[b-hebrew] The meaning of "the blood of Jezreel" in Hosea 1:4

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Wed Aug 6 13:47:30 EDT 2008

Dear Gabe:
This is exactly why the multiple source theory is off limits for this group,
either pro- or con-.

I do not see 1 Kings 20 as giving a favorable image of Ahab. Rather I see a
king who is trapped in a situation where he cannot be an absolute dictator,
unlike many of the despot kings around him. Rather he is limited, therefore
unable to accede to the demands put on him. Further, he was in a society
where certain things were simply not done, sort of like post-Christian
Europe where the Christian tradition still guides many social conventions,
but stronger in the case of Ahab because the prophets kept pushing it into
his face.

Then in verses 13 and 28, Ahab is given the victory, not because of his
goodness, rather to give God glory, "… that you (Ahab) may know that I am

Therefore, for a person like myself, the multiple source view has zero
explanatory power.

This is not to argue, just comment.

As for the "blood of Jesreel" I reiterate that I think it refers to the
bloody reign of King Ahab, not the slaughter of Jehu.

Karl W. Randolph.

On Tue, Aug 5, 2008 at 11:10 AM, Gabe Eisenstein <gabe at cascadeaccess.com>wrote:

> I see that discussions of Biblical Hebrew can't avoid making historical
> and textual assumptions. This post concerns the assumptions.
> Vadim Cherny pointed out that the apparent contradiction between the
> favorable and unfavorable views of Jehu can be resolved by taking the
> position expressed in 2Kings10:29-31, namely that Jehu was good at first
> then inexplicably went bad. To me this isn't much of an explanation.
> This seems like the kind of case where a multiple-source view of the
> text has too much explanatory power to ignore. Look at the case of Ahab,
> who is clearly a villain everywhere but 1Kings20:1-34, a manifestly
> heterogeneous text that seems pro-Ahab. In the case of Jehu, it seems
> logical that we would encounter both favorable and unfavorable texts,
> the former produced under sponsorship of Jehoahaz, Joash and Jeroboam
> II, the latter produced by anti-government (prophetic) sources. It is
> also plausible that sections like 2Kings10:29-31 belong to an editorial
> framework (usually called "Deuteronomist") that attempts to reconcile
> contradictions.
> By the way, the thesis that most of the Jehu account was written by
> royal apologists is buttressed by the plausibility of reading most of
> the Elijah-Elisha stories, especially Elijah's massacre of the Baalists,
> as Jehuid propaganda. (If massacring your enemies was good when Elijah
> did it, Jehu's massacre looks better.) From the point of view of the
> social-justice reformers like Hosea, Jehu's dynasty was no different
> from Omri's. Hosea didn't like Jeroboam II, and it is plausible that he
> would take a dim view of Jehu.
> Gabe Eisenstein

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