House of Jehu

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The House of Jehu (884-772 BC according to Ussher,[1] or 841-753 BC according to Thiele[2]) was the dynasty inaugurated by the revolutionary general Jehu. It lasted for four generations past Jehu's death, the longest of any dynastic house in the Northern Kingdom.[3] It was marred with continued false worship according to the artificial religious system of Jeroboam I, a military record varying form appalling defeat to stirring victory over Syrian invaders and raiders, and civil disorder that (according to Ussher) included a twelve-year interregnum and certainly (as Ussher and Thiele both agree) occasioned the abrupt end of this house by an act of murder.


The House of Jehu began in 884 BC (or 841 BC) with the revolution of General Jehu. A student of Elisha found Jehu commanding troops at the Second Battle of Ramoth-gilead, performed an anointing ceremony on him, and then fled. Jehu immediately went out, rallied the army behind him, and set off to find his predecessor Jehoram. He killed Jehoram, and also killed Ahaziah of Judah and finally killed Jezebel, the old queen and wife of Ahab.[3]

Jehu then systematically wiped out Baalism in the Northern Kingdom. But he never sought to quell the artificial cult of the golden calves that Jeroboam I had set up.[3]

Elisha, in the end, told him that he would have four generations of descendants—after which the kingdom would begin to disintegrate.

Thiele posits the House of Jehu beginning in 841 BC after synchronizing Jehu with Shalmaneser III of Assyria. Shalmaneser boasts, in his Black Obelisk, of receiving a tributary payment from one "Jehu, son of Omri." This is doubly inaccurate, because Jehu was not related to the House of Omri and, furthermore, he systematically destroyed the House of Omri throughout his kingdom as part of his revolution against it. Nevertheless, this is one element of conventional Assyrian chronology that Thiele, and many other Christians, have accepted in the decades since the finding of the Obelisk.[4][5]

Immediate Disaster

Jehu held the throne for twenty-eight years. When he died, his son Jehoahaz proved unable to stop repeated Syrian encroachment into Northern Kingdom territory.

Temporary Deliverance

Jehoahaz' son Joash proved a better ruler and general. He achieved three victories against the Syrians, each time recovering a Northern Kingdom city. He also prevailed, and dealt a tremendous humiliation, against Amaziah of the Southern Kingdom, who had challenged him to war without provocation.

Jehoahaz' son Jeroboam II would finally restore to the Northern Kingdom all the coastline it had lost, and most of its territory. Under Jeroboam, the Northern Kingdom knew the greatest prosperity it would ever know. Nevertheless, the prophets Hosea and Amos both predicted the Northern Kingdom's ruin.

Jeroboam II, in addition to a forty-one-year lone reign, had a twelve-year viceroyalty according to Ussher. Thiele, however, asserts that Jeroboam II's forty-one-year reign includes his viceroyalty under Joash, rather than following it in sequence.

Possible Interregnum

When Jeroboam II died, the Northern Kingdom was definitely in severe civil disorder. Ussher notes that a careful read of the explicit synchronies between Northern and Southern kings clearly shows that Jeroboam II's reign fell twelve years short of the time when Zachariah, the last king of the House of Jehu, is supposed to have begun to reign. Ussher infers from this that for those twelve years, the Northern Kingdom was in anarchy.

Thiele denies that any such interregnum took place, and says that Zachariah took over at the end of Jeroboam's reign and life. To preserve the explicit synchronies with the reign of Uzziah, Thiele holds that Uzziah's fifty-two-year reign included twenty-four years as viceroy under Amaziah.

King List

Ussher I Ussher II Ussher III Ussher IV Thiele I Thiele II Thiele III Thiele IV
Jehu II_Kings 10 3120 884 3060 884 3335 884 3275 884 3118 841 3058 841 3333 841 3273 841
Jehoahaz II_Kings 13:1 3148 856 3088 856 3363 856 3303 856 3145 814 3085 814 3360 814 3300 814
Joash II_Kings 13:10 3163 841 3103 841 3378 841 3318 841 3161 798 3101 798 3376 798 3316 798
Jeroboam II II_Kings 14:23 3168 836 3108 836 3383 836 3323 836 3166 793 3106 793 3381 793 3321 793
Interregnum Amos 7-8 3220 784 3160 784 3435 784 3375 784 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Zachariah II_Kings 15:8 3232 772 3172 772 3447 772 3387 772 3206 753 3146 753 3421 753 3361 753


  1. James Ussher, The Annals of the World, Larry Pierce, ed., Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2003 (ISBN 0890513600), pghh. 534-535, 542-3, 546, 547, 549-551, 553, 547, 551-2, 554, 556-8, 564, 567-568
  2. Leon J. Wood, A Survey of Israel's History, rev. ed. David O'Brien, Grand Rapids, MI: Academie Books, 1986 (ISBN 031034770X), pp. 272-278
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Authors unknown. "King Jehu - Biography." The Kings of Israel, hosted at Retrieved June 14, 2007.
  4. Pierce, Larry, Evidentialism–the Bible and Assyrian chronology, TJ 15(1):62–68 April 2001
  5. Pierce, Larry. "Some Objections Considered." James Ussher, The Annals of the World, Larry Pierce, ed., Master Books, 2003, pp. 921-926 ISBN 0890513600

See also