"'If the acts of Jehu, in rooting out the whole house of his master, were ordered and approved of by the Lord,' said he, 'would it not have been more praiseworthy if one of Ahab’s own sons had stood up for the cause of the God of Israel, and rooted out the sinners and their idols out of the land?'"
The Death of Jezebel, a.1883.
Public DomainThe Death of Jezebel, a.1883. - Credit: Gustave Doré

Jehu was the king of Israel from 842 to 815 BC. He was anointed by Elisha who thereafter led him into a revolt against the house of Ahab. This saw him murder Ahab’s widow Jezebel, his sons King Jehoram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah, and other worshippers of Baal (see note for page 118). His bloody campaign, which received divine favour, was centred around avenging Naboth and his descendents – Naboth being an Old Testament figure whose vineyard Ahab had taken by force. Ahab was himself king of Israel from 869-850 BC. Though his rule was not without its triumphs, he is generally regarded in negative terms on account of his persecution of the prophets, worship of Baal and treatment of Naboth.