Bible Commentary: 1 Kings 22:50 and Related

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1 Kings 22:50 and Related

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Rule of Jehoram of Judah 

As mentioned before, after Jehoshaphat’s death, his firstborn son Jehoram, who reigned with him for the last few years of Jehoshaphat’s life, became sole king over Judah. Although Jehoshaphat had been, generally speaking, a righteous king, his son Jehoram was extremely wicked—even slaughtering his brother and other princes. This helps to show that the righteousness of parents is not automatically passed on to their children. Of course, Jehoshaphat did not help matters through the terrible mistake of having Jehoram marry Athaliah, the daughter of wicked King Ahab. In fact, this directly contributed to the corruption of Jehoram’s character. Indeed, we are specifically told that she influenced him to walk in the way of the kings of Israel, who lived in idolatrous rebellion against God (2 Chronicles 21:6 2 Chronicles 21:6And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he worked that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD.
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). Still, Jehoram bore responsibility for his own actions. The letter from Elijah rebuked him for the terrible things he had done (verse 13).

Since Jehoram and the nation of Judah had forsaken God, God forsook them, enabling nations like Edom and Libnah to revolt against Judah (verses 8-10; 2 Kings 8:20-22 2 Kings 8:20-22 [20] In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves. [21] So Joram went over to Zair, and all the chariots with him: and he rose by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him about, and the captains of the chariots: and the people fled into their tents. [22] Yet Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah to this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time.
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). (Edom designates the descendants of Jacob’s twin brother Esau, who sold his birthright for a stew of lentils, Genesis 25:31-43 Genesis 25:31-43 [31] And Jacob said, Sell me this day your birthright. [32] And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? [33] And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he swore to him: and he sold his birthright to Jacob. [34] Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
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As the apostasy of Jehoram and the people worsened (2 Chronicles 21:11 2 Chronicles 21:11Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto.
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), God Himself stirred up enemy nations to attack Judah (verses 16-17). When Jehoram still refused to repent, God struck him with an incurable disease. As we will soon see in a later reading, he dies from this disease in severe pain (verses 18-19), exactly as Elijah had warned him (verse 15). Listen to this unflattering summary of the life and death of this evil king, which we will read again in sequence when we soon come to this later reading: “He reigned in Jerusalem eight years and, to no one’s sorrow, departed” (verse 20).

Since God was faithful regarding the covenant He had made with David, He would not cut off the kingship from the house of David. Rather, He would see to it that there would always be a descendant of David sitting on David’s throne (verse 7; 2 Kings 8:19 2 Kings 8:19Yet the LORD would not destroy Judah for David his servant’s sake, as he promised him to give him always a light, and to his children.
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; see 2 Samuel 7:14-16 2 Samuel 7:14-16 [14] I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: [15] But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before you. [16] And your house and your kingdom shall be established for ever before you: your throne shall be established for ever.
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; Jeremiah 33:20-22 Jeremiah 33:20-22 [20] Thus said the LORD; If you can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; [21] Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign on his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers. [22] As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister to me.
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, 25-26). So Jehoram remains on the throne until his death. And after Jehoram’s death, his one remaining son, Ahaziah, will become the next king of Judah, sitting on the throne of David (2 Chronicles 21:17 2 Chronicles 21:17And they came up into Judah, and broke into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king’s house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.
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; 2 Kings 8:24 2 Kings 8:24And Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead.
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). It is this seat of power, the present form of which is the throne of Great Britain, to which Jesus will return and on which He, as a descendant of David, will sit and from which He will rule the nations (see Luke 1:31-33 Luke 1:31-33 [31] And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. [32] He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David: [33] And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
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; “The Throne of Britain: Its Biblical Origin and Future”).

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