line of descent being Jehoahaz, Jehoash
or Joash, Jeroboam II., and Zechariah (2 Kings x. 30; xv. 8-12).
Jehu is mentioned by the name of Yahua on the
Assyrian monuments, and according to Shalmaneser II., paid him tribute
in a year corresponding to B.C. 84`, the Assyrian date, it will be
observed, differing from that of the Hebrew chronology.
(4) A man of Judah, a son of Obed (1 Chron. ii. 38).
(5) A Simeonite, a son of Josibiah (1 Chron. iv. 35).
(The Sunday School Teacher's Bible Manual, Hunter, 1894).
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