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2Ch 21:1 Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David; and Jehoram his son reigned in his place-
The description of death as sleeping with fathers is clear evidence that death is seen as a sleep, unconsciousness, and not as the start of an immortal soul going to heaven or 'hell'. Good and bad, David and Solomon, are gathered together in death. The division between them will only therefore come at the resurrection of the dead, and the granting of immortality at the judgment seat of the Lord Jesus.

2Ch 21:2 He had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariah, Michael and Shephatiah. All these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel-
They all God's Name in their names, but it seems it was spirituality in name only. Jehoshaphat himself held on in faith, but his wrong association with the ten tribes led to the spiritual destruction of his family.

2Ch 21:3 Their father gave them great gifts, of silver, and of gold, and of precious things, with fortified cities in Judah; but the kingdom gave he to Jehoram, because he was the firstborn-
We could infer from this that they were perhaps spoilt. Wealth never brought blessing to this family. His careful arrangements to try to split things up fairly were presumably because he thought this would stop them arguing amongst themselves. But it didn't work out at all; Jehoram killed all his brothers (:4).

2Ch 21:4 Now when Jehoram was risen up over the kingdom of his father, and had strengthened himself, he killed all his brothers with the sword, and various also of the princes of Israel-
See on :3. This continues a theme, of the kings of Judah strengthening or fortifying themselves, often when they first became king; but then having that human strength tested by God or removed. The same word is used repeatedly (1 Chron. 11:10; 2 Chron. 11:11,17; 12:13; 13:21; 17:1; 23:1; 25:3,11; 26:8,15; 29:3; 32:5). The lesson of course was that it is God's Angelic eyes who run to and fro in the land promised to Abraham, "to shew Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward him" (2 Chron. 16:9).  

2Ch 21:5 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem-
Putting together 2 Kings 1:17; 3:1; 8:3,16;2 Chron. 21:5,20, it seems Jehoram became king as regent about two years before Jehoshaphat died.

2Ch 21:6 He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab; for he had the daughter of Ahab as wife: and he did that which was evil in the eyes of Yahweh-
His wife was Athaliah the granddaughter of Omri (2 Chron. 22:2; 2 Kings 8:26). "Athaliah", 'Yah has constrained', may mean that she was bitter that Yahweh had as it were limited her; the same groundless complaint as in 2 Cor. 6:12.

2Ch 21:7 However Yahweh would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that He had made with David, and as He promised to give a lamp to him and to his children always-
That promise was understood by God at this stage as meaning that a descendant of David would continue to reign on David's throne "always", and therefore He did not destroy Judah. However, He did eventually. He reinterpreted and reapplied His words of promise. And He does this often with the various possible futures prophesied. His word is not proven false but He reapplies it, as He continues His purpose with respect for the freewill decisions of man.

2Ch 21:8 In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves-
A sad decline from the situation in his father's time (2 Chron. 17:10).

2Ch 21:9 Then Jehoram passed over with his captains, and all his chariots with him. He rose up by night, and struck the Edomites who surrounded him, along with the captains of the chariots-
We note that horses and chariots were forbidden to Israel's king (Dt. 17:17,18). Yet it seems that his chariots and captains prevailed against those of Edom, even when he was surrounded and about to be defeated. Perhaps this was a repeat of the situations of 2 Chron. 13:15; 18:31, where weak believers in their time of need called to God when surrounded by enemies, and were heard. This reflects God's deep sensitivity to faith in Him, even in time of desperation. And yet His final judgment is of the state of a person's heart. 2 Kings 8:21 locates the battle as being at Zair.

2Ch 21:10 So Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah to this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time from under his hand, because he had forsaken Yahweh, the God of his fathers-
Libnah was a priestly city (1 Chron. 6:47), but the tribes seem to have given the Levites towns which were not particularly valuable to them, or which were exposed to attack. Contrary to the spirit of David, they offered to God that which cost them nothing. And we must take a lesson from that. Some manuscripts read “Then did the Edomites who dwelt in Libnah revolt”. So Libnah had been taken over by Edomites and was formerly only technically under Israelite control. 

2Ch 21:11 Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and made the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the prostitute, and led Judah astray-
What a contrast with Ps. 125:2 "As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so Yahweh surrounds His people from this time forth and forever". The hills around Jerusalem are not huge mountains. They are small hills, and this is the picture of God's protection; not hugely visible, but there. But the mountains around Jerusalem became the "high places" of idolatry (1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13; 2 Chron. 21:11); what should have been the symbols of Yahweh's protection became perverted.

2Ch 21:12 A letter came to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus says Yahweh, the God of David your father, ‘You have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah-
This confirms our position elsewhere that Elijah was dramatically snatched away into the sky as a sign that Elisha had now replaced him as Yahweh's lead prophet. But that didn't mean that he died or was taken to heaven (cp. Jn. 3:13). He returned to earth, as the sons of the prophets expected him to. Now, as an old man, perhaps still living in the ten tribes, he continued his ministry although on a more low key level. He didn't visit Judah but rather sent the Divine message as a letter. The style of the words recorded here is absolutely that of Elijah the Tishbite, although it is conceivable that this could refer to another prophet called Elijah.

2Ch 21:13 but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the prostitute like the house of Ahab did, and also have slain your brothers of your father’s house, who were better than yourself-
Clearly enough, we can make others sin. Even though their sin is their responsibility before God, those who lead people into sin are particularly culpable before Him. This is a very common Biblical theme, and we need to analyze our behaviour very carefully in this respect.

2Ch 21:14 Therefore, Yahweh will strike with a great plague your people and your children and your wives, and all your substance-
This continues the theme of :13, that human actions have huge impact upon others. This is a repeated Biblical teaching, and the fact God has structured human experience like this is in order that we should be highly sensitive in our actions towards others. We all have far more influence over others than we might imagine, and will be accountable for it.

2Ch 21:15 and you shall have great sickness by disease of your bowels, until your bowels fall out by reason of the sickness, day by day’-
This description of his sickness, although not medically correct, implied that what was within his innermost being ["bowels" is at times used by metonymy for the heart] will come out, resulting in death. And consistently in these biographies of the kings, it is their hearts which are the basis of their judgment.


2Ch 21:16 Yahweh stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians who are beside the Ethiopians-
This is the nature of the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers today, and it was and will be seen in the revival of the dead bones of Israel. Not visible miracles, but internal mental working. And that Spirit can be resisted, as it was by many of the exiles; for we are not mere puppets in God's hand. Yet grace means that God takes the initiative; "He first loved us". That initiative is seen through His working on the human heart in calling us to action (s.w. 2 Chron. 21:16; Is. 13:17; Jer. 50:41; Joel 3:9) and Cyrus was a parade example of this (Is. 41:2,25, 45:13). The hearts of the returnees were likewise stirred up. But this was not some irresistible manipulation of the human person; Zion was called to be stirred up ["awake"], but she refused to be stirred up (Is. 51:17; 52:1 cp. Is. 64:7). Zerubbabel had his mind or "spirit" stirred up to be the king-priest Messianic figure (Hag. 1:14); but he let the baton drop.

2Ch 21:17 They came up against 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 no son left him except Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons-
Ahaziah is Jehoahaz (2 Chron. 21:17), Azariah (2 Chron. 22:6) and Ahaziah (1 Chron. 3:11); a reminder that people carried multiple names, which explains many of the so called contradictions in the genealogies.

2Ch 21:18 After all this Yahweh struck him in his bowels with an incurable disease-
The great "plague" of :14. The claim of Solomon that prayer to or in the temple would cure such plagues (2 Chron. 6:28,29) is therefore again proven to be wrong. His idea that the temple was a kind of talisman was so wrong.  

2Ch 21:19 It happened, in process of time, at the end of two years, that his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness, and he died of severe diseases. His people made no burning for him, like the burning for his fathers-
See on :15. Perhaps those two years of sickness were in order to give him the opportunity to repent. For God makes a statement of judgment, but in the gap between that and its fulfilment, there is the possibility of repentance. And then the outcome will be changed. We could take the lesson that God by all means works to try to elicit repentance in the most apparently hopeless of cases. For the good shepherd searches until he finds the lost. We likewise are never to give up with people.

2Ch 21:20 Thirty-two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He departed without being desired; and they buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings
"But not in the tombs of the kings" (2 Chron. 21:20) contrasts with the Kings record that he “was buried with his fathers”. But this shows that to be 'buried with ones fathers' was an idiom for death, and not a literal statement that a person was buried near the remains of their ancestors.