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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 21

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

Now Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And Jehoram his son reigned in his stead.

And Jehoram his son reigned. — Than whom a worse could hardly be found: but as the Constantinopolitans were told, that for their wickedness they were justly plagued with a Phocas; so were these perverse Hierosolymitans with a Jehoram.

Verse 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.

King of Israel. — Of all Israel by right; but really, of a part of them only.

Verse 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.

With fenced cities. — Herein he dealt wisely; as it is said of Rehoboam for the like. 2 Chronicles 11:2-3 But "the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor yet bread to the wise," … Ecclesiastes 9:11-12

Verse 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.

He strengthened himself. — By gifts, likely, he gained to his party vain men, as Jeroboam also did, in those cities that were given to his brethren.

He slew all his brethren with the sword. — All, lewd losel (profligate)! what a bloody foundation was here laid of his kingdom - not unlike that of Cain, of Cambyses, of Romulus, of Jugurtha, of Caracalla, of the cruel Turks at this day - but it came home to him, as God is the avenger of all such. See God’s judgments upon his sons shortly after, 2 Chronicles 21:17 and also upon his grandchildren. 2 Chronicles 22:10-11 Only Jehoahaz was left of the one, and Joash of the other; and these also merely for God’s promise’ sake to David. 2 Chronicles 21:7

Verse 5

Jehoram [was] thirty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.

Jehoram was thirty and two. — See 2 Kings 8:17 .

Verse 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.

And he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. — He was an idolater, and therefore so cruel and bloody minded toward his innocent brethren. It is probable that he charged them with high treason, which ever was unicum crimen eorum qui crimine vacabant, saith Lipsius; but the Hebrews say that he slew them because they walked in the good ways of their father Jehoshaphat, and would not yield to his idolatries; and then it was the worse: those princes might be put to death as their partisans.

For he had the daughter of Ahab to wife, — viz., Wicked Athaliah, that Jezebel of Jerusalem. She is called also the daughter of Omri, Ahab’s father, to denote the deep ingraffing of idolatrous principles within her breast, as taking them from two such arch-idolaters.

Verse 7

Howbeit the LORD would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a light to him and to his sons for ever.

As he promised to give a light to him.Successionem stirpis regiae et splendidae. Out of this "light," or lamp, came at length that "Sun of righteousness," "the Light of the world," Christ Jesus. See on 2 Kings 8:19 .

Verse 8

In his days the Edomites revolted from under the dominion of Judah, and made themselves a king.

In his days the Edomites. — See on 2 Kings 8:20 .

Verse 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.

And smote the Edomites. — But could not subdue them. They might be more troublesome, as Carthage was to Rome, when but half destroyed, than before he meddled with them.

Verse 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.

Did Libnah revolt. — See 2 Kings 8:22 .

Verse 11

Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah [thereto].

Moreover he made high places.Quasi bellum Deo indicens. - Lavat. He restored what his father and grandfather had destroyed, Heroum filii noxae. The reason whereof some give is this, that God may show that good children are his gift alone. And again, good men are oft so intent upon the public affairs in state and church, that they neglect their private, and give not their children so good education as they should.

To commit fornication. — To worship Baal. See 2 Kings 9:22 . This was the worse, because in Jerusalem, the holy city; and because he caused them to do it, partly by his allurements, and partly by affrightments; as did Julian also the apostate, qui persuadendo persecutus est.

Verse 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,

And there came a writing to him. — Out of paradise, say some, by the hand of an angel, or of some faithful man, to whom Elias appeared after his death, as he did afterwards to the three disciples at Christ’s transfiguration. Others deny that this was Elijah the Tishbite - which title is not here given unto him - but another Elijah; or they say that it was Elisha, bearing the name of Elijah, because he came in the spirit of Elijah, that the writing might have the more authority and weight. This is rather to cut than to untie the knot. They do better who say, that Elijah the Tishbite, foreseeing by the Spirit 1 Kings 13:2 Isaiah 45:1 that Jehoram would do so wickedly, wrote this epistle whilst he was yet alive, and left it with Elisha, or some other trusty person, to be sent unto Jehoram when he should see his time. Let us consider that letters are sent to us also from heaven, sc., the writings of the prophets and apostles, warning us to repent.

Verse 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:

And hast also slain thy brethren. — This Jehoram would not hear of by word of mouth: he is told of it therefore by a letter.

Verse 14

Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods:

Smite thy people. — Because too flexible to thy will.

And thy children — For a just punishment of thy fratricide.

Verse 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.

And thou shalt have great sickness.Eris in morbis. See this accomplished. 2 Chronicles 21:19

Until thy bowels fall out. — Philip II of Spain, who set forth the great armada against England, 1588, and was a great persecutor of the Lutherans within his own dominions, died a like death, A.D. 1598. So did Herod, Maximian, Arrius, …

Verse 16

Moreover the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that [were] near the Ethiopians:

Moreover the Lord stirred up. — And so fulfilled all that Elijah had foretold: why is he not then better believed? If some astrologer had once or twice prognosticated, and it proved true, he should be much cried up and credited. And shall not God’s prophets be so? "Believe the prophets, and ye shall prosper." But many believe them no otherwise than they do the predictions of an almanac, if so much.

And of the Arabians. — The inhabitants of Arabia Felix and Petraea. These were instigated, likely, by the Edomites, whom Jehoram sought to reduce, but could not.

Verse 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.

And carried away all the substance. — Plundered the chief city also, and the king’s palace. Jerusalem, after it became idolatrous, was ten times taken: Rome, since it became Papal, was never besieged but it was also taken and plundered. This word plunder, which we first heard of in the Swedish wars, is said to come from planum dare, to level or plane all to nothing; or from the Dutch, as if it were to plume or pluck the feathers of a bird to the bare skin.

And his sons also. — Whom they slew. 2 Chronicles 22:1

And his wives. — Athaliah escaped, for a public mischief.

Verse 18

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

And after all this. — Because he proved incorrigible. Plectimur, nec tamen flectimur.

Smote him in his bowels. — So he did Arrius; John de Roma, that cruel persecutor; Alexander, the cruel keeper of Newgate; Twiford, who was executioner of Frith, Bayfield, Bainham, Lambert, Tewkesbury, and other good men in Henry VIII’s time; Act. and Mon., 1904; Ibid., 1146. and Arminius, who, being grievously tormented with a cough, gout, ague, and incessant pain in his bowels, ended his wretched days at Leyden, where he had craftily revived the heresy of Pelagius.

Verse 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.

After the end of two years. — This was a long while to lie under so intolerable a disease; and yet all this was but a typical hell, a foretaste of eternal torments, unless he repented.

Verse 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.

Departed without being desired.Ingloria vita recessit. As he lived wickedly, so he died wishedly. The like is reported of Tiberius the emperor; of Mohammed I; of Edwin, king of this land; of William Rufus, who died unlamented, as being a contemner of all religion, alieni appetens, sacrorum direptor, et avaritia et saevitia infamis, saith the historian.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 21". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/2-chronicles-21.html. 1865-1868.
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