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Monday, May 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 21

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-20

Chapter 21

Now Jehoshaphat died, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And Jehoram his son reigned in his stead. And he had brothers who were also sons of Jehoshaphat [and it names several of the brothers]. And Jehoshaphat had given to his sons great gifts of silver, gold, and precious things, and he gave them cities: but the kingdom he gave to Jehoram; because he was [his oldest,] the firstborn. Now when Jehoram was risen up to the kingdom of his father [verse 2 Chronicles 21:4 ], he strengthened himself, and killed all of his brothers with the sword, and also many of the princes of Israel. And Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. He walked in the way of the kings of Israel [that is, the northern kings who were wicked], 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 ).

Now here is where Jehoshaphat's seeking to become friends and joining affinity with the kings of Israel got him into trouble. For, no doubt, on some of his ventures up to the kingdom of Israel and visiting Ahab, he took his oldest son with him, Jehoram, who saw the daughter of Ahab and fell in love with her. And of course, because he was seeking to make an affinity with the kings, they arranged the marriage and his oldest son married the daughter of wicked Ahab, who was also the daughter of Jezebel. And thus, she had the same kind of an influence upon her husband Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat, as did Jezebel upon Ahab, a very wicked influence in the kingdom.

Now this is where the dad may say, "Well, I can go and it won't bother me. I know how to handle myself and I won't be touched by the thing." But yet, his son going with him was the one that was affected and hurt by the relationship. And so we need to be careful of the relationships that we develop, not only for our own sake. You may be able to handle it. But it can have disastrous results in your family, your children. They may not be able to handle those pressures.

And so had he not been going up and seeking to make these kinds of friendship ventures towards Ahab, no doubt his son would never have met this Athaliah and married her, and thus, this horrible thing would not have transpired. It cost him the rest of his sons. All of the rest of the sons were killed by this one boy who was given the kingdom. He was influenced for evil by the wife that he married who was the daughter of that wicked king Ahab. And she had an evil influence in Judah for a period of time.

Howbeit the LORD would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David ( 2 Chronicles 21:7 ),

Now during the days of this...and remember he only reigned for eight years. But as he began to reign, first of all, the Edomites rebelled from under their dominion. And then the people of Libnah rebelled against them.

And there came to him a writing 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 the king of Judah, But you've walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and you have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and you've also slain your brothers of your father's house, which were better than you: Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite your people, and your children, and your wives, and all of your goods: and you will have a great sickness by the disease of your bowels, until your bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day ( 2 Chronicles 21:12-15 ).

"You're going to die a slow death as your bowels fall out." So God's disease that He was going to bring upon him because of his wickedness. And he was only about forty years old at the time of his death. So died at a relatively young age, but because of that wickedness, this message from Elijah the prophet. Now some people see difficulty here, because if you go back to II Kings it would seem that Elijah died while Jehoshaphat was still king. Elijah basically was not a prophet to Judah; he was a prophet to Israel. And he was a prophet during the time of Ahab in the northern kingdom. It was Ahab and Jezebel that Elijah was really chiding for their wickedness, and he was a real thorn unto Ahab.

But as you go back to Kings where the recording of the death of Elijah takes place there in the second chapter, it would just appear that the writer of II Kings just throws in the account of his death because he's going to move now to the southern kingdom and talk about it for a while. So he doesn't follow a chronological order. There would seem to be about a six-year difference here, but it was only that he recorded the death of Elijah out of a chronological sequence in II Kings. And so Elijah wrote this message of rebuke and of judgment that is going to come upon the son of Jehoshaphat because of his evil.

And the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and the Arabians, that were near the Ethiopians: and they came up into Judah, they broke into it, they carried away the substance that was found in the king's house, his sons also, and his wives; and there was never a son left, save Jehoahaz, his youngest of his sons ( 2 Chronicles 21:16-17 ).

So the Arabians and the Philistines also began to attack. I mean the kingdom went so quickly. In eight years just deteriorated down to nothing. The Edomites revolted, the people of Libnah revolted, and now the Philistines, the Arabians, they come in and take everything. They took all of his wives, took all of his children. Left only one, his youngest son Jehoahaz.

And after this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. And it came to pass, that in process of time, at the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases ( 2 Chronicles 21:18-19 ).

And here the declaration:

They made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers ( 2 Chronicles 21:19 ).

Now that was a time of mourning where they would mourn people and build fires. Stay up all night in mourning. But not for him.

Thirty-two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in eight years, and he departed without being desired ( 2 Chronicles 21:20 ).

The story of a wicked man. He departed without. No one mourned his going. "He departed without being desired."

Howbeit they buried him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchre of the kings ( 2 Chronicles 21:20 ).


Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 21". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/2-chronicles-21.html. 2014.
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