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Jehoram, Joram

je-ho'-ram (exaltation of the Lord)
RELATED:
Ahab, Athaliah, Elijah, Elisha, Idolatry, Jezebel, Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Judah, Jehoshaphat
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Easton's Bible Dictionary

Jehovah-exalted.

(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 17:8 ).

(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 ).

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Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names

exaltation of the Lord

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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 of Omri.

(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 )

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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 and Yahweh.

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 of Edom.

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.



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bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, define, elijah letter, elisha, idolatry, jehoram, joram, king of the kingdom of israel, king of the kingdom of judah, murder brothers, offer to sacrifice eldest son, revolt of edom, yehoram, yoram

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