2 Chronicles 21

Jehoram becomes king of Judah

1 Jehoshaphat died and they buried him beside his ancestors in the City of David. Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram became king after him. 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 King Jehoshaphat of Judah. 3 Their father had given them many gifts of silver, gold and other valuable things. He gave them authority over the strong cities of Judah. But Jehoshaphat chose Jehoram be the next king because he was his oldest son.

21:2Judah was the Israelite kingdom in the south.

4 Jehoram made himself a strong king to rule over his father's kingdom. Then he killed all his brothers, as well as some of the Israelite leaders. 5 He was 32 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for eight years.

6 He lived in the same bad way that the kings of Israel did. He did what the family of Ahab had done. He married a daughter of King Ahab and he became as wicked as King Ahab's family was. He did things that the Lord said were evil. 7 But the Lord did not want to destroy all David's descendants, because of his promise to David. He had promised that King David would always have descendants who would rule the nation.

Edom fights against Judah

8 While Jehoram was king, Edom's people turned against Judah. They would no longer accept the king of Judah's authority over them. They decided to have their own king. 9 So King Jehoram travelled to Zair with his army officers and all his chariots. The Edomite army came and they were all around him. But that night, Jehoram and his officers attacked the Edomites and they escaped. 10 Even today, Edom's people do not obey the rulers of Judah. The people of Libnah city also turned against Judah at the same time. That happened because Jehoram had turned away from the Lord, the God of his ancestors.

21:9Zair was a city just inside the border of Edom.

11 He also built altars on the hills of Judah. He caused the people of Judah and Jerusalem to turn away from the Lord and worship false gods.

21:11The altars on the hills were places where people made sacrifices to false gods.

Elijah gives a message to King Jehoram

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

‘The Lord, the God of your ancestor David says, “You have not lived in a good way as your father Jehoshaphat did and as King Asa of Judah did. 13 Instead, you have lived in the way that the kings of Israel live. You have caused the people of Judah and Jerusalem to turn away from the Lord and worship false gods. That is the same as King Ahab's family has done in Israel. You have also killed your own brothers, your father's sons. They were better men than you are. 14 So now the Lord will send terrible trouble on your people, including your children, your wives and everything that belongs to you. 15 You will have a bad disease. You will have terrible pain in your stomach that becomes worse and worse. Finally, your inside parts will come out of your body.” ’

16 There were some Philistines and Arabs who lived near people from Ethiopia. The Lord caused them to be angry with Jehoram. 17 They attacked Judah and they took power over the land. They took away all the valuable things in the king's palace. They took his sons and his wives as their prisoners. The only son of Jehoram that remained was his youngest son, Ahaziah.

21:17Ahaziah was also called Jehoahaz.

Jehoram dies

18 After all this happened, the Lord caused Jehoram to have a bad disease in his stomach. He could not become well again. 19 He was very ill for two years, and then his inside parts came out because of the illness. So he had a lot of pain until he died. His people did not make a big fire to give him honour, as they had done for his ancestors.

20 Jehoram was 32 years old when he started to rule. He ruled in Jerusalem for eight years. When he died, nobody was sad. They buried him in the City of David, but not in the place where they had buried the other kings.