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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Slept.—Lay down. The verse is literally the same as 1Kings 22:50.2 Kings 8:16 note). His eight years 2 Chronicles 21:5 must be counted from the time of his association, in his father's 23rd year.
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.2 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 21.
Jehoram is made king, and slayeth his brethren, 2 Chronicles 21:1-4. His wicked reign, 2 Chronicles 21:5-7. Edom and Libnah revolt 2 Chronicles 21:8-11. The prophecy of Elijah against him in writing, 2 Chronicles 21:12-15. The Philistines and Arabians oppress him; his incurable disease, death, and burial, 2 Chronicles 21:16-20.
No text from Poole on this verse. 1 Kings 22:50. 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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2 Chronicles 21:1 (= 1 Kings 22:50). Jehoshaphat succeeded by JehoramVerse 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. 1 Kings 22:41-51, where they, supplemented by some notes (1 Kings 22:45, 1 Kings 22:48, and 1 Kings 22:49) which are wanting in the Chronicle, form the whole account of his reign. In the statements as to Jehoshaphat's age at his accession, and the length and character of his reign, both accounts agree, except that the author of the Chronicle has, instead of the stereotyped formula, "and the people still sacrificed and offered incense upon the high places," a remark more significant of the state of affairs: "and the people had not yet determinedly turned their heart to the God of their fathers" (2 Chronicles 20:33). The notice that Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel (1 Kings 22:45) is not found in the Chronicle, because that would, as a matter of course, follow from Jehoshaphat's having joined affinity with the royal house of Ahab, and had been already sufficiently attested by the narrative in 2 Chronicles 18, and is so still further by the undertaking spoken of in 2 Chronicles 20:35. For the same reason, the clause introduced in 1 Kings 22:46 about the valiant acts and the wars of Jehoshaphat is omitted in the Chronicle, as these acts have been specially narrated here. As to Jehu's speeches, which were put into the book of Kings, see the Introduction. Further, the remark on the driving out of the remaining Sodomites (קדשׁ) from the land, 1 Kings 22:47, which refers back to 1 Kings 15:12, is wanting here, because this speciality is not mentioned in the case of Asa. Finally, the remark that Edom had no king, but only a viceroy or deputy, serves in 1 Kings 22:48 only as an introduction to the succeeding account of Jehoshaphat's attempt to open up anew the sea traffic with Ophir. But on that subject the author of the Chronicle only recounts in 2 Chronicles 20:35-37 that Jehoshaphat allied himself with the godless Ahaziah the king of Israel to build in Ezion-gaber ships to go to Tarshish, was censured for it by the prophet Eliezer, who announced to him that Jahve would destroy his work, and that thereupon the ships were broken, doubtless by a storm, and so could not go upon the voyage. אהרי־כן does not definitely fix the time (cf. 2 Chronicles 20:1), but only states that the alliance with Ahaziah took place after the victory over the Ammonites and Moabites. Ahaziah ascended the throne in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat, and reigned scarcely two years, and the enterprise under discussion falls in that period. אתחבּר is an Aramaic form for התחבּר.
The last clause of v. 38, "he did wickedly," Bertheau refers to Jehoshaphat: he did wrong; because the context shows that these words are intended to contain a censure on Jehoshaphat for his connection with the king of the northern kingdom. But this remark, though substantially correct, by no means proves that הוּא refers to Jehoshaphat. The words contain a censure on Jehoshaphat on account of his alliance with Ahaziah, even if they describe Ahaziah's conduct. We must, with the older commentators, take the words to refer to Ahaziah, for הרשׁיע is much too strong a word for Jehoshaphat's fault in the matter. The author of the Chronicle does indeed use the word הרשׁיע of Jehoshaphat's grandson Ahaziah, 2 Chronicles 22:3, in the clause, "his mother, a daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, was for הרשׁיע his counsellor," but only that he may characterize the acts of the Ahabic house. Jehoshaphat allied himself with the wicked Ahaziah to build ships תּרשׁישׁ ללכת, to go to Tarshish; and they built ships at Ezion-gaber, i.e., on the Red Sea. Instead of this, we have in 1 Kings 22:49 : Jehoshaphat built Tarshish ships to go to Ophir for gold. Hence it is manifest that in both passages the same undertaking is spoken of, and the expression "Tarshish ships" is paraphrased in the Chronicle by "ships to go to Tarshish." This periphrasis is, however, a mistake; for Tarshish ships are merely ships which, like those going to Tarshish, were built for long sea voyages, for Jehoshaphat merely desired to renew the voyages to Ophir. With the exception of this erroneous interpretation of the words, Tarshish ships, the two narratives agree, if we only keep in mind the fact that both are incomplete extracts from a more detailed account of this enterprise. The Chronicle supplies us with an explanatory commentary on the short account in 1 Kings 22:49, both in the statement that Jehoshaphat allied himself with Ahaziah of Israel for the preparation of the ships, and also in communicating the word of the prophet Eliezer as to the enterprise, which makes clear to us the reason for the destruction of the ships; while in 1 Kings 22:49 merely the fact of their destruction is recorded. Of the prophet Eliezer nothing further is known than the saying here communicated. His father's name, Dodavahu, is analogous in form to Hodavya, Joshavya (see on 1 Chronicles 3:24), so that there is no good ground to alter it into דּודיּהוּ, friend of Jahve, after the Doodi'a of the lxx. As to Mareshah, see on 2 Chronicles 11:8. The perfect פּרץ is prophetic: Jahve will rend thy work asunder. The words which follow record the fulfilment. עצר as in 2 Chronicles 13:20; 2 Chronicles 14:10. With this the chronicler's account of this enterprise concludes; while in 1 Kings 22:50 it is further stated that, after the destruction of the ships first built, Ahaziah called upon Jehoshaphat still to undertake the Ophir voyage in common with him, and to build new ships for the purpose, but Jehoshaphat would not. The ground of his refusal may easily be gathered from 2 Chronicles 20:37 of the Chronicle.
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