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1Jehoshaphat rested with his ancestors; he was buried with them in the City of David. Jehoram, his son, succeeded him as king.a 2He had brothers, Jehoshaphat’s sons: Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariah, Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were sons of King Jehoshaphat of Judah. 3Their father gave them many gifts of silver, gold, and precious objects, together with fortified cities in Judah, but the kingship he gave to Jehoram because he was the firstborn.
Jehoram’s Evil Deeds. 4When Jehoram had acceded to his father’s kingdom and was firmly in power, he killed all his brothers with the sword, and also some of the princes of Israel. 5b Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 6He walked in the way of the kings of Israel as the house of Ahab had done, since the daughter of Ahab* was his wife; and he did what was evil in the LORD’s sight. 7Even so, the LORD was unwilling to destroy the house of David because of the covenant he had made with David and because of his promise to leave him and his sons a holding for all time.c
8d During his time Edom revolted against the rule of Judah and installed its own king. 9Thereupon Jehoram with his officers and all his chariots crossed over. He arose by night and broke through the Edomites when they had surrounded him and the commanders of his chariots. 10To this day Edom has been in revolt against the rule of Judah. Libnah also revolted at that time against his rule because he had abandoned the LORD, the God of his ancestors. 11He also set up high places in the mountains of Judah, prostituting the inhabitants of Jerusalem, leading Judah astray.
Jehoram Punished. 12A letter came to him from Elijah* the prophet with this message: “Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: Because you have not walked in the way of your father Jehoshaphat, nor of Asa, king of Judah, 13but instead have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, leading Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem into prostitution, like the harlotries of the house of Ahab, and because you have killed your brothers of your father’s house, who were better than you, 14the LORD will strike your people, your children, your wives, and all that is yours with a great plague. 15You shall have severe pains from a disease in your bowels, which will fall out because of the disease, day after day.”
16Then the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the animosity of the Philistines and of the Arabians who were neighbors of the Ethiopians. 17They came up against Judah, breached it, and carried away all the wealth found in the king’s house, along with his sons and his wives. He was left with only one son, Jehoahaz, his youngest. 18After these events, the LORD afflicted him with a disease of the bowels for which there was no cure. 19Some time later, after a period of two years had elapsed, his bowels fell out because of the disease and he died in great pain. His people did not make a fire for him as they had for his ancestors.e 20He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. He departed unloved; and they buried him in the City of David, though not in the tombs of the kings.f
* [21:6] The daughter of Ahab: her name was Athaliah. In 22:2 (and its source, 2 Kgs 8:26) she is called the daughter of Ahab’s father Omri, but this should probably be understood in the sense of granddaughter.
* [21:12] Elijah: this is the Chronicler’s only mention of this prophet of the Northern Kingdom. It is doubtful that Elijah was still living in the reign of Jehoram of Judah; in any case, the attribution of the letter to him has a folkloristic quality.
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