Original Research - Special Collection: Eben Scheffler Festschrift

Jehu’s violent coup and the justification of violence

Lerato L.D. Mokoena, Esias E. Meyer
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 3 | a5326 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i3.5326 | © 2019 Esias E. Meyer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 November 2018 | Published: 23 April 2019

About the author(s)

Lerato L.D. Mokoena, Department of Old Testament Studies, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Esias E. Meyer, Department of Old Testament Studies, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

The putsch carried out by Jehu is one of the most violent stories in the Hebrew Bible. The text justifies the violence by portraying the rebellion as a case of retributive justice for the death of Naboth and as an attempt to purify Yahwism. This article presents a critical reading of the text as well as an overview of how the interpretation of the text changed after the discovery of the Tel Dan inscription. The article also presents recent views on the history of Yahwism and finally presents the story as a (failed) attempt to justify a coup that was probably only about acquiring power.

Keywords

Violence; Jehu; Tel Dan; Yahwism; Naboth

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