The House of Jehu
One of the most significant acts with which Elisha is credited is the anointing of Jehu, Jehoram's commander‐in‐chief, to become king in Israel. Jehu made his famous chariot ride from Ramoth‐gilead to Jezreel, and killed Jehoram of Israel. Ahaziah of Judah fled, but was wounded at Ibleam and died at Megid‐do (2 Kgs. 9: 1–28 ). Samaria and the rest of Israel fell to Jehu, and he is reputed to have wiped out Baal worship from Israel. But Israelite territory in Transjordan from Bashan and Gilead as far south as Aroer near the River Arnon was taken by Hazael of Damascus (2 Kgs. 10 ). Hazael's attempts to enlarge his territory included the taking of Gath and the threatening of Jerusalem, but he withdrew when bought off by Jehoash (Joash), son of Amaziah, now king of Judah (2 Kgs. 12: 17–18 ). After the death of Hazael, the grandson of Jehu, who was also called Jehoash, recovered the Transjordanian territories which Hazael had taken (2 Kgs. 13: 25 ). Jehoash also fought against Amaziah of Judah, who had won a victory over the Edomites in the Valley of Salt and taken Sela by storm (2 Kgs. 14: 7 ), defeated him at Beth‐shemesh, and plundered Jerusalem (2 Kgs. 14: 11–14 ).
Jehoash's son Jeroboam II, in a reign of some forty years, established a time of peace and prosperity in Israel. He is said to have restored Israel's ancient boundaries from Lebo‐hamath to the Sea of the Arabah, in accordance with the words of Jonah of Gath‐hepher (2 Kgs. 14: 25 ). It is in his reign that the activity of the prophet Amos and the beginning of the career of Hosea are set. In Judah too there was a lengthy reign, that of Jeroboam's near contemporary Uzziah (Azariah). Little is said about his reign in Kings, but Chronicles credits him with various acts, including restoring Eloth (that is, Elath, Eziongeber) on the Red Sea to Judah, fighting against the Philistines, destroying Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod and building cities in their territory, fighting against Arabs and Meunites, placing the Ammonites under tribute, and enhancing the fortifications of Jerusalem (2 Chr. 26: 2, 6–9 ). It was to the year of his death that the prophet Isaiah's call was dated (Isa. 6: 1 ).