2 Chronicles 21
New English Translation
2 His brothers, Jehoshaphat’s sons, were Azariah, Jechiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael, and Shephatiah. All these were sons of King Jehoshaphat of Israel.[e] 3 Their father gave them many presents, including silver, gold, and other precious items, along with fortified cities in Judah. But he gave the kingdom to Jehoram because he was the firstborn.
4 Jehoram took control of his father’s kingdom and became powerful.[f] Then he killed all his brothers,[g] as well as some of the officials of Israel. 5 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned for eight years in Jerusalem. 6 He followed in the footsteps of the kings of Israel, just as Ahab’s dynasty had done, for he married Ahab’s daughter.[h] He did evil in the sight of[i] the Lord. 7 But the Lord was unwilling to destroy David’s dynasty[j] because of the promise[k] he had made to give David a perpetual dynasty.[l]
8 During Jehoram’s[m] reign Edom freed themselves from Judah’s control and set up their own king.[n] 9 Jehoram crossed over with his officers and all his chariots. The Edomites, who had surrounded him, attacked at night and defeated him and his chariot officers.[o] 10 So Edom has remained free from Judah’s control to this very day.[p] At that same time Libnah also rebelled and freed themselves from Judah’s control[q] because Jehoram[r] rejected the Lord God of his ancestors. 11 He also built high places on the hills of Judah; he encouraged the residents of Jerusalem to be unfaithful to the Lord[s] and led Judah away from the Lord.[t]
12 Jehoram[u] received this letter from Elijah the prophet: “This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: ‘You[v] have not followed in the footsteps[w] of your father Jehoshaphat and of[x] King Asa of Judah, 13 but have instead followed in the footsteps of the kings of Israel. You encouraged the people of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem to be unfaithful to the Lord, just as the family of Ahab does in Israel.[y] You also killed your brothers, members of your father’s family,[z] who were better than you. 14 So look, the Lord is about to severely afflict[aa] your people, your sons, your wives, and all you own. 15 And you will get a serious, chronic intestinal disease which will cause your intestines to come out.’”[ab]
16 The Lord stirred up against Jehoram the Philistines[ac] and the Arabs who lived beside the Cushites. 17 They attacked Judah and swept through it.[ad] They carried off everything they found in the royal palace,[ae] including his sons and wives. None of his sons was left, except for his youngest, Ahaziah. 18 After all this happened, the Lord afflicted him with an incurable intestinal disease.[af] 19 After about two years his intestines came out because of the disease, so that he died a very painful death.[ag] His people did not make a bonfire to honor him, as they had done for his ancestors.[ah]
- 2 Chronicles 21:1 tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:1 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 10, 12, 19).
- 2 Chronicles 21:1 sn The phrase the City of David refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7.
- 2 Chronicles 21:1 tn The parallel account in 2 Kgs 8:20-24 has the variant spelling “Joram” for the son of Jehoshaphat.
- 2 Chronicles 21:2 sn A number of times in 2 Chronicles “Israel” is used instead of the more specific “Judah”; see 2 Chr 12:6; 23:2). In the interest of consistency some translations (e.g., NAB, NRSV) substitute “Judah” for “Israel” here.
- 2 Chronicles 21:4 tn Heb “and Jehoram arose over the kingdom of his father and strengthened himself.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:4 tn Heb “and he killed all his brothers with the sword.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:6 tn Heb “he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab did, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:6 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:7 tn Heb “house.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:7 tn Or “covenant.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:7 tn Heb “which he made to David, just as he had promised to give him and his sons a lamp all the days.” Here “lamp” is metaphorical, symbolizing the Davidic dynasty.
- 2 Chronicles 21:8 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Jehoram) has been specified in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
- 2 Chronicles 21:8 tn Heb “in his days Edom rebelled from under the hand of Judah and enthroned a king over them.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:9 tc Heb “and he arose at night and defeated Edom, who had surrounded him, and the chariot officers.” The Hebrew text as it stands gives the impression that Jehoram was surrounded and launched a victorious nighttime counterattack. Yet v. 10 goes on to state that the Edomite revolt was successful. The translation above assumes an emendation of the Hebrew text. Adding a third masculine singular pronominal suffix to the accusative sign before Edom (reading אֹתוֹ [ʾoto, “him”] instead of just אֶת [ʾet]) and taking Edom as the subject of verbs allows one to translate the verse in a way that is more consistent with the context, which depicts an Israelite defeat, not victory. See also 2 Kgs 8:21.
- 2 Chronicles 21:10 tn Heb “and Edom rebelled from under the hand of Judah until this day.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:10 tn Or “from Jehoram’s control”; Heb “from under his hand.” The pronominal suffix may refer to Judah in general or, more specifically, to Jehoram.
- 2 Chronicles 21:10 tn Heb “he.” This pronoun could refer to Judah, but the context focuses on Jehoram’s misdeeds. See especially v. 11.
- 2 Chronicles 21:11 tn Heb “and he caused the residents of Jerusalem to commit adultery.” In this context spiritual unfaithfulness to the Lord is in view rather than physical adultery.
- 2 Chronicles 21:11 tn Heb “and drove Judah away.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:12 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jehoram) has been specified in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
- 2 Chronicles 21:12 tn Heb “Because you…” In the Hebrew text this lengthy sentence is completed in vv. 14-15. Because of its length and complexity (and the tendency of contemporary English to use shorter sentences), the translation has divided it up into several English sentences.
- 2 Chronicles 21:12 tn Heb “walked in the ways.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:12 tn Heb “in the ways of.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:13 tn Heb “and you walked in the way of the kings of Israel and caused Judah and the residents of Jerusalem to commit adultery, like the house of Ahab causes to commit adultery.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:13 tn Heb “the house of your father.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:14 tn Heb “to strike with a great striking.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:15 tn Heb “and you [will have] a serious illness, an illness of the intestines until your intestines come out because of the illness days upon days.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:16 tn Heb “the spirit of the Philistines.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:17 tn Heb “broke it up.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:17 tn Heb “all the property which was found in the house of the king.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:18 tn Heb “in his intestines with an illness [for which] there was no healing.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:19 tn Heb “and it was to days from days, and about the time of the going out of the end for the days, two, his intestines came out with his illness and he died in severe illness.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:19 tn Heb “and his people did not make for him a fire, like the fire of his fathers.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:20 tn Heb “and he went without desire.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:20 sn The phrase the City of David refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7.