‘On that day,
I will answer
They shall answer
The earth shall answer
They shall answer
I will sow him
In the land.
I will have pity
I will say to
‘You are my people.’
He shall say.
‘You are my God.’”
Yahweh was very clear. On that day, he was going to respond to the heavens, just as the heavens would respond to earth. The earth would respond to the grain, wine, and oil. They would answer to Jezreel, that had been the residence of the kings of the northern kingdom of Israel. Yahweh was going to sow in the land itself. Finally, he would have pity and love for Lo-ruhamah, the not pitied one. He too would rename Lo-ammi, from not my people to you are my people. He was going to be their God. Thus, all would end well.
“Say to your brother!
Say to your sister!
In a play on words, the Hebrew text drops the “Lo” or “not” in front of the names of the brother and sister. Lo-ammi has become Ammi. Lo-ruhamah has become Ruhamah. Jezreel remained the same. Thus, the brother and sister now represent pity, love, and my people, instead of the negative connotation, as in the first chapter. Now, all is well.
“He even followed their advice. He went with King Jehoram of Israel, the son of Ahab, to make war against King Hazael of Aram at Ramoth-gilead. The Arameans wounded King Jehoram. He returned to Jezreel to be healed of the wounds which he had received at Ramah, when he fought against King Hazael of Aram. King Ahaziah son of King Jehoram of Judah went down to see King Jehoram son of King Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.”
Once again this is very close to 2 Kings, chapter 8. He followed the advice of his counselors and went to battle with his uncle King Jehoram of Israel at Ramoth-gilead. This seems to be a favorite spot to do battle with the Arameans. This is the same spot where King Ahab of Israel was killed when King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to fight the Arameans in 1 Kings, chapter 22. Now it is 12 years later when disaster strikes again. King Jehoram of Israel was wounded so that he returned to Jezreel. His nephew, King Ahaziah went to see him there at Jezreel because he was sick or wounded as in 2 Kings.
“Then King Jehu wrote them a second letter, saying. ‘If you are on my side, and if you are ready to obey me, take the heads of your master’s sons, and come to me at Jezreel tomorrow at this time.’ Now the king’s sons, seventy persons, were with the leaders of the city, who were charged with their upbringing. When the letter reached them, they took the king’s sons, and killed them, seventy persons. They put their heads in baskets. They sent them to him at Jezreel.”
The second letter was more ominous. King Jehu wanted the 70 heads of the 70 sons brought to Jezreel the next day. Wow! There was no fooling around. However, the leaders and care takers of the 70 sons did as King Jehu had requested. They put the chopped off heads into baskets and sent them to Jezreel. That must have been quite a nice sight.
“In Jezreel, the sentinel standing on the tower spied the company of Jehu arriving. He said. ‘I see a company.’ King Jehoram said. ‘Take a horseman, and send it to meet them. Let him say. ‘Is it peace?’ So the horseman went to meet him. He said. ‘Thus says the king. ‘Is it peace?’ Jehu responded. ‘What have you to do with peace? Fall in behind me.’ The sentinel reported, saying. ‘The messenger reached them, but he is not coming back.’ Then he sent out a second horseman, who came to them, and said. ‘Thus says the king. ‘Is it peace?’ Jehu answered. ‘What have you to do with peace? Fall in behind me.’ Again the sentinel reported. ‘He reached them, but he is not coming back. It looks like the driving of Jehu son of Nimshi. He drives like a maniac.”
The sentinel or the watchman on the tower saw Jehu and his company coming. King Jehoram said to send a horseman out to see if peace had been made. Each time one of these messengers went out to greet Jehu, he told them to follow him back to Jezreel. This happened 3 times. Finally the watchman said that it looked like Jehu since he was a crazy chariot driver.
“Elijah said to King Ahab. ‘Go up, eat and drink. There is a sound of rushing rain.’ So King Ahab went up to eat and to drink. Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. There he bowed himself down upon the earth. He put his face between his knees. He said to his servant. ‘Go up now, look toward the sea.’ He went up and looked. He said. ‘There is nothing.’ Then he said. ‘Go again seven times.’ At the seventh time he said. ‘Look, a little cloud no bigger than a person’s hand is rising out of the sea.’ Then he said. ‘Go say to King Ahab. ‘Harness your chariot. Go down before the rain stops you.’ In a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind. There was a heavy rain. King Ahab rode out and went to Jezreel. But the hand of Yahweh was on Elijah. He girded up his loins and ran in front of King Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.”
Elijah told King Ahab to go home and eat and drink, because the rain was coming. Elijah himself went to the top of Mount Carmel. There he bowed himself to the earth with his head between his knees. He sent his servant to look at the sea 7 times. On the 7th time he could see a cloud rising in the sea. Then there was a heavy rain. However, King Ahab was heading towards Jezreel. Elijah ran in front of him. Thus the story continues with Elijah and King Ahab now that the drought is over.