Study Guide

2 Chronicles Chapter 21

Chapter 21

King Jehoram Fails Miserably

  • Jehoshaphat dies, leaving his son Jehoram to rule in Judah.
  • Jehoram's got a couple younger brothers, but when he becomes king, he has them all killed. Sibling rivalry, we think they call it.
  • The Chronicler is pretty clear that this new king is terrible. He's just like those kings up in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. And why not? He's the son who married King Ahab's daughter, Athaliah. Maybe he learned his wicked ways from her.
  • But even though God has a thing for smiting the wicked, he doesn't mess with Jehoram. God did promise that David's descendants would always reign, and Jehoram—bad as he is—is a descendant of David.
  • So: free pass? Not quite.
  • It's a rough reign for Jehoram. Edom is under Judah's control until that country rebels. Libnah also has some issues with the new king because he's not following God.
  • Things are so bad that Elijah (a super famous prophet from the Northern Kingdom of Israel) writes to him.
  • He lets King Jehoram know that he's totally gone astray. He's nothing like his father or grandfather, who at least tried to follow God. He's corrupted Judah just as much as Ahab corrupted Israel.
  • As a punishment, God is going to make things difficult for the people in Judah. Elijah predicts that the Jehoram himself will catch a horrible stomach disease and die in the grossest and most painful way possible. Specifically, his bowels will fall out.
  • God follows through on his threats. He gets the Philistines, Arabs, and Ethiopians to attack Judah. They sack and loot the city and kill all Jehoram's wives and sons except for the youngest one.
  • To top it all off, God gives Jehoram that incurable bowel disease. The king wastes away for two years before his insides finally liquefy and fall out. It's incredibly painful.
  • Because he was such a bad king, no one in Judah really cares when Jehoram dies. They don't build any fires like they did to honor the passing of the former kings. And they don't bury him with the other kings.

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