2 Kings 1:17
So he died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17, 18) Concluding remarks added by the compiler.

(17) And Jehoram.—LXX. (Alex.), Syriac, and Vulgate add “his brother,” an expression which has fallen out of the Hebrew text, owing to its resemblance to the next (tahtāw, “in his stead”). (Comp. 2Kings 3:1, “son of Ahab.”)

In the second year of Jehoram.—Vat. LXX., “in the eighteenth year,” which is probably right. (Comp. 1Kings 22:52, “Ahaziah . . . reigned over Israel in . . . the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat . . . and he reigned two years.” Either, therefore, our present Heb. text is corrupt, or the compiler followed a different source in this place.) Thenius proposes the reading, “in the twenty-second year of Jehoshaphat,” in place of “in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat.”

2 Kings 1:17. Jehoram reigned in his stead — Namely, his brother, because he had no son. In the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat — To avoid confusion, the reader should take notice, that in the course of this history, there is mention made of two Jehorams; one the second son of Ahab, who succeeded Ahaziah, and was king of Israel; the other, the heir of Jehoshaphat, who reigned in Judah. By comparing 2 Kings 3:1, and 2 Kings 8:16, it will appear that there is a considerable difference in the reading of the dates, which made Houbigant suppose that some errors have crept into the text. To reconcile, however, the above-mentioned passages, some have supposed that Jehoshaphat, in his seventeenth year, when he went to Ahab, and with him to Ramoth-gilead, appointed his son Jehoram his viceroy, and (in case of his death) his successor. In the second year from that time, when Jehoram was thus made vice-king in his father’s stead and absence, this Jehoram, Ahab’s son, began to reign: and in the fifth year of the reign of this Jehoram, son of Ahab, which was about the twenty- fourth year of Jehoshaphat’s reign, Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, was made king of Judah, together with his father. This supposition, if allowed, will, in a great degree, clear up the difficulty. 1:9-18 Elijah called for fire from heaven, to consume the haughty, daring sinners; not to secure himself, but to prove his mission, and to reveal the wrath of God from heaven, against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Elijah did this by a Divine impulse, yet our Saviour would not allow the disciples to do the like, Lu 9:54. The dispensation of the Spirit and of grace by no means allowed it. Elijah was concerned for God's glory, those for their own reputation. The Lord judges men's practices by their principles, and his judgment is according to truth. The third captain humbled himself, and cast himself upon the mercy of God and Elijah. There is nothing to be got by contending with God; and those are wise for themselves, who learn submission from the fatal end of obstinacy in others. The courage of faith has often struck terror into the heart of the proudest sinner. So thunderstruck is Ahaziah with the prophet's words, that neither he, nor any about him, offer him violence. Who can harm those whom God shelters? Many who think to prosper in sin, are called hence like Ahaziah, when they do not expect it. All warns us to seek the Lord while he may be found.The similarity of names in the two royal houses of Israel and Judah at this time, and at no other, seems to be the consequence of the close ties which united the two reigning families, and is well noted among the "undesigned coincidences" of the Old Testament. The accession of the Israelite Jehoram (Ahab's brother) took place, according to 2 Kings 3:1, in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat. Jehoram of Judah perhaps received the royal title from his father as early as his father's sixteenth year, when he was about to join Ahab against the Syrians; the same year might then be called either the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat or the second year of Jehoram. 2Ki 1:17, 18. Ahaziah Dies, and Is Succeeded by Jehoram.

17. Jehoram—The brother of Ahaziah (see on [327]2Ki 3:1).

Jehoram; Ahaziah’s brother, 2 Kings 3:1, for he had no son to succeed him, as it here follows.

In the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat: other passages of Scripture seem to clash with this, as that Ahaziah, who reigned but two years, begun his reign in Jehoshaphat’s seventeenth year, 1 Kings 22:51; and therefore this Jehoram must begin his reign in Jehoshaphat’s nineteenth year; and therefore before the reign of Jehoram, Jehoshaphat’s son; and that Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat began to reign in the fifth year of Joram, Ahab’s son, 2 Kings 8:16.

Answ. These difficulties are easily resolved by this consideration, that it was a usual practice among kings in former ages, to make their sons sometimes their viceroys and deputies in the administration of the kingdom; and sometimes formally kings in conjunction with themselves, and whilst they lived; whereof there are instances, both in profane history, among the Persians, Greeks, and Romans, and in the sacred Scripture, as in David, 1 Chronicles 23:1 29:22, in Uzziah, 2 Chronicles 26:21, and (to come close to the point) in Jehoshaphat, 2 Kings 8:16; who in his seventeenth year, when he went to Ahab, and with him to Ramoth-gilead, appointed his son Jehoram his viceroy, and (in case of his death) his successor. In the second year from that time, when Jehoram was thus made vice-king in his father’s stead and absence, this Jehoram, Ahab’s son, began to reign; and in the fifth year of the reign of this Joram, son of Ahab, which was about the twenty-fourth year of Jehoshaphat’s reign,

Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat was formally made king of Judah, together with his father; or whilst Jehoshaphat lived, and was king of Judah also. And so all the places agree. To which some add, that this verse, or this part of it, wherein the difficulty consists, is wanting in some ancient copies, and is omitted by the LXX. interpreters; which is far more prudent and pious to grant, than upon such chronological difficulties to question the truth and divinity of the Holy Scriptures. So he died, according to the word of the Lord which Elijah had spoken,.... How long or how soon after this is not said; however, he died of the sickness, and on the bed to which he went up, as he said:

and Jehoram reigned in his stead: who was another son of Ahab, and brother of Ahaziah, 2 Kings 3:1, in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; but as he must begin his reign in the nineteenth, or in the latter end of the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat, see 1 Kings 22:51 and Jehoshaphat reigned in all twenty five years, 1 Kings 22:42, he must live and reign after this six or seven years; this therefore is to be reconciled by observing, that this son of Jehoshaphat was made viceroy, or was taken into partnership in the throne by his father when he went with Ahab to Ramothgilead; and it was in the second year of this his reign with his father that the other Jehoram began his:

because he had no son; that is, Ahaziah, wherefore his brother reigned in his stead.

So he died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. And {n} Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son.

(n) Jehoshaphat going to battle against the Syrians, made his son Jehoram king in the 17th year of his reign: and in the 18th year which was the second year of his son, Jehoram the son of Ahab reigned in Israel: and in the fifth year of this Jehoram Jehoshaphat died, and the kingdom of Judah was confirmed to his son.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. So he died] The whole narrative bears marks of extreme simplicity. Nothing but the barest facts are given, and no attempt made to explain or account for any part of the history. The touches which Josephus adds to the story mark the difference between the early and the later record. He describes the hasty return of the messengers and the king’s astonishment thereat. They relate how the prophet had hindered their further journey. The first captain threatens force to the prophet if he refuse to obey the king’s order, and the second is equally imperative. The third captain is described as prudent and exceeding gentle in disposition, and as speaking friendly to Elijah, and explaining that he himself, as well as the other two bands had only come because they were forced to do so, and that this, of course, the prophet knew. The language and demeanour were acceptable to Elijah and so he followed the captain to Samaria.

which Elijah had spoken] We are told nothing of what must have been a most solemn interview, nor how it came to pass that the prophet was allowed to go without any punishment. Elijah disappears, as is usual in the history, without a word to tell us of his whereabouts.

And Jehoram reigned in his stead] This was the brother of Ahaziah. The LXX. omits in this verse ‘And Jehoram … no son.’ But instead of it after verse 18 there is a long addition, substantially like 2 Kings 3:1-3 below, but the LXX. has the same words in that place also.

in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah] It is extremely difficult to make this statement fit with the rest of the chronological details of the books of Kings. The accession of Jehoram of Israel is here fixed in the second year of Jehoram of Judah, but in 2 Kings 3:1 the same event is assigned to the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah. Now Jehoshaphat reigned 25 years (1 Kings 22:42). If therefore the two statements are correct Jehoram of Judah must, in some form or other, have been counted as king along with his father from about the 17th year of Jehoshaphat’s reign. But according to 2 Kings 8:16, it was in the 5th year of Jehoram of Israel that Jehoram of Judah began his reign. This of course must refer to his independent reign. But Jehoshaphat’s reign of 25 years causes some difficulty, unless we suppose, as the Jews are said to have reckoned, that 25 years might really be only 23 and small portions of 2 other years. Then Jehoram of Israel, who began to reign in the 18th year of Jehoshaphat, might have reigned little more than 5 years when Jehoshaphat died, and when Jehoram of Judah began the 8 years of his independent reign, he having reigned about the same period along with his father Jehoshaphat. This is the generally accepted settlement of the dates, but the chronology of the two kingdoms is far from being clearly marked. Nor is there satisfactory evidence that a son was ever king along with his father.Verse 17a. - So he died according to the word of the Lord which Elijah had spoken. Not only did he die in consequence of his fall without once quitting his bed, but his death was, as Elijah had said, a judgment on his sin in sending to consult Baal-zebub. REIGN OF JEHORAM. Verse 17b. - And Jehoram - or, Joram LXX., "whom Jehovah exalts;" another evidence that Ahab did not regard himself as having abandoned altogether the worship of Jehovah (see the comment on 1 Kings 22:40) - reigned in his stead ("his brother," אחיו, has probably fallen out after "Jehoram," and requires to be inserted in order to give force to the last clause of the verse) in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat King of Judah. In 2 Kings 3:1 it is said that Jehoram, the son of Ahab and brother of Ahaziah, began to reign over Israel in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat himself. The apparent discrepancy is reconciled by supposing that Jehoshaphat associated his son Jehoram in the kingdom in his seventeenth year, when he was about to enter upon the Syrian war, so that the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat was also the second year of Jehoram. It is certain that association was largely practiced in Egypt at a date long anterior to Jehoshaphat, and David's proclamation of Solomon as king was an association, so that the explanation is not untenable. On the other hand, the difficulties of the chronology of 2 Kings are so numerous and so great as to defy complete reconciliation, and to lead to a suspicion that the numbers have either suffered extensive corruption, or have been manipulated by an unskillful reviser (see Introduction, p. 3.). Because he had no son; i.e. because he, Ahaziah, had no son, he was succeeded by his younger brother, Jehoram. The same fate befell a second captain, whom the king sent after the death of the first. He was more insolent than the first, "both because he was not brought to his senses by hearing of his punishment, and because he increased his impudence by adding make haste (מהרה)." - C. a Lap. For וידבּר ויּען the lxx (Cod. Alex.) have καὶ ἀνέβη καὶ ἐλάλησε, so that they read ויּעל. The correctness of this reading, according to which ויּען would be an error of the pen, is favoured not only by ויּעל in 2 Kings 1:9 and 2 Kings 1:13, but also by וידבּר which follows; for, as a general rule, ויּען would be followed by ויּאמר. The repetition of this judicial miracle was meant to show in the most striking manner not only the authority which rightfully belonged to the prophet, but also the help and protection which the Lord gave to His servants. At the same time, the question as to the "morality of the miracle," about which some have had grave doubts, is not set at rest by the remark of Thenius, that "the soldiers who were sent come into consideration here purely as instruments of a will acting in opposition to Jehovah." The third captain also carried out he ungodly command of the king, and he was not slain (2 Kings 1:13.). The first two must therefore have been guilty of some crime, which they and their people had to expiate with their death. This crime did not consist merely in their addressing him as "man of God," for the third addressed Elijah in the same way (2 Kings 1:13), but in their saying "Man of God, come down." This summons to the prophet, to allow himself to be led as a prisoner before the king, involved a contempt not only of the prophetic office in the person of Elijah, but also of the Lord, who had accredited him by miracles as His servant. The two captains who were first sent not only did what they were bound to do as servants of the king, but participated in the ungodly disposition of their lord (συμβαίνοντες τῷ σκοπῷ τοῦ πεπομφότος - Theodoret); they attacked the Lord with reckless daring in the person of the prophet, and the second captain, with his "Come down quickly," did it even more strongly than the first. This sin was punished, and that not by the prophet, but by the Lord Himself, who fulfilled the word of His servant.

(Note: Οἱ τοῦ προφήτου κατηγοροῦντες κατὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ προφήτου κινοῦσι τὰς γλώττας, as Theodoret very aptly observes.)

What Elijah here did was an act of holy zeal for the honour of the Lord, in the spirit of the old covenant, under which God destroyed the insolent despisers of His name with fire and sword, to manifest the energy of His holy majesty by the side of the dead idols of the heathen. But this act cannot be transferred to the times of the new covenant, as is clearly shown in Luke 9:54-55, where Christ does not blame Elijah for what he did, but admonishes His disciples, who overlooked the difference between the economy of the law and that of the gospel, and in their carnal zeal wanted to imitate what Elijah had done in divine zeal for the honour of the Lord, which had been injured in his own person.

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