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Jehoram Of Judah

King Jehoram was the successor of his father Jehoshaphat as king of Judah (see Jehoshaphat Of Judah). Although The Southern Kingdom of "Judah" and The Northern Kingdom of "Israel" were then two separate and independent kingdoms (see The Division Of Israel), there were some connections maintained. The most unwise one for Jehoram was that he married "Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel" of the northern kingdom (see Ahab Of Israel). Her poisonous influence, combined with Jehoram's weak and immoral nature, resulted in "evil in the eyes of the LORD," including when he "slew all his brethren with the sword."

"21:1 Now Jehoshaphat slept [see The Sleep Of Death] with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And Jehoram his son reigned in his stead.

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. 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. 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.

21:5 Jehoram was thirty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 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." (2 Chronicles 21:1-6 KJV)

"He wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD"

Jehoram reigned eight evil years in Jerusalem, a time when "the LORD would not destroy Judah for David his servant's sake."

The Holy Scriptures

"8:16 And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign. 8:17 Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 8:18 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the LORD. 8:19 Yet the LORD would not destroy Judah for David his servant's sake, as he promised him to give him alway a light, and to his children." (2 Kings 8:16-19 KJV)

The wrath of the LORD (i.e. of Jesus Christ; see Christ The Creator, 'Before Abraham Was, I AM' and 'The God Of The Old Testament') was however always upon Jehoram. When Israel and Judah were obedient to the LORD, they were secure. No enemy was big enough to challenge them. On the other hand, when they became wicked, any nation around them could do as they pleased to Israel and Judah. It wasn't a matter of their enemies becoming strong; it was a matter of Israel and Judah becoming morally weak, with rampant perversion and degeneracy (very much like the western "Christian" nations of today that are collapsing in upon themselves because their national framework has been squandered and perverted by the financially and morally delinquent "rights without responsibilities" children - lusting savages who are no more than faint shadows of their forefathers who built those nations upon genuine military honor, moral decency and Godly-respect for one's fellow man).

"21:8 In his days the Edomites revolted from under the dominion of Judah, and made themselves a king. 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. 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. 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 21:8-11 KJV)

The prophet Elijah (see The Prophets: Elijah) had been taken away into heaven by a chariot of fire before Jehoram became king; Elisha (see The Prophets: Elisha) was continuing the ministry of Elijah when Jehoram's father Jehoshaphat was still king i.e. "3:11 But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD, that we may inquire of the LORD by him? And one of the king of Israel's servants answered and said, Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah" (2 Kings 3:11 KJV). Nevertheless, a few years later, after Elijah was "gone into heaven," Jehoram received a warning letter from Elijah who was not in "heaven," but still somewhere on earth (see the Fact Finder question below to understand just what "heaven" Elijah flew into).

"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, 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: 21:14 Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods: 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 21:12-15 KJV)

Judah's enemies were then even able to come in and loot the king's palace, even taking away the king's wives and children.

"21:16 Moreover the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that were near the Ethiopians: 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 21:16-17 KJV)

The final act of wrath was an illness that killed Jehoram after two years of suffering.

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

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." (2 Chronicles 21:18-20 KJV)

Fact Finder: Elijah the prophet ascended into heaven on a "chariot of fire" during the reign of Jehoshaphat (i.e. Jehoshaphat was still king after Elisha had succeeded Elijah - 2 Kings 3:11). How then could King Jehoram, who succeeded Jehoshaphat as king, have received a letter from Elijah after Elijah was taken away? Where did Elijah really go?
See Where Did Elijah Go?

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