Easton's Bible Dictionary
(1) Son of Toi, king of Hamath, sent by his father to congratulate David on the
occasion of his victory over Hadadezer ( 2 Samuel 8:10 ).
(2) A Levite of the family of Gershom ( 1 Chronicles 26:25 ).
(3) A priest sent by Jehoshaphat to instruct the people in Judah ( 2 Chronicles
(4) The son of Ahab and Jezebel, and successor to his brother Ahaziah on the throne
of Israel. He reigned twelve years, B.C. 896-884 ( 2 Kings 1:17 ; 3:1 ). His first
work was to reduce to subjection the Moabites, who had asserted their independence
in the reign of his brother. Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, assisted Jehoram in this
effort. He was further helped by his ally the king of Edom. Elisha went forth
with the confederated army ( 2 Kings 3:1 - 19 ), and at the solicitation of Jehoshaphat
encouraged the army with the assurance from the Lord of a speedy victory. The
Moabites under Mesha their king were utterly routed and their cities destroyed.
At Kir-haraseth Mesha made a final stand. The Israelites refrained from pressing
their victory further, and returned to their own land. Elisha afterwards again
befriended Jehoram when a war broke out between the Syrians and Israel, and in
a remarkable way brought that war to a bloodless close ( 2 Kings 6:23 ). But Jehoram,
becoming confident in his own power, sank into idolatry, and brought upon himself
and his land another Syrian invasion, which led to great suffering and distress
in Samaria ( 2 Kings 6:24 - 33 ). By a remarkable providential interposition the
city was saved from utter destruction, and the Syrians were put to flight ( 2
Kings 7:6 - 15 ).
Jehoram was wounded in a battle with the Syrians at Ramah, and obliged to return
to Jezreel ( 2 Kings 8:29 ; 9:14 , 9:15 ), and soon after the army proclaimed
their leader Jehu king of Israel, and revolted from their allegiance to Jehoram
( 2 Kings 9 ). Jehoram was pierced by an arrow from Jehu's bow on the piece of
ground at Jezreel which Ahab had taken from Naboth, and there he died ( 2 Kings
9:21 - 29 ).
(5) The eldest son and successor of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. He reigned eight
years (B.C. 892-885) alone as king of Judah, having been previously for some years
associated with his father ( 2 Chronicles 21:5 , 21:20 ; 2 Kings 8:16 ). His wife
was Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. His daughter Jehosheba was married
to the high priest Jehoiada. He sank into gross idolatry, and brought upon himself
and his kingdom the anger of Jehovah. The Edomites revolted from under his yoke,
and the Philistines and the Arabians and Cushites invaded the land, and carried
away great spoil, along with Jehoram's wives and all his children, except Ahaziah.
He died a painful death from a fearful malady, and was refused a place in the
sepulchre of the kings ( 2 Kings 8:16 - 24 ; 2 Chronicles 21 ).
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
exaltation of the Lord
Smith's Bible Dictionary
(whom Jehovah has exalted).
(1) Son of Ahab king of Israel, who succeeded his brother Ahaziah B.C. 896, and
died B.C. 884. The alliance between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, commenced
by his father and Jehoshaphat, was very close throughout his reign. We first find
him associated with Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom in a war against the Moabites.
The three armies were in the utmost danger of perishing for want of water. The
piety of Jehoshaphat suggested an inquiry of Jehovah, thorough Elisha. After reproving
Jehoram, Elisha, for Jehoshaphats sake, inquired of Jehovah, and received the
promise of an abundant supply of water, and of a great victory over the Moabites;
a promise which was immediately fulfilled. The allies pursued them with great
slaughter into their own land, which they utterly ravaged and destroyed most of
its cities. Kirharaseth alone remained, the there the king of Moab made his last
stand. An attempt to break through the besieging army having failed, he resorted
to the desperate expedient of offering up his eldest son, as a burnt offering,
upon the wall of the city, in the sight of the enemy. Upon this the Israelites
retired and returned to their own land. ( 2 Kings 3:1 ) ... A little later, when
war broke out between Syria and Israel, we find Elisha befriending Jehoram; but
when the terrible famine in Samaria arose, the king immediately attributed the
evil to Elisha, and determined to take away his life. The providential interposition
by which both Elishas life was saved the city delivered is narrated ( 2 Kings
7:1 ) ... and Jehoram appears to have returned to friendly feeling toward Elisha.
( 2 Kings 8:4 ) It was soon after these vents that the revolution in Syria predicted
by Elisha took place, giving Jehoram a good opportunity of recovering Ramoth-gilead
from the Syrians. he accordingly made an alliance with his nephew Ahaziah, who
had just succeeded Joram on the throne of Judah, and the two kings proceeded to
occupy Ramoth-gilead by force. The expedition was an unfortunate one. Jehoram
was wounded in battle, and obliged to return to Jezreel to be healed of his wounds.
( 2 Kings 8:29 ; 2 Kings 9:14 2 Kings 9:15 ) Jehu and the army under his command
revolted from their allegiance to Jehoram, ( 2 Kings 9:1 ) ... and hastily marching
to Jezreel, surprised Jehoram, wounded and defenseless as he was. Jehoram, going
out to meet him, fell pierced by an arrow from Jehus bow on the very plot of ground
which Ahab had wrested from Naboth the Jezreelite; thus fulfilling to the letter
the prophecy of Elijah. ( 1 Kings 21:29 ) With the life of Jehoram ended the dynasty
(2) Eldest son of Jehoshaphat, succeeded his father on the throne of Judah at
the age of 32, and reigned eight years, from B.C. 893-2 to 885-4. As soon as he
was fixed on the throne, he put his six brothers to death, with many of the chief
nobles of the land. He then, probably at the instance of his wife Athaliah the
daughter of Ahab, proceeded to establish the worship of Baal. A prophetic writing
from the aged prophet Elijah, ( 2 Chronicles 21:12 ) failed to produce any good
effect upon him. The remainder of his reign was a series of calamities. First
the Edomites, who had been tributary to Jehoshaphat, revolted from his dominion
and established their permanent independence. Next Libnah, ( 2 Kings 19:8 ) rebelled
against him. Then followed invasion by armed bands of Philistines and of Arabians,
who stormed the kings palace, put his wives and all his children, except his youngest
son Ahaziah, to death, ( 2 Chronicles 22:1 ) or carried them into captivity, and
plundered all his treasures. he died of a terrible disease. ( 2 Chronicles 21:19
, 21:20 )
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
je-ho'-ram, written also in the abbreviated form, (yehoram,
yoram, "Yahweh is high"; the Revised Version (British and American) retains "Joram"
for Hebrew yehoram in 2 Kings 9:15-24):
(1) Ninth king of Israel (2 Kings 1:17 - 9:28), son of Ahab and Jezebel, successor
to his brother Ahaziah, who died childless. He began to reign 853 BC, and reigned
12 years (2 Kings 3:1 ; 8:16).
The statement in 2 Kings 1:17, "the second year of Jehoram," follows a system
of chronology common to the Lucian group of manuscripts, in which the 1st year
of Jehoshaphat falls in the 11th year of Omri; the 24th year of Jehoshaphat in
the 1st year of Ahaziah; and the 1st year of Jehoram in the 2nd year of Jehoram
of Judah. The double chronology (2 Kings 1:17 and 3:1) is due to the intention
of the compiler of Kings to refer all the acts of Elisha to the reign of Jehoram,
thus dislocating the order of events in that reign. Elisha, however, survived
Jehoram many years, and it is possible that some of the events are to be referred
to subsequent reigns.
I. Ninth King of Israel
1. His Religious Policy:
It is difficult to estimate the religious character of Jehoram. Apparently the
fierce fanaticism of Jezebel and the boldness of Ahab reappear in the son in the
form of duplicity and superstition. The attempt of Jezebel to substitute Baal
for Yahweh had failed. The people were on the side of Yahweh. Otherwise Jehu could
not have carried out his bloody reform. All the worshippers of Baal in the land
could be gathered into one temple of Baal (2 Kings 10:18). Evidently Jehoram feared
the people. Accordingly he posed as a reformer by putting away the pillar of Baal
(2 Kings 3:2), while secretly he worshipped Baal (2 Kings 3:13 a). Nevertheless,
when he got into straits, he expected to receive the help of Yahweh (2 Kings 3:13
b). He had not learned that a dual nature is as impossible as a union of Baal
2. The Moabite War:
Immediately upon his accession, Jehoram came into conflict with Mesha, king of
Moab (2 Kings 3:4). The account of the conflict is of special interest because
of the supplementary information concerning Mesha furnished by the Moabite Stone.
There we learn (ll. 1-8) that Moab became tributary to Israel in the days of Omri,
and remained so for forty years, but that it rebelled in the days of Ahab. This
probably brings us to the statement in 2 Kings 3:4 that Mesha "rendered unto the
king of Israel the wool f a hundred thousand lambs, and of a hundred thousand
rams," and that "when Ahab was dead, .... the king of Moab rebelled against the
king of Israel." The victories of Mesha, glorified by the Moabite Stone, possibly
took place before the events of 2 Kings 3:4. Accordingly, Jehoram resolved to
recover the allegiance of the Moabites. He called to his aid the ally of his father,
Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and the latter's vassal, the king of Edom. Jehoram
was entertained at Jerusalem (Josephus, Ant, IX, ii i, 1). The allies marched
against Moab by the longer route, around the southern end of the Dead Sea, indicating
that Moab was fortified against attack from the West, and that Israel was weak
in the East Jordan country. After the allies had been miraculousl y delivered
from perishing for lack of water, they devastated the land and sacked the cities,
and finally they succeeded in shutting up Mesha in Kir-hareseth. Driven to despair,
Mesha offered his eldest son upon the wall as a burnt offering to Chemosh. This
seems to have caused the tide to turn, for "there was great wrath against Israel,"
and the allies returned to their own land, apparently having failed to secure
a lasting advantage.
3. The Conflicts with Syria:
Assuming that 2 Kings 4 - 8 belong to the reign of Jehoram, it appears that the
Syrians made frequent incursions into the land of Israel, perhaps more in the
nature of plundering robber bands than invasions by a regular army (2 Kings 6).
Finally, however, Ben-had in person invaded the country and besieged Samaria.
The inhabitants were reduced to horrible straits by famine, when the oppressors
took sudden flight and Israel was saved. In the years 849, 848, and 845, Shalmaneser
II invaded Syria. It is probable that during this period Jehoram recovered Ramoth-gilead,
which had fallen to Syria under Ahab. Hazael succeeded Ben-hadad as ruler of Syria,
and his first act, after having murdered his predecessor, was to regain Ramoth-gilead.
In the defense of the city, Jehoram, who was assisted by his nephew, Ahaziah,
was wounded, and returned to Jezreel to be healed of his wounds.
4. The Conspiracy of Jehu:
Jehoram left the army at Ramoth-gilead under the command of Jehu, a popular captain
of the host. While Jehoram was at Jezreel, Elisha sent a prophet to anoint Jehu
as king of Israel. Jehu had been a witness of the dramatic scene when Elijah hurled
the curse of Yahweh at Ahab for his crime against Naboth. Jehu at once found in
himself the instrument to bring the curse to fulfillment. Accordingly, he conspired
his crime against Jehoram With a company of horsemen he proceeded to Jezreel,
where Ahaziah was visiting his sick uncle, Jehoram. Jehoram suspected treachery,
and, in company with Ahaziah, he rode out to meet Jehu. On his question, "Is it
peace, Jehu?" he received a brutal reply that no longer left him in doubt as to
the intention of the conspirator. As Jehoram turned to flee, Jehu drew his bow
and shot him in the back so that the arrow pierced his heart. His dead body was
thrown into the plat of ground that had belonged to Naboth.
II. King of Judah
1. His Marriage:
In the beginning of the reigns of Ahab and Jehoshaphat, an attempt was made to
end the old feud between Israel and Judah. At the suggestion of Ahab, the two
kingdoms, for the first time, joined forces against the common foe from the North,
the Syrians. To seal the alliance, Athaliah, daughter of Jezebel and Ahab, was
married to Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat. Thus Jehoram was brother-in-law to (1)
above. No doubt this was considered as a master stroke of conciliatory policy
by the parties interested. However, it proved disastrous for Judah. Beyond a doubt,
the unholy zeal of Jezebel included the Baalizing of Judah as well as of Israel.
This marriage was a step in that direction.
2. His Idolatry:
"A man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife."
Jehoram did so. "He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, as did the house
of Ahab" (2 Kings 8:18). According to 2 Chronicles 21:11 , 13, Jehoram not only
accepted the religion of Athaliah, but he became a persecutor, compelling the
inhabitants of Jerusalem and of the land to become apostates.
3. The Letter of Elijah:
Because of his gross idolatry and his wickedness, he is said (2 Chronicles 21:12)
to have received a denunciatory letter from the prophet Elijah, which, however,
had no effect on him. But this leads to a chronological difficulty. Was Elijah
still alive? The inference from 2 Kings 3:11 is that he was not. Then, too, the
Chronicler otherwise never mentions Elijah. Oettli is of the opinion that one
should either read "Elisha" for "Elijah," or else consider the letter to have
been the conception of a later writer, who felt that Elijah must have taken note
of the wickedness of Jehoram and his wife, Athaliah, daughter of Ahab. In the
latter event, the letter might be called a haggadic Midrash.
4. His Character:
A man's religion cannot be divorced from his character. Baalism had in it the
elements of tyranny and civic unrighteousness. In keeping with his religion, and
in true oriental fashion, Jehoram began his reign by murdering his brothers, and
other princes of the land, to whom Jehoshaphat had given valuable gifts and responsible
positions. The only event belonging to his reign recorded in Kings is the revolt
5. The Revolt of Edom:
Edom was subdued by David, and, probably with the exception of a temporary revolt
under Solomon (1 Kings 11:14), it had remained subject to the united kingdom or
to Judah until the revolt under Jehoram. The text is somewhat obscure, but both
accounts indicate that the expedition of Jehoram against Edom ended in failure.
In the account we are told that at the same time Libnah revolted.
6. The Raid into Judah:
Perhaps the revolt of Libnah should be taken in connection with the invasion of
the Philistines and of the Arabians, mentioned in 2 Chronicles 21. Libnah was
located on the south-western border of Judah. Since it was a border city, it is
possible that the compiler of Kings considered it as belonging to Philistia. In
the account in Chronicles, Jehoram is represented as having lost all his possessions
and all his family, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons, when the town was
sacked and the palace plundered by the invading force of Philistines and Arabians.
The account appears to be based upon reliable sources.
7. His Death:
In his last days, he was afflicted with a frightful disease in the bowels. His
death was unregretted, and his burial without honor. Contrast, however, 2 Kings
8:24 with 2 Chronicles 21:20. Ahaziah, also called Jehoahaz, his younger son,
then became king in his stead.
S. K. Mosiman
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