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The derivation of the name is uncertain. By some it is translated "Yahweh is he".
I. JEHU (Sept. 'Ioú), a prophet, described in III Kings, xvi, 1, as the son of Hanani, and as prophesying against Baasa, the then reigning King of Israel. Hanani is probably to be identified with the prophet of that name mentioned in II Par., xvi, 7. It is uncertain whether Jehu belonged to the Southern or Northern Kingdom, but, at all events, his ministry seems to have been exercised chiefly in the latter. He appears later in the reign of Josaphat, King of Juda, whom he reproaches for his alliance with Achab (cf. II Par., xix, 2-3). He outlived Josaphat, and wrote the history of his reign (II Par., xx, 34).
II. JEHU,, the tenth King of Israel, 884 to 856, or 865 to 828, son of Josaphat, son of Namsi; his tribe is not mentioned. According to Josephus (Antiq., IX, vi, 1) he was chief commandant of the army of Joram, his predecessor. For his sudden elevation to the royal power and his bloody reign see IV Kings, ix, x. The Prophet Elias had previously received a command from the Lord to anoint Jehu king over Israel (III Kings, xix, 16), but the order was only carried out by Eliseus, his successor. While Joram, King of Israel, was still convalescing in Jezrahel from a wound, Eliseus sent "one of the sons of the prophets" to Jehu's headquarters in Ramoth Galaad with orders to anoint him king and announce to him his mission of Divine vengeance against the wicked house of Achab. Jehu was immediately acclaimed king by his brother officers, and he forthwith set out in his chariot with his followers for Jezrahel, where Ozochias, King of Juda, was visiting his ally Joram. They fled, but Joram was killed by an arrow from the bow of Jehu, and Ozochias, being mortally wounded, died shortly after in Mageddo. Entering the town of Jezrahel, Jehu perceived the Queen Jezabel at a window of her palace, and he bade her attendants to cast her down headlong and she was trampled under the hoofs of the horses (III Kings, xxi, 23). Consistently with his programme of vengeance, Jehu caused the seventy sons of Achab who resided in Samaria to be put to death, and likewise all of the chief men and friends and priests of the house of Achab, as well as forty-two men of the brethren of Ozochias. He abolished the worship of Baal and slew its priests and followers, but he maintained the worship of the golden calves erected by Jeroboam. He was commended by Yahweh for his conduct towards the house of Achab, but nevertheless he is counted among the unfaithful rulers. Brief allusion is made to his defence of Israel against the incursions of the Syrians. On the occasion of Salmanasar's invasion in 842, Jehu sent a delegation to meet the Assyrian conqueror, with rich presents. This fact is recorded in one of the cuneiform inscriptions of Salmanasar, where Jehu is called the son of Amri (Humrii), doubtless through a mistake on the part of the Assyrian annalist, who naturally considered Jehu as a lineal descendant of Amri, the founder of Samaria, since he occupied the throne of that dynasty. The same event is pictorially set forth on the Nimrod obelisk.
III. JEHU (Sept. 'Ieoú), son of Obed, of the tribe of Juda (I Par., ii, 38).
IV. JEHU, son of Josabia, of the tribe of Simeon (I Par., iv, 35).
V. JEHU, (Sept. 'Ieoúl), one of David's heroes, of the tribe of Benjamin, native of Anathoth (I Par., xii, 3).
VIGOROUX, Dict. de la Bible, s. v.; HASTINGS, Dict of the Bible, s. v.; JOSEPHUS, Antiquities of the Jews, IX, vi, 1.
James F. Driscoll.