JEHORAM

Judah and Israel each had a king named Jehoram (often shortened to Joram). Judah’s Jehoram was the son of the good king Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:50). However, he himself was wicked. He married Athaliah, daughter of the Israelite king Ahab and his Baalist wife Jezebel, and introduced the Baalism of Jezebel into Judah (2 Kings 8:16-18; 2 Chron 21:4-6). To make sure no one stopped him doing as he pleased, he killed all likely rivals. Because of his wickedness, Elijah assured him of a horrible death (2 Chron 21:11-15).

During his reign Edom and Philistia broke free from Judah’s rule (2 Chron 21:8), and Arab raiders plundered Judah with much success (2 Chron 21:16-17). In one attack they killed most of the royal family (2 Chron 22:1). Jehoram died a horrible death as predicted, and no one regretted his departure (2 Chron 21:18-20). Israel’s Jehoram (often called Joram, to avoid confusion) was brother-in-law to Judah’s Jehoram. He was the second son of Ahab and Jezebel, and became king when his older brother Ahaziah died as a result of an accident (1 Kings 22:51; 2 Kings 1:2,17; 3:1). Though not as devoted to Baal as his parents, he remained in conflict with Elisha, the prophet who led God’s opposition to Baal (2 Kings 3:1-3,13; 6:30- 31). When wounded in battle with Syria, Joram returned to his summer palace in Jezreel to recover. There he was assassinated by his army commander Jehu, who then seized the throne and began a violent antiBaal purge (2 Kings 8:28-29; 9:14-26).

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