2 Kings 9

Jehu's Anointing

Oil Flasks

He said, “Gird up your loins and take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead” (2 Kings 9:1).

The flask of oil seems to be distinct from the “horn” of oil used for anointing in other passages (1 Sam 16:13; 1 Kgs 1:39), although the function seems to be identical. Small juglets like the ones in this photo were commonly used to hold olive oil, and this would have been an ideal size for a runner to carry. This display was photographed at the Pontifical Biblical Institute Museum in Jerusalem.


“When you arrive, find Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi” (2 Kings 9:2).

Jehu is known from several ancient inscriptions. The most famous is the one shown here, the Black Obelisk of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III. The pane shown here depicts Jehu bowing before Shalmaneser III. The inscription above this section identifies him as “Jehu, the son of Omri.” It should be noted that Jehu was not even of the same bloodline as Omri, but the Assyrians tended to refer to Israel as the “land of Omri” or “house of Omri,” regardless of what dynasty was on the throne.


Jezreel's Watchtower

Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel (2 Kings 9:17).

This aerial photo shows a portion of the casemate city wall and a projecting tower that probably stood in the days of Joram. It was uncovered at the northeast corner of the site, which is the area that would have been nearest to the road down which Joram rode. It may even be that the watchman was stationed here. Labels have been added to make it easier to identify the tower and walls.

The Approach to Jezreel

And he saw the company of Jehu as he came (2 Kings 19:17).

This photo shows the point of view of the watchmen from Jezreel. Jezreel is almost directly west of Ramoth-gilead. The road from Ramoth-gilead to Jezreel would have crossed the Jordan River and then come up the Harod Valley, probably along the northern edge of Mount Gilboa. The watchman should have been able to see at least 3 miles (5 km) of this road from Jezreel itself.

The Gate

Then Jehu entered in at the gate (2 Kings 9:31).

Archaeologists believe that city gates were normally multi-storied structures, creating an imposing defensive barrier. This model of the gate at Gezer is reconstructed with two main floors and a couple of turrets. Such a structure would have been an ideal height from which a watchman could see for a longer distance. This model was designed by Leen Ritmeyer and was photographed in the Skirball Museum at the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem.

Purchase the Collection:

2 Kings (Photo Companion to the Bible)

FREE Shipping plus Immediate Download