Scriptures

2 Chronicles 21

Introduction

‘Then Jehoshaphat rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. And Jehoram his son succeeded him as king. Jehoram’s brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat, were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael and Shephatiah. All these were sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel. Their father had given them many gifts of silver and gold and articles of value, as well as fortified cities in Judah, but he had given the kingdom to Jehoram because he was his firstborn son.’ 2 Chronicles 21:1-3

Jehoshaphat is now dead, 1 Kings 22:50, his sons are situated at strategic cities throughout Judah and were supported by the centralised government in Jerusalem. Jehoshaphat left Judah well organised, but when his firstborn, Jehoram took over as king of Judah, things begun to change.

Jehoram King Of Judah

‘When Jehoram established himself firmly over his father’s kingdom, he put all his brothers to the sword along with some of the officials of Israel. Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He followed the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for he married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD. Nevertheless, because of the covenant the LORD had made with David, the LORD was not willing to destroy the house of David. He had promised to maintain a lamp for him and his descendants forever.’ 2 Chronicles 21:4-7

Jehoram now becomes king of Judah. Although it can be confusing at times, we must remember that the name Jehoram appears in the lists of kings of both Israel and Judah, but they are different people. Joram is a shortened version of the name Jehoram, 2 Kings 1:17.

Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king and reigned in Jerusalem for eight years, however, he followed in the ways of the kings of Israel and as the house of Ahab had done. This means that he committed idolatry and followed the gods of the Canaanites, like Ahab did, 1 Kings 16:29-19:18.

This possibly happened because he married the daughter of Ahab, her name was Athaliah, and so, it’s possible that she may have influenced him in some way. In some ways, she not only influenced him, but influenced the whole nation, because the idolatrous action of Israel were now happening in Judah.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The very mention of such a thing in this paragraph is a mark of the diabolical threat that existed at this moment in the history of the Chosen People. In these events, Satan was moving swiftly and methodically toward that very goal, the total destruction of the house of David. And when Jehoram’s evil mother Athaliah was finally able to seize power for herself, she all but accomplished it.’

Jehoram did evil in the eyes of God, he committed many acts of sins, one of them was the murdering of his six brothers, because he wanted their wealth, 2 Kings 8:16 / 2 Chronicles 21:5-10 / 2 Chronicles 21:20.

Make no mistake about it, God would have wiped them off the face of the earth because of their idolatry, if it wasn’t for David and the promise He made to David, 2 Samuel 7:13-16 / 2 Chronicles 21:12-19.

‘In the time of Jehoram, Edom rebelled against Judah and set up its own king. So Jehoram went there with his officers and all his chariots. The Edomites surrounded him and his chariot commanders, but he rose up and broke through by night. To this day Edom has been in rebellion against Judah. Libnah revolted at the same time, because Jehoram had forsaken the LORD, the God of his ancestors. He had also built high places on the hills of Judah and had caused the people of Jerusalem to prostitute themselves and had led Judah astray.’ 2 Chronicles 21:8-11

Because Jehoram killed his brothers who were in the fortified cities of Judah, he sadly, left Judah vulnerable to attack and so, Edom and Libnah took advantage of the situation, and launched their attack in order to gain their freedom from the suppression of Judah.

Notice that although, Judah won the battle, Edom and Libnah remained in a state of revolt against Judah to the day the writer wrote these words in the Book of Chronicles.

Jehoram gives in to their desires and builds high places that his father had previously destroyed, he did this probably to gain the favour of the people.

By building these high places, Jehoram caused the people to prostitute themselves, that is, commit idolatry, James 4:4.

‘Jehoram received a letter from Elijah the prophet, which said: “This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: ‘You have not followed the ways of your father Jehoshaphat or of Asa king of Judah. But you have followed the ways of the kings of Israel, and you have led Judah and the people of Jerusalem to prostitute themselves, just as the house of Ahab did. You have also murdered your own brothers, members of your own family, men who were better than you. So now the LORD is about to strike your people, your sons, your wives and everything that is yours, with a heavy blow. You yourself will be very ill with a lingering disease of the bowels, until the disease causes your bowels to come out.’” 2 Chronicles 21:12-15

Remember that Elijah had been taken up in a whirlwind to God before the reign of Jehoram, 2 Kings 2:1. But it appears that Elijah had prophesied concerning the wickedness of Jehoram, even before Jehoram reigned. Elijah had prophesied against Ahab and Jezebel, the parents of Jehoram’s wife, Athaliah.

It’s not the first time in this book, a prophet has spoken about an upcoming disaster, for kings, before it happens, 2 Chronicles 12:5 / 2 Chronicles 16:7 / 2 Chronicles 19:2 / 2 Chronicles 24:20 / 2 Chronicles 26:16. However, some commentators believe that Elijah was still alive at this point in time.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘This is the only notice which we have of Elijah in Chronicles. As a prophet of the northern kingdom, he engaged but slightly the attention of the historian of the southern one. The notice shows that Elijah did not confine his attention to the affairs of his own state, but strove to check the progress of idolatry in Judah. And it proves that he was alive after the death of Jehoshaphat, 2 Chronicles 21:13, a fact bearing.

1. Upon the chronological order of 2 Kings 2:1.

2. Showing that Elisha, who prophesied in the time of Jehoshaphat. 2 Kings 3:11-19 commenced his public ministry before his master’s translation.

In an effort to bring the two kingdoms together, Jehoram married Athaliah, but this resulted in evil arising within the family of David in Judah. The prophecy was that Jehoram was struck with a disease in his intestines and Judah suffered from a great plague.

‘The LORD aroused against Jehoram the hostility of the Philistines and of the Arabs who lived near the Cushites. They attacked Judah, invaded it and carried off all the goods found in the king’s palace, together with his sons and wives. Not a son was left to him except Ahaziah, the youngest.’ 2 Chronicles 21:16-17

The Philistines and Arabians, as the Edomites and Cushites, also took advantage of Judah’s weak condition, despite being suppressed earlier during the reign of Jehoshaphat.

However, notice this was the Lord’s doing. They plundered the treasury of Judah and they killed all the descendants of David except for one son, the youngest, Jehoahaz, who was also called Ahaziah, 2 Chronicles 25:23.

It’s an amazing thought that through this one son, the seedline promise of the Messiah that God made to David would continue.

‘After all this, the LORD afflicted Jehoram with an incurable disease of the bowels. In the course of time, at the end of the second year, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great pain. His people made no funeral fire in his honour, as they had for his predecessors. Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He passed away, to no one’s regret, and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.’ 2 Chronicles 21:18-20

The Lord afflicted Jehoram with an incurable disease of the bowel, which resulted in his bowels coming out, Acts 1:18.

Notice when Jehoram died, there wasn’t a lot of sympathy for him, there were no regrets, this is seen in that there was no burning of incense for him.

Because there was little respect for him as a person and king, he wasn’t given the honour of being buried in the tombs of the kings of Judah, 2 Kings 8:24.

Go To 2 Chronicles 22

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