|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:1-11 Jehoram hated his brethren, and slew them, for the same reason that Cain hated Abel, and slew him, because their piety condemned his impiety. In the mystery of Providence such men sometimes prosper for a time; but the Lord has righteous purposes in permitting such events, part of which may now be made out, and the rest will be seen hereafter.
Verse 1. - The parallel for this verse is 1 Kings 22:50; and, with the exception of one word, it is an exact parallel. To understand the questions set in motion by the last clause of the verse, comparison must be made of 2 Kings 1:17; 2 Kings 3:1; 2 Kings 8:16. For anything that appears here, we should take for granted that Jehoram now first began to exercise any royal authority and enjoy any royal dignity. But the first of the just-quoted passages says Jehoram (of Israel) succeeded his wicked brother Ahaziah in the second year of Jehoram (of Judah), son of Jehoshaphat. In the second of the above-quoted passages, however, we are told that the same Jehoram (of Israel) succeeded to the throne in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat, which date tallies with our parallel of last chapter (1 Kings 22:41), to the effect that Jehoshaphat himself began to reign in Ahab's fourth year, and Ahaziah in Jeho-saphat's seventeenth year. While, lastly, the third of the above-quoted references says that in the fifth year of Joram (of Israel), "Jehoshaphat being then King of Judah" (which, however, is itself an unfaithful rendering of what must be a corrupt text), his son Jehoram "began to reign." It has therefore been conjectured that the royal name was given Jehoram (of Judah) by his father in his father's sixteenth year, and that in his twenty-third year he further invested him with some royal power (our ver. 3 gives some plausibility to this conjecture), from which last date Jehoram's "eight years" (2 Kings 8:17; 2 Chronicles 21:5, 20) must be reckoned; this was not less than two years before the death of Jehoshaphat. Were it not for the countenance that our third verse (describing the cut-and-dried arrangements that the father made for his sons) gives to the tenableness of the above conjectures, we should prefer the conjecture that the passages commented upon are so much corrupt text.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers,.... See Gill on 1 Kings 22:50.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2Ch 21:1-4. Jehoram Succeeds Jehoshaphat.
1-4. Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers … Jehoram … reigned—The late king left seven sons; two of them are in our version named Azariah; but in the Hebrew they appear considerably different, the one being spelt "Azariah," and the other "Azariahu." Though Jehoshaphat had made his family arrangements with prudent precaution, and while he divided the functions of royalty in his lifetime (compare 2Ki 8:16), as well as fixed the succession to the throne in his oldest son, he appointed each of the others to the government of a fenced city, thus providing them with an honorable independence. But this good intentions were frustrated; for no sooner did Jehoram find himself in the sole possession of sovereign power than, from jealousy, or on account of their connections, he murdered all his brothers, together with some leading influential persons who, he suspected, were attached to their interest, or would avenge their deaths. Similar tragedies have been sadly frequent in Eastern courts, where the heir of the crown looks upon his brothers as his most formidable enemies, and is therefore tempted to secure his power by their death.
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