Jehoram of Israel

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Jehoram from Guillaume Rouillé's Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum

Jehoram (or Joram) was a king of the northern Kingdom of Israel. (2 Kings 8:16, 8:25-28) He was the son of Ahab and Jezebel, and brother to King Ahaziah. According to 2 Kings 8:16, in the fifth year of Joram of Israel, (another) Jehoram became king of Judah, when his father Jehoshaphat was (still) king of Judah, indicating a co-regency. The author of Kings also speaks of both Jehoram of Israel and Jehoram of Judah in the same passage, which can be confusing.

Reign[edit]

Jehoram began to reign in Israel in the 18th year of Jehoshaphat of Judah, and ruled 12 years. (2 Kings 3:1) William F. Albright has dated his reign to 849–842 BC, whereas E. R. Thiele proposed 852-841 BC.[1]

Like his predecessors, Jehoram worshiped Baal. With Jehoshaphat of Juda and the King of Edom, Jehoram attacked Mesha, King of Moab. In the war between Syria and Israel, Elisha befriended Jehoram, revealing to him the plans of the enemy. Subsequently, when Ben-hadad besieged Samaria, reducing the city almost to starvation, Jehoram sought to kill the prophet. The latter, however, foretold that a period of plenty was imminent; the siege was soon lifted, the city's food supplies were replenished, and the old relation between the king and the prophet was restored.[2]

When Hazael, king of the Arameans, revolted in Damascus, as Elisha had predicted (II Kings viii. 12), Jehoram made an alliance with his nephew Ahaziah, King of Judah. The two kings set forth to take Ramoth-gilead from Syria. The project failed; Jehoram was wounded in the fighting, and he withdrew to Jezreel to recover. It is likely that his defeat at Ramoth-Gilead was a disaster. As a result, while Jehoram was recuperating at Jezreel, his general Jehu incited a revolt. Jehu murdered Jehoram and had his body thrown into the field of Naboth the Jezreelite, as punishment for his parent's sin in stealing the former's land. With the death of Jehoram the dynasty of Omri became extinct.[2] Jehu claimed the throne of Israel as his own.

The author of the Tel Dan Stele (found in 1993-94 during archaeological excavations of the site of Laish) claimed to have slain both Ahaziah and Jehoram. Hazael is the most likely to have written it.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Edwin Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, (1st ed.; New York: Macmillan, 1951; 2d ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965; 3rd ed.; Grand Rapids: Zondervan/Kregel, 1983). ISBN 0-8254-3825-X, 9780825438257
  2. ^ a b "Jehoram", Jewish Encyclopedia
  3. ^ http://theosophical.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/biblical-archaeology-4-the-moabite-stone-a-k-a-mesha-stele/
Jehoram of Israel
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ahaziah
King of Israel
852 BC – 841 BC
Succeeded by
Jehu