2 Chronicles 22, 2 Kings 11, 12, Lessons, Bad Alliance, Ahab, Athalia, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Joash, Ahaziah
We see in scripture many evidences showing that God never leaves those He loves, and those who diligently seek Him without warning them ahead of danger. The books of 2 Chronicles and 2 Kings present a very veritable story and history in the kingly lineage of Judah and Israel, and how the corruption in Ahab’s household crept into Judah, the Southern kingdom through bad alliance in marriage.
Questions which this post shall attempt to answer as well as giving a brief insight on lessons learnt from these stories of the history of the families of Ahab, Jehoshaphat, Asa, Jehoram, Athalia and Joash present include:
Who is Jehoram?
How did king Jehoram of Judah die?
Was Jehoram king of Israel or Judah?
Asa’s father was Abijah, king of Judah who reigned after his father, Rehoboam.
Abijah began to reign at the 18th year of the rulership of Jeroboam over Israel.
Jeroboam who was one of the servants of Solomon rebelled against his master’s household during the reign of Rehoboam.
This indeed was the handwork of the Lord to split the kingdom from the household of David because Solomon had sinned by lusting after myriad foreign gods of other nations brought in by his many wives and concubines which he married from all over the nations of the world.
When Jeroboam began to reign over the Northern kingdom of Israel, he, because of fear, did not want to allow the Israelites go over to Jerusalem, the city God chose to be worshipped in at the time. So Jeroboam caused the people to sin by setting up idols for worship all over Israel and in the high places.
Jeroboam did many abominable deeds, and one of such was his casting out the priests from executing their priestly office. (2 Chronicles 13:9).
During the reign of Abijah, there was war between Jeroboam and Abijah, and the Lord gave Judah victory over Israel because Judah trusted in the Lord. (2 Chron 13: 10, 14-18).
After the death of Abijah, Asa his son reigned. Asa feared the Lord and cast the idols away. During Asa’s reign, there was war between him and Zerah the Ethiopian king. God gave him victory over Zerah because he trusted in the Lord. (2 Chron 14:11-12).
When Basha king of Israel attempted to overthrow Judah by building Ramah with the intention that no one would go in or come out, Asa, instead of trusting in the Lord like he did when God delivered Zerah into his hands, decided to make a league with the king of Syria, the same one whom God had predestined his overthrow by him. (2 Chron 16:1-6; 7).
Hanani the seer confronted Asa regarding his action, and how he shall forthwith continually have wars. In reaction, Asa imprisoned him. He also oppressed some of his subjects. (2 Chron 16:10).
It is evident that with all the kings that reigned over Judah and Israel prior to the reign of Jehoshaphat, there was war and strife between the two Israelite kingdoms.
Jehoshaphat probably wanted to turn the narrative around by aligning with Ahab who reigned over Israel during his regime, against God’s caution. (1 Kings 22:44;
God warned Jehoshaphat on two occasions against his allegiance with Ahab but he wouldn’t listen. On one occasion, he almost lost his life when he chose to go to battle with Ahab to Ramoth Gilead where God had predestined for Ahab to die. (2 Chron 18:29-32; 19). (2 Chron 19:2). (2 Chron 20:35-37).
Ahab, son of Omri, king of Israel was a man who had no regard for God because he married Jezebel who gave him evil counsels. (1 Kings 21:25).
Ahab’s household was rapt with evil and bloodshed and God never wanted the seed royal of Judah to be corrupted through marriage to this family.
But Jehoshaphat’s continual refusal to heed God’s warnings (2 Chron 19:2) (2 Chron 20:35-37), paved way for his offspring to marry into this family, for Jehoram his first son who ascended the throne after him married Athalia from the household of Ahab.
We see the result of bad counsel from an evil family when Ahazia ascended the throne. The first thing he did was to kill his six brothers. His father had given him right to the kingship not because he was better off than his brethren, but because he was the first born. (2 Chron 21:3; 13).
On ascending the throne he chose to repay his father’s kind gesture with evil by wiping out his father’s entire lineage except himself. We will see the consequences of this evil later on.
Jehoram did wickedly by walking in the footstep of the house of Ahab such that no Judean king before him had done because he was married to the household of Ahab, but God would not destroy the household of David because of His promise to David his servant to give a light to him and his descendants forever. (2 Chron 21:6-7).
Some consequences of Jehoram’s wicked ways are;
That he died a very miserable death because God struck him with an incurable disease of the bowels.
That he died without being desired in his eight years of reign.
That the same wickedness he meted out on his father’s descendants was meted on his own offsprings too, for the Philistines and Arabians came into Judah and took all that pertained to him including his wives and children. They slew all his children except the youngest of them – Jehoahaz. (2 Chron 21:16-17).
Jehoram started reigning when he was 32 years and he reigned over the kingdom for eight years. This means he died when he was 40 years. Though it was not recorded who ruled over the kingdom till Jehoahaz (Ahaziah) came of age, for he began to reign when he was 42 years.
It can be deduced from the forgone that until Ahaziah became of age (when he was coronated at 42), his mother Athalia wielded great influence over the Judean kingdom and was probably the one ruling over the kingdom at this time.
When Ahaziah finally began to reign over the kingdom, he ruled wickedly after the household of Ahab, for his mother was his councillor. (2 Chron 22:3-4).
Like Jehoshaphat, Ahaziah aligned himself with the household of Ahab to his death. At this point, he was already a member of the household for there was a blood relationship between the family of Jehoshaphat and Ahab through their marriage to Athalia. So Ahaziah went to assist his uncle (Jehoram, son of Ahab, king of Israel) in battle against the Syrians at Ramah (Ramoth Gilead).
Joram (Jehoram) was wounded in battle so he returned to Jezreel to heal of the wound. It was at this time that Azariah (Ahaziah) went to see him.
When Jehu son of Nimshi whom God had anointed to wipe out Ahab’s descendants saw them two together, he killed them both. His destruction was of God to fulfill what he had spoken by His servant Elijah concerning the household of Ahab. (2 Chron 22:7-8; 2Kings 9:16; 8; 1 Kings 21-18-19, 29).
This brings me to answer the questions postulated above.
Who is Jehoram?
There are two Jehoram’s that reigned in the same generation over Judah and Israel. From the expository above, it is quite unequivocal that one Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah reigned over Judah. This Jehoram is the husband of Athalia.
The second Jehoram is a direct son of Ahab. It was this Jehoram that Jehoshaphat’s grandson was an allie to. Both of them died on the same day, killed by Jehu son of Nimshi. You may see the variant of his name ‘Joram’ used in some places in scripture.
How did king Jehoram of Judah die?
King Jehoram of Judah died by being struck with an incurable disease of the bowels. His bowels fell out by reason of the sickness and he died after 2 years according to Elijah’s prophecy. (2 Chronicles 21: 18-19, 15, 12).
Was Jehoram king of Israel or Judah?
Jehoram was both king of Israel and Judah. However, these were two separate and independent individuals who reigned in their kingdoms at different times.
Back to the expository.
When Athalia discovered that Ahaziah had died, she rose up and slew all the seeds royal, except Joash the youngest who was stolen away by his Aunt Jehoshabeath and kept hidden away with his nurse for 6 years until the intervention of Jehoiada the priest.
This was so that she could take control of the kingdom which she succeeded grasping for another six years until Jehoiada intervened in the seventh year.
Pertinent lessons from this expository include the following:
1. It is important to heed God’s warnings, instructions and directives when He warns or instructs us. God sees beyond the ‘now’ ahead of tomorrow. As a result, He knows what our actions today will amount to tomorrow. As a loving Father, He wants us to repent of ways and actions that will amount to doom for us and our generations tomorrow. So repent when God instructs you. God speaks to His children in diverse ways. He could speak into our hearts through His still small voice, through pages of the scripture, through dreams and visions, through other people or as in the case of Jehoshaphat, through His prophets. Do not at any time neglect God’s divine instructions when you are convinced that He has spoken to you. Kindly do according to biddings, instructions and commands and it shall be well.
2. A bad wife can influence a husband and a good husband can influence a bad wife. Reverse is also the case. Jehoram’s marriage to Athalia so much corrupted his kingship that he perpetrated so much evil greater than any king before him in the lineage of David had.
This was a result of bad alliance through marriage.
Jezebel’s influence on Ahab is another example of the power an evil wife could wield on her husband.
When it comes to the choice of a life partner, one needs to choose wisely. One needs to enlist God’s help and directions through the help of the Holy Spirit.
We see an opposite of this in the marriage between Jehoiada and Jehoshabeath. Jehoshabeath, a sister to king Ahaziah was a daughter of Athalia but she wasn’t in support of her mother’s evil deeds hence, she kept Joash hidden until he was six years. Had it not been for her intervention, Athalia could have succeeded in killing all heirs to the throne. Her good morals could have been as a result of her marriage to Jehoiada the priest who was a just man.
Other morals include:
- Evil association corrupts good morals. This was evident in the association of the family of king Jehoshaphat with the family of Ahab.
- Selfishness is the mother of evil inventions. We see this in action in the lives of Jehoram, Athalia and Ahab.
- God’s word shall never fall to the ground. Even if it tarries, it won’t fail. He will do it at the appointed time. We see this in action in the families and lineages of Ahab, Baasha & Jeroboam.
- There is a consequence for every evil actions. We see this in the family and lineage of Ahab and Jehoram.
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