2 Chronicles 21

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Jehoram Reigns in Judah

1 1Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and Jehoram his son reigned in his place.
2 He had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariah, Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of 2Israel.[a]
3 Their father gave them great gifts of silver, gold, and valuable possessions, together with 3fortified cities in Judah, but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram, because he was the firstborn.
4 When Jehoram had ascended the throne of his father and was established, he killed all his brothers with the sword, and also some of the princes of 4Israel.
5 5Jehoram was 6thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
6 7And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for 8the daughter of Ahab was his wife. And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD.
7 Yet the LORD was not willing to destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and since he had promised to give 9a lamp to him and to his sons forever.
8 In his days Edom revolted from the 10rule of Judah and set up a king of their own.
9 Then Jehoram passed over with his commanders and all his chariots, and he rose by night and struck the Edomites who had surrounded him and his chariot commanders.
10 So Edom revolted from 11the rule of Judah to this day. At that time Libnah also revolted from his rule, because he had forsaken the LORD, the God of his fathers.
11 Moreover, he made high places in the hill country of Judah and led the inhabitants of Jerusalem 12into whoredom and made Judah go astray.
12 And a letter came to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, "Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father, 13'Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, or 14in the ways of Asa king of Judah,
13 15but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel and have enticed Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem 16into whoredom, 17as the house of Ahab led Israel into whoredom, and also you 18have killed your brothers, of your father's house, who were better than yourself,
14 behold, the LORD will bring a great plague on your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions,
15 and you yourself will have a severe sickness 19with a disease of your bowels, until your bowels come out because of the disease, day by day.'"
16 20And the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the anger[b] of the Philistines and of 21the Arabians who are near the Ethiopians.
17 And they came up against Judah and invaded it and carried away all the possessions they found that belonged to the king's house, and also his sons and his wives, so that no son was left to him except 22Jehoahaz, his youngest son.
18 And after all this the LORD struck him 23in his bowels with an incurable disease.
19 In the course of time, at the end of two years, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great agony. His people made no fire in his honor, 24like the fires made for his fathers.
20 25He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he departed 26with no one's regret. 27They buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.

2 Chronicles 21 Commentary

Chapter 21

The wicked reign of Jehoram. (1-11) Jehoram's miserable end. (12-20)

Verses 1-11 Jehoram hated his brethren, and slew them, for the same reason that Cain hated Abel, and slew him, because their piety condemned his impiety. In the mystery of Providence such men sometimes prosper for a time; but the Lord has righteous purposes in permitting such events, part of which may now be made out, and the rest will be seen hereafter.

Verses 12-20 A warning from God was sent to Jehoram. The Spirit of prophecy might direct Elijah to prepare this writing in the foresight of Jehoram's crimes. He is plainly told that his sin should certainly ruin him. But no marvel that sinners are not frightened from sin, and to repentance, by the threatenings of misery in another world, when the certainty of misery in this world, the sinking of their estates, and the ruin of their health, will not restrain them from vicious courses. See Jehoram here stripped of all his comforts. Thus God plainly showed that the controversy was with him, and his house. He had slain all his brethren to strengthen himself; now, all his sons are slain but one. David's house must not be wholly destroyed, like those of Israel's kings, because a blessing was in it; that of the Messiah. Good men may be afflicted with diseases; but to them they are fatherly chastisements, and by the support of Divine consolations the soul may dwell at ease, even when the body lies in pain. To be sick and poor, sick and solitary, but especially to be sick and in sin, sick and under the curse of God, sick and without grace to bear it, is a most deplorable case. Wickedness and profaneness make men despicable, even in the eyes of those who have but little religion.

Cross References 27

  • 1. 1 Kings 22:50
  • 2. [2 Chronicles 24:5]
  • 3. See 2 Chronicles 11:5
  • 4. [See ver. 2 above]
  • 5. For ver. 5-10, see 2 Kings 8:17-22
  • 6. [ver. 20]
  • 7. See 1 Kings 12:28-30; 1 Kings 16:31-33
  • 8. 2 Chronicles 18:1; 2 Kings 8:18
  • 9. See 1 Kings 11:36; [2 Samuel 21:17]
  • 10. ver. 10
  • 11. ver. 8
  • 12. Exodus 34:16; Leviticus 17:7; Leviticus 20:5
  • 13. 2 Chronicles 17:3
  • 14. 2 Chronicles 14:2-5
  • 15. [See ver. 6 above]
  • 16. [See ver. 11 above]
  • 17. See 1 Kings 16:31-33
  • 18. ver. 4
  • 19. ver. 18, 19
  • 20. [1 Kings 11:14, 23]
  • 21. 2 Chronicles 17:11; 2 Chronicles 22:1; 2 Chronicles 26:7
  • 22. 2 Chronicles 25:23; [2 Chronicles 22:6]
  • 23. ver. 15
  • 24. 2 Chronicles 16:14
  • 25. [ver. 5]
  • 26. [Jeremiah 22:18]
  • 27. [2 Chronicles 24:25; 2 Chronicles 28:27]

Footnotes 2

Chapter Summary


This chapter relates Jehoram's succession to the throne of Judah, and the murders and idolatries committed by him, 2Ch 21:1-7, the revolt of the Edomites from him, and some of his own people, 2Ch 21:8-11, a writing of Elijah to him, threatening a great plague to him and his family, 2Ch 21:12-15, the raising up of several enemies against him, 2Ch 21:16,17, his sickness, death, and burial, 2Ch 21:18-20.

2 Chronicles 21 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.