Online Encyclopedia

JEHU

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 314 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JEHU, son of Jehoshapha't+ and grandson of Nimshi, in the Bible, a general of Ahab and Jehoram, and, later, king of Israel. Ahaziah son of Jehoram of Judah and Jehoram brother of Ahaziah of Israel had taken joint action against the Aramaeans of Damascus who were attacking Ramoth-Gilead under Hazael. Jehoram had returned wounded to his palace at Jezreel, whither Ahaziah had come down to visit him. Jehu, meanwhile, remained at the seat of war, and the prophet Elisha sent a messenger to anoint him king. The general at once acknowledged the call, " drove furiously " to Jezreel, and, having slain both kings, proceeded to exterminate the whole of the royal family (2 Kings ix., x.). A similar fate befell the royal princes of Judah (see ATIIALIAH), and thus, for a time at least, the new king must have had complete control over the two kingdoms (cf. 2 Chron. xxii. g). Israelite historians viewed these events as a great religious revolution inspired by Elijah and initiated by Elisha, as the overthrow of the worship of Baal, and as a retribution for the cruel murder of Naboth the Jezreelite (see JEZEBEL). A vivid description is given of the destruction of the prophets of Baal at the temple in Samaria (2 Kings x. 27; contrast iii. 2). While Jehu was supported by the Rechabites in his reforming zeal, a similar revolt against Baalism in Judah is ascribed to the priest Jehoiada (see JOASH). In the tragedies of the period it seems clear that Elisha's interest in both Jehu and the Syrian Hazael (2 Kings viii. 7 sqq.) had some political significance, and in opposition to the " Deuteronomic " the commendation in 2 Kings x. 28 sqq., Hosea's denunciation (i. 4) indicates the judgment which was passed upon Jehu's bloodshed in other circles. In the course of an expedition against Hazael in 842 Shalmaneser II. of Assyria received tribute of silver and gold from Ya-u-a son of Omri,t Tyre and Sidon; another attack followed in 839. For some years after this Assyria was unable to interfere, and war broke out between Damascus and Israel. The Israelite story, which may perhaps be supplemented from Judaean sources (see JoASK), records a great loss of territory on the east of the Jordan (2 Kings x. 32 seq.). Under Jehu's successor Jehoahaz there was continual war with Hazael and his son Ben-hadad, but relief was obtained by his grandson Joash, and the land recovered complete independence under Jeroboam. Jehu is also the name of a prophet of the time of Baasha and Je oshaphat (1 Kings xvi. ; 2 Chron. xix., xx.). (S. A. C.) JEKYLL, SIR JOSEPH (1663–1738), English lawyer and master of the rolls, son of John Jekyll, was born in London, and after studying at the Middle Temple was called to the bar in 1687. He rapidly rose to be chief justice of Chester (1697), serjeant-atlaw and king's serjeant (1700), and a knight. In 1717 he was made master of the rolls. A Whig in politics, he sat in parliament for various constituencies from 1697 to the end of his life, and took an active part there in debating constitutional questions with much learning, though, according to Lord Hervey (Mem. 1, 474), with little " approbation." He was censured by the House of Commons for accepting a brief for the defence of Lord Halifax in a prosecution ordered by the house. He was one of the managers of the impeachment of the Jacobite earl of Wintoun in 1715, and of Harley (Lord Oxford) in 1717. In later years he supported Walpole. He became very unpopular in 1736 for his introduction of the " gin act," taxing the retailing of spirituous liquors, and his house had to be protected from the mob. Pope has an illusion to " Jekyll or some odd Whig, Who never changed his principle or wig " (Epilogue to the Satires). Jekyll was also responsible for the Mortmain Act of 1736, which was not superseded till 1888. He died without issue in 1738. His great-nephew JOSEPH JEKYLL (d. 1837) was a lawyer, politician and wit, who excited a good deal of contemporary satire, and who wrote some jeux d'esprit which were well-known in his time. His Letters of the late Ignatius Sancho, an African, was published in 1782. In 1894 his correspondence was edited, with a memoir, by the Hon. Algernon Bourke.
End of Article: JEHU
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