Who was King Jehoram/Joram in the Old Testament?

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The Bible mentions two kings by the name Jehoram/Joram. Both were brothers-in-law to one another. The first Jehoram was Jehoshaphat’s son who reigned in the southern kingdom of Judah from 853 to 841 BC. The second Jehoram was King Ahab’s son who reigned in the northern kingdom of Israel from 852 to 841 BC.

Jehoram/Joram son of Jehoshaphat – Southern kingdom of Judah

Jehoram was thirty-two years old when seized the throne, and he ruled for four years with his father and an additional eight years alone in Judah (2 Kings 8:16–17). Whereas Jehoshaphat was a godly king, his son Jehoram didn’t walk in his footsteps but backslid from God and followed idolatry. His wife was the wicked Queen Athaliah, daughter of King Ahab.

Although the Lord was patient and merciful with him (2 Kings 8:19), Jehoram continued in his evil path bringing God’s punishment upon himself. For the Lord made Edom and Libnah rebel against him (2 Chronicles 21:8, 11).

The end of Jehoram of Judah

Finally, the Lord sent the king a warning through His prophet Elijah saying, “Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, or in the ways of Asa king of Judah,  but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot like the harlotry of the house of Ahab, and also have killed your brothers, those of your father’s household, who were better than yourself,  behold, the LORD will strike your people with a serious affliction—your children, your wives, and all your possessions;  and you will become very sick with a disease of your intestines, until your intestines come out by reason of the sickness, day by day” (2 Chronicles 21:12-15).

And God’s Word came to pass when the Philistines and Arabs “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, the youngest” (v. 17). Also, the LORD struck him in his intestines with an incurable disease and at the end of two years his intestines came out because of his sickness; so he died in severe pain and the people didn’t mourn him (v. 18-19).

Jehoram/Joram son of Ahab – northern kingdom of Israel

King Jehoram reigned in the second year of his brother-in-law’s reign in Judah. “And he did evil in the sight of the LORD” leading the people to idolatry like his father Ahab and Jezebel his wife. As a result, the Lord punished him by causing Moab to rebel against him after the death of his father (2 Kings 3:4–5).

To defend himself, King Jehoram of Israel asked King Jehoshaphat of Judah and the king of Edom to war against the Moabites (2 Kings 3:8). And they marched in the wilderness seven days but there was no water and the army got famished that they felt they would be defeated. So, king Jehoshaphat asked Elisha about God’s will in matter. And Elisha said, that the Lord will fill the valley with water for this is an easy task and will also deliver the Moabites into their hands (v. 17,18).

And God’s word came to pass for the Lord supernaturally provided them with water and caused the Moabites to fled before them. And the three kings besieged the Moabites’ city (v. 13-25). In dismay, when the king of Moab saw that the battle was too fierce for him, he took his eldest son and offered him as sacrifice upon the wall in an endeavor to appease the national god, Chemosh (v. 26,27).

The end of Jehoram of Israel

Although the Lord granted the king victory, the evil king “clung to the sins of Jeroboam” (2 Kings 3:3). As a result, the Syrians wounded him in a battle. And he returned to Jezreel to recover (2 Kings 9:15). But the Lord in judgement, commissioned Jehoshaphat’s son Jehu to destroy the whole house of Ahab (2 Kings 9:6–10). So, Jehu obeyed God’s command and went to Jezreel and shot Joram with an arrow in his heart and killed him (v. 24).

The lives of these two kings show the consequences of forsaking the true God and reaping the deadly results. God was ready to manifest Himself in such wonderful ways to both of them, and they had the chance to lead their people away from idolatry to the true faith and experience prosperity, peace, and victory over their enemies but they refused (Deuteronomy 28:1-14).

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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