Answering The Atheist
July 24, 2005 / Volume 5, Issue 30
NOTE - USUALLY THE QUESTIONS FOR OUR ARTICLES COME FROM THE CONTRADICTION SECTION AT THE SKEPTIC'S ANNOTATED BIBLE, BUT THIS WEEK, WE HAVE A SUBMISSION FROM A VISITOR TO OUR WEB SITE.
In 2 Kings 9-10, Jehu kills Ahab, all Ahab's family, and the prophets of baal at Jezreel. This was God's response after the series of events:
2 Kings 10:30 The LORD said to Jehu, 'Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendents will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.'
Speaking about the incident later, God says to Hosea:
Hosea 1:4 Then the LORD said to Hosea, "Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel..."
My question is: why would God tell Jehu good job in one instance for what he had done in Jezreel and then say he was going to punish Jehu's house for what he did to Jezreel in another? Is there a contradiction?
Thanks so much for the question Jody!
In 2 Kings 10:30, God commended Jehu for his actions in regard to the house of Ahab. Verse 11 tells us what he did, "So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men and his close acquaintances and his priests, until he left him none remaining." However, 2 Kings 10 also tells us that "...Jehu did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin, that is, from the golden calves that were at Bethel and Dan." (v 29), and again, "...Juhu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart; for he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin." (v 31).
Surely it was not the killing of the family of Ahab that God spoke to Hosea about, for indeed God had commanded Jehu to do so (2 Kings 9:6-10; 2 Chronicles 22:7). In the process of destroying the family of Ahab, Jehu also killed Ahaziah, king of Judah, and the princes of Judah as well (2 Chronicles 22:8-9). It may be for this bloodshed that the word of the Lord came against the house of Jehu through Hosea the prophet. Also, it should be kept in mind that the annihilation of Ahab's house was not the only thing Jehu did. He reigned in Israel twenty-eight years (2 Kings 10:36). Given his readiness to shed blood as seen in his actions against Ahab's family and Ahaziah's family, it is not unlikely that Jehu continued to exercise great cruelties upon others. 2 Kings 10:34 reads, "Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?" Indeed, there is much more to the life of Jehu which we do not have recorded for us. God's vengeance upon the bloodshed of Jezreel may be in reference to actions taken by Jehu there of which we do not have record.
There is no contradiction.