Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
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.3. Decline and Apostasy under Jehoram, Ahaziah and Athaliah
CHAPTER 21 The Reign of Jehoram
1. Jehoram’s wicked reign (2Chronicles 21:1-7)
2. Revolt of Edom (2Chronicles 21:8-9)
3. Revolt of Libnah (2Chronicles 21:10-11)
4. The message of Elijah (2Chronicles 21:12-15)
5. Judah invaded (2Chronicles 21:16-17)
6. Jehoram’s sickness and death (2Chronicles 21:18-20)
Jehoram was Jehoshaphat’s firstborn. Jehoshaphat had six other sons to whom he gave great riches, but the kingdom was given to Jehoram. He walked in wickedness. “For he had the daughter of Ahab to wife and he wrought that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.” When Jehoram was in power, he slew all his brethren with the sword and also princes in Israel. The daughter of the murderer Ahab may have instigated the horrible crime. Jehoshaphat had joined affinity with Ahab (2Chronicles 18:1), and married his son Jehoram to Athaliah. “What a man sows that will he reap.” His unholy alliance began to bear fruit. And how often have Christian parents seen their children depart from God and follow altogether the wicked ways of the world, because they themselves had set the example. Then the enemies of Judah came and different revolts took place.
The writing which came to Jehoram from the prophet Elijah is interesting and presents some difficulties. Elijah had been translated a number of years before. To solve the difficulty some say that the name Elijah should be Elisha, who was then living and ministering in connection with Samaria. There is no need of doing this. It does not say that Elijah sent that writing, but it says: “There came a writing from Elijah the prophet.” Elijah knew Jehoshaphat and he knew his son Jehoram, who was for several years the co-regent of his father. The Lord showed him beforehand the evil course Jehoram would take, and how he would follow the wicked ways of Ahab, Elijah knew so well. Then he received the message exposing the wickedness of Jehoram, “like to the whoredoms of Ahab,” and announcing the judgment to come upon Jehoram. This message was probably intrusted by Elijah to Elisha, and when the proper moment had come this man of God delivered the writing to Jehoram, telling him at the same time that it was from Elijah.
Fearful was the end of this murderous and idolatrous king. He died of sore diseases, unrepenting, and thus as a lost soul passed into the blackness of darkness forever (Jude 1:13). And his people made no burning for him (burning incense) like the burning of his fathers; neither was he buried in the sepulchres of the kings.