2 Chronicles 21

1 Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in David’s city, 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 Israel. 3 Their father gave them great gifts of silver, of gold, and of precious things, with fortified cities in Judah; but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram, because he was the firstborn. 4 Now when Jehoram had risen up over the kingdom of his father, and had strengthened himself, he killed all his brothers with the sword, and also some of the princes of Israel. 5 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 6 He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did Ahab’s house; for he had Ahab’s daughter as his wife. He did that which was evil in the LORD’s sight. 7 However the LORD would not destroy David’s house, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a lamp to him and to his children always. 8 In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves. 9 Then Jehoram went there with his captains and all his chariots with him. He rose up by night and struck the Edomites who surrounded him, along with the captains of the chariots. 10 So Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah to this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time from under his hand, because he had forsaken the LORD, the God of his fathers. 11 Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and made the inhabitants of Jerusalem play the prostitute, and led Judah astray. 12 A letter came to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, “the LORD, the God of David your father, says, ‘Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, 13 but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the prostitute like Ahab’s house did, and also have slain your brothers of your father’s house, who were better than yourself, 14 behold, the LORD will strike your people with a great plague, including your children, your wives, and all your possessions; 15 and you will have great sickness with a disease of your bowels, until your bowels fall out by reason of the sickness, day by day.’” 16 The LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians who are beside the Ethiopians; 17 and they came up against Judah, broke into it, and carried away all the possessions that were found in the king’s house, including his sons and his wives; so that there was no son left him, except Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons. 18 After all this the LORD struck him in his bowels with an incurable disease. 19 In process of time, at the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness, and he died of severe diseases. His people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers. 20 He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He departed without being missed; and they buried him in David’s city, but not in the tombs of the kings.

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Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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.

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