2 Chronicles 21

Jehoram Succeeds Jehoshaphat in Judah

1 1Then Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and Jehoram his son became king in his place.
2 He had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azaryahu, Michael and Shephatiah. All these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king 2of Israel.
3 Their father gave them many gifts of silver, gold and precious things, 3with fortified cities in Judah, but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram because he was the firstborn.
4 Now when Jehoram had taken over the kingdom of his father and made himself secure, he 4killed all his brothers with the sword, and some of the rulers of Israel also.
5 5Jehoram was thirty-two * years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
6 6He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab did (7for Ahab's daughter was his wife ), and he did evil in the sight of the LORD.
7 Yet the LORD was not willing to destroy the house of David because of the covenant which He had made with David, 8and since He had promised to give a lamp to him and his sons forever *.

Revolt against Judah

8 In his days 9Edom revolted against * * the rule of Judah and set up a king over themselves.
9 Then Jehoram crossed over with his commanders and all his chariots with him. And he arose by night and struck down the Edomites who were surrounding him and the commanders of the chariots.
10 So Edom revolted against * * Judah to this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time against * his rule, because he had forsaken the LORD God of his fathers.
11 Moreover, 10he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem 11to play the harlot and led Judah astray.
12 Then a letter came to him from Elijah the prophet saying, "Thus says the LORD God of your father David, 'Because * 12you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father 13and the ways of Asa king of Judah,
13 but 14have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have caused Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot 15as the house of Ahab played the harlot, and you 16have also killed your brothers, your own family *, who were better than you,
14 behold, the LORD is going to strike your people, your sons, your wives and all your possessions with a great calamity;
15 and 17you will suffer severe sickness, a disease of your bowels, until your bowels come out because of the sickness, day by day.' "
16 Then 18the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines and 19the Arabs who bordered * the Ethiopians;
17 and they came against Judah and invaded it, and carried away all the possessions found in the king's house together with his sons and his wives, so that no son was left to him except * 20Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.
18 So after all this the LORD smote him 21in his bowels with an incurable * sickness.
19 Now it came about in the course * of time, at the end of two years, that his bowels came out because of his sickness and he died in great pain. And his people made no fire for him like 22the fire for his fathers.
20 He was thirty-two * years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years; and he departed 23with no one's regret, and they buried him in the city of David, 24but 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 24

  • 1. 1 Kings 22:50
  • 2. 2 Chronicles 12:6; 2 Chronicles 23:2
  • 3. 2 Chronicles 11:5
  • 4. Genesis 4:8; Judges 9:5
  • 5. 2 Kings 8:17-22
  • 6. 1 Kings 12:28-30
  • 7. 2 Chronicles 18:1
  • 8. 2 Samuel 7:12-17; 1 Kings 11:13, 36
  • 9. 2 Chronicles 20:22, 23; 2 Chronicles 21:10
  • 10. 1 Kings 11:7
  • 11. Leviticus 20:5
  • 12. 2 Chronicles 17:3, 4
  • 13. 2 Chronicles 14:2-5
  • 14. 2 Chronicles 21:6
  • 15. 1 Kings 16:31-33
  • 16. 2 Chronicles 21:4
  • 17. 2 Chronicles 21:18, 19
  • 18. 2 Chronicles 33:11
  • 19. 2 Chronicles 17:11; 2 Chronicles 22:1
  • 20. 2 Chronicles 25:23
  • 21. 2 Chronicles 21:15
  • 22. 2 Chronicles 16:14
  • 23. Jeremiah 22:18, 28
  • 24. 2 Chronicles 24:25; 2 Chronicles 28:27

Footnotes 12

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

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California.  All rights reserved.