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2 Chronicles 21 Living Bible (TLB)

21 When Jehoshaphat died, he was buried in the cemetery of the kings in Jerusalem, and his son Jehoram became the new ruler of Judah. His brothers—other sons of Jehoshaphat—were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariah, Michael, and Shephatiah. 3-4 Their father had given each of them valuable gifts of money and jewels, also the ownership of some of the fortified cities of Judah. However, he gave the kingship to Jehoram because he was the oldest. But when Jehoram had become solidly established as king, he killed all of his brothers and many other leaders of Israel. He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. But he was as wicked as the kings who were over in Israel. Yes, as wicked as Ahab, for Jehoram had married one of the daughters of Ahab, and his whole life was one constant binge of doing evil. However, the Lord was unwilling to end the dynasty of David, for he had made a covenant with David always to have one of his descendants upon the throne.

At that time the king of Edom revolted, declaring his independence of Judah. Jehoram attacked him with his full army and with all of his chariots, marching by night, and almost[a] managed to subdue him. 10 But to this day Edom has been successful in throwing off the yoke of Judah. Libnah revolted too because Jehoram had turned away from the Lord God of his fathers. 11 What’s more, Jehoram constructed idol shrines in the mountains of Judah and led the people of Jerusalem in worshiping idols; in fact, he compelled his people to worship them.

12 Then Elijah the prophet wrote him this letter: “The Lord God of your ancestor David says that because you have not followed in the good ways of your father Jehoshaphat, nor the good ways of King Asa, 13 but you have been as evil as the kings over in Israel and have made the people of Jerusalem and Judah worship idols just as in the times of King Ahab, and because you have killed your brothers who were better than you, 14 now the Lord will destroy your nation with a great plague. You, your children, your wives, and all that you have will be struck down. 15 You will be stricken with an intestinal disease and your bowels will rot away.”

16 Then the Lord stirred up the Philistines and the Arabs living next to the Ethiopians to attack Jehoram. 17 They marched against Judah, broke across the border, and carried away everything of value in the king’s palace, including his sons and his wives; only his youngest son, Jehoahaz, escaped.

18 It was after this that Jehovah struck him down with the incurable bowel disease. 19 In the process of time, at the end of two years, his intestines came out, and he died in terrible suffering. (The customary pomp and ceremony was omitted at his funeral.) 20 He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years and died unmourned. He was buried in Jerusalem, but not in the royal cemetery.


  1. 2 Chronicles 21:9 Jehoram attacked him . . . and almost, literally, “Jehoram . . . struck down the Edomites. . . . Nevertheless Edom . . . revolted.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

2 Chronicles 21 New International Version (NIV)

21 Then Jehoshaphat rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. And Jehoram his son succeeded him as king. Jehoram’s brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat, were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael and Shephatiah. All these were sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.[a] Their father had given them many gifts of silver and gold and articles of value, as well as fortified cities in Judah, but he had given the kingdom to Jehoram because he was his firstborn son.

Jehoram King of Judah

When Jehoram established himself firmly over his father’s kingdom, he put all his brothers to the sword along with some of the officials of Israel. Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He followed the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for he married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. Nevertheless, because of the covenant the Lord had made with David, the Lord was not willing to destroy the house of David. He had promised to maintain a lamp for him and his descendants forever.

In the time of Jehoram, Edom rebelled against Judah and set up its own king. So Jehoram went there with his officers and all his chariots. The Edomites surrounded him and his chariot commanders, but he rose up and broke through by night. 10 To this day Edom has been in rebellion against Judah.

Libnah revolted at the same time, because Jehoram had forsaken the Lord, the God of his ancestors. 11 He had also built high places on the hills of Judah and had caused the people of Jerusalem to prostitute themselves and had led Judah astray.

12 Jehoram received a letter from Elijah the prophet, which said:

“This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: ‘You have not followed the ways of your father Jehoshaphat or of Asa king of Judah. 13 But you have followed the ways of the kings of Israel, and you have led Judah and the people of Jerusalem to prostitute themselves, just as the house of Ahab did. You have also murdered your own brothers, members of your own family, men who were better than you. 14 So now the Lord is about to strike your people, your sons, your wives and everything that is yours, with a heavy blow. 15 You yourself will be very ill with a lingering disease of the bowels, until the disease causes your bowels to come out.’”

16 The Lord aroused against Jehoram the hostility of the Philistines and of the Arabs who lived near the Cushites. 17 They attacked Judah, invaded it and carried off all the goods found in the king’s palace, together with his sons and wives. Not a son was left to him except Ahaziah,[b] the youngest.

18 After all this, the Lord afflicted Jehoram with an incurable disease of the bowels. 19 In the course of time, at the end of the second year, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great pain. His people made no funeral fire in his honor, as they had for his predecessors.

20 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He passed away, to no one’s regret, and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.


  1. 2 Chronicles 21:2 That is, Judah, as frequently in 2 Chronicles
  2. 2 Chronicles 21:17 Hebrew Jehoahaz, a variant of Ahaziah
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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