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2 Kings 8:16-29 – Jehoram and Ahaziah of Judah


Jehoram of Judah (850-843) is strongly censured for his alliance with Ahab of Israel cemented with his marriage to one of Ahab's daughters. The reign of Ahaziah (843), his son, is similarly condemned for these foreign alliances with the Omrides.


Jehoram of Judah (also called by the shortened form, Joram, vv. 21, 23, 24; not to be confused with Jehoram of Israel, 3:1-8, who is also called Joram in 8:16) reigned during a politically disastrous time in the southern kingdom. Two examples appear in our text:
•    Verses 20-22a recount the revolt of Edom, a serious financial loss to Judah. In a failed effort to regain his losses, Jehoram's infantry deserted the king who just barely escaped with his life.
•    Verse 22b states that Libnah, a town on the Philistine border in the vicinity of Lachish (see also 19:8), also broke away from Judah's control at this time.

Jehoram and his son, Ahaziah, shared the severe condemnation of the Deuteronomistic editors that they followed the ways of the house of Ahab (vv. 18, 27). The editors even suggest that their evil was due to the complicated family ties they shared with the northern royal family. Jehoram secured a political alliance with Israel by marrying one of Ahab's daughters, probably Athaliah, Ahaziah's mother, which means that Ahaziah's grandfather was Ahab and his great-grandfather was the powerful Israelite ruler Omri.

2 Kings 8:16-29

Jehoram Reigns over Judah

16 In the fifth year of King Joram son of Ahab of Israel,* Jehoram son of King Jehoshaphat of Judah began to reign. 17He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned for eight years in Jerusalem. 18He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 19Yet the Lord would not destroy Judah, for the sake of his servant David, since he had promised to give a lamp to him and to his descendants for ever.

20 In his days Edom revolted against the rule of Judah, and set up a king of their own. 21Then Joram crossed over to Zair with all his chariots. He set out by night and attacked the Edomites and their chariot commanders who had surrounded him;* but his army fled home. 22So Edom has been in revolt against the rule of Judah to this day. Libnah also revolted at the same time. 23Now the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? 24So Joram slept with his ancestors, and was buried with them in the city of David; his son Ahaziah succeeded him.

Ahaziah Reigns over Judah

25 In the twelfth year of King Joram son of Ahab of Israel, Ahaziah son of King Jehoram of Judah began to reign. 26Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; he reigned for one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of King Omri of Israel. 27He also walked in the way of the house of Ahab, doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was son-in-law to the house of Ahab.

28 He went with Joram son of Ahab to wage war against King Hazael of Aram at Ramoth-gilead, where the Arameans wounded Joram. 29King Joram returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramah, when he fought against King Hazael of Aram. King Ahaziah son of Jehoram of Judah went down to see Joram son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was wounded.

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