This book explores, by way of narrative analysis, the story of Jehu's revolt in 2 Kings 9 and 10, and the tensions and ambiguities surrounding the evaluation of Jehu that it contains. In the narrative, the Deuteronomist writes in many voices: the prophet(s), the Lord, the narrator, even Jehu himself. The tension within the Jehu narrative arises in the interaction of the various voices, and careful study of these narrative voices reveals two primary criteria for evaluating Jehu: (1) faithful observance of correct Deuteronomistic worship, that is, true Yahwistic worship in the Jerusalem Temple; and (2) faithful obedience to the prophetic word. Each criterion is expressed in the narrative and, as a means of finally resolving the ambiguity of the evaluative voices, the narrative presents the criterion of worship in supersession over the criterion of the prophetic word.
The narrative analysis shows how the Jehu narrative connects linguistically, thematically, and analogically to the larger Deuteronomistic History and provides rubrics under which a Deuteronomistic theology of kingly legitimation can be examined. The theology that arises from the Jehu narrative in respect of kingly legitimation, traced through the criteria of proper worship and the prophetic word, at times adds unique emphases to the theology of kingly legitimation presented in the history. At other times, it stands seamlessly with the theology of the larger history. At all times, the theology of worship and word shows the Jehu narrative ultimately cannot be read successfully or fully in isolation from the surrounding text and the theology presented there.