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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 21

Dr. Constable's Expository NotesConstable's Expository Notes

Verses 1-20

E. Jehoram ch. 21

The events from Jehoram’s reign that the Chronicler selected present a classic example of the consequences that follow departing from Yahweh. The king violated God’s will by murdering his brothers (2 Chronicles 21:4) and practicing idolatry (2 Chronicles 21:6).

"Jehoram is the first king of the Davidic line of whom the Chronicler’s judgment is totally negative." [Note: Williamson, 1 and 2 . . ., p. 303.]

"There is both irony and retributive justice in that Jehoram sets in motion events that would ultimately lead to the near obliteration of his own line (2 Chronicles 22:10; 2 Kings 11:1)." [Note: Dillard, 2 Chronicles, p. 165.]

The retributions Yahweh brought for these sins were the rebellion of and invasion by his neighbor nations (2 Chronicles 21:8-10; 2 Chronicles 21:16-17), his own painful death (2 Chronicles 21:18-19), and death with no one’s regret (2 Chronicles 21:19).

"It cannot be said too often that the tracing of cause and effect which so typifies Chr. does not imply that all suffering is the result of specific sin. The central point here relates rather to the folly and wickedness of usurping the place of God. Jehoram did not merely aim to exercise authority. He sought to control destinies. The same urge is not absent from the twentieth century." [Note: McConville, pp. 198-99.]

Even though Jehoram apostatized, largely through the influence of his wife and in-laws in Israel (2 Chronicles 21:6), God did not cut off the Davidic line. This was because He had promised David He would never do that (2 Chronicles 21:7).

It is significant that the prophet God sent to announce judgment on Jehoram was Elijah (2 Chronicles 21:12). Elijah’s ministry was to condemn Baalism in Israel, but God sent him to Jehoram because Jehoram shared the same guilt as the kings of Ahab’s house. This is the only record we have of a prophet from the Northern Kingdom rebuking a king of the Southern Kingdom. All the other prophets God sent to the Davidic kings were from Judah.

"As with most illnesses mentioned in the Old Testament, we are left to conjecture about the clinically imprecise vocabulary. Ulcers, colitis, chronic diarrhea, and dysentery have been proposed." [Note: Thompson, p. 300.]

The reference to Jehoshaphat having been the king of Israel (2 Chronicles 21:2) is not an error. As we have already noted, the Chronicler regarded Judah as the true Israel and sometimes referred to Judah as Israel (cf. 2 Chronicles 12:6; 2 Chronicles 23:2; et al.).

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 21". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/2-chronicles-21.html. 2012.
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