Jehu’s Character

The more I think about him being a hi brow member of one of the tribes/clans, the more the idea grows on me.  That would give him the political clout, the existing command networks, the political connections to think he could pull off being king.  And that he deserves the shot.  It makes a lot of sense in the whole scheme.

Check me if I have this wrong, but the first time we hear him referenced is as a trusted general of Ahab’s, isn’t it?

If so, maybe he has an interesting backstory.  Maybe he was a peasant recruit who started under Omri as just another grunt on the line.  But maybe he showed Omri some leadership, judgement and loyalty and rose thru the ranks as he showed talent and dedication.  As a youngish commander, he was someone Ahab related to as he grew up. They got to know each other, knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Knew their values and character.

Maybe he always had a chip on his shoulder, resented the elites but tolerated the ones like Ahab who gave him a chance and who he could see was working hard for his people, despite his bizarre wife.  So when it’s apparent that this little snot nose Joram is not the man his father was and is even less prepared for the duties of king than his brother Jorham was, he sees the need for a change before disaster strikes.

What motivates him?  Power?  Is he merely exploiting a weakness?  If so, then he’s just ruthless and you’ll need to show him like that.  Or is he maybe also driven patriotism too?  A love of his little country and with a clear idea of what will become of it if this idiot child is allowed to run it into the ground.  He could be either simple or complex, but whichever it is, it will show in his decision making.

I see him as gruff, with a military bearing.  Probably not given to subtlety.  A sense of honor and loyal in the way military people tend to be.  Decisive.  Bull headed.  Does he have a family?  I don’t know.  He might have had a tragedy earlier in life.

He will have a lot to do in the days following the coup.  So he must have a trusted network of conspirators helping him. He must have a network of guys who have learned to trust him; and a retinue of trusted loyalists around him to think he might be able to pull this insurrection off.  He will need them in place.  If he’s been working up to this for a while, they will already be in place at their stations, waiting word of the coup beginning.

But there will be commanders at some of the forts whose loyalty he can’t be sure of.  One of the things we DO know about him is he’s obviously smart enough to test the loyalty of the key leaders at Samaria by making them play their hand in dispatching Ahab’s family.  And that’s showing a level of political skill that’s revealing.

Steve Abbott

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