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Two Chronicles Twenty One

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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2 Chronicles 21:1 Now Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And Jehoram his son reigned in his stead.

2 Chronicles 21:2 And he had brethren the sons of Jehoshaphat, Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and Shephatiah: all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.

2 Chronicles 21:3 And their father gave them great gifts of silver, and of gold, and of precious things, with fenced cities in Judah: but the kingdom gave he to Jehoram; because he was the firstborn.

2 Chronicles 21:4 Now when Jehoram was risen up to the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself, and slew all his brethren with the sword, and divers also of the princes of Israel.

2 Chronicles 21:5 Jehoram was thirty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 21:6 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD.

daughter of Ahab. This daughter of Ahab was Athaliah, the daughter of Jezebel, the Phoenician princess who introduced Baalism into Israel. Athaliah, in turn, introduced it into Judah as the wife of King Jehoram. Jehoram slew all his younger brothers upon becoming king (2 Chronicles 21:4), no doubt on the instigation of Athaliah, thus opening the way for her later to usurp the crown for herself (2 Chronicles 22:10, 12).

that which was evil. Athaliah, was probably even more pagan and wicked than her Phoenician mother. Her arranged marriage to Jehoshaphat's firstborn son, which had led to Jehoshaphat's alliance with Ahab (see note on 2 Chronicles 18:1) was undoubtedly behind Jehoram's murder of his brothers, who had probably resisted Athaliah's introduction of Baalism into Judah (note 2 Chronicles 21:13).

2 Chronicles 21:7 Howbeit the LORD would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a light to him and to his sons for ever.

made with David. God's covenant with David had been unconditional, not dependent on the behavior of his descendants, even one as wicked as Jehoram (2 Chronicles 21:4). Compare 2 Samuel 7:11-13.

2 Chronicles 21:8 In his days the Edomites revolted from under the dominion of Judah, and made themselves a king.

2 Chronicles 21:9 Then Jehoram went forth with his princes, and all his chariots with him: and he rose up by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him in, and the captains of the chariots.

2 Chronicles 21:10 So the Edomites revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. The same time also did Libnah revolt from under his hand; because he had forsaken the LORD God of his fathers.

2 Chronicles 21:11 Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto.

2 Chronicles 21:12 And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah,

Elijah the prophet. Elijah prophesied in Israel, but he was also concerned with Jehoram's apostasy in Judah. Apparently, shortly before his translation into heaven he sent this prophecy by messenger to King Jehoram, predicting his untimely and painful death. Although the ministries of Elijah and Elisha are very prominent in the books of Kings, this is the only mention of either of them in the two books of Chronicles. Their ministries, of course, were primarily in the northern kingdom, whereas Chronicles focuses almost exclusively on Judah. This reference does indicate, however, that they were well aware of developments in Judah.

2 Chronicles 21:13 But hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and hast made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father's house, which were better than thyself:

2 Chronicles 21:14 Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods:

2 Chronicles 21:15 And thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day.

2 Chronicles 21:16 Moreover the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that were near the Ethiopians:

2 Chronicles 21:17 And they came up into Judah, and brake into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king's house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.

2 Chronicles 21:18 And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease.

2 Chronicles 21:19 And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers.

2 Chronicles 21:20 Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years, and departed without being desired. Howbeit they buried him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchres of the kings.

departed without being desired. Jehoram's end poignantly illustrates the tragic results when a son with a godly heritage rebels against his father's instruction and example, especially in rejecting his father's God in favor of the evolutionary paganism and immorality of a nature religion such as Baalism. He lost much of his kingdom, all his wives, all but his youngest son (God's covenant with David could not be broken!) and died of a painful and loathsome disease only eight years later. See 2 Chronicles 21:10, 16-19; 22:1.