Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat and grandson of Nimshi, became the tenth king of Israel. His ascension to the throne makes for an interesting story, as do his extremely bloody exploits thereafter.
In a battle at Ramoth Gilead against the Syrians, Jehoram, king of Israel had been wounded. Leaving the battleground he returned to Jezreen where his ally, Ahaziah, king of Judah came to visit him. With both kings away, the military commanders, of which Jehu was one, met to discuss strategy. While they sat in council, a prophet sent by Elisha came with a message for Jehu.
Jehu got up and went into the house. Then the prophet poured the oil on Jehu's head and declared, "This is what the LORD , the God of Israel, says: 'I anoint you king over the LORD's people Israel. You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the LORD's servants shed by Jezebel. The whole house of Ahab will perish. I will cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel-slave or free. I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah. As for Jezebel, dogs will devour her on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and no one will bury her.' " Then he opened the door and ran.
(2 Kings 9:6-10)
When Jehu told his friends about the prophet's message, they didn't waste any time proclaiming him king. Then the slaughter began.
He went to Jezreel, where he slew Jehoram, shooting him through the heart with an arrow. Ahaziah was was fatally wounded by one of Jehu's soldiers at Beth-gan as he tried to escape. On entering the city, Jehu commanded the eunchs of the royal palace to cast down Jezebel into the street, where her mangled body was trodden under foot by the horses. Now master of Jezreel, he gave orders to his men to bring him the heads of all the royal prices of Samaria. The following day 72 heads were piled up at the gate. Another 42 people connected with the house of Ahab were also slain. He then proceeded to Samaria, where pretending that he favored Baal worship, he requested the priest to hold a special service. After the priests of Baal were assembled inside their temple, Jehu had them killed. Their temple was destroyed and converted into a public toilet.
Despite his fervour, however, he tolerated the worship of idols, which incurred God's displeasure.
To receive protection from Assyria, Jehu paid tribute to Shalmaneser III, an event depicted on the black obelisk in the British Museum.
He died after a reign of twenty-eight years, and was buried in Samaria. His son Jehoahaz succeeded him.