Poor Jehu’ He never asked to be king. But he accepted the position because when God talks, people listen – and act. He did exactly what he was told to do and yet was condemned by God for doing it. At least that is the way it appears. One Christian thinks he’s found a reasonable explanation as to why God would commend Jehu for the killings at Jezreel (2nd Kings 10:30) while flatly condemning his actions one hundred years later via the prophet Hosea (Hoseah 1:4). Glen Miller, creator of the Christian-based website ‘The Christian Thinktank’, responds to a new believer’s concern that this may be a case of true contradiction contained within the Bible and Miller’s response can be read in full by following the link below.
Miller’s Erroneous Explanation
Miller claims that Jehu killed many more people than he was commissioned to kill and therefore he sinned, which explains why God, through the prophet Hoseah, condemned Jehu’s actions at Jezreel. Miller’s explanation seems plausible ‘ until you actually do what he suggests and ‘pay close attention to what the text actually says.’ I will now show that Miller’s explanation does not reflect what the Bible actually says regarding Jehu and the related details and I will take Miller’s article point by point and analyze each assertion to prove my case that there is a true contradiction between 2nd Kings 10:30 and Hoseah 1:4.
Miller’s very first point is in error! Jehu was not in the presence of Ahab when Elijah first pronounced God’s judgment on him. Jehu isn’t even mentioned in that chapter, the previous or following one. Miller claims that Jehu was with Elijah when Elijah pronounced judgment on Ahab but he must be confusing the pronouncement passage with the 2nd Kings 9:25-26 passage which has Jehu recalling an event he experienced with Bidkar, one of Joram’s aides. It doesn’t help Miller’s argument to make this kind of error on his very first point. He didn’t ‘pay close attention to what the text actually says.’
His second point is accurate although he seems to want to avoid the obvious ‘ that the prophet spoke for God himself. In fact, Elisha must have told the younger prophet in question exactly what to say (2nd Kings 9:1-3) since God gave the judgment to Elisha and Elisha would have then given it to the young messenger as part of Jehu’s responsibility as the new king: execute God’s judgment on the house of Ahab, the current king. The better wording of point two, unless Miller is willing to call Elisha a false prophet, is to say that God, through his prophet Elisha, commanded Jehu to utterly destroy Ahab’s entire house. So, there can be no mistake that God commissioned the slaughter of everyone in Ahab’s house.
Miller’s third point, although editorialized, is also correct. Jehu went on a God-commissioned killing spree, which did include people who were not directly related to Ahab. Those whom he killed outside of Ahab’s house will be delineated shortly.
His fourth and fifth points are also in line with the text but he is not yet making his ‘actual’ argument ‘ he’s merely setting the stage for his argument. Now, he reveals his ‘explanation’ and it will become evident that he repeatedly violates his own edict of ‘pay [ing] close attention to what the text actually says.’
Miller begins his explanation by implying that the skeptics who believe there is a contradiction have simply overlooked the obvious and have ignored the actual story in favor of their own desires. Here again is Miller’s insightful explanation as to why the skeptic is able to find contradictions within the Bible.
‘But, as with many types of ‘problems’, the answer lies in paying close attention to WHAT ACTUALLY WAS RECORDED–what was said and what was done.’
His advice to pay close attention to what the text actually says is excellent. It’s a shame that he doesn’t follow his own advice. It’s also ironic that Miller has repeatedly ignored his own advice and chosen to selectively display the parts that seem to support his theory.
Let’s now examine the main argument in Miller’s explanation.
In bullet point one, Miller places his cards on the table and reveals the heart of his explanation by asserting that Jehu was commanded to kill ONLY male descendents of Ahab and he cites 1st Kings 21:20 as his proof. Without yet examining the many passages, which will prove that this is not the case, let’s just view the passage Miller cites as his proof.
1st Kings 21:20-21
20 Ahab said to Elijah, ‘Have you found me, O my enemy?’ He answered, ‘I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the LORD. 21 Behold, I will bring evil upon you; I will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel;
Part of ‘pay[ing] close attention to what the text actually says’ is paying close attention to what the text does NOT say. Notice that God, through Elisha, is telling Ahab that he will be utterly swept away. God also says that every male, bond or free, will be killed. One thing that becomes embarrassingly clear is that nowhere in this passage does God promise Ahab that ONLY his male descendents would be killed. One extremely crucial detail that escaped Miller (probably because of his use of the NIV, which contains many deliberate mistranslations) is that God’s judgment was to destroy Ahab’s house completely AND kill every male AND that God would make Ahab’s house desolate. The RSV, NASV, ASV, KJV, and NKJV all use ‘and’ as a conjunction in verses 21-23 of 2nd Kings 9.
1st Kings 21:20-21 (ASV)
20And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee, because thou hast sold thyself to do that which is evil in the sight of Jehovah. 21Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will utterly sweep thee away and will cut off from Ahab every man-child, and him that is shut up and him that is left at large in Israel:
To utterly destroy Ahab yet kill only his male descendents would again be another contradiction. No, the destruction of all males included in Ahab’s house is only a subset of the complete destruction, as will be proven as further passages are examined.
Another interesting point which seems to escape Miller’s scrutiny is that these males who would be utterly destroyed are not restricted to Ahab’s direct descendents as can be seen in the phrase ‘bond or free’, meaning, ALL of Ahab’s males whether children, stepchildren, slaves who he owned, associates, aides, and everyone pledging fealty to him, etc., would be destroyed. The reasoning is this. If God’s judgment was against only male descendents of Ahab, why was there a need to add ‘bond or free’? The need is due to the fact that Ahab would not just be crippled but would be ‘utterly destroyed’, left with no one whatsoever. But this will become much clearer when we look at more than simply one isolated text. Why don’t we start with the above verses again and those immediately after Miller’s proof text? I will use the RSV since it is not as encumbered with pet theological slants as the NIV Miller chooses to use for his case.
1st Kings 21:20-24
20 Ahab said to Elijah, ‘Have you found me, O my enemy?’ He answered, ‘I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the LORD. 21 Behold, I will bring evil upon you; I will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel; 22 and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you have made Israel to sin. 23 And of Jezebel the LORD also said, ‘The dogs shall eat Jezebel within the bounds of Jezreel.’ 24 Any one belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs shall eat; and any one of his who dies in the open country the birds of the air shall eat.’
The wording of God’s judgment against Ahab really doesn’t lend itself to the interpretation that ONLY male descendents of Ahab were to be killed since
- God doesn’t specify that ONLY males were to be killed
- God doesn’t specify that only male DESCENDENTS were to be killed
- Killing only the male descendents would obviously be leaving some of the house of Ahab alive (which doesn’t fit with a house that is ‘utterly destroyed’)
- Jezebel was to be killed as part of this judgment for her part in Naboth’s murder (obviously, Jezebel was NOT a male)
The point should be clear that if you remove that little word and, and insert the word only, it allows the reader to step a little further away from the true intention of the author which was to list punishments that were in agreement with each other.
- totally wipe out Ahab’s house AND
- kill all males free and slave throughout the land (Israel) AND
- kill Jezebel
Those were Jehu’s God-commissioned objectives. It gets worse for Miller if we examine the pronouncement as repeated by the young prophet to Jehu.
2nd Kings 9:2-10
4 So the young man, the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. 5 And when he came, behold, the commanders of the army were in council; and he said, ‘I have an errand to you, O commander.’ And Jehu said, ‘To which of us all?’ And he said, ‘To you, O commander.’ 6 So he arose, and went into the house; and the young man poured the oil on his head, saying to him, ‘Thus says the LORD the God of Israel, I anoint you king over the people of the LORD, over Israel. 7 And you shall strike down the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge on *** Jezebel*** the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD. *** 8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish;*** and I will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel. 9 And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. 10 And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and none shall bury her.’ Then he opened the door, and fled.
Unfortunately for Miller, God’s command was to COMPLETELY destroy the entire house of Ahab ‘ not the males only, as his purposely biased exegesis portrays. The destruction of Ahab’s house was a vendetta against Jezebel for killing Naboth and other prophets as well as a judgment on Ahab’s house for the sins he committed and caused Israel to also commit (1st Kings 21:22 and 1st Kings 21:25-26).
To clinch the argument, one needs only to examine what happened to the houses of Jeroboam and Baasha, since part of Ahab’s judgment was that his house would meet the same demise. An examination of each account will expose Miller’s explanation, that God’s judgment on Ahab was that only his male offspring were to be killed, for what it is.
First, a look at what happened to Jeroboam is in order.
The end of God’s patience can be seen.
1st Kings 13:34
34 And this thing became sin to the house of Jeroboam, so as to cut it off and to destroy it from the face of the earth.
The judgment is given. Notice that the judgment covers the entire house of Jeroboam.
1st Kings 14:10-11
10 therefore behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will utterly consume the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone. 11 Any one belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs shall eat; and any one who dies in the open country the birds of the air shall eat; for the LORD has spoken it.”
The judgment is carried out by the new king.
1st Kings 15
28 So Baasha killed him in the third year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his stead. 29 And as soon as he was king, he killed all the house of Jeroboam; he left to the house of Jeroboam not one that breathed, until he had destroyed it, according to the word of the LORD which he spoke by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite; 30 it was for the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned and which he made Israel to sin, and because of the anger to which he provoked the LORD, the God of Israel.
Here, we see definitively that ALL of Jeroboam’s house was destroyed. No one was left breathing. That certainly covered the women and men, not to mention hapless infants who had yet to do any evil for which punishment would be necessary. Now, let’s examine what happened to the house of Baasha.
The end of God’s patience can be seen.
1st Kings 15:34
34 He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he made Israel to sin.
The judgment is given. Notice that the judgment covers the entire house of Baasha.
‘Since I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over my people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam, and have made my people Israel to sin, provoking me to anger with their sins, 3 behold, I will utterly sweep away Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 4 Any one belonging to Baasha who dies in the city the dogs shall eat; and any one of his who dies in the field the birds of the air shall eat.‘
The judgment is carried out by the new king.
11 When he began to reign, as soon as he had seated himself on his throne, he killed ***all the house of Baasha***; he did not leave him a single male of his kinsmen ***or his friends.*** 12 Thus Zimri destroyed ***all the house of Baasha***, according to the word of the LORD,
Now, we are seeing the picture in a slightly different way than Miller would have us see it. It simply involves ‘pay[ing] close attention to what the text actually says.’ We see in the above passage that Baasha’s entire house, including his friends, was destroyed and destroyed ‘according to the word of the Lord’. The women, men, children, friends, slaves’ all of them were killed by the newly appointed king.
With these two precedents, we gain a better idea of the meaning of the pronouncement against Ahab’s house. Now, if anyone wants to go translation shopping in an attempt to find one that deliberately alters the meaning, they will be hard pressed to find one. Even Miller’s beloved NIV does not dare go far enough to change the wording of 1st Kings 15:29
1st Kings 15:29 (NIV)
29 As soon as he began to reign, he killed Jeroboam’s ***whole family.*** He did not leave Jeroboam anyone that breathed, but ***destroyed them all,*** according to the word of the LORD given through his servant Ahijah the Shilonite’
Does not ‘whole family’ denote male AND female? What does ‘all’ mean? Certainly, Miller wouldn’t try to argue against the translation of his own NIV.
The point is by now painfully clear that if the judgment on Ahab was identical to that of Jeroboam and Baasha, and God declared that it was (1st Kings 21:22), then we must conclude that Jehu was well within his right (nay, commanded by God!) to kill’ ALL THE HOUSE OF AHAB! This meant all those related by blood and those pledging any type of loyalty to Ahab.
The only question that remains to be examined is whether Jehu killed anyone not within the house of Ahab at Jezreel.
The Killings: Did Jehu Go Too Far?
Another One Bites The Dust
Now, we come to the good part. This is where paying close attention really pays huge dividends. We have seen Miller’s explanation (ONLY the male descendents were to be killed) crumble into dust and now we will examine Jehu’s killing spree and find out who (if any) the people were whom he killed who were not of Ahab’s house.
2nd Kings 9:22-24
22 And when Joram saw Jehu, he said, ‘Is it peace, Jehu?‘ He answered, ‘What peace can there be, so long as the harlotries and the sorceries of your mother Jezebel are so many?’ 23 Then Joram reined about and fled, saying to Ahaziah, ‘Treachery, O Ahaziah!’ 24 And Jehu drew his bow with his full strength, and shot Joram between the shoulders, so that the arrow pierced his heart, and he sank in his chariot.
Joram was the son of Jezebel and Ahab (also see 2nd Kings 8:25-29), therefore he was marked for God’s judgment.
Miller asserts that King Ahaziah was not a male descendent of Ahab and that Jehu overstepped his authority by killing him. He is wrong on both counts. If Miller had read more than a few scant passages of Jehu’s immediate story, he would have known that Ahaziah was indeed genetically related to the house of Ahab. Here is what Miller has conveniently overlooked. Here, we need to really pay close attention because the genealogies can get a little confusing.
First, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Here is a diagram of the genetic link between Ahab and Ahaziah with an examination of the relevant passages supporting the diagram.
Ahaziah is Ahab’s grandson on Ahaziah’s mother’s side. In other words, his mother was Ahab’s daughter. So, Ahaziah was a genetically linked descendent of Ahab and of course, male. The texts which show this are given below so there can be no quibbling by those who side with Miller. It is important to note that there are actually two Ahaziahs that show up in the books of the Kings. One ruled Israel and was a son of Ahab and the other is our Ahaziah, a King of Judah.
The Omri Line (Kings of Israel)
1st Kings 16
28 And Omri slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria; and Ahab his son reigned in his stead.
29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. 30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD more than all that were before him.
2nd Kings 8:16-18
16 In the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab, king of Israel, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, began to reign. 17 He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife.
1st Kings 22:51
51 Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel.
2nd Kings 1:17
17 So he [Ahaziah] died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. Jehoram, his brother, became king in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, because Ahaziah had no son.
We can now see the kingly line of Israel and that the Ahaziah who’s father was Ahab is not the same as the Ahaziah who ruled Judah and whose father was Jehoram. Now, let’s examine the kings of Judah starting with Jehoshaphat.
2nd Kings 1:17
17 So he died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. Jehoram, his brother, became king in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, because Ahaziah had no son.
2nd Kings 8:25
25 In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab, king of Israel, Ahaziah the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, began to reign. [THIS is our man!]
2nd Kings 10:13
13 Jehu met the kinsmen of Ahaziah king of Judah, and he said, ‘Who are you?’ And they answered, ‘We are the kinsmen of Ahaziah, and we came down to visit the royal princes and the sons of the queen mother.’
Now, we have established who was in the royal line of Israel and Judah. The only piece lacking is the proof that Ahaziah’s mother, Athaliah, was Ahab’s daughter.
2nd Kings 8:26
26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah; she was a granddaughter of Omri king of Israel.
2nd Kings 11:1
1 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family.
Now, we know the granddaughter of Omri might have been through a different son than Ahab but the next passage pounds the final nail into the coffin of Miller’s second point.
2nd Kings 8:16
16 In the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab, king of Israel, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, began to reign. 17 He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, ***for the daughter of Ahab was his wife.***
Let there be no mistake. Ahaziah’s father, Jehoram, was married (cohabitating is more the appropriate term) to Athaliah who was a daughter of Ahab and a granddaughter of Omri, Ahab’s father. Ahaziah was Ahab’s grandson! Miller has once again shamed himself and his fellow Christians by blatantly ignoring his own mantra of ‘pay[ing] close attention to what the text actually says.’
With this accurate information now before us, it is easy to see that the killing of Ahaziah was commanded by God since Ahaziah was genetically related to the house of Ahab. Those readers who know this story can probably think ahead and correctly surmise that the 42 princes (Ahaziah’s relatives) were also legitimately included in the judgment against the house of Ahab.
Debunking the remaining points Miller makes are child’s play compared to the previous Ahaziah examination. He claims that the killing of Jezebel was in violation of God’s judgment against the house of Ahab but at this point, need it be said? She was Ahab’s wife, for crying out loud! Certainly, if the entire house of Ahab was to be made like that of Jeroboam and Baasha (completely and utterly destroyed with no one left alive who breathed) then Jezebel would naturally be included. Miller’s claim vanishes due to the fact that not only was she of the house of Ahab but she was specifically marked by God himself to be killed by Jehu! Here again is the commission from God to Jehu.
2nd Kings 9:4-10
4 So the young man, the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. 5 And when he came, behold, the commanders of the army were in council; and he said, ‘I have an errand to you, O commander.’ And Jehu said, ‘To which of us all?’ And he said, ‘To you, O commander.’ 6 So he arose, and went into the house; and the young man poured the oil on his head, saying to him, ‘***Thus says the LORD the God of Israel***, I anoint you king over the people of the LORD, over Israel. 7 And you shall strike down the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge on ***Jezebel*** the blood of my servants the prophets [remember, she murdered Naboth, a prophet of God], and the blood of all the servants of the LORD. 8 For the ***whole*** house of Ahab shall perish; and I will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel. 9 And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. 10 ****And the dogs shall eat ***Jezebel*** in the territory of Jezreel, and none shall bury her.****‘ Then he opened the door, and fled.
Can anyone read the above and honestly say that Jehu was wrong to have Jezebel killed? God commanded it. Next point.
Ahab’s Sons Killed
Miller is correct that Jehu was justified here but Jehu isn’t justified because the people were sons, it is because they were of the house of Ahab.
Heads Are Gonna Roll
What is Miller’s point concerning Jehu’s actions here? So what if Jehu put the decapitated heads of Ahab’s seventy sons in two heaps by the gates of Jezreel? Again, Miller seems to be trying to make a case against Jehu of barbarism and inhumane cruelty but Jehu is well within his right to display the heads. This is Jehu’s zeal for God. He uses the occasion to remind the people of Jezreel that God’s promises are always kept.
2nd Kings 10:9-11
9 Then in the morning, when he went out, he stood, and said to all the people, ‘You are innocent. It was I who conspired against my master, and slew him; but who struck down all these? 10 Know then that there shall fall to the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spoke concerning the house of Ahab; for the LORD has done what he said by his servant Elijah.’ 11 So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, all his great men, and his familiar friends, and his priests, until he left him none remaining.
This completes the slaughter of Ahab’s house at Jezreel and every single person whom Jehu killed was of the house of Ahab! Now the question remains as to whether Jehu goes on to kill anyone not of Ahab’s house. In fact, he does but unfortunately for Miller, it wasn’t at Jezreel! Let’s finish examining Jehu’s execution of God’s judgment on the house of Ahab.
Forty-two Princes of Judah Killed
Proving that error gives birth to error, Miller’s error concerning Ahaziah’s relation to Ahab has given birth to his present error in which he claims that Jehu was wrong to kill the forty-two princes of Judah. It has already been proven that Ahaziah, king of Judah, was genetically descended from Ahab and therefore, his sons, the princes of Judah, would naturally be included in Jehu’s ‘killing spree’ since they, like their father, Ahaziah, were ‘MALE DESCENDENTS OF AHAB’.
2nd Chronicles 22:8
8 While Jehu was executing judgment on the house of Ahab, he found the princes of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s relatives, who had been attending Ahaziah, and he killed them.
There is no foul play here.
Ahab’s Remnants Removed
Miller’s last point is also of no significance since his anemic explanation has been exposed. Jehu follows through and kills everyone that remained to Ahab in Samaria.
2nd Kings 10:17
17 And when he came to Samaria, he slew all that remained to Ahab in Samaria, till he had wiped them out, according to the word of the LORD which he spoke to Elijah.
Didn’t God command Jehu to completely destroy the house of Ahab? For Jehu to travel to Samaria and hunt down every last person that belonged to the house of Ahab and kill them is astounding! Jehu did exactly what God commanded. Although, he does go on to kill the worshippers of Baal in his zeal for holiness but remember that he is no longer in Jezreel and furthermore, killing the worshippers of Baal, although not specifically ordered by God concerning Ahab’s judgment, would be considered a heroic feat by the Jews and is depicted as such in the story.
2nd Kings 10:28
28 Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel.
This officially ends the ‘killing spree’ of Jehu. Not one person prior to Jehu’s vanquishing of the Baal worshippers was killed who was not of the house of Ahab. Another curiously overlooked quandary which plagues Miller’s explanation is that if Jehu did some unauthorized killing at Jezreel, why does he get a sparkling commendation and no condemnation immediately after the killings?
2nd Kings 10:30
30 And the LORD said to Jehu, ‘Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.’
Now, it behooves one to read this as it is written. First, God commends Jehu for doing what was right in his eyes. Right there we have God’s approval on a global scale. Jehu’s killing spree was justified by God’s verbal approval. There’s that little word again ‘ and. Jehu did what was right in GOD’S eyes, AND he did to Ahab’s house everything God desired. Where’s the condemnation for ANYTHING Jehu did at Jezreel? Certainly, if Jehu had done anything which warranted God’s condemnation, then would have been the time for God to at least TELL Jehu about it!
It is preposterous to think that God would not have pointed out his error if he had sinned in some way at Jezreel. When the story of Jehu is viewed with this level of attention to detail, there can be no better explanation for the disparity between the 2nd Kings account and the Hosea account than two different authors writing at two different times had two different opinions about Jehu’s actions at Jezreel.
The Christian apologist, in order to fabricate some type of explanation to ‘clear’ God of a contradiction, must use these ingredients:
- begin with the notion that no contradiction could possibly exist in God’s word (very important)
- avoid examining the entire context of the stories involved
- overemphasize certain parts of the stories so as to bias the interpretation
- impose a meaning onto the text that is not only not there but also cannot be supported in light of all of the other relevant passages
- go translation shopping (rely on an often faulty translation such as the NIV if it gives you a ‘better’ rendering)
To summarize the shortcomings of Miller’s explanation –
- God’s judgment was for the WHOLE house of Ahab, not males only which is seen by examining the judgments of Jeroboam and Baasha and by reading the text as it is rendered in the majority of translations. Miller’s entire case rests on his faulty interpretation of the NIV and his ignorance of the text.
- Miller is either ignorant of or skillfully avoiding (I’ll place my bet on the former) the problem that Hosea’s condemnation was for the blood of Jezreel, which means that Jehu would have had to have killed someone at Jezreel who was not of the house of Ahab and that clearly didn’t happen.
- Miller also doesn’t seem phased by the fact that God gave Jehu a shining commendation immediately after the killing with NO mention whatsoever of any wrongdoing during the killing spree. It is completely inconceivable that if Jehu did anything wrong, God would not have pointed it out in his imitable fashion by pronouncing one of his famous judgments on him then and there!
Miller has closed his eyes to the text and opened them to his own desires for his God to be perfect.
Is there any explanation that would solve this problem in Christianity’s favor? What if Jehu did kill someone or some group of people at Jezreel other than Ahab’s relatives and close associates and the writer of 2nd Kings simply didn’t record the event? It wouldn’t persuade for at least three reasons.
- pure 100% speculation
- the writer knew minute details and dialog of Jehu all along the path of killing; how would he be ignorant of further killings at Jezreel?
- God still would be depicted as being ignorant of the wrongdoing since there is no condemnation in the 2nd Kings account
There is simply no way around the text. Again, the best explanation is that the author of 2nd Kings and the author of Hosea were separated by time and space when penning their accounts and had differing views of Jehu’s actions at Jezreel. Obviously, this explanation implies that God did not verbally inspire the authors or guide their thoughts in any way. Since Jehu could not have done everything that was right in God’s eyes concerning the house of Ahab and also have sinned in doing so, one book must be seen to contain inaccurate information and therefore it is not an authoritative word from an all-knowing God. Although this one contradiction does not disprove Christianity, the main theme from Pink Floyd’s album, ‘The Wall’, sums it up accurately.
‘All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.’