2 Chronicles 21

Jehoshaphat's son, Jehoram becomes king

1 Then Jehoshaphat died as his ancestors had done. And people buried him in David's city, with his ancestors. And Jehoram his son ruled Judah instead. 2 Jehoram had brothers who were also sons of Jehoshaphat. They were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael and Shephatiah. All these men were sons of Jehoshaphat, king of Israel. 3 Their father had given many gifts of silver, gold and valuable things to them. And he gave to them cities with walls in Judah. But Jehoram was the oldest son. So his father said that he should be the next king.

21:1Jehoshaphat died in about 849 BC.
21:2Jehoshaphat was king of Judah. But Judah is the kingdom of two tribes of the Israelites. Perhaps that is why it says Israel here.

Jehoram kills his brothers

4 Jehoram made himself a strong king over his father's kingdom. Then he killed all his brothers and some leaders of Israel with the sword. 5 Jehoram was 32 years old when he started to rule. He ruled for 8 years in Jerusalem.

Jehoram does not give pleasure to the Lord

6 He had married Ahab's daughter. So he did what the kings of Israel had done. He did what Ahab and his descendants did. He did very wrong things that the Lord did not like. 7 But the Lord did not want to destroy David's clan. That was because of what he had promised to David. He had promised that a descendant of David would always rule in Israel.

Edom fights Judah

8 Edom's people decided not to obey Judah's king while Jehoram was king. So they chose their own king to rule over them. 9 So Jehoram went there with his officers and all his chariots. Edom's men went everywhere round him and his chariots. But during the night he got up. He attacked their soldiers and he reached the other side of their army. 10 But since then, Edom's people have refused to obey Judah's king. At the same time, the people in Libnah decided not to obey Jehoram. That was because Jehoram had stopped worshipping the Lord, the God of his ancestors. 11 He also built high places on the hills in Judah. And there he caused the people from Jerusalem to worship false gods. So he caused Judah's people to do wrong things.

21:8Edom was south and to the east of the Dead Sea.

A prophet tells Jehoram how the Lord will punish Jehoram

12 Elijah the prophet wrote a letter to Jehoram. This is what it said:

‘The Lord, your father David's God says, “You have not done what your father Jehoshaphat and Asa, kings of Judah did. 13 Instead, you have done as the kings of Israel do. You have been like Ahab and his descendants. You have caused Judah's people and the people in Jerusalem to worship false gods. And you have killed your own brothers. They were your father's sons and they were better men than you. 14 So now the Lord will hit your people, your sons, your wives and everything that is yours. He will hit them very badly. 15 You, yourself, will have many illnesses. You will have an illness in your stomach. The illness will get worse each day until in the end your inside parts will come out of your body.” ’

Enemies attack Judah

16 And the Lord caused the Philistines and the Arabs who lived near Ethiopia to be angry with Jehoram. 17 They attacked Judah and they won a lot of land. They took away all the things in the king's house and his sons and his wives. The only son that they did not take was Jehoahaz, the youngest son.

Jehoram dies

18 After all those things, the Lord caused Jehoram to have a bad illness in his stomach. And that illness could not get better. 19 He was very ill for two whole years, and then his inside parts came out because of the illness. He had very bad pain because of this illness and then he died. His people did not make a big fire to give honour to him as they had done for his ancestors.

20 Jehoram was 32 years old when he started to rule. And he ruled in Jerusalem for 8 years. When he died nobody was sad. They buried him in David's city, but not where they had buried the other kings.